More than one in three Falkirk district families with children to lose out in Universal Credit cut

More than one in three families with children in Falkirk district will lose £1,040 per year if the planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit goes ahead in October.

Thursday, 26th August 2021, 12:57 pm
More than one in three families with children in the Falkirk area are set to lose out from planned benefit cuts. Pic: John Devlin.

And MPs and MSPs from all parties are being urged to step up pressure on the UK government to halt the £20-a-week reduction amid warnings of “devastating” consequences.

The independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation used official data released last week to produce a breakdown of which UK parliamentary constituencies will be most affected by the cut which is scheduled for October 6.

In the Falkirk constituency, 35 per cent of families with children are on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, meaning 4600 families will suffer the cut.

While in Linlithgow and East Falkirk 5230 families with children – also 35 per cent – will be hit.

Across the whole of the UK, 413 constituencies will see more than half the families with children hit by the benefit reduction.

In Scotland the worst affected constituency is Glasgow Central where 63 per cent will suffer the cut.

Chris Birt, deputy director for Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “In just over a month, in the face of widespread opposition, the UK government plans to impose the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War. Cutting Universal Credit will have deep and devastating consequences for a huge number of families with children across Scotland.

“Child poverty was already rising before Covid-19; it is a scandal that the UK government’s strategy for economic recovery is to plunge families who are already struggling into deeper poverty and debt.

"Now is the time for MPs and MSPs of all stripes to step up and oppose this cut to their constituents’ incomes. It’s not too late for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to change course and reverse this


“While the responsibility for this devastating cut lies with the UK government, it highlights the urgent need for the full roll-out and doubling of the Scottish Child Payment to support families with children in Scotland.”

According to the analysis, around 452,000 families across Scotland, with or without children, or 19 per cent of all working-age families, will experience this cut to their income.