South Scotland SNP MSP Emma Harper has called on Scottish Secretary Alister Jack, at the 11th hour, to use all of his influence in the UK Cabinet to lobby for a U-turn to what she has described as the “callous and cruel” cut of £20 per week to Universal Credit. This cut will cost some of the most vulnerable families across Dumfries & Galloway and wider Scotland £86 per month during a global pandemic.

One-third of households in Scotland receiving Universal Credit will have their income slashed by 20% when the callous cut goes ahead on Wednesday, according to new Scottish Government figures.

The average household reduction will be 12%, and some households will see the amount of Universal Credit they are entitled to reduce to £0. Around 480,000 people in Scotland – 9,830 households across Dumfries and Galloway alone – are set to be directly impacted by the cut.

Commenting, Ms Harper said:

“The cut to Universal Credit, due to come into effect on Wednesday this week, is callous and cruel. It will see some of the most vulnerable families across Dumfries and Galloway, and indeed Scotland, lose out on £86 per month during a global pandemic and time of global economic hardship. The decision to cut Universal Credit is morally indefensible. It is going to push thousands of people into poverty and it is going to leave many parents having to choose between heating and heating their families.

“I am now calling, at the 11th hour, on the Scottish Secretary, who is also supposed to be the representative of Dumfries and Galloway in the House of Commons, to use all of his influence in the UK Cabinet to lobby for a U-turn on this cruel and callous cut which will directly impact 9,830 households in Dumfries and Galloway alone, and 480,000 people in Scotland.

“If he truly is Scotland’s man in Westminster, he would heed the warnings from all of the poverty foundations, and indeed Citizens Advice, over the disastrous impact of these proposed cuts and would speak up for the interests of the people of Scotland.

“In Scotland, we can choose a better path and build a social security system that is built for the people of Scotland, not against them. We can do that with the full powers that an independent Scotland would bring and allow us to build a fairer society.”

Universal Credit Scotland dashboard 2021 – (