Fife anti-poverty campaigners urge rethink on Universal Credit cuts

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Anti-poverty campainers, Fife People’s Assembly and Unite Community Fife, have both called on the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to think again on the proposal to cut £20-a-week from the six million households across the UK that receive Universal Credit.

Such is the concern about this proposal is that it has drawn criticism from six former Conservative work and pensions secretaries, including Sir Iain Duncan Smith, the architect of Universal Credit

Tam Kirby, of Fife People’s Assembly, said: “This is the news struggling families have been dreading.

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"This cut will cause so much hardship and despair because that £20 was the difference between heating and eating.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak on a trip to Scotland last yearChancellor Rishi Sunak on a trip to Scotland last year
Chancellor Rishi Sunak on a trip to Scotland last year

"It also makes no economic sense to pull cash from the economy at a time when the recovery is fragile.

"That money is spent locally in our struggling high streets, yet the chancellor is draining support away from them at a time when they, too, need every penny.

Andy Crichton, of Unite Community Fife, said: “The grim reality is that work does not pay in this country.

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"The fact that around one third of Universal Credit recipients are actually in work will tell you that the chancellor should be focusing on halting the march of poverty pay, not taking £20 from those most at need.

“Even before the pandemic, child poverty was a deeply entrenched problem in the UK, and for the government to consign a further 420,000 children to hunger and hardship is a scandal.

“Vulnerable children will suffer. The Chancellor has to think again."

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