Thousands of Fife families with children set to lose out in Universal Credit cut

Thousands of families with children in parts of Fife 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, 1:10 pm
Thousands of families in Fife will lose out on cash each year if the planned cut goes ahead. 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 Fife, the worst-affected constituences are Glenrothes, where 49 per cent of families with children are on Universal Credit or Working Tax Credit, meaning 5290 families will suffer the cut, and Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath where 5250 families with children – 44 per cent – will be affected.

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The figures for Dunfermline and West Fife are 4410 families with children or 35 per cent; and in North East Fife the figures reveal 2060 families – or 27 per cent – will be hit.

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.

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