Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is calling on MPs to ask the Chancellor to make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit (UC) permanent, ahead of this week’s Budget.
In a briefing sent to all Scottish MPs, the charity has set out how without the uplift, UC will fall below the rate of inflation and risk leaving thousands of Scottish households in poverty.
Previous figures from the charity showed that if the £20 uplift is cut, the real terms value of the payment will fall below its 2013 value.
The charity said that currently around 480,000 people claim UC in Scotland.
If the £20 weekly increase is removed, UC will be worth 11.5% less in real terms than it was when introduced in 2013.
From March 2020 to January 2021, Citizens Advice has provided more than 131,000 pieces of advice on Universal Credit in Scotland alone.
CAS Social Justice spokesperson Nina Ballantyne said: “We’re urging the Chancellor to make the UC uplift permanent ahead of the budget next week.
“Following years of below inflation increases and the benefits freeze, the need to uprate Universal Credit to a more adequate rate was already urgent prior to Covid.
“Anything less than making the £20 increase permanent would ignore the real terms reduction in the value of UC that has taken place since its introduction.
“The uplift has been key for keeping many households above water. Making it permanent next week will give people the security they need as the economy reopens.
“The Chancellor has an opportunity next week to ensure this vital support is available for families as we emerge from the pandemic.
“The alternative would sweep people in Scotland and across the UK into poverty.”
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