Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today condemned the Conservative government for implementing its cut to Universal Credit today, which will cost individuals in receipt of the benefit – including many workers – £20 per week, or £1040 per year. The cut comes despite mounting evidence of a cost of living crisis across the UK, with price inflation running ahead of wage growth. Analysis last month by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that in Orkney and Shetland, 2250 (12%) working age families will be impacted and 1200 (26%) working-age families with children.
Mr Carmichael said:
“The combination of rising inflation, increases in energy prices and the ending of furlough and other COVID-related supports should make any sensible government pause at the very least. Instead Boris Johnson and his colleagues insist on carrying on regardless. The people who will be hit hardest are those who they claim they want to help - families where people work hard but are on low wages. Whether it is ignorance or indifference it shows that this is a government that is hopelessly out of touch.
“It should be remembered that money spent on Universal Credit almost certainly goes back into the local economy as it is spend on basic needs. Money spent on giving tax breaks to Tory donors and cronies will be squirrelled away in tax havens.”