Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has responded to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s analysis of the impact to Orkney and Shetland of the planned £20 cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit.
Scheduled for 6th October, this will be the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the foundation of the modern welfare state and will impact around 5 ½ million families.
While the rate is lower than the national average, in Orkney and Shetland, 2250 (12%) working age families will be impacted and 1200 (26%) working-age families with children.
Commenting on the report, Mr Carmichael said:
“This is further evidence of the harm we risk by cutting Universal Credit as we are still attempting to recover from the pandemic. We are in some ways fortunate in the isles to have a lower rate of people making use of Universal Credit than elsewhere, but that still represents thousands of families. The rate has been rising and many people will be feeling vulnerable during the current economic climate. This is no time to be cutting support.
“People need greater certainty after a chaotic year – to cut Universal Credit now is to cut people’s confidence in a more stable future after the pandemic.”