Martin Whitfield MSP has called on the Tory UK Government to reverse their “catastrophic” cut to Universal Credit.

New figures from Scottish Labour have revealed the devastating impact the cut will have in East Lothian where up to one in four households will be affected.

This means more than 10,000 households locally will lose up to £1,040 a year.

Martin Whitfield has joined Labour colleagues to demand the Tories “cancel the cut” and called on the SNP to show “ambition” setting out a better path in Scotland.

Commenting, Martin Whitfield MSP said:

“The Tories are inflicting untold damage on communities with this disgraceful cut – while the Prime Minister laughs about it. 

“There was never any justification for this, but it is all the more dangerous to press ahead with this cut as a cost of living crisis grows. 

“In East Lothian more than 10,000 households will be hit, forcing them to make impossible choices to try and make ends meet this winter. It’s not too late for the Tories to do the right thing and cancel this catastrophic cut.

“This uplift was an essential lifeline during the pandemic, but it was also an admission that our social security system is not fit for purpose. It wasn’t good enough for those who needed it during the pandemic and it’s not good enough for those who need it now.  

“The Tories have given up any pretence of caring about the most vulnerable in our society. If they refuse to cancel the cut it will go down in history as a particularly shameful act from a cruel and uncaring government.

“If the Tory UK Government remains intent on this heartless approach, we can and must take a different path in Scotland – but it will require real ambition from the SNP.

“Both governments must pull out every stop to prevent poverty and deliver a truly fair recovery from the pandemic.”