South Ayrshire Council to write to UK Government about benefit cuts
The UK Government plan to cut the benefit level for millions of claimants from April 2021 by ending the time limited increase to the basic rate of Universal Credit (and the tax credit equivalent). This £20 weekly boost reflected the reality that the existing level of benefits were not enough to protect the increasing number of households who came to rely on them as the COVID-19 pandemic took its grasp. The increase in benefits has had a positive effect on the lives of thousands of residents who are better able to pay for essentials such as food, clothing and utility bills.
The increase also benefitted the South Ayrshire economy as people spent money locally, subsequently supporting local businesses and jobs.
South Ayrshire Council Chief Executive, Eileen Howat, will therefore write to the Chancellor and Prime Minister to demand that the £20 increase to Universal Credit is made permanent, and extended to claimants on legacy benefits. This follows a motion put forward at Council meeting today by Leader of the Council, Peter Henderson, and seconded by Depute Leader, Councillor Brian McGinley.
Councillor Peter Henderson, Leader of South Ayrshire Council said: "The £20 weekly increase was a welcome boost to many family's income across South Ayrshire, not to mention the direct impact it had on the local economy, and it's removal would be a huge loss.
"We are committed to closing the gap, and it's crucial that we show our support for all those who have come to rely on this additional income by raising our concerns at the highest level."