NEW PM MUST ACT ON BENEFITS, URGES GAVIN
The new Prime Minister has been slammed by a Renfrewshire MP for ignoring calls to keep benefits in line with the cost of living.
Despite questioning from the SNP’s Westminster Leader, Ian Blackford MP, at his first session of Prime Minister’s Questions, the PM refused to confirm whether social security benefits will keep pace with the cost of living, with inflation running at 10.1% on the latest measure.
Around 10,000 Child Benefit recipients live in Renfrewshire, while 11,000 households get Universal Credit, 40% of whom are in-work.
Previous years have seen the rate of inflation in September used to determine the increase in DWP benefits the following April.
But despite numerous calls to do so over recent months, the UK Government have refused to confirm whether the cost of living increase will go ahead.
Detailed data released this week by the Office of National Statistics showed how basic foodstuffs are seeing the highest increases, with vegetable oil up 65%, pasta up 60%, tea up 46%, and bread up 38% in the last year, hitting the poorest hardest.
The Paisley and Renfrewshire MP, Gavin Newlands, hit out at the Prime Minister for refusing to support those receiving DWP benefits.
“Rishi Sunak’s first Prime Minister’s Questions showed exactly the kind of policies we will see under his government – attacking working people and kicking the ladder away from those who need help the most.
“There was no word on support for households dealing with the cost of living crisis, no word on social security benefits and pensions keeping pace with inflation, no word on how he intends to drag the UK out of the economic catastrophe his party has dragged it into, and no word on respecting the democratic wish of the people of Scotland to choose our own future.
“My colleague Ian Blackford gave him the opportunity to confirm that benefits will not be cut in the middle of this economic crisis, yet he point blank avoided a straight answer.
“That is a disgrace, and is leaving thousands of households in Renfrewshire in the lurch with no certainty about the future and no idea what their finances will be like one month to the next.
“Anyone expecting a fresh approach to policy and the governance of this country will be sorely disappointed by his performance. 12 years of Tory austerity and cuts have brought the UK to its knees, yet there was no prospect of this failed and discredited policy being scrapped.
“Meanwhile the Labour leader failed to land a glove on someone who is only in office because his predecessor set records for her incompetence and dismal performance, allowing him to slip off the hook.
“We need a general election now, and the chance to make our own choices here in Scotland to reject failed Westminster extremism once and for all.”