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Douglas Ross welcomes income boost for low earners

By Ewan Malcolm

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MORAY MP Douglas Ross has welcomed the boost to Universal Credit payments which came into effect yesterday, December 1.

Moray MP and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has welcomed the changes. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.
Moray MP and Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has welcomed the changes. Picture: Daniel Forsyth.

The taper rate, the amount that a person's Universal Credit is reduced by as they earn more, has dropped from 63 per cent to 55 per cent. Work allowances, the amount eligible claimants can earn before their Universal Credit is reduced, have increased by £500 per year in conjunction with the changes to the taper rate.

Mr Ross said: "As Moray looks to recover from the pandemic, it is welcome that those on Universal Credit will be able to keep more of what they earn.

"Throughout the pandemic, the UK Government have stepped up at every turn to support vulnerable people in this constituency. These measures can help to support more people across Moray into work as we look to rebuild our communities.

"I strongly lobbied Rishi Sunak to keep the Universal Credit uplift in place during the height of this crisis and I will continue to push for measures to support those who need it most.

"The UK Government's Household Support fund is also extremely welcome and the onus is on the SNP Government to ensure local authorities like Moray can deliver that money as quickly as possible."

The change represents a tax cut worth £2.2 billion for the UK's lowest earners. Around two million low income people will receive an additional £1000 on average each year.

Richard Lochhead, MSP for Moray, called for further support for low income families following the announcement.

Mr Lochhead said: "At a time when the cost of living is soaring and households in Moray and across the country are struggling to cover their bills, the UK Government has failed to do nearly enough to support those on the lowest incomes.

"Changes to the taper rate don't help those on Universal Credit who are unable to work and the £20 a week cut will be devastating for those in that situation.

"We're in the midst of a cost of living crisis and if the UK Government is serious about supporting low income families who are being hit the hardest then they must reverse the £20 cut to the Universal Credit uplift."

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