Thousands of Aberdeenshire families will be hit if £20 'uplift' is scrapped

More than 10,000 households in Aberdeenshire will be impacted if the £20-a-week uplifts to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit are not extended in the Budget.

Monday, 1st March 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Monday, 1st March 2021, 8:02 am
More households in Aberdeenshire could be pushed into poverty if the £20-a-week Universal Credit uplift is not extended.

The Fabian Society is calling for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to permanently extend the top-ups – which were introduced last Spring – or risk hitting "family finances in every corner of the country".

The think-tank's analysis of the latest figures show there were 11,538 households in Aberdeenshire receiving Universal Credit in November last year, and around 2,300 claiming Working Tax Credit in December.

This means a potential 13,838 households in the area would see their finances hit by the scrapping of the £20 uplifts – and more than two-fifths have children.

Both benefits were temporarily increased for one year – worth £1,000 per claimant over this time – as the coronavirus pandemic took hold in April last year.

The weekly top-up is set to end after March 31, but it is hoped the Chancellor will announce a change of plan at the Budget this Wednesday, March 3 .

Andrew Harrop, Fabian Society general secretary, said: “These devastating figures show how the chancellor’s planned cut to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit will hit family finances.

“Removing £1,000 per year from so many households will reduce how much people can spend and suck millions of pounds out of local economies.”

In Aberdeenshire, £14.1 million in social security income would be lost.