MSPs have been warned that the cut to Universal Credit, furlough being wound down and sky-rocketing energy bills is creating a ‘perfect storm’ for households in Scotland as budgets continue to be squeezed.
Polly Tolley, Director of Impact at Citizens Advice Scotland, told the Holyrood Finance and Public Administration Committee that the advice service is ‘worried’ about the cut to Universal Credit and coupled with furlough being phased out and energy bills increasing there will be increased pressure on the budgets of low-income households.
Ms. Tolley also told the committee that Citizens Advice Scotland conducted polling in May and found 1 in 7 people in Scotland were struggling with the income they were on.
Commenting, SNP member of the committee Michelle Thomson MSP said: “Low-income families across Scotland are facing a squeeze on their incomes at a time when many are just starting to find their feet as we emerge from the pandemic.
“The combination of sky-rocketing energy prices, furlough being wound down and the Tory cut to Universal Credit low-income, hard-working families will feel an incredible squeeze as we go into the winter months.
“We will see a further squeeze on incomes as the Tories look to hike National Insurance, forcing people in Scotland to pay for social care in England.
“Once again, just as we did ten years ago, we are seeing the Tories building our recovery on the backs of the poorest in society as they pull the rug from under their feet at a time when they need support the most.
“Scotland cannot afford another decade of Tory austerity, that is why the people of Scotland need to be given the opportunity to choose a different path in a referendum for recovery where we could use the full powers that independence would bring to support the most vulnerable in society.”
The evidence from Ms. Tolley can be found here