Vulnerable Households (Winter Support)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 30th September 2021.

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The First Minister:

Yes. Obviously, as part of the cut and thrust of democracy and political debate, I disagree with and oppose many of the UK Government’s policies, just as the Conservatives will oppose many of the policies of this Government. However, I do not think that there has been anything quite so morally indefensible as the cut to universal credit that is planned to take effect in a week’s time.

Taking—at this time, in particular—£20 a week away from the most vulnerable, lowest-income households across the country simply cannot be defended in any way, shape or form.

I ask the Conservatives in the chamber—if Douglas Ross wants to get off his phone for a moment while we are talking about this really serious issue—to please, over the next few days, try to persuade their UK Government colleagues not to do this. It is their constituents, just as it is mine and those of every member in the chamber, who are going to find it difficult to feed their children, pay their energy bills and live with dignity if the cut goes ahead. For goodness’ sake, let all of us unite to say to the UK Government, “Do not do this.”