finance

Budget 2021 latest news: Rishi Sunak could announce 30p hike on beer & NO VAT cut to household energy bills in speech


Chancellor urged to help Scots facing ‘cost of living crisis’

Scots are facing a “real cost of living crisis”, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has said, as she urged the Chancellor to reinstate the £20 a week recently removed from Universal Credit.

Ms Forbes made the plea ahead of Rishi Sunak delivering his second Budget of the year to the Commons on Wednesday.

In a letter to the Chancellor, she called on him to use the keynote address to “provide certainty to the wider public sector, boost the economy and support our most vulnerable at this challenging time”.

Ms Forbes, who will set out the Scottish Government’s draft budget for next year in December, stressed that ministers at Holyrood were “strongly opposed to any return to austerity”.

The Finance Secretary appealed to the Chancellor to re-think the Government’s recent decision to end the £20 a week uplift in Universal Credit introduced during the coronavirus pandemic.

She told Mr Sunak: “A real cost of living crisis is emerging as a result of this cut, combined with the escalating energy costs and upcoming rise in National Insurance contributions.

“The Universal Credit cut alone will push an extra 60,000 people in Scotland, including 20,000 children, into poverty and hundreds of thousands more into hardship, whilst also reducing social security expenditure in Scotland by £461 million by 2023-24.”





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