The Scottish National Party (SNP) is calling on the UK Government to increase the work allowance within Universal Credit to help “tackle the scourge of in-work poverty”.
Increasing the work allowance, which determines when people entering work begin to have their benefits reduced, by £600 would boost the income of a worker claiming Universal Credit by £390 a year, the SNP claims.
SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said: “An increase in the work allowance would be a real boost to many workers on low incomes and a key tool in tackling the scourge of in-work poverty – but the UK Government’s current policy of freezing the allowance is simply making matters worse by effectively cutting the benefits of workers on low incomes.
“With the allowance set at its current rate, a lone parent with housing costs would begin to have their benefits reduced after earning just over £3,000 a year – a situation which does little to encourage people into work.
“That’s why this misguided policy needs changed – and this week’s Budget process is the perfect opportunity to take action to benefit workers on low incomes.
“Rather than using this week’s Budget process to further penalise low earners, the UK Government need to take this real action outlined by Nicola Sturgeon to ensure that work will always pay – and every party should be able to get behind this common-sense plan to improve the lot of low paid workers.”