An SNP MP has called for the reinstatement of the DWP Christmas bonus, which the Tory government are cutting as people move to Universal Credit.
Chris Stephens MP, who sits on the Commons DWP Committee, has previously tabled questions asking the UK Government if they plan to increase the value of the payment and has today tabled a Motion to Parliament to seek support from MPs on this cause.
The ‘Christmas Bonus’ of £10 was introduced in 1972 to provide additional support at a time of high inflation.
Under Universal Credit, the bonus is to be scrapped and the UK government have no plans to replace the bonus.
The SNP MP also slammed successive UK governments, who have failed to increase the payment since the 1970s, with the House of Commons Library confirming the benefit would now be worth only 78p.
Commenting, SNP MP on the Commons DWP Committee Chris Stephens said: “It seems as though the new UK government DWP Secretary of State is playing the Grinch who stole Christmas from families who are struggling at a particularly difficult time of year.
“People cannot wait until the Chancellor’s Spring Statement for this support – the UK government needs to act right now.
“The rollout of Universal Credit has been used as a trojan horse to scrap the Christmas bonus, which has not been updated from its original £10 figure in nearly 50 years.
“More than half a million people have been pushed into poverty over the last five years and the Tories’ shambolic Brexit has pushed up the cost of living, while the Tories cuts continue to bite unabated.
“It’s now up to Amber Rudd to use the power of her office to boost the Christmas bonus for those who receive it and to reinstate to those who have lost out under Universal Credit.
“This support must reach families in need as quickly as possible and the government’s inaction to date must be immediately corrected.”