The SNP has called for the “unfair” disparity between the UK government’s benefits system to be resolved with a cash boost given to people claiming ‘legacy’ benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance and Employment Support Allowance.
The Chancellor recently announced the Universal Credit standard allowance and the Working Tax Credit basic element will increase above the planned annual uprating.
However, this uplift does not apply to people on legacy benefits. Those who will not receive this increase are those on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Employment Support Allowance (ESA) and Income Support (IS), and also those affected by the benefit cap.
The SNP says this creates an unfair disparity between claimants on the new and old system.
For example: A single person over 25 applying for Universal Credit will now get a weekly amount of £94.59 in comparison to a JSA claimant who will get £74.35 – a difference of almost £20.
Bob Doris MSP said: “Of course, the recently announced measures designed to protect the incomes of large numbers of people whose livelihoods have been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 crisis are welcome.
“But these support measures need to go further. There now exists an unfair disparity between claimants on the old and new systems, which could leave those claiming ‘legacy benefits’ facing financial challenges, especially after several years of a benefit freeze introduced by the Tories.
“It’s vital that the UK government seriously considers the concerning effects of this two-tier system – and provides an equivalent uplift to those claiming legacy benefits.
“Support must be put back in place to help people through this crisis, and these changes should be implemented with immediate effect that ensure everyone has a safety net to support them through this difficult time.”