SNP MP Kirsten Oswald today challenged Boris Johnson on his promise to tackle inequality in the UK – asking if the new daily allowance for the unelected House of Lords being more than a monthly Universal Credit payment is the “levelling up” he “keeps talking about”.
The SNP has said that Boris Johnson completely missed the point after he responded that he hates to agree with “these people” – referring to SNP MPs – and added that he finds it odd that the House of Lords would do that, failing to address Ms Oswald’s question.
The new daily allowance for the “unelected and unaccountable” House of Lords is set to rise to £323. The monthly allowance for a single person over 25 on Universal Credit is £317.82.
After a decade of Tory austerity child poverty and pensioner poverty has increased, and 14 million people in the UK are now living in poverty, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
Commenting, the MP for East Renfrewshire said: “Boris Johnson completely missed the point of my question.
“It is a disgrace and a stain on society that an unelected and unaccountable member of the outdated House of Lords earns more in a day than a single person does on Universal Credit in a month – but the Tories just don’t get it and they never will.
“The Prime Minister’s response to my question is symbolic of the contempt and complete disregard they have for Scotland and for those trying to make ends meet – he might as well have just shrugged his shoulders for all the good it did.
“With 14 million people living in poverty, child poverty and food bank use on the rise, The Tories must admit their own catastrophic failings and urgently see through their promise to ‘level up’ by investing in social security.”
She continued: “Governments have a responsibility to provide a safety net for people struggling to get by yet the Tories have been content to sit on their hands and pass the buck to the voluntary sector.
“After a decade of Tory austerity cuts, the shambolic roll-out of universal credit, the benefit freeze, broken promises on free tv licenses, and the Brexit chaos in Westminster, the people of Scotland deserve so much better than this callous Tory Government.
“The SNP Scottish Government are taking a different approach and building a system based on dignity, fairness and respect. Scotland could do so much more to tackle poverty with the full powers of independence.”