The SNP has demanded the Tories reverse cuts to pension credit after it was revealed that a majority of claimants are disabled.
Figures show that more than half (56%) of those who receive pension credits also claim a disability benefit.
Currently, couples are able to claim pension credit if one of the partners is over the state retirement age of 65.
However, new changes – snuck out by Tory ministers on the eve of Theresa May’s humiliating Brexit deal defeat – will remove that provision, instead forcing claimants onto Universal Credit.
According to Age UK, mixed-age couples could be left over £7,000 worse off per year when the changes come into effect in May.
The UN has previously warned that austerity policies introduced into welfare and social care by the UK government amount to “systematic violations” of the rights of people with disabilities.
Commenting, SNP MSP Alasdair Allan said: “This change to pension credit is bad news for everyone affected – but it is deeply concerning that this could disproportionately hit the disabled. No wonder the Tories tried to sneak the news out.
“For the UK Government to penalise people simply for having a younger partner is completely unacceptable.
“Pensioners, disabled people, and people on low-incomes should not be forced to pay the price for the Tories’ cuts to welfare.
“If they intend to proceed with these cuts, vulnerable people need assurances over how they will be supported when their incomes are slashed by this policy.
“The Tory government cannot continue to brush aside the deep and damaging failings of their social security system – which is pushing families into poverty and crisis, and forcing people to turn to foodbanks in order to survive.”
Disclaimer: This is an official release from the Scottish National Party (SNP). Images added Welfare Weekly.