CLYDEBANK’S MP has slammed the UK Government over its decision to make “callous” cuts to Universal Credit.

Martin Docherty-Hughes hit out after Conservative Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey confirmed to Parliament that the £20 per week increase to Universal Credit will start to be phased out from late September.

Last month, the Post revealed statistics from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) showed a total of 5,041 people were registered for Universal Credit through Clydebank’s Jobcentre in May 2021.

However, compared to a year ago, before the pandemic, the number was 2,550 – a rise of almost 100 per cent.

The West Dunbartonshire MP said this will hit thousands of hard-pressed families in Clydebank.

Mr Docherty-Hughes said: “For the Tories to cut £1,000 per year from the household budgets of the poorest families in West Dunbartonshire is unconscionable.

“Losing £20 per week may not seem like much, but for many of my constituents it’s the difference between putting a decent meal on the table.

“If the UK Government pushes ahead with these callous cuts it will needlessly push tens of thousands of Scottish families further into poverty.

“It’s clearer than ever that Scotland needs full control over our own social security system and the powers of a normal independent country.”

It is expected that almost 10,000 people in West Dunbartonshire will be affected by the £20 per week cut.

Numerous anti-poverty charities have called for an urgent rethink citing concerns that cutting Universal Credit by £1,040 per year will lead to soaring child poverty rates.

A UK Government spokesperson said: “Throughout this crisis, the government has spent £400bn protecting people’s jobs, livelihoods and supporting businesses and public services. We extended economic support well beyond the end of the roadmap, right through to the end of September. That includes unprecedented welfare support.

“More than £9bn will have been spent on the uplift by the time it ends in September.

“It is right that economic support is wound down as we come out of this crisis and we focus on helping people back into work.”