Two SNP Councillors have submitted a motion to the next full meeting of Renfrewshire Council calling for the £20 uplift to Universal Credit to be made permanent and extended to include legacy benefits such as Employment Support Allowance, Income Support and Jobseekers’ Allowance.

The motion was submitted by the SNP’s candidate for Renfrewshire North & West Councillor Natalie Don, along with Councillor Kenny MacLaren. Don is currently a Renfrewshire Councillor for Bishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank.

Councillor Kenny MacLaren said: “This money is needed by people now more than ever. The additional payment was put in place to provide additional support to people in receipt of benefits, many for whom it was the first time claiming benefits.

“There is no reason why the Tory Government couldn’t extend this payment to other benefits and make it permanent other than their obsession of punishing the poorest in our society.”

Councillor Natalie Don added: “Nothing has changed since the start of the pandemic, those on the lowest income bracket are suffering most and this additional payment of Universal Credit has been necessary. To withdraw this payment will only bring more harm to those that need it the most at this time.

“The Tories are burying their heads in the sand with this and people are going to suffer because of it. In Wednesday’s UK budget the Tories have a chance to make this uplift permanent but with The Conservatives record on welfare cuts for over a decade now, I highly doubt we will see the £20 increase being made permanent.”

“It’s also important the Tory Government extend this £20 uplift to include other legacy benefits – people on these benefits have been suffering throughout the pandemic and deserve the same level of support”.

The councillors’ motion calls for the council to write to both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to make this uplift permanent and to extend it to legacy benefits.