Cllr Kenny MacLaren and Cllr Natalie Don MSP put a motion forward to the full meeting of Renfrewshire Council on the 4th March 2021, calling for the £30 uplift to Universal Credit to be made permanent and to extend this to include legacy benefits such as Employment Support Allowance, Income Support and Jobseekers’ Allowance.

This was approved unanimously by all councillors and a letter was sent to both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

However, Will Quince MP, the Minister for Welfare Delivery, has responded on behalf of the UK Government, re-asserting their position that this extra £20 per week to those who receive Universal Credit will finish at the end of September.

The Minister confirmed they would not extend the additional funding to those on legacy benefits.  Quince added that those on such benefits are welcome to apply for Universal Credit if they believe they will get more benefits but warned that doing so would mean the end of such legacy benefits in the future.

SNP Councillor Kenny MacLaren for Paisley Northwest said: “This was a shocking, but unsurprising, response from the Tory Minister for Welfare Delivery, who rejected calls from Renfrewshire Council to make permanent the temporary £20 uplift in Universal Credit and to extend this to legacy benefits”

“This is a shocking reply from a little know MP who treats people on benefits with such disdain. Along with the rest of the crooked Tory cabinet, he is not interested in those who are suffering most from Tory policies.

“No doubt he wants to take back that measly £20 per week from some of the most disadvantaged people in the UK and give it out in lucrative dodgy contracts to his family and friends, just like the Tory Government has done with every other penny of public money.

“There are no words harsh enough that can be printed to express my contempt for this corrupt Tory Government.”

Cllr Natalie Don MSP said: “I was delighted when the whole chamber of Renfrewshire Council backed this motion – every single member, even the Tories, recognised how important this additional funding was to those on benefits.

“The response from the Minister is shocking – he’s even telling those on legacy benefits to risk these by applying for Universal Credit and won’t let them know if they will be better off or not!

“It’s the total disregard that politicians like Will Quince MP and his like that has driven me into politics, to make a difference for some of the most vulnerable in society. They deserve better than the contempt of this Tory MP.

“I am pleased to be the Depute Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Social Justice and Social Security Committee and will do everything I can in this role to ensure that the poorest in our society are not forgotten about.”