A Renfrewshire MSP has condemned the UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for informing local people receiving Universal Credit support by text messages about cuts to their benefits coming into effect in the weeks ahead.

Natalie Don, SNP MSP for Renfrewshire North and West, has said the DWP’s heartless approach illustrates why the Scottish Parliament should have full powers over welfare and social security decisions to tackle poverty more effectively throughout Scotland.

Don said: “The Tory Government’s scrapping of the £20 uplift to Universal Credit is devastating for low income families across Renfrewshire North and West and to inform claimants by text message is an absolutely brutal way to tell people about the removal of a lifeline benefit.

“This savage cut, which is the result of inhumane decisions by out-of-touch Westminster politicians, will plunge even more children in Renfrewshire and across the country deeper into poverty.

“My heart goes out to local families who have found out about their household budgets being decimated in such a cold, calculated manner.

“The Tories’ cruel decision to remove the uplift of this benefit and the way it has been communicated to people who need supported most in our communities clearly demonstrates why the Scottish Parliament should have full powers over welfare issues, so that the more compassionate Social Security Scotland system created by the SNP Government can ensure everyone requiring support is treated with dignity, fairness and respect.”