Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland Labour MSP Colin Smyth has branded local Tory MPs ‘a total disgrace’ after they failed to back a crunch vote forced by Labour in the House of Commons on Monday to scrap a cut to Universal Credit.

The vote followed comments by the Prime Minister where he confirmed that he intended to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits by £20 a week, or £1,040 a year, for almost 400,000 families in Scotland.

The non-binding Labour motion calling for the universal credit top-up to be kept in place beyond 31 March passed by 278 votes to none after a Commons debate.

Conservative MPs David Mundell, Alister Jack and John Lamont stuck with party orders and failed to vote.

Colin Smyth said: “Conservative MPs David Mundell, Alister Jack and John Lamont must be held accountable for failing to vote to stop this cut. They have shown that they would rather put punitive Tory ideology first, above the plight of hard-pressed families in their constituencies. It is a total disgrace.

“Going ahead with this cut is a cash raid on our most vulnerable people and they will have to account for this at the ballot box.

“The UK is facing the worst recession of any major economy because of the Government’s incompetence and indecision.

“Now the Chancellor expects families in Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders to foot the bill – taking £1,000 a year from families, damaging our recovery and pulling children into poverty.”

Scottish Labour research has also found that David Mundell, Alister Jack and John Lamont all have a smaller parliamentary majority than the number of people in their constituency set to be hit by these cuts to Universal Credit.

Alister Jack has a majority of 1,805 while 7,856 people are claiming Universal Credit in his constituency. John Lamont has a 5,148 majority but 7,292 people claim UC in his area; and David Mundell has a 3,781 majority whereas 5,875 people are claiming UC in his constituency.


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