Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil is appealing to the UK Government to retain the £20 a week uplift to Universal Credit.

The plan remains to end this uplift which has been a lifeline to more than 1,500 people in the Western Isles who have been claiming Universal Credit throughout the pandemic.

Figures from Child Poverty Action Scotland (CPAG) state that the total figure includes more than 400 families and over 700 children.

Mr MacNeil is due to meet with Western Isles Citizens Advice Service (WICAS) later this month to discuss this situation further.

In a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Riki Sunak MP, Mr MacNeil said: “This uplift has been a lifeline for millions of families including many of my constituents in Na h-Eileanan an Iar.

“Ending the uplift will effectively mean a pay cut for low paid workers and some of the poorest families and vulnerable children are about to have household income slashed.

“On behalf of my constituents, I am urging the UK Government to maintain the uplift to Universal Credit and ensure that families on legacy benefits are no longer excluded. By making the uplift permanent, we could prevent many people from being plunged into poverty.”

The SNP have repeatedly called on the UK to make the uplift to Universal Credit and Working Tax Credits permanent and to extend an equivalent uplift to people claiming legacy benefits such as Employment and Support Allowance and Jobseekers Allowance.

The UK Government confirmed the uplift to Universal Credit will be withdrawn at the end of September, just as the furlough scheme ends, and the OBR expects UK unemployment levels to peak.