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Thousands of people in North Ayrshire and Arran constituency will be plunged into poverty as the UK Government ends vital coronavirus support to people receiving benefits such as Universal Credit. Currently 8,614 households receive Universal Credit in North Ayrshire and Arran. All are set to lose out on the £20-a-week uplift brought in to provide a lifeline during the pandemic. The Tory Government will reinstate the Minimum Income Floor (MIF) by April 2021. A Scottish Government report calculates that the decision will cost households in Scotland up to £476 million. Commenting, Patricia said: “The Tories' proposals to withdraw this £20 uplift in April would pull the rug out from 8,614 households in my constituency alone, at a time when they need support the most. “The pandemic is not over yet, so the UK Government needs to reverse these plans or it will impact those who are unemployed, low paid or self-employed people whose incomes have been slashed during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Scottish Government is doing all it can to support struggling families, by introducing game-changing benefits like the Scottish Child Payment and will continue to build a benefits system that is kind, caring and compassionate with the limited powers it currently has. However, 85% of the social security system remains under Westminster, Tory, control. "An independent Scotland would have full social security powers to build a fair social security system that gives families the support they need.” The Scottish Government report, Impact of Withdrawing Emergency Benefit Measures, can be read here: The MIF is a base amount used to calculate how much Universal Credit should be awarded to self-employed people. Anyone earning below the MIF is considered as though they earn that amount, while those earning more have their actual earnings taken into account. When the UK Government removed the MIF, everyone who was self-employed received benefits based on their actual earnings. ENDS

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