NEARLY four in ten working-age families in some areas of Scotland will be hit by the “largest permanent benefits cut ever made in a single year” if the Tory government fails to make increases in line with inflation, a charity has warned.

Analysis by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has identified which parliamentary constituencies will be most affected if the UK Government chooses not to uprate support such as Universal Credit.

Overall, 34 Scottish MPs are representing constituencies where at least one fifth of working-age families receive means tested benefits.

And Glasgow South West, Glasgow East and Glasgow North East are most impacted, with nearly 40% of working-age families affected in those constituencies.

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Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak had pledged to increase benefits in line with inflation – which was 9.9% in August - and therefore meet the rising cost of living, but Liz Truss’s government has so far failed to commit to this.

Reports have suggested ministers are looking at a rise in benefits such as Universal Credit tied in with earnings instead, which is currently around 6%.

The JRF research found every constituency across the UK has at least one in ten working- age families who would be affected by the suggested cut, including just over a fifth of working-age families in Truss’s South West Norfolk constituency.

Child benefit could also be cut, affecting 80% of children across the UK.

David Linden, SNP MP for Glasgow East MP, said Scots households were being “punished under the Tories' austerity economics”, while the “rich get richer”.

“The findings from the JRF show the horrible extent of the callous actions of the Conservatives, who amidst a brutal cost of living crisis, are set to impose the largest permanent benefits cut ever made in a single year,” he said.

“This could not be more at odds with the Scottish Government's approach to the cost-of-living crisis, who’ve just uprated eight benefits as well as increasing the Scottish Child Payment and doubled the four annual bridging payments.

“But for as long as Westminster press ahead with their cruel agenda the Scottish Government's work will be completely undermined as the Tories consign millions more to poverty and destitution.”

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Katie Schmuecker, JRF principal policy advisor, said: “Politicians should think long and hard about the impact of withholding hundreds of pounds from thousands of families in their constituencies when the basic rate of benefits is already at its lowest in real terms for 40 years and prices are sky-high.

“We know millions of families have already gone without the essentials this year, missing meals, not cooking hot food or having hot showers. We know people have gone into arrears on their bills or taking on debt to pay for the basics. It is unconscionable that the government should be considering cutting their ability to pay for what they need.

"The Government must realise how catastrophic it would be to refuse to respect their own party’s pledge to make sure the value of benefits keeps up with prices.

“The majority of people agree the right thing to do is help the most vulnerable during this extraordinary crisis. The impact will be felt across every constituency in the UK. Now is the time for all MPs to stand up and be counted.”