“SPINELESS” Scottish Tory MPs have been asked to support a campaign rejecting the planned cuts to Universal Credit which may plunge hundreds of thousands into poverty.

The SNP’s Work and Pensions spokesperson, David Linden MP, urged his Tory counterparts to stand up for low-income families and reject the UK Government's planned cuts to Universal Credit.

As it stands, around six million people will have their benefits slashed by £20 a week on October 6. Citizens Advice said this will mean the difference “between empty cupboards and food on the table” for many.

A study from the Fabian Society in February 2021 estimated that the cut would push 760,000 people in the UK below the poverty line over the medium term. Of these, 490,000 (64%) would be in households where at least one adult works, many with children.

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The Tories’ proposed cuts come despite a YouGov poll last week finding nearly two-thirds of Scots back keeping the £20-per-week Universal Credit uplift in place at least until the economy improves.

Some 35% of people surveyed supported keeping the cash in place until the financial situation created by the pandemic "is more stable", while 28% said it should be made permanent.

Linden said: “Douglas Ross and the rest of the spineless Scottish Tory MPs consistently fail to stand up for Scotland and run to fall into line behind Boris Johnson - whether that be to slash aid for the world's poorest, impose Brexit against Scotland's will, or vote against extending free school meals and for cruel migration policies.

“It’s time they all grew a backbone, stood up for low-income families in Scotland and backed my campaign, which rejects the Chancellor's disastrous plans to slash Universal Credit and urges him to make the uplift permanent and extend it to legacy benefits.

“Not only will it hit half a million Scots, but it will knock out the benefits for the Scottish Child Payment. By failing to stand against these plans the Scottish Tories are failing to stand up for Scotland, given the majority of people here against them.

“We have seen time and again that we cannot trust the Tories to protect the people of Scotland or our recovery.”

The news comes as Labour announced plans to rename and replace Universal Credit should the party come to power.

The party’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Jonathan Reynolds, promised to “make work pay” as part of a wider strategy to create “jobs you can raise a family on”.

Despite pledges under Jeremy Corbyn to scrap the system altogether, Keir Starmer’s party are suggesting that the basic digital architecture be kept in place, with tweaks to make it more generous and less punitive.

The YouGov poll surveyed 1007 adults online between May 20 and 25, with the figures weighted and representative of all Scottish adults.

The Scottish Tories have been approached for comment.