NEARLY two thirds of all families in some areas of Scotland will lose more than £1000 a year under the biggest cuts to welfare benefit since the Second World War, according to an an analysis showing how people with children across all the country’s Westminster constituencies will be affected.

Research by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation reveals Glasgow Central will be the hardest hit area with 63% of families there losing £1040 a year.

Second worst hit will be Glasgow South West and Glasgow North East where 55% and 54% respectively of people with children under 18 will be affected by the cut to Universal Credit due to come into force on October 6.

But the policy will have far-reaching consequences across Scotland. In many areas more almost half the families with children will see their incomes reduce.

They include Dundee West, where 49% of families with lose out; Kirkaldy & Cowdenbeath (44%); Aberdeen North (42%) North Ayrshire & Arran (43%).

Moray is Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross’s seat and one of the most marginal in Scotland with a majority of 513. In Moray, 3150 families with children – around three in 10 (31%) – will experience the cut.

Gordon, another marginal constituency which was won by the SNP from the Conservatives with a majority of 891 at the 2019 election, will see 2390 families with children impacted.

READ MORE: 'Spineless' Scottish Tories told to stand up to Boris Johnson over benefit cuts

Boris Johnson’s government increased Universal Credit payments by £20 a week in April last year as a response to the pandemic.

Ministers are under pressure from opposition parties and some Tory backbenchers to maintain the increase with many people still affected by the economic impact of the pandemic. Six Conservative former Secretaries of State for Work and Pensions have come out against the proposed cut – including the architect of Universal Credit Iain Duncan Smith.

During a visit to Scotland earlier this month Johnson gave a clear indication his government will end the Universal Credit uplift as planned in October despite fears it could plunge thousands of people into poverty.

Across Scotland more than a quarter of working-age families’ children will be hit in 52 of the country’s 59 Westminster constituencies.

Chris Birt, Deputy Director for Scotland at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “In just over a month, in the face of widespread opposition, the UK Government plans to impose the biggest overnight cut to the basic rate of social security since the Second World War. Cutting Universal Credit will have deep and devastating consequences for a huge number of families with children across Scotland.

“Child poverty was already rising before Covid-19; it is a scandal that the UK Government’s strategy for economic recovery is to plunge families who are already struggling into deeper poverty and debt. Now is the time for MPs and MSPs of all stripes to step up and oppose this cut to their constituents’ incomes. It’s not too late for the Prime Minister and Chancellor to change course and reverse this decision.”

“While the responsibility for this devastating cut lies with the UK Government, it highlights the urgent need for the full roll-out and doubling of the Scottish Child Payment to support families with children in Scotland.”

According to the analysis, on average 19% of all working-age families in Scotland (with or without children) will experience this cut to their income, which is around 452,000 families. This is slightly lower than the average of 21% across Great Britain.

The National:

SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss (above) said: “The fact that Tories continue to bury their heads in the sand over the impact these cruel cuts will have on families up and down the country shows their true colours – they really are the nasty party.

“My Glasgow Central constituency will be the hardest hit of any in Scotland – with 63% of families with children set to be impacted – and so I am once again urging [Chancellor] Rishi Sunak to U-turn on his plans and instead make the £20 uplift permanent and extend it to legacy benefits.

“The planned cuts will not only cancel out Scottish Child Payment benefits and take vital support away from around 40% of families with children in Scotland, they will also plunge half a million people into poverty across the country at a time when the UK already has the highest poverty levels in North West Europe.

“My colleague and fellow Glasgow MP David Linden launched a campaign at the beginning of this month urging the Chancellor to re-think these plans – it is time he listened.”

She added: “If the Tory government presses ahead with these austerity cuts, it will serve as yet another example of the SNP government putting money in people’s pockets for the Tories to take it away again.

“Independence is the only way we can protect families in Scotland and secure a strong and equal recovery for Scotland after the pandemic.”

The SNP are planning a day of action against the cut today.