AN SNP MP has criticised the UK Government’s decision to cut support for displaced Ukrainians.

Responding to a letter from the Scottish Parliament’s Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Committee, Tory minister in the Department of Levelling Up, Felicity Buchan MP, wrote that “the Government made the tough decision to reduce the Local Authority tariff to £5900 per person”.

Local authorities were previously receiving £10,500 per person from the UK Government to support displaced Ukrainians to access health services, employment and integrate into the community.

But Buchan stated that reducing the tariff now was appropriate as many “start-up costs” will already have been incurred.

She added: “In determining the reduction, we accounted for the fact that many of the start-up costs for Local Authorities administering the scheme will have already been incurred and that we now know that a proportion of guests have returned to Ukraine during their first year.

“Additionally, some Ukrainian guests are moving into their own accommodation and out of sponsorship during the first year, which should reduce the costs incurred by Local Authorities.”

The MP of Perth and North Perthshire, Pete Wishart, has condemned the decision at a time when many households are still struggling to cope with the cost-of-living crisis.

He said: “The Tories’ slashing of support for Ukrainian refugees in the midst of their self-made cost-of-living crisis is utterly deplorable, but is the kind of decision we have come to expect from this hostile government.

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“In Perth and Kinross we have the highest number per capita of Ukrainians settled through the Homes For Ukraine scheme out of all local authorities in Scotland.

“This is primarily due to the astounding generosity of the people of Perthshire, but also as a result of Perth and Kinross Council’s proficient housing and integration strategies for our Ukrainian arrivals, which is now being used as an exemplar model for local authorities across Scotland.

“But without proper financial support, the outstanding work that PKC has been doing on this matter will inevitably be hindered, and is proof of the UK Government’s readiness to wash its hands of its moral duty to refugees and asylum seekers.”

“I will now be urging the government to reverse this decision in order to ensure our Ukrainian arrivals, who have suffered unimaginable trauma since the war began, are properly looked after here.”