The SNP would scrap the UK Government’s single universal credit if elected in the event of independence, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced.
In a keynote speech where she claimed there is a “natural majority” for a Yes vote, Nicola Sturgeon said she thinks the new system hits women hardest.
Ms Sturgeon pledged to reverse the Westminster changes and pay money directly to individuals rather than the household, something the SNP estimate would benefit around 70,000 people, mostly women, in low-income households across Scotland.
The announcement is part of a strategy by the SNP to encourage people to focus on what can be delivered with independence.
Ms Sturgeon said: “The new universal credit system discriminates against women. It undermines the independence of women. Unlike the current system, which makes payments to individual claimants, it will be paid in one single household amount which will more often than not mean to the man in a household.
“And because it applies a single earnings disregard when people move into work, it reduces the incentive to work for second earners in a household who will usually be women. So when a woman, whose partner already works, gets a job, she will gain very little in return; her marginal tax rate will be upwards of 60%,” she said.
“So, I can confirm today that we would move away from single household payments and give women back the ability to receive support in their own right.”
The speech to Yes activists in Glasgow marks the start of 70 weeks to the referendum.
Ms Sturgeon also attempted to cast doubt over the stability of the union by asking questions about the UK’s continued membership of the EU, child poverty and the continued cost of Trident.