Universal Credit forcing women to prostitution


Christina McKelvie

​Women are being forced to offer "survival sex" in order to feed their families 

15th November 2019 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

An MSP has slammed Universal Credit for forcing women into prostitution.

Holyrood’s equalities minister Christina McKelvie said it was “absolutely disgraceful” that women are being forced to resort to survival sex because of Westminster’s benefit cuts.

It comes as SNP MSP Maureen Watt told a Scottish Parliament committee that she had been informed of women in her Kincardine and South constituency who were being forced to sell sex for food.

A UK parliament work and pensions committee report also discovered women saying they would rather take money for sex than see their children go without food.

It has led to a wider call from the committee to hear from people who have had to exchange sex for basic living essentials, like food or somewhere to live.

McKelvie said the reports made her “blood run cold” and renewed calls to devolve all social security benefits to Scotland.

“It is absolutely disgraceful that women should have to resort to survival sex, as it is sometimes known - even the term makes my blood run cold for their most basic needs such as food and shelter,” she said.

“It is imperative that all powers that relate to social security are devolved to the Scottish Parliament immediately.

“In 2018-19, we invested £1.4 billion to support low-income households, which includes £100 million per year to mitigate the most damaging parts of universal credit and to try to prevent the very situations that Maureen Watt has highlighted.

“However, the sheer scale of the UK government cuts makes mitigation by the Scottish Government unsustainable.”

She renewed SNP calls for social security powers to be transferred to the Scottish The minister said Holyrood should have full control over benefits arguing the “sheer scale” of Westminster cuts meant the Scottish Government was unable to mitigate against them.

The Department for Work and Pensions has been asked to comment.