Hundreds of families in Midlothian and East Lothian have seen their incomes cut by the Tory benefit cap, new figures have revealed – with 222 of 384 households affected being single parent families.
SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has criticised the “heartless” Tory austerity that is driving up child poverty and dependence on foodbanks.
Last month, the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) revealed that around 230,000 Scottish children are living in relative poverty, claiming the rise since 2010 was “mainly due to UK Government-imposed social security cuts”.
Meanwhile, Britain’s biggest foodbank charity has this week called on the UK Government to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit as foodbank use in Scotland is up by 15% on this time last year.
Shockingly, 26 Midlothian households and seven households in East Lothian have lost out on over £100 per week after being hit by the UK Government’s benefit cap. Across Scotland 11,256 households have had their support stripped since the cap was introduced.
Commenting on the figures, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“Tory austerity is having a devastating impact on thousands of low-income families across Scotland. The UK government should be deeply ashamed of stripping the income of families across my constituency and driving up child poverty.
“East Lothian and Midlothian have been hit hard by the benefit cap, as well as a host of other Tory welfare cuts – including the freeze on working-age benefits, unfair sanctions and the roll-out of Universal Credit.
“It is a disgrace that 33 households in my constituency have lost out on over £100 per week, with single parent families being worst hit.
“I see the impact of Tory benefit cuts on a daily basis in my constituency. Our welfare system is meant to be a safety net to help those most in need - instead the Tories punish the poorest in society, taking money from families who are already struggling to get by.
“With our limited powers in Scotland, the SNP in government are determined to build a social security system built on dignity and respect. It’s time the Scottish Parliament is handed the powers needed to create a fairer Scotland that’s ready to tackle the causes of inequality.”
See more at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/benefit-cap-number-of-households-capped-to-august-2018