Jenny Gilruth MSP has renewed calls for the Tory Government to scrap the benefit cap and take action on the cost of living crisis facing the UK.
A new campaign has been launched by the anti-poverty charity Poverty Alliance to ‘Scrap the Cap’ with the aim of reversing Tory austerity cuts to boost household incomes.
The campaign is supported by 50 leading charities and grassroots organisations across Scotland, including the Church of Scotland, Shelter, and the Trussell Trust.
Latest figures from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) show 180,000 households currently have their benefit capped, including over 6,400 households in Scotland.
For those living in Fife, social security payments are capped £20,000 per year for families, which is equivalent to £1666.67 per month. The figure for single adult households throughout Fife is £13,400 a year, equating to £1,117 per month.
Research from Joseph Rowntree Foundation has shown that 5,290 local families have already been affected by Tory cuts to Universal credit last year. With Glenrothes being the fifth worse affected area in Scotland after Glasgow Central, Glasgow South West, Glasgow North East and Glasgow East.
The MSP wrote to the Tory Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey MP, and condemned the decision to cut Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit that resultantly seen the income of thousands of families in Mid Fife and Glenrothes reduced by as much as £1,040 per year.
Jenny Gilruth has joined the latest appeals to scrap the Tory benefit cap and has called for an emergency package of measures to support households through the cost of living crisis including introducing a low-income energy payment, reversing the £20 a week Universal Credit Cut, matching the Scottish Child Payment UK-wide and introducing a Real Living Wage of £9.90 an hour.
Commenting, Jenny Gilruth MSP said:
“We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis across this country due to this UK government’s benefit cap, cuts to Universal Credit, and refusal to deal with rising energy prices.”
“The Scottish Government is doing everything in its power to step in and protect families from these devastating austerity cuts. Spending almost £600 million per year to mitigate these damaging Westminster policies.”
“I am calling on the UK government to act – lift the benefit cap and deliver the emergency support that families need, introduce a low-income energy payment, reverse Universal Credit cuts, match the Scottish child payment, and introduce a Real Living Wage.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
The benefit cap was introduced in 2013 at £26,000 for families and £18,000 for single people. This was reduced in 2016 to £20,000 per year for families and to £13,400 for single people. There figures have not changed since.