Cuts to Benefit Cap ‘to Cost Scottish Households £18m a Year’

November 16, 2016

Official government figures suggest that recently introduced cuts to benefit caps in the UK will cost households throughout Scotland a collective total of £18.2 million per year.

The cuts effectively mean that no household can take in any more than £20,000 in benefits on an annual basis, or no more than £23,000 if they live in London.

For some families the cuts will mean that their annual income falls from £26,000 to £20,000, with church leaders in Scotland having recently raised concerns that families with children are likely to be the worst affected by the changes.

“Eleven thousand Scottish families, almost all with children, face being affected by the new benefit cap,” said Reverend Dr Richard Frazer from the Church or Scotland’s Church and Society Council.

“We know, from our experience on the ground and the UK government’s own research that the benefit cap drives people into rent arrears, debt and hunger.”

Several Scottish politicians have also made clear their opposition to the UK government’s plans to introduce its latest cuts to benefit caps, including Labour MP Ian Murray, whose parliamentary enquiry led to the revelation that Scottish households stand to lose the equivalent of £350,000 per week as a result of the cuts.

“Cutting the benefit cap is immoral and unnecessary,” Murray is quoted as saying by the Herald.

“It will penalise families already struggling to make ends meet and hit families with children hardest.

“The government needs to get its priorities straight, starting with next week’s Autumn Statement, which it should use to put an end to austerity and reverse its needless and divisive cuts to social security.”

The cuts to caps on benefits relate to a broad range of payments currently being received by adults between 16 and 64 years old throughout the country including housing benefit, jobseeker’s allowance, income support and child tax credits.

Recipients of disability living allowances and households in which someone works more than 16 hours per week are excluded from the newly-lowered caps on benefit payments.

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