Two child benefit cap Scotland: ‘More than 80,000 affected’

An analysis by the House of Commons Library also found that the benefit cap pushes another 20,000 children into poverty in Scotland.

The news comes at a time when Sir Keir Starmer is under pressure to commit to scrapping the two-child benefit ceiling if Labor comes to power.

Sir Keir’s position on this policy has caused concern among some in his party.

Sunday with Laura KuenssbergSir Keir Starmer has said Labor will not overturn policy when they come to power (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Research for the SNP used the UKMOD policy simulation tool to estimate the impact of policies since 2017.

If the scheme were abolished, about 30,000 fewer people would be in poverty in Scotland, including 20,000 children.


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In Scotland, in the 2022/23 financial year, a total of 80,936 children lived in households where the two-child cap led to benefit cuts.

In total, it was used in 32,616 children.

Since the cap came into force in 2017, the cap has cost families in Scotland £341.3million.

The research also revealed that families have found the real value of benefits to be well below inflation – with working-age benefits increasing by 15.4% overall in the six years since the directive was introduced.

CPI inflation was 24.5% over the same period.

Portraits of the British ParliamentKirsten Oswald described the cap as “cruel” (Roger Harris/UK Parliament)

SNP MP Kirsten Oswald said: “The Tory’s cruel two-child cap has been a major cause of poverty in the UK – and if Keir Starmer continues to push it through, the pro-Brexit Labor Party will be directly responsible for to push them forward.” Thousands of Scottish children have been plunged into poverty.

“There needs to be an immediate turnaround.

“The SNP strongly opposes this shameful and punitive policy which undermines the Scottish Government’s efforts to reduce poverty in Scotland and plunges working families, disabled people and carers into misery.”


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She continued: “The SNP Government has lifted more than 90,000 children out of poverty with progressive measures like the Scottish Child Payment and the Best Start Grant – but with every step we take forward, harmful Westminster policies like that are dragging us Two child cap back.” again.

“With the pro-Brexit Labor party indistinguishable from the Tories, it is clear Westminster is unable to bring about the change Scotland needs.”

Meanwhile, Scottish Greens MEP Ross Greer has argued that Scotland should delegate more social responsibilities.

He said: “Keir Starmer’s Labor Party wants to increase Tory cruelty and chaos.

“Whoever wins the next general election, real change will only come if Westminster is stripped of power and placed in the hands of the Scottish Parliament.

“We would definitely abolish the two-child limit and the rape clause immediately.

“This is an urgent test for every Labor MP.

“Will they support us to protect the most vulnerable by demanding that these powers be devolved to Scotland?”

Scottish Labor MP Paul O’Kane said the SNP was trying to distract from its own mistakes.

“The two-child cap is an abominable policy that has exacerbated poverty and caused misery to countless families in Scotland and across the UK,” he said.

“The policy of the Scottish Labor Party has not changed – we opposed the two-child cap when it was introduced and we continue to believe this harmful Tory policy should be scrapped.”

“This is a cynical attempt to distract from an SNP government that has failed to tackle child poverty, close Scotland’s scandalous benefit gap or create a functioning social security system.”

“The next Labor government will review the whole Universal Credit system to make it fit for purpose and will tackle poverty at its roots by raising wages and building a fairer economy.”

The DWP estimates that the cost of scrapping the two-child policy across the UK would have been around £5bn between 2019 and 2023.

A UK Government spokesman said: “We want to help more parents get back into work and progress and the two-child policy requires families who receive benefits to make the same financial decisions as families who do feed solely through work.”

“Of course, careful exceptions and safeguards continue to exist within the framework of the directive to protect people in the most vulnerable situations.

“We’re also helping the most vulnerable with a support package worth around £3,300 per household and nearly two million people, including 400,000 children, have been lifted out of absolute poverty after housing costs since 2010.”

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