Following new data showing over 87,000 (9%) children in Scotland are impacted by the Tory two-child cap, the SNP has urged Labour to reverse their decision to keep cruel policy if they form the next Westminster government and join them in putting pressure on the UK Government to abolish the policy immediately.
New research by the End Child Poverty coalition shows that the areas hit hardest by the UK Government's two-child limit are also areas with high rates of child poverty. Experts have said that the two-child cap policy is one of the biggest drivers of child poverty and scrapping the measure would lift 250,000 children - 15,000 in Scotland - out of poverty cost-effectively.
To tackle child poverty, the SNP Scottish Government introduced the Scottish Child Payment, which has lifted 90,000 children in Scotland out of poverty. It is also making £83.7m available to local authorities to spend on Discretionary Housing Payments, including £69.7m to mitigate the bedroom tax, £6.2m to mitigate the benefit cap as fully as possible and £7.9m to mitigate against other UK Government welfare cuts.
The Scottish Government has spent over £1 billion mitigating the impacts of 13 years of UK Government policy.
Commenting, the SNP's Social Justice Spokesperson, David Linden MP said:
"It is a matter of urgency that the poverty-inducing two child cap is abolished - that is why I am urging the UK government to abolish it without delay. Doing so could lift 250,000 children - 15,000 in Scotland - out of poverty.
"The goal to reduce, and eventually eradicate, child poverty will need the efforts and voices from across the political spectrum. That is why I am also urging Sir Keir Starmer to reverse his decision to keep the heinous policy under a Labour government and join us in putting pressure on the Tory government to scrap it.
"If he will not then he is making clear, once again, that Labour's values do not align with Scotland's values, including lifting children and families out of poverty.
"The SNP Scottish Government is doing what it can to tackle child poverty. The Scottish Child Payment has lifted 90,000 children in Scotland out of poverty and is expected to reduce child poverty further, and it is protecting Scottish families from Westminster's bedroom tax and housing benefit cap.
"But Westminster policies like the two-child cap continue to undermine the Scottish Government's efforts - and this will continue to be the case whilst we remain under Westminster control and without independence."
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