Citizens Advice Scotland have given their response to the benefits ‘cap’ being discussed today in Westminster. Though the cap would only affect a relatively small number of Scots, CAS are concerned about the precedent it sets.
CAS Policy Officer Matt Lancashire said:
“Though a benefits cap would only hurt around 3,000 households in Scotland, that’s not much consolation if you are one of those affected. On average these 3,000 Scots’ households will lose about £83 per week. These are already some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland. A cut like that will hit them hard.
“We are also concerned that the policy sets a precedent for the further capping of other benefit in the future. It’s another step on the road by which the welfare refom bill is hitting the most vulnerable people and forcing them into greater poverty. We are not talking here about people losing a pound or two, but hundreds and hundreds of pounds, due to this bill.
“Child benefit has long been established as money which is paid to feed, warm and clothe a child. It shouldn’t be included in the calculation of a benefits cap.”
For more information, interviews etc., please contact Tony Hutson on 0131 550 1010.
The DWP released figures this morning showing the impact of the change. CAS analysis of these figures shows that:
- A large majority of those affected are in England. Fewer than five per cent of affected households are in Scotland (just under 3,000);
- One-third of the Scottish households affected are in Glasgow or Edinburgh. The other 30 Scottish Council areas have fewer than 200 affected households each.
- The number of adults in affected households in Scotland is around 4,000, and the number of children is between 7,000 and 8,000;
- So… just under 3,000 Scottish households would be affected, and they will lose an average of £83 per week.
Scottish CABs dealt with over 200,000 benefits cases last year, making it the number one issue dealt with by the service in Scotland.