15 April 2019

The SNP has doubled down on its refusal to mitigate the impact of the two child cap on tax credits and universal credit.

In an interview with "The Times", Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville refused to back using Holyrood’s powers to mitigate the cap, saying, “It is not our policy to alleviate the cap.”

The intervention from Somerville follows Finance Secretary Derek Mackay claiming the Scottish budget mitigates the worse of Tory Benefit cuts, but refusing to mitigate the two child cap.

The Scottish government’s own figures suggested mitigating the cap - and the ensuing,controversial raps clause - would have cost £69m in this financial year, less that 0.1 per cent of the total Scottish budget.

Scottish Labour Social Security spokesperson Mark Griffin MSP said:

“This stubborn refusal of the SNP to take action on the two child cap will exasperate people across Scotland.

“The 2016 Scotland Act delivered new powers to our parliament that allows for the creation of new social security payments for people in Scotland.

“If the SNP government wanted to, it could effectively end the cap and scrap the rape clause, and do what we can to reverse the devastating effects of this callous policy.

“Instead, ministers are refusing to do so, despite the Scottish Parliament taking action on the bedroom tax and housing benefit cuts.

“This inconsistency will infuriate people across the country who want to see the government using its powers to protect people.”

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