Up to 20,000 Scots children will be pushed into poverty by the Conservatives’ controversial two-child cap on tax credits.
The full impact of benefit changes – which could see cuts of £500million a year to social security spending in Scotland – was laid bare in a report for the Scottish Government.
The 2019 Annual Report on Welfare Reform shows the largest cuts since 2015 are as a result of the benefit freeze, two-child cap and changes to the work allowance.
The two-child limit applies to children born after April 6, 2017. It means that in families where there are two or more children, the child element in Universal Credit and tax credits – worth £2780 per child a year – is restricted to the first two kids.
The report found 8500 Scots families have already had their income cut by the limit – and that figure will reach 40,000 at full rollout, bringing up to 20,000 children into poverty.
Social Security Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville slammed the UK Government, adding: “The Scottish Government will not stand by and let people who are already struggling continue to face a reliance on food banks and the stress of debt and rent arrears.”
A UK Government spokesman said: “Tackling poverty will always be a priority for this Government.
“Absolute poverty is lower than it was in 2010, there are more people in work than ever before, and wages continue to outpace inflation.”
He admitted “some families need more support” and noted: “Scotland has significant welfare powers.”