It’s time to finally scrap cruel Tory benefit cap

Since its introduction in 2013, the benefit cap has limited the support that some of the most vulnerable people can receive. Because of it, many families are facing the grim reality of choosing between heating or eating as a direct result of this UK Tory government’s actions.

Based on the latest DWP figures, as of August 2021, 180,000 households have had their social security support capped, including over 6,400 households in Scotland – receiving on average £54 per week less in support than they would if the cap was not in place.

Policies like the benefit cap, cruel DWP sanctions, and backward cuts to Universal Credit directly contribute to the Tory cost-of-living crisis and exacerbate the concerns hard-working households already have.

The Scottish Government is taking steps within the limited powers of devolution to help families affected by these policies, but it shouldn’t have to mitigate damaging Tory austerity, nor should its efforts in tackling poverty be dragged backward.

Perhaps the most counterproductive aspect of the cap is that the people who require the highest level of support are the most likely to be affected. Not only is this unjust, but it also simply does not make sense.

By failing to act, the Tories will push millions more into poverty, proving that only with the full powers of independence can Scottish families be protected from Tory austerity.