For thirteen years, the Tories in Westminster have been determined to inflict their damaging social security cuts on the poorest in society.
Despite taxes rising to their highest levels in 70 years, Westminster has allowed living standards across UK to plummet at the fastest rate since the 1950s.
In contrast, the SNP Scottish Government has been building a fairer Scotland, helping to lift around 90,000 children out of poverty this year alone thanks to our progressive policies.
However, we’ve being doing so whilst at the same time having to stand up against cruel Tory policies that shackle Scotland’s potential and drive down living standards. Here’s how we’ve been mitigating some of the worst of effects of Westminster’s austerity-agenda on the poorest families.
Fighting for families against Westminster’s callous cuts
In 2022, the SNP Scottish Government was spending more than £1 billion mitigating Tory cuts to social security services.
In 2023-24 alone, the Scottish Government will spend up to £84 million supporting families by mitigating Westminster’s brutal bedroom tax and their on-going freeze to Local Housing Allowance rates. This is a staggering increase from £58 million in 2017, a damning indictment of the effect Tory economic policy and Brexit has had on low earners.
Alongside £6.2m to mitigate the benefit cap as fully as possible within devolved powers, these measures will see families in Scotland £2,500 better off on average per year as a result.
With Labour now supporting these wounding welfare policies, that leaves the SNP as the only major party in Scotland standing against Westminster’s savage cuts.
We’re tackling child poverty by:
🔵 Investing £22.9 billion in social security assistance
🔵 Increasing Scottish Child Payment from £10 to £25 and expanding eligibility this year
🔵 Giving free school meals to all primary school children in P1-5 and expanding beyond that pic.twitter.com/y1eMh5deBG
— Scottish Government (@scotgov) May 31, 2022
Investing all we can to protect Scotland from the Tories’ cost-of-living crisis
The Scottish Government is investing almost £3 billion in supporting families during this Tory cost-of-living crisis, including support for energy bills, childcare, health and travel, as well as social security payments not available anywhere else in the UK.
We’re increasing twelve Scottish Government benefits by 10.1%, and have increased Scottish Child Payment by 150% since 2022 to £25 per eligible child per week.
Whereas in Westminster, the UK government has cut taxes for the wealthiest, plans to spend £6 billion imprisoning refugees, and even lost £21 billion to fraud.
👉 We will invest a further £1.3bn in our Scottish Child Payment.
👉 We will continue developing our social security system, based on dignity and respect.
👉 We will expand free school meals.
🏴 A fairer, more equal Scotland is possible. Together, we’ll work hard to build it. pic.twitter.com/7PUbMKnp8d
— The SNP (@theSNP) April 18, 2023
Safeguarding our economy by investing in the future
Thanks to the Tories’ hard Brexit, now gleefully endorsed by Labour, Scotland has been short changed by the loss of EU funding for structural projects.
This has not stopped the SNP ministers unveiling an infrastructure investment plan in 2021 which aims to deliver more than £33 billion of Scottish Government investment.
Four times, ITV News asked Labour whether it stands by its past public commitments to abolish the bedroom tax if the party took power
And four times, Sir Keir Starmer’s party didn’t respond, on a policy its MPs had in the past labelled ‘cruel’https://t.co/DfgeIbyxfb
— ITV News (@itvnews) July 27, 2023
With pro-Brexit Labour now u-turning and retreating to the right, repealing their welfare commitment on the two-child cap and now unwilling to back their plans for the damaging bedroom tax, it’s evident that only the SNP is defending Scotland’s values in Westminster. The constant revolving door of Labour and Tory governments aren’t protecting our people nor looking after the interests of Scotland.
The SNP is committed to delivering a welfare system that is fair and compassionate, standing in support of Scotland’s interests and protecting our people from detrimental Westminster policy.
It’s only with independence that we can avoid these damaging policies entirely and build a new Scotland that is fair, with efficient public services, and benefit fully from our thriving exports. Voters can trust the SNP and Scottish Government to do what’s right and stand up for Scotland.