Angela Crawley MP for Lanark and Hamilton East has called for an end to the cap on working age benefits.
Backing the Poverty Alliance campaign, Ms Crawley has attacked the decision by Theresa May’s government to freeze the majority of benefits eligible for people of working age until the end of the current UK Parliament.
The freeze on working age benefits will take almost £1 billion from the pockets of people living in Scotland by 2020/21, and will affect around 750,000 households by the end of the decade.
These cuts will affect people both in work and unemployed, covering Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Employment Support Allowance, Housing Benefit, Child Benefit and other working tax credits.
According to Ms Crawley, the decision to freeze benefits is damaging to people’s chances of getting into secure employment, contrary to the claims of the UK Government.
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) have also released a report on the benefits freeze, which found an increase in evictions as a result of poverty in the rented sector has grown by a third in the past 12 years.
Commenting, Ms Crawley said: “The decision to freeze working age benefits is bad for society and bad for the economy.
“Working age benefits are in place to help struggling families, many of whom struggle to get by on precarious work contracts and are able to top up their incomes with tax credits, for example.
“By cutting these vital lifelines, the UK Government are pushing people into further cycles of poverty and making it very difficult for them to escape.
“I have added my name to the Poverty Alliance campaign because I believe the best way out of poverty is financial support rather than punishment, and this is backed up by research from poverty groups such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.”