New bombshell evidence suggests that the Tory government’s plan to scrap the Universal Credit uplift in September will cancel out benefits to families in Scotland from the Scottish Child Payment.
In today’s Work and Pensions Committee, the Children’s Commissioner for Scotland, Bruce Adamson, said dropping the uplift will “effectively knock out the benefits that the Scottish Child Payment brings into families.”
He added that “all of the evidence shows that this uplift is absolutely essential to families and removing it will be catastrophic for many families unless other support is in place.”
The SNP has repeatedly called on the UK government to make the £20 uplift to Universal Credit permanent and extend it to legacy benefits – as well as match the Scottish Child Payment – to lift families and children out of poverty and destitution.
The revelation comes after the Children’s Commissioners of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland wrote to the UK government claiming the two-child cap on benefits is a “clear breach of children’s human rights” to an adequate standard of living and is exacerbating poverty.
Meanwhile, the Scottish Government was praised in today’s Committee session for “taking measures additional to what the UK Government is doing to tackle child poverty in Scotland”, having a “basket of measures” that “look at all different aspects of poverty”, and for incorporating the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into domestic law.
SNP MP Alison Thewliss has been leading the campaign against the two-child cap and rape clause in Westminster since 2017.
Commenting, SNP MP and Member of the Work and Pensions Committee, Chris Stephens, said: “Once again, the UK Tory government is being accused of breaching human rights and its international obligations – this time through the cruel two-child cap breaching children’s rights to an adequate standard of living.
“And just like with the NHS bonus, whilst the Scottish Government gives with one hand, Westminster takes with the other.
“Boris Johnson and the rest of the Tory government have clearly ignored everything and learned nothing – and are taking the UK in a very worrying direction.
“Scotland has made clear that it wants to take a different approach by overwhelmingly voting again for the SNP earlier this month – the party that introduced the Scottish Child Payment, extended free school meals, enshrined in Scottish law the Convention on the Rights of the Child and pledged to make Scotland the best place in the world for children to grow up.
“SNP MPs will continue to urge the UK government to do the right thing and make tackling poverty a priority, including scrapping the two-child cap and associated rape clause, making the Universal Credit uplift permanent and extending it to legacy benefits and matching the Scottish Child Payment, and the Scottish Government will continue to do what it can with its limited powers to tackle child poverty.
“But the fact remains that while the majority of welfare and employment powers stay with Westminster, Scotland will always be acting with one hand tied behind its back.
“Indeed, we have heard today that not only is our action being restricted by not holding the full powers of independence, it is actively being undermined by the failings of Westminster.
“It is vital, for the future generations of Scotland, that Scotland’s future be in Scotland’s hands.”