Social Security

Part of Rail Update – in the House of Commons at 6:53 pm on 5th February 2018.

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Photo of David Linden David Linden SNP Whip 6:53 pm, 5th February 2018

I am entertained by the fact that the hon. Gentleman has not sought to catch your eye to make a speech, Madam Deputy Speaker, but has instead decided to try to use my speech as an opportunity once again to attack the Scottish Government. [Interruption.] The hon. Gentleman is not even listening, so I do not know whether I should continue to address the point, but Scottish Conservatives come to this House and use the opportunity to rail against the Scottish Government as much as possible, yet he has absolutely no clue that tax credits are not being devolved to the Scottish Government. If he had spent any time reading the order in the back of this debate, he would know that that is the case.

Despite widespread condemnation from every corner of the globe, including from the United Nations, Ministers have pursued a two-child policy that would frankly make China blush. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has said that the two-child cap, which is tantamount to social engineering, will mean that some 600,000 three-child families will lose £2,500 a year on average—that is families in Stirling losing £2,500 a year because of this Government’s policy. That is not £2,500 a year on catalogues, gambling or lavish nights out; it is £2,500 a year that should go towards hot, nutritious meals for low-income families with children in my constituency of Glasgow East.

The reality is that, under this uncaring Tory Government, we are watching child poverty go through the roof, while living standards go through the floor. The other debate that I plan to take part in this week is on free school meals, and 21st-century Britain has now arrived at a point where, due to the sheer levels of poverty in our communities, the only place that some children can get a hot, decent meal is at school. Only last week, MPs on both sides of the Chamber voted to spend billions of pounds on tarting up this royal palace so we can enjoy yet more luxury, yet tonight we are being asked by the Minister to support an order that will continue the benefit freeze for some of the most vulnerable people in our constituencies.