Benefit Cap

– in the Scottish Parliament on 3rd February 2021.

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Photo of Rona Mackay Rona Mackay Scottish National Party

What is the First Minister’s response to the figures that reveal that the number of Scottish households who are affected by the benefit cap has nearly doubled during the pandemic?

Photo of Nicola Sturgeon Nicola Sturgeon Scottish National Party

As many people are, I am deeply concerned about the benefit cap. It is just one of the pre-existing failures in the United Kingdom welfare system that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. The continuation of the cap during the crisis makes neither economic nor moral sense. The benefit cap hits families with children the hardest, and 97 per cent of capped households have children in them.

At a time when we have seen the number of people who rely on benefits rise, and when economic forecasts are of increasing unemployment and fewer vacancies, all Governments—this is certainly a responsibility that the Scottish Government takes seriously—need to support families, and not to penalise them.

We have called on the UK Government to scrap the benefit cap and will continue to do everything that we can to encourage it to do so.