The Poverty Alliance is calling on MPs in Scotland to end the freeze on working-age benefits. Introduced in 2015, the benefits included are:
• Jobseekers’ Allowance
• Child and Working Tax Credit excluding disability elements
• Local Housing Allowances
• Income support
• Child benefit
• Work Related Activity Group Employment and Support Allowance
• Universal credit
Research from Sheffield Hallam estimates that the freeze in working-age benefits will lead to losses of £300m in Scotland per year. It is expected that this will affect 700,000 families in Scotland, with an average loss of £450 per year. This is a substantial amount of money, especially for families on low incomes.
It is clear that the benefit freeze is causing financial hardship to families. Keeping the cash value of benefits the same while costs are rising is pushing people into poverty.
Ending the freeze on working age benefits is the first step in building a fairer, more equal United Kingdom and we are calling on all MPs in Scotland to support this ask.