Scots politicians urged to lift Westminster’s benefits freeze

Debt

Benefit have been frozen until 2020

16th May 2017 by Robert Armour 1 Comment

Campaigners are urging Scottish politicians to commit to reverse the freeze on working age benefits ahead of the General Election.

The freeze of most working-age benefits was announced in the 2015 Summer Budget, include most work-related benefits as well as child and working tax credits.

The freeze means these benefits won’t be re-assessed until 2019/20, and will remain of the same cash value as they were in 2015/16. 

Research from Sheffield Hallam estimates that the freeze 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.

Carla McCormack, policy and parliamentary officer at the Poverty Alliance, said: “The freeze on working age benefits is expected to affect 700,000 families across Scotland, with an average loss of £450 per year.

“This is a substantial amount, especially for families on low incomes. 

“A freeze on family incomes combined with the rising cost of living means that many families will find themselves unable to afford the basics such as housing costs, food and school uniforms. 

“Reversing the freeze would prevent many families from falling into poverty, and help lift others out of poverty.”

Elizabeth Gore, vice convenor of the Poverty Alliance board, said that for many families in Scotland, £450 is the difference between being able to afford their rent and not. 

She added: “In recent years we have seen an increase in the number of people being forced to rely on foodbanks to feed themselves and their families.  Reversing the freeze on benefits is the first step in helping these families.

“The existence of poverty and inequality are bad for both our economy and our society.

“We can tackle poverty, let this be the first step.”

19th May 2017 by William Douglas

Regardless of the rights or wrongs of this proposal, you cannot lose something that you never had.People may have had an expectation of continuous increases to their state granted income, but it is just that - an expectation, or more exactly, a hope.Whose working age benefit recipient's rent is expected to rise by £450? Social Housing Rents for 2 bedroomed apartments are in the region of £300pm. £450 is well above any planned rent increase.