The Child Poverty Delivery Plan shows Greens delivering in government, particularly the inclusion of measures to mitigate the worst of the UK Government’s cruel benefit cap.
The benefit cap restricts the amount of UK social security payments given to households regardless of the cost of rent and other payments, and has seen families forced into homelessness and deeper poverty.
The pandemic has also seen the number of capped households drastically increase.
Using devolved powers to mitigate the impact of the benefit cap was a key pledge in the Scottish Greens manifesto and the Scottish Government has now committed to taking that forward in partnership with local authorities.
The new delivery plan also commits to increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £25 by the end of the year and uprating eight Scottish social security payments by 6% to ensure these payments keep their real-terms values for families.
Commenting, Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Maggie Chapman said:
“The benefit cap is a cruel and thoughtless policy driven by ideological discrimination against people in poverty.
“It hurts those who are already the most vulnerable and has pushed families onto the street.
“That’s why just this week the Scottish Greens called for the Chancellor to scrap it, and why our manifesto committed to do all we can with devolved powers to mitigate it.
“I’m delighted that, following constructive dialogue between Green MSPs and the Scottish Government we have now a real step forward to deliver on that manifesto commitment through the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan.
“This will see families most in need receive over £2,500 a year in benefits they are due.
“Taken with an increase in the Scottish Child Payment to £25 and improving employment services, this will help those most in need at a time when the UK Government has abandoned them.
“This delivery plan is projected to make a significant inroad into tackling child poverty but must not be the end of what we do.
“It builds on important priorities like free bus travel for young people and free school meals for primary children and will act as a springboard towards other measures like rent controls, which we have committed to delivering in this parliament.”