Families hit by child benefit cuts

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Families with two children in Scotland will be more than £1,100 worse off over the five years from 2011 to 2016 due to UK Government Child Benefit cuts, Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon unveiled today.

Child benefit freezes and below inflation rises will see household income for a family with two children cut by over £1,100, a family with three children cut by over £1,500 and a family with one child by over £650.

These figures relate to all families who will continue to receive child benefit despite changes to eligibility introduced by Westminster this week.

Ms Sturgeon said:

“These cuts in child benefit are hitting families with children directly in the purse.

“It is simply unfair that as result of Westminster cuts, a family with two children will lose more than £1,100 in child benefit payments.

“These cuts are making life tougher for ordinary families across Scotland and in these challenging times will mean that the struggle to make ends meet is that bit more difficult.
 
“It is completely unacceptable that children should suffer from these cuts, and that is why this government is doing all it can to mitigate the impact of the UK Government’s damaging welfare reform agenda to our communities. 

“Already, we are providing, with our partners in local government, £40 million in 2013/14 to ensure that over 560,000 people in Scotland are protected from the UK Government’s 10 per cent cut to Council Tax Benefit successor arrangements.

“Furthermore, we have created a new Scottish Welfare Fund to administer Community Care Grants and Crisis Grants, in which we will invest an additional £9 million in this year.

 “With a Yes vote in 2014 we would begin work to establish a welfare system that better reflects Scotland’s values, ensures fair and decent support for those that need it most – protects the vulnerable and supports households rather than seeing them be subjected to unfair ideological benefit cuts from Westminster.

“A fairer welfare system for Scotland can only be achieved with independence and control over all welfare policies so that we can devise policies for the benefit of the Scottish people, that reflect Scottish values.”