THE SNP have rounded on the UK Government ahead of the next Budget announcement, highlighting policies which they say should be ditched by Chancellor Phillip Hammond.

SNP MSP George Adam has demanded the Tories scrap a “poverty trap” policy.

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From February 2019 the two-child cap on new benefit claims will apply to all children, regardless of when they were born.

By 2020-21 it’s expected that this cap will hit 50,000 families in Scotland – putting at least 150,000 children at a higher risk of poverty.

Adam told the Sunday National: “When Theresa May became Prime Minister she said she’d fight against ‘burning injustices’ – and there’s no bigger injustice than forcing children into poverty.

“Yet that’s exactly what the Tories are doing – and the extension of their two-child cap next year could push 150,000 Scottish kids under the poverty line.

“The Tories should use the upcoming Budget to ditch the two-child cap – or they’ll bear full responsibility for those hurt by her poverty trap.”

The Budget will be revealed on October 29.

The National:

Kirsty Blackman MP has spoken out this weekend about the impact a “Tory decade of decline” has had on families in Scotland.

Calling on the UK Government to use the Budget to deliver a major boost to incomes, Blackman said the Tory record on living standards was “utterly miserable”, with rising poverty and inequality, real wages falling, social security slashed and increased living costs leaving many families struggling to get by.

She said: “The UK Government must use the Budget to deliver a major and long-overdue boost to incomes.

“Millions of families have suffered from years of failed Tory austerity cuts. The majority of families have been left poorer and worse off than they would have been a decade ago.

“This Tory government’s record on living standards has been utterly miserable – with rising poverty and inequality, and plans for an extreme Brexit that it knows will deliver a body blow to incomes and living costs across Scotland and the UK.

“The Chancellor must reverse this decline by injecting much-needed investment into improving household incomes, and by taking meaningful action to reduce the main living costs that people face week-in week-out.”

Blackman said the SNP government is spending millions of pounds each year to mitigate the negative impact of some Tory policies.

She said the SNP’s five-point plan would “reverse the decline and put cash in people’s pockets”, with measures on introducing the Real Living Wage, halting Universal Credit, reversing cuts to housing support, reducing energy costs and ruling out a hard Brexit.

Blackman added: “While the Westminster parties only offer despair and chaos with their plans for a hard Brexit and further austerity, the SNP are giving hope with progressive policies to boost incomes and take Scotland forward.”

The SNP has also demanded that the Tories use the forthcoming Budget to finally “settle their debt” by refunding the £150 million taken from Scotland’s emergency services in VAT collection by the Treasury between 2013 and 2017.

SNP Treasury spokesperson Alison Thewliss MP has written to the Chancellor calling for a full refund of the money “robbed” from police and fire services in Scotland from the VAT charges before the UK Government backed down and scrapped the charges in the 2017 Budget.

Previously, Scotland’s police and fire services were the only in the UK that had been forced to pay VAT.

The National:

Thewliss said: “The belated decision to introduce a VAT exemption, after huge pressure from the SNP, was an admission that the Tory tax was wrong – and proved it had been a political choice all along.

“It’s completely unacceptable that the UK Government has taken this money away from the front line of our vital public services – money that could have been used to pay for police and fire officers in communities across Scotland.

“The Tories have cut £2.9 billion from Scotland’s budget in a decade of failed austerity cuts that has left the whole country poorer and worse off.

“Refunding the £150m wrongly taken from our emergency services would be an important start in reversing these damaging cuts.”