MORE than 3000 families in Scotland have been left on average £64 a week worse off as a result of the UK Government’s benefits cap, a new report has shown.

Research by the Scottish Government found a total of 3320 households had their benefits capped as of May 2019. Among those who had their housing benefit payments limited, the average amount capped was £64 a week, or almost £3330 a year.

The report also said that couples where one person is of pension age and the other of working age could be up to £7000 a year worse off due to welfare changes.

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The annual study examining the impact of UK Government welfare reforms on Scotland found that, overall, the benefits freeze could reduce social security spending by £300 million a year, with this affecting most of the 460,000 Scots currently claiming either housing benefit or the housing element of Universal Credit.

It added that the benefits cap, which was introduced in 2013 to limit the amount any household can receive in means-tested welfare payments, “disproportionately affects families with children”.

Under the system, payments are capped at £20,000 a year in Scotland, or £13,400 for single people with no children.

Data from May 2019 showed of the 2730 households whose housing benefits payments had been capped, two-thirds were single parent families.

Scottish Housing Minister Kevin Stewart said: “UK Government welfare cuts are squeezing more families into poverty and leaving them struggling to afford appropriate accommodation.”