ALMOST 30,000 Scots have had their benefits capped after the policy was introduced in 2013, according to the latest data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The data, published by the DWP, shows that 28,248 Scottish households have had their housing benefit or Universal Credit capped in the last 10 years, between the introduction of the benefit cap in 2013 and November 2023.

A total of 88% of those households include children, with the majority of capped households continuing to be single parents with children.

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Currently, the benefits cap applies to families earning £22,020 a year, or a single person earning £14,753 a year - the equivalent of £283.71 a week.

Kirsten Oswald MP (below), the SNP’s women and equalities spokesperson, urged both the Conservative and Labour parties to commit to the abolition of the benefit cap - or to devolve the full powers of social security laws to Holyrood, so that the Scottish Government “can tackle the problem head on”.

The National:

In February, the Scottish Government announced it was providing £8.6 million in direct support for people affected by the UK benefit cap as part of its work to tackle child poverty.

At the time, Deputy First Minister and Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison (below), said eligible households could save an average of £2500 a year as a result of the additional support.

The National: Shona Robison Image: PA

The money pledged by the Scottish Government includes £2.6m of funding provided in 2022/23, with an additional £6m for 2023/24.

Commenting on the latest figures, Oswald said: “Both Rishi Sunak and Sir Keir Starmer must commit to abolishing the cruel benefit cap in their general election manifestos. A failure to do so consigns thousands of Scottish family’s to poverty and financial hardship.

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“The data released today highlights the reality of Westminster austerity. It is time to abolish the cap and stop taking vital support away from those who need it most.

“The only Party that represents Scotland’s values in Westminster is the SNP. We will continue to stand up for Scotland’s priorities and be the voice that Scotland needs."