SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has said it is clear the UK government “remains wedded to austerity” as independent analysis finds new cuts to child tax credits will single-handedly increase child poverty by 10% by 2020.


The report, published by Policy in Practice, used national data collected every year by the Family Resource Survey to estimate that across the UK 104,000 third or additional children will be born to low-income families in receipt of tax credits in the next 12 months – and that the UK government’s two child policy alone will drive an increase in child poverty of more than 10 per cent, with 266,000 additional children living in poverty by the end of the parliament.


The report also estimates that more than a quarter of a million children – 256,000 – who are already living in poverty will fall deeper into poverty as a result of this policy and 609,000 children in ‘just about managing’ or low to middle income households will be pushed closer to the poverty line.


The Scottish Government has spent £400 million since 2013 mitigating the impact of Tory cuts in Scotland with £152 million spent on the Scottish Welfare Fund and £125 million on Discretionary Housing Payments among other mitigation measures.


Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, Social Justice Spokesperson, said:

“It’s clear that this Tory government remains wedded to austerity and these latest cuts – which fall on already stretched low and middle income households – will actually increase child poverty and exacerbate the deep-rooted injustices that exist in our society thanks to a bombardment of cuts from Westminster.”


Martin Docherty-Hughes MP said:

“Universal Credit will leave families with children worse off by an average of £960 a year in 2020 and single parent families by a huge £2380 on average. The UK government continues to shirk its responsibility to protect children from poverty. Instead of portraying poverty as a lifestyle choice, the Tories must ditch austerity and stop pursuing policies that disadvantage people on low and middle incomes.”


Gil Paterson, MSP for Clydebank & Milngavie, added:

“The SNP Scottish Government is determined to deliver a more equal, fair and inclusive society and that’s why they are committed to using every ounce of the limited powers we have to reduce poverty and tackle inequality.


“But it should not fall to Scotland to mop up the devastation left behind as a result of the Tories’ ideological obsession with cuts – a party with only one MP north of the border – and the SNP will always work to support the most disadvantaged in our society.”





Two child limit on tax credits set to drive child poverty by 10% by 2020:


Broken Promises:

What has happened to support for low-income working families under universal credit: