Scottish Greens urge Sunak to scrap benefit cap

Chancellor Rishi Sunak must use his Spring Statement to scrap the benefit cap to tackle the cost of living crisis, the Scottish Greens have said.

UK Government leaks have suggested the Chancellor may tweak with the planned rise in National Insurance and a proposed system of mandatory loans to temporarily ease pressures on energy bills.

It has also been suggested Rishi Sunak may cut fuel duty.

Speaking ahead of the Spring Statement, Scottish Greens economy and social security spokesperson Maggie Chapman said: “Households are facing rising prices of food and energy, and so far we have seen no suggestions of any meaningful action to address this. Tinkering with fuel duty would maximise profits for fossil fuel firms not help those most in need.

“Brexit and the volatile cost of oil and gas are playing a massive role in the cost of living crisis, and it is high time the Conservative Party took some responsibility as cheerleaders for both of these. It’s clear too that years of the benefit cap and other regressive policies have locked millions into poverty.

“In Scotland with Greens in government we are doing what we can to mitigate the worst impacts of this, but let’s not forget in 2018 the UN called Tory cuts an ideological dismantling of the UK’s social security safety net, one which violated the government’s human rights obligations. Recent decisions like the cutting of Universal Credit and the regressive national insurance hike have continued this trend. Today the Chancellor has an opportunity to reflect on the impact of this cruel government’s decisions and change tack. He should scrap the benefit cap, before millions more are plunged into poverty.”