In Scotland more than 6,000 households are affected
Anti-poverty campaigners are urging people to get involved in a campaign to scrap the unjust benefit cap.
The benefit cap blocks households from getting help they are entitled to from the social security system.
In Scotland, more than 6,000 households are affected, losing out on around £55 a week – money that they have been assessed as needing. Some 90% of these are households with children.
The Scrap the Cap campaign now wants people to write to local MPs, urging them to tell UK chancellor Rishi Sunak to get rid of the cap once and for all.
Poverty Alliance director Peter Kelly said: “A compassionate society would never have put this unjust policy in place.
“It blocks people from getting the support that they need and are entitled to. It prevents them from getting enough to heat and light their homes, to properly feed and care for themselves and their families and makes it harder for people to get back into work. It’s a barrier on their freedom to take part in society, and to do even the smallest things that we all expect for a decent life.
“Just at the time when households get caught up in a rising tide of poverty and need our help, the benefits cap surrounds them in walls of fear, anxiety, and stress.
“We hope local people will reach out a helping hand to bring down those walls. All it takes is a short visit to our website, where you can easily and quickly write to your MP.”
People can take part in the Scrap the Cap letter campaign via the Poverty Alliance website at povertyalliance.eaction.org.uk/scrapthecap.
The ‘Scrap the Cap’ campaign is being coordinated by the Poverty Alliance and is supported by over 60 organisations across the UK including the Church of Scotland, Save the Children UK, the Child Poverty Action Group, One Parent Families Scotland, and the Trussell Trust.
A survey of households affected by the benefit cap found families who have been evicted from homes, fallen into problem debt, or kept children from school because they cannot afford the associated costs.
Nearly two-thirds of households said that in a normal month they do not have enough money to cover basic household expenses like food, rent, electricity and gas.
Many also said that the cap has led to increased mental and physical health problems, as well as households being forced into using food banks, and into borrowing money from friends and family and payday lenders.