New figures have revealed that the SNP Government are sitting on a £499 million slush fund amid growing levels of poverty in Scotland. The money has been built up in the government’s reserves as a result of a so-called ‘underspend’.
The Dumbarton Constituency MSP has called on the government to use the money to end the two-child cap and top up child benefit as a means of tackling the growing poverty rates across the country.
The money which has been built up by the Scottish Government is worth six times more than the cost of ending the two-child cap.
The two-child cap was brought in by the current Tory government and applies to children born after 6 April 2017. The new rules mean that in families where there are already two or more children, the child element in universal credit and tax credits is restricted to the first two children. The changes have meant that many families have lost out on more than £2000 per year.
“While Derek Mackay sits on a slush fund worth almost half a billion pounds, families are struggling to cope with the increasing costs of everyday living. The number of food bank users continue to increase and many of those struggling are in work.
“The Scottish Government has refused to lift the two-child cap telling the public that they simply can’t afford to reverse these Tory austerity policies. It is now clear that this is not the case.
“Across the country, our schools, our hospitals and local services are being starved of cash by the SNP.
“It is time that Derek Mackay invested in people and ensured that this money is used to combat austerity, invest in public services and ensure that people are given the support they desperately need.”