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Social Security Minister Slams Proposed Changes to Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit

The Scottish Government’s Social Security Minister has slammed the UK Government’s proposal to limit the number of children in families who can qualify for Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit

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Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman has slammed the UK Government’s proposal to limit the number of children in families who can qualify for Child Tax Credit and Universal Credit.

The policy means a family with three children could lose up to £2780 each year, affecting over 600,000 families initially and rising to 3.7 million families across the UK when it is fully rolled out.  

The Scottish Government Minister for Social Security, Jeane Freeman said in a statement this week:

“Once again we are witnessing an agenda of cuts being put ahead of protecting low income families. I am fundamentally opposed to this policy in its entirety and have urged the UK Government to abandon the proposals, which will further punish families that are already struggling and in need of additional income through child credits or Universal Credit. 

“This blanket policy fails to take into account individual circumstances and applies no sensitivity whatsoever – for instance, to women who have been raped. As it stands under these proposals a woman would be forced to disclose being raped in order to access social security support for her child and I find this completely unacceptable. 

“Our approach towards social security and the role it plays in society could not be more different to that of the UK Government. We have committed to using our new social security powers to build a system based on dignity and respect, which will help remove the stigma attached to accessing benefits.

“The impact of changes to benefits and tax credits over the last few years is a considerable burden on those least able to afford it and continues to push more and more people into poverty at the very time we are working to lift people out of poverty. The UK Government must rethink this damaging policy.”

The SFHA are monitoring the situation closely and believe the financial implications of the whole raft of upcoming eligibility changes and Universal Credit administration problems are very serious for tenants and housing associations alike.