Over 11,000 Fife children could be at risk from benefit cap

Lesley Laird MP has blasted Tory benefit caps for pushing more families into poverty as figures reveal over 11,000 children across Fife could be affected.
DWP figures published this month reveal 11,510 Fife children live in out-of-work households – the third highest regional number in Scotland, second only to Glasgow and North Lanarkshire.
A hallmark of UK Government social security cuts, the cap limits how much a family can receive to £384.62 a week.
Lesley Laird, MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath said: “This cap is immoral and has a disproportionate impact on families, especially single mothers, struggling to make ends meet.
“I know from being in regular contact with single-parent charity Fife Gingerbread that they’re seeing unprecedented demand on services this year. It’s appalling that society is being reduced to this.
“No child should be brought up in poverty and while Labour continue to fight for a fairer welfare system in Westminster, we’re also urging Holyrood to use its new powers to increase Child Benefit and scrap the two-child cap.”
Fife Gingerbread’s Festive Appeal helped 121 families last year, including 212 children. This year, thanks to the generosity of Fifers who donated nearly £50k, that figure rose to 171 families.
Rhona Cunningham, chief executive of Fife Gingerbread, said: “In total 367 children benefited and 51 of them live in a household where the benefit cap is directly impacting them. So it’s really a false saving on behalf of Westminster.
“Here in Fife we already know real poverty is being compounded by policy – we see it in every community every day.
“Never before have we seen so much hardship in communities. Never before have we had the demand and response to our festive package.”
Rhona added: “Families are suffering hardship and deprivation from being trapped in poverty and we in Fife Gingerbread are trying our best to help them.
“One parent, who actually volunteers with us, fell to her knees with relief when she saw the food, vouchers and toys for her kids. It’s heart breaking and it doesn’t have to be like this. Human beings are making decisions that mean children go hungry and cold. It’s unbelievable.”