On Tuesday 7th November, SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, Ruth Maguire used a topical question in the Chamber to condemn the damaging welfare policies of the UK Tory Government.

Referring to the newly published Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) report, The Austerity Generation, which details the devastating impact of a decade of cuts on family incomes and child poverty, Ruth accused the Tories of being guilty of presiding over a colossal failure of public policy.

Ruth, who has made repeated calls for a halt to the damaging roll-out of Universal Credit, also drew attention to the report’s revelation that cuts to Universal Credit will increase child poverty across the UK by a million.

Responding on behalf of the Scottish Government, Cabinet Secretary for Social Security, Communities and Equalities, Angela Constance, joined Ruth in condemning the policies of the UK Tory Government and reiterated the Scottish Government’s own calls for an immediate halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit.

In advance of Parliament’s consideration of the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill at Stage 3 tomorrow, which is expected to pass with the support of all parties, Ms Constance also made clear how harmful Tory welfare policies actively work against the shared aim of the Scottish Parliament to eradicate child poverty – making it all the more difficult.

Commenting, Ruth said:

“When Theresa May became Prime Minister, she promised to reward those who work and tackle burning injustices.

It is clear that she has absolutely broken these promises – and that her UK Tory Government is presiding over a colossal failure of public policy.

Far from lifting people out of poverty, the Tories’ welfare reforms are dramatically increasing child poverty, with a million more children expected to be living in poverty by 2020.

This SNP Scottish Government is doing all that it can to mitigate these cuts and tackle child poverty, in particular through the Child Poverty (Scotland) Bill which will come before Parliament this week, but there will always be limitations to what we can achieve with one hand tied behind our back.

The UK Tory Government must finally listen to this Parliament, this Government and to charities across the country calling for a halt to its destructive roll-out of Universal Credit. Failure to do so means that they will be actively choosing to push more children into poverty – and that is unforgivable.”

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