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Aberlour joins the call to Scrap the Cap

17
Mar
2022

Aberlour Children’s Charity has joined the call of more than 100 organisations across the UK writing to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, urging him to use his Spring Statement to scrap the unjust benefit cap.

Scrap the Cap

Read the letter below.

16 March 2022

Dear Chancellor,

As part of a coalition of organisations from across the UK, we are writing to urge you to use your Spring Statement on 23rd March to commit to supporting families living in the grip of poverty by ending the benefit cap.

Right now, people across this country are facing a cost-of-living crisis. Energy hikes, stagnating wages, and the rising cost of food are putting enormous pressure on low-income households. For those affected by the benefit cap, whose social security payments already fall well below a sufficient level, this crisis is even more acutely felt.

Since its introduction, the benefit cap has trapped families across the UK in poverty’s grip. By severing the link between need and entitlement, many of those affected by the cap have been forced to rely on food banks and pay-day loans just to get by and, for many, it has also caused poor mental health and led to homelessness.

These harmful impacts of the benefit cap disproportionately affect families with children, since eighty-three percent of capped households contain at least one child. According to the Supreme Court, the benefit cap breaches the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by depriving families with children from the income they need to stay afloat, at a time when they need it most. This is morally outrageous.

The benefit cap also discriminates against women and single-parent families. Sixty-two percent of households affected are single parents, nine out of ten of whom are women. A policy that so blatantly targets this group, who are already disproportionately at-risk of experiencing poverty, has no place in a just society.

Families from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds are also more likely to be affected by the benefit cap because they are more likely to have larger families. Racial inequalities in the UK, such as income or health inequality, are caused and exacerbated in part due to social and economic policy, including the benefit cap. Lifting the cap would help redress some of these inequalities.

Not only does the benefit cap represent a moral failing in our society, but it also fails on its own terms. The cap was introduced, in part, to encourage those on benefits to move into employment. The reality, however, is that the majority of people affected by the cap are not required to look for work due to ill-health or childcare responsibilities. Subjecting these families and individuals to the benefit cap knowingly and purposefully locks them into poverty when they cannot turn to employment to boost their income.

We urge you to use your Spring Statement on 23rd March to commit to giving families what they need to lead healthy, dignified lives, by scrapping the benefit cap.

Your sincerely,

 

Peter Kelly, Director, The Poverty Alliance

Professor Mike Danson, Chair, Basic Income Network Scotland

Jill Kent, Chair, Justice & Peace Scotland

Jane Streather, Chair, North East Child Poverty Commission

Kate Wimpress, Chair, SURF – Scotland’s Regeneration Forum

Agnes Tolmie, Chair, The Scottish Women’s Convention

Tracy Hill, Chair, Unison housing & care Scotland branch

Terry McTernan, Chairperson, Ferguslie Community Council

Matt Downie, Chief Executive, Crisis

Neil Mathers, Chief Executive, Curiosity Collective

Danielle Campbell, Chief Executive, Dr Bell’s Family Centre

Proffesor Nancy Loucks OBE, Chief Executive, Families Outside

Ian Bruce, Chief Executive, GCVS

Glenn Liddall, Chief Executive, People Know How

Elaine Cameron, Chief Executive, Refugee Survival Trust

Sally Thomas, Chief Executive, Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

Sabir Zazai, Chief Executive, Scottish Refugee Council

Sharon McAulay, Chief Executive, Star Project

Carolyn Currie, Chief Executive, Women’s Enterprise Scotland

Alison Garnham, Chief Executive, Child Poverty Action Group

Gillian Frayling-Kelly, Chief Executive, Positive Help

Anela Anwar, Chief Executive, Z2K

Mariam Ahmen, Chief Executive Officer, AMINA

Ruth MacLennan, Chief Executive Officer, Care for Carers

Paula Stringer, Chief Executive Officer, Christians Against Poverty

Hilda Campbell, Chief Executive Officer, COPE Scotland

Marie Ward, Chief Executive Officer, Cranhill Development Trust

Ewan Aitken, Chief Executive Officer, Cyrenians

Frazer Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Energy Action Scotland

Jimmy Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, FARE

Jonny Kinross, Chief Executive Officer, Grassmarket Community Project

Graham Whitham, Chief Executive Officer, Greater Manchester Poverty Action

Mariam Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, Muslim Women’s Resource Centre

Satwat Rehman, Chief Executive Officer, One Parent Families Scotland

Marsha Scott, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Women’s Aid

Andy Peline, Chief Executive Officer, SWAMP Community Development Trust

SallyAnn Kelly, Chief Executive Officer, Aberlour Children’s Charity

Suzanne Slavin, Chief Executive Officer, Ayr Housing Aid Centre SCIO

Mark Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer, Circle

John Halliday, Chief Executive Officer, Community Renewal Trust

Brenda Black, Chief Executive Officer, Edinburgh Community Food

Bridie Ashrowan, Chief Executive Officer, EVOC

Aaliya Seyal, Chief Executive Officer, Legal Services Agency

Dave Liddell, Chief Executive Officer, Scottish Drugs Forum

Gerry Baldwin, Chief Executive Officer, The Pavillion and Fuse Youth Café

Murray Dawson, Chief Executive, Station House Media Unit

Leigh Elliot, Chief Executive Officer, Children North East

Viv Sawers, Chief Officer, Govan Home and Education Link Project (Govan HELP)

Sara Redmond, Chief Officer, Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the ALLIANCE)

Moira Tasker, Chief Officer, Inclusion Scotland

Ailsa MacKenzie, Chief Officer, The Pyramid at Anderston

Sean Douglas, Acting Director, Provanhall Housing Association

Henry Tyrrell, Campaigns Officer, Gingerbread

Chris Miezitis, Co-director, Fathers Network Scotland

Professor Stephen Sinclair, Co-director, Scottish Poverty & Inequality Research Unit

Betty Stone, Convenor, Edinburgh Tenants Federation

Sabine Goodwin, Coordinator, Independent Food Aid Network

Sara Cowan, Coordinator, Scottish Women’s Budget Group

Rachel Walters, Co-ordinator, End Child Poverty Coalition

Elaine Downie, Co-ordinator, The Poverty Truth Community

Claire Burns, Director, CELCIS

John Dickie, Director, CPAG in Scotland

Bethany Biggar, Director, Edinburgh Food Project

Jacky Close, Director, Faith in Community Dundee

Colin Campbell, Director, Kidron Project

Fiona Garven, Director, Scottish Community Development Centre (SCDC)

Alison Watson, Director, Shelter Scotland

Trishna Singh OBE, Director, Sikh Sanjog

Ben Farrugia, Director, Social Work Scotland

Hugh Foy, Director of Programmes, Xaverian Missionaries UK Region

Anna Ritchie Allan, Executive Director, Close the Gap

Shona Blakeley, Executive Director, Women’s Fund for Scotland

Olivia Ndoti, Founder, Women Integration Network Scotland

Douglas Allsop, Fundraising and Partnership Manager, Diamonds in the Community

Roz Foyer, General Secretary, STUC

Larry Flanagan, General Secretary, The Educational Institute of Scotland

Traci Kirkland, Head of Charity, Govan Community Project

Jamie Livingstone, Head of Oxfam Scotland, Oxfam Scotland

Susan Paxton, Head of Programmes, Community Health Exchange (CHEX)

Polly Jones, Head of Scotland, The Trussell Trust

Matthew Busher, Housing Director, Kingdom Housing Association

Siobhan Taylor-Ward, Housing Solicitor, Vauxhall Community Law and Information Centre

Teresa Sutherland, Interim CEO, Community Help & Advice Initiative

Frank Mosson, Manager, Bridgeton Citizens Advice Bureau

Margaret McDougall, Manager, Clackmannanshire Women’s Aid

Tom Heron, Manager, Knightsridge Adventure Project- The Vennie

Jennifer Milby, Manager, Stewartry Council of Voluntary Service

Biddy Kelly, Managing Director, Fresh Start

Niki Powers, Managing Director, Let’s Talk (Young People)

Sally Clough, Manger, Belville Community Garden Trust

Innes Isobel McMinn, Manger, Independent Living Support

The Rt Hon Lord Wallace of Tankerness, Moderator of the General Assembly, The Church of Scotland

Beth Cadger, National Co-Coordinator, Article 12 in Scotland

Callum Chomczuk, National Director, CIH Scotland

Alison Bavidge, National Director, Scottish Association of Social Work

Danny Collins, National President, Society of St Vincent de Paul Scotland

Liane Coia, Operations Manager, Maryhill Integration Network

Eilidh Dickson, Policy and Parliamentary Manager, Engender

Derek Smeall, Principal and Chief Executive, Glasgow Kelvin College

Terry McTernan, Project Lead, Darkwood Crew – Helping Ferguslie Flourish

Linda Stuart, Project Manager, Glasgow North East Foodbank

Mairi McCallum, Project Manager, Moray Food Plus

Andrew Stevenson, Project Manager, The Destiny Project

Annie Tothill, Project Worker, Kairos Women+

Craig Samuel, Scotland Representative, NAWRA

Pat Rafferty, Scottish Secretary, Unite Scotland

Arthur West, Secretary, Kilmarnock and Loudoun Trades Union Council

Rhoda Walker, Secretary, Orkney Foodbank

Fiona King, Senior Policy & Public Affairs Manager, Save the Children Scotland

Laura Millar, Strategic Manager, Fife Gingerbread

Pauline Buchan, Strategic Manager, The Cottage Family Centre

Katherine Hill, Strategic Project Manager, 4in10 – London’s Child Poverty Network

Fiona Partington, Temporary Joint Acting CEO, The Health Agency

Andrew Lorimer, Trustee, Dundee Fighting For Fairness

Marian Dixon, Volunteer, Stewartry Food Bank

Elizabeth Officer, Welfare Rights Adviser, Bute Advice Centre

Stephen Campbell, Welfare Rights Adviser, Citizens Advice Hillingdon

 

Read the article published in The Daily Record about the letter here.