FRESH analysis has revealed the areas of Scotland worst hit by the benefit cap since it was brought in a decade ago.

Using data from the Department for Work and Pensions, the SNP found Glasgow is the worst hit local authority area with nearly 5000 households having had their housing benefit or Universal Credit cut due to the policy as of February 2023.

The cap limits the total amount in some benefits that working-age people can receive, even if their full entitlement would otherwise be higher.

The annual UK government benefit cap for Scotland is currently £14,753 for a single person and £20,200 for a family.

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Analysis revealed Edinburgh to be the second-worst-hit area with 4183 households impacted, followed by Fife (1867), North Lanarkshire (1490), Aberdeen (1420) and South Lanarkshire (1280).

Overall, the benefit cap has left the poorest families in Scotland more than £70million worse off since 2013.

A total of 28,188 households in Scotland have seen their housing benefit or Universal Credit payments reduced as a result of the benefit cap, including 24,546 households with children.

The analysis shows that on average impacted families in Scotland lose £50 a month as a result of the benefit cap.

The SNP’s women and equalities spokesperson, Kirsten Oswald (below), said: "Damaging Tory and Labour Party policies are cutting the incomes of thousands of working families across Scotland, who are struggling to make ends meet with their squeezed wages in broken Brexit Britain.

"It's shameful that Sir Keir Starmer wants to continue imposing these cruel Tory cuts against Scotland's will - showing the pro-Brexit Labour Party is indistinguishable from the Tories.

The National: SNP MP Kirsten Oswald

"The SNP is the only party offering real opposition to Tory cuts - and a fairer society with independence. In contrast, Sunak and Starmer are making this Westminster-made cost of living crisis even worse by imposing Brexit and austerity cuts to household incomes.

"The Tory benefits cap must be scrapped. At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to secure independence, tackle the cost of living and escape Westminster control for good with independence."

The analysis additionally shows the rate of the benefit cap has fallen significantly behind inflation, meaning Scottish households subject to the cap are now significantly worse off in real terms than they were when the policy was first introduced.

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If the level of the cap had instead kept pace with CPI inflation, it would be £17,233 for a single person and £25,720 for a family.

It means single people in Scotland are £2,479 worse off a year, and families are £5520 worse off a year.

The SNP’s probe comes after Labour were forced to admit they would keep the Tory bedroom tax and two-child cap.

Last week, it emerged 2338 households in Rutherglen and Hamilton West – where a by-election will be taking place following the recall of Margaret Ferrier – have had their housing benefit cuts due to the bedroom tax.

The policy reduces the amount of Universal Credit (UC) or housing benefit paid out to claimants if they have a spare bedroom in a rented council or housing association property.

Figures obtained by the SNP have also shown 3990 households (54%) in receipt of Universal Credit or Child Tax Credits were not in receipt of financial support for at least one child in April 2023 due to the two-child cap.