The SNP has renewed calls on the UK government to scrap the benefit freeze after a new report reveals Brexit has cost households £1,500 - even before the UK has left the EU.

The Resolution Foundation analysis, published today, has found that real household disposable incomes are £1500 lower today than was expected before the Brexit vote the UK economy, one of the fastest growing in the G7 before the referendum, is now one of the slowest – with the UK also suffering the biggest slowdown in income growth.

The analysis has been published on the same day the Office for National Statistics revealed that the UK’s economic growth in 2018 was the weakest since 2012, with falls in factory output and car production among the factors.

The benefit freeze in 2019/20 alone will see £4.7bn cut from most working-age benefits – over a billion more than it was supposed to be, and more than the total investment in the Work Allowance announced at the 2018 Budget up to 2022.

Speaking after DWP Questions in the Commons, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Neil Gray MP said:

“Even before the UK has left the EU, Brexit is already having a major impact – leaving households £1,500 worse off and the economy at its weakest since 2012.

“The most disadvantaged in society will be hit hardest by this, while the Tories’ punitive benefit freeze continues to take vital money out of people’s incomes.

“Every decision this Government is making right now has a trickle down effect on inflation, prices, and the everyday cost of living for families. We are now in the thick of slower economic growth, stagnating wages and high inflation – even though Brexit hasn’t happened.

“The quickest way the Government can protect those on low incomes would be to lift the freeze this year – inject money back into people’s pockets and back into the economy. The Tories need to wake up to the economic damage they are inflicting and scrap the benefit freeze once and for all.”

Brexit is already said to be costing the UK's tax payers £500m a week according to a study last September by The Centre for European Reform. See The Guardian here:

‘We are all £1,500 worse off since the Brexit vote: Resolution Foundation’ -