Kelly slams Tory cuts to tax cred­its

MSP says many chil­dren will be left in poverty

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Will Hen­shaw

Ruther­glen MSP James Kelly has said that over 31,800 chil­dren in South La­nark­shire are at risk from Tory cuts to tax cred­its.

The Labour MSP has at­tacked the Gov­ern­ment who are look­ing to slash £12bil­lion from the wel­fare bill. Tax cred­its like child tax credit and work­ing tax credit are at risk.

James also urged the SNP Gov­ern­ment in Ed­in­burgh to adopt Scot­tish Labour plans to tackle poverty, by ex­tend­ing the liv­ing wage and ban­ning “rip off rent rises” in the pri­vate sec­tor.

He said: “Dur­ing the gen­eral elec­tion the Prime Min­is­ter promised the ‘good life’ for fam­i­lies but now he plans to cut vi­tal sup­port for fam­i­lies in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, Scot­land and across the UK.

“With thou­sands of fam­i­lies in Scot­land strug­gling from week to week, the ab­so­lute last peo­ple the Chan­cel­lor should tar­get are low- in­come fam­i­lies, but in­stead his plans to slash wel­fare puts 18,500 fam­i­lies in South La­nark­shire, and 31,800 chil­dren at risk.

“The last Labour Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced tax cred­its to tackle work­ing poverty, and it worked. There are thou­sands of peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang who can at­test to that.

“Re­cently new in­for­ma­tion has shown that over 200,000 chil­dren in Scot­land are liv­ing in poverty – on what planet does slash­ing tax cred­its help those kids?

“The SNP Gov­ern­ment in Ed­in­burgh need to stand up for these fam­i­lies.

A UK Gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said: “In Scot­land as across the rest of the UK the pro­por­tion of in­di­vid­u­als and chil­dren in rel­a­tive poverty are at their low­est lev­els since the 1980s.

“We know that work is the best route out of poverty, that’s why, as part of our long-term eco­nomic plan, our re­forms to the wel­fare sys­tem are fo­cused on mak­ing work pay, while our re­forms to the tax sys­tem are al­low­ing peo­ple to keep more of what they earn.”

A Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said the UK Gov­ern­ment’s aus­ter­ity agenda has led to “un­ac­cept­able lev­els of child poverty” in Scot­land.

They pointed to the in­vest­ment of £296mil­lion in wel­fare mit­i­ga­tion mea­sures and around £329m over two years to ex­pand free early learn­ing and child­care as proof of the SNP Gov­er­ment’s at­tempt to tackle poverty “head on”.

The spokesper­son added: “We be­lieve the UK Gov­ern­ment should call a halt to their pro­posed £12bn fu­ture cuts which will only put more chil­dren into poverty. In 2013/14 350,000 fam­i­lies in Scot­land re­lied on tax cred­its to boost their in­comes with 500,000 chil­dren ben­e­fit­ting from this sup­port. For this life­line to be cut will only have a fur­ther dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on chil­dren.

“We have ap­pointed our first In­de­pen­dent Ad­viser on Poverty and In­equal­ity who will be look­ing at what more we can do to ad­dress in­equal­i­ties.

“The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment will in­tro­duce a Bill to Par­lia­ment this Au­tumn for a new pri­vate rented ten­ancy. The new ten­ancy will im­prove se­cu­rity for ten­ants and in­clude pre­dictabil­ity on rents and pro­tec­tion against ex­ces­sive rent rises.

“We are also con­sid­er­ing whether fur­ther rent reg­u­la­tion may be jus­ti­fied to pro­tect ten­ants from ex­ces­sive in­creases in their rent in hot-spot ar­eas, for ex­am­ple by lim­it­ing these in­creases.”

the ab­so­lute last peo­ple the Chan­cel­lor should tar­get are low-in­come fam­i­lies

Dis­may Ruther­glen MSP James Kelly wants the SNP to stand up to wel­fare cuts

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