Kelly slams Tory cuts to tax credits
MSP says many children will be left in poverty
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