SNP urged to make a dif­fer­ence

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

Two weeks ago, we re­ported that around 100 peo­ple a month were re­ly­ing on the CAB’s out­reach ser­vice for wel­fare re­lated is­sues.

Sharon said this week: “We al­ready have clients com­ing in with ques­tions about wel­fare re­form. It has al­ready started and it’s go­ing to get worse.

“The cuts will hit many peo­ple. Young fam­i­lies, sin­gle par­ents with chil­dren; it will af­fect ev­ery­body on ben­e­fits.

“I’ve al­ready sent a brief­ing note to all staff and vol­un­teers. There will be a staff meet­ing next week with a long pre­sen­ta­tion on the im­pact of uni­ver­sal credit and wel­fare re­form. It is to make ev­ery­one aware of what is hap­pen­ing and that they know how to deal with it.

“It will not only af­fect the main bu­reaus but also the other ad­vice cen­tres. It will be a ma­jor panic.”

Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West MP, Mar­garet Ferrier ac­cused Ge­orge Os­borne of be­ing a “re­verse Robin Hood,” af­ter the bud­get was re­vealed and said the rise in liv­ing wage was a “con trick.”.

She said: “This is noth­ing less than a shame­less at­tack on the young, on work­ing fam­i­lies and on the poor­est in our so­ci­ety.

“The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment es­ti­mate that the ac­tual Liv­ing Wage is forecast to be £ 11.82 in 2020, a fig­ure Ge­orge Os­borne’s £9 wage falls far short of.

“By pur­su­ing ever more dam­ag­ing cuts to wel­fare and public ser­vices, this Gov­ern­ment is con­tin­u­ing to hit chil­dren, young peo­ple and work­ing fam­i­lies the hard­est – re­strict­ing ben­e­fits for un­der- 25s and ex­clud­ing them from the new higher min­i­mum wage, and tar­get­ing fam­i­lies with chil­dren for cuts to tax cred­its.

“Lim­it­ing tax cred­its to the first two chil­dren in a fam­ily will po­ten­tially re­move thou­sands of pounds worth of sup­port for chil­dren from low in­come back­ground, and drive many more Scot­tish fam­i­lies into poverty.”

“Re­mov­ing vi­tal sup­port for low in­come fam­i­lies sim­ply is not the way to tackle low pay.”

How­ever, Tay­lor Muir, who stood for the Con­ser­va­tives in Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West back in May, said: “The chan­cel­lor set out a clear plan to bal­ance the books by the next elec­tion to en­sure that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions aren’t sad­dled with debt.

“It is also welcome news for work­ing fam­i­lies across Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang. Once again the tax free per­sonal al­lowance will be raised, which means the av­er­age worker pays al­most £100 a month less in in­come tax since 2010. The bold move to­wards a liv­ing wage of £ 9 an hour will en­sure that ev­ery­body in our com­mu­nity is able to ben­e­fit from the eco­nomic re­cov­ery.

“This is a con­tin­u­a­tion of a plan which is mov­ing Bri­tain from the bad old days of a high tax, low wage and wel­fare de­pen­dent econ­omy to­wards a brighter fu­ture with higher wages and lower taxes for all.” James Kelly MSP has chal­lenged the SNP Gov­ern­ment in Ed­in­burgh to use the pow­ers at their dis­posal to off­set the im­pact of the bud­get.

Mr Kelly said it was a “bad bud­get”.

But he in­sisted the SNP had the chance to “do things dif­fer­ently” when new pow­ers some to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment.

He said: “This was not a bud­get for the work­ing poor, the young or the sick.

“No amount of Tory spin can hide the fact that this is a bad bud­get for work­ing fam­i­lies, our most vul­ner­a­ble and our young peo­ple.

“The chan­cel­lor has de­cided to cut vi­tal sup­port for work­ing fam­i­lies, whilst slash­ing in­her­i­tance tax for the most well off.

“From next year, Scot­land has the op­por­tu­nity to do things dif­fer­ently.

“With the new pow­ers com­ing to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment over tax and wel­fare, we can de­liver a fairer bud­get for young peo­ple, work­ing fam­i­lies and our vul­ner­a­ble.

“To­day’s bud­get makes it more im­por­tant that we get on with it.

“The chal­lenge for the SNP Gov­ern­ment in Ed­in­burgh is to make clear how they will use these sig­nif­i­cant new pow­ers to make a real dif­fer­ence to work­ing fam­i­lies in Scot­land.”

How­ever, Bob Doris of the SNP, said: “The SNP has a proven track record of us­ing all the pow­ers at our dis­posal to de­fend Scot­land as much as pos­si­ble against UK cuts.

“I would cau­tion any­one - par­tic­u­larly those in the Labour Party who stood shoul­der to shoul­der with the Tories in the ref­er­en­dum - who thinks that the mod­est pow­ers that will be com­ing to Scot­land can re­ally pro­tect our na­tion from Tory rule.

“Scot­land needs full fis­cal con­trol to de­liver for our peo­ple.”

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