SNP urged to make a difference
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.”