Kids will be hit by tax credit cut

Rutherglen Reformer - - NEWS - Dou­glas Dickie

Mar­garet Ferrier MP says al­most 6000 chil­dren in her con­stituency are set to be af­fected by changes to tax cred­its con­tained in last month’s “bru­tal” bud­get.

The SNP mem­ber for Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West re­ferred to fig­ures from the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment In­for­ma­tion Cen­tre (SPICe) that sug­gest 3400 fam­i­lies, with a to­tal of 5800 chil­dren, will be hit.

How­ever, the UK Gov­ern­ment has ac­cused the MP of look­ing for “con­trived com­plaints”.

The fig­ures form part of the South La­nark­shire to­tals of 12,300 fam­i­lies and 21,300 chil­dren af­fected – and the Scot­tish to­tals of 197,200 fam­i­lies and 346,000 chil­dren.

In Chan­cel­lor Ge­orge Os­borne’s bud­get last month, the in­come thresh­old for tax cred­its was re­duced from £6,420 to £3,850.

Tax cred­its will also be re­stricted to two chil­dren, af­fect­ing those born af­ter April 2017.

It is es­ti­mated tax cred­its were worth £ 2bil­lion to Scot­tish fam­i­lies in 2013/ 14, with two-thirds of the cash go­ing to help low­in­come work­ing fam­i­lies with chil­dren.

The SNP this week de­scribed the changes as a “re­lent­less as­sault on the work­ing poor.”

Ms Ferrier, who was elected at May’s gen­eral elec­tion, said: “Ge­orge Os­borne’s Sum­mer Bud­get was bru­tal, and these fig­ures serve to high­light the real vic­tims of con­tin­ued aus­ter­ity – chil­dren.

“These fig­ures put the re­al­ity of the cuts into clear fo­cus, and are a ham­mer blow to the Tory claim that they stand for hard-work­ing peo­ple.

“Work­ing fam­i­lies and vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in Scot­land can’t af­ford to have reck­less de­ci­sions over the econ­omy and so­cial se­cu­rity like these made by Os­borne.

“It’s lit­tle won­der the Tories are try­ing to aban­don tar­gets on child poverty.

“The Tories know ex­actly how badly their cuts will af­fect chil­dren across the UK – and I will fight them ev­ery step of the way at Westminster.”

The fig­ures were also pounced on by Glas­gow MSP, Bob Doris, who said: “Need­less to say these cuts will have a dev­as­tat­ing im­pact on the work­ing poor.

“While the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to try and mit­i­gate the on­slaught of cuts from Westminster on our most vul­ner­a­ble in so­ci­ety, in re­al­ity the sheer scale of cuts in­flicted on our work­ing poor only demon­strates the need for Scot­land to have full con­trol over wel­fare and ben­e­fits.

“It’s time for these pow­ers to be trans­ferred to Scot­land - al­low­ing us to take real ac­tion to truly tackle poverty, and sup­port the peo­ple in so­ci­ety who need help most.”

But a spokesper­son for the UK Gov­ern­ment chal­lenged the SNP to re­veal their own wel­fare plans.

They said: “Wel­fare pro­vi­sion in Scot­land is about to be­come a shared space where the UK and Scot­tish gov­ern­ments will need to work to­gether.

“If we are to pro­vide the best pos­si­ble ser­vice for peo­ple then Holy­rood min­is­ters need to start shar­ing their plans in­stead of look­ing for con­trived com­plaints on the process.

“What new ben­e­fits are you plan­ning? Which ex­ist­ing ben­e­fits do you want to top up?

“How are you go­ing to pay for it?”

These fig­ures high­light the real vic­tioms of aus­ter­ity - chil­dren

Con­cern Mar­garet Ferrier MP

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