Kids will be hit by tax credit cut
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