The First Minister referenced new Scottish Government analysis which shows that around 250,000 working households in Scotland will lose an average of £1,500 per year from next April as a result of expected tax credit cuts. Once the Tory government’s cuts are fully implemented, low income households with children will ultimately face a loss of around £3,000 per year.
According to ONS figures supplied by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre £3,000 is the equivalent of more than a years’ worth of food and non-alcoholic drink shopping for the average Scottish household – over 54 weeks at £54.80. The SNP is calling yet again for the UK Government to protect the poorest from the cuts.
Commenting, Linda said:
“These statistics are staggering. The tax credit cuts will lead to desperation for many, who have already suffered under this Government’s ideological attacks under the guise of austerity.
“The SNP government is spending almost £300 million over three years to mitigate welfare cuts in Scotland and has pledged to use limited new social security powers to create a fairer social security system. Unfortunately though, the powers over working age benefits – including tax credits – will remain in Tory hands.
“There was absolutely no mention of tax credit cuts in the Tory manifesto, and there was a specific pledge from David Cameron not to reduce them. That the Tories only have one MP in Scotland, yet are implementing a cut in the income of a quarter of a million families in Scotland is reprehensible.
“The powers over working age benefits should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament, rather in the hands of Iain Duncan Smith and his Tory colleagues.”