Linda Fabiani MSP for East Kilbride has condemned UK Government tax credit changes, which have come into force, warning that the decision will cause severe hardship for working families.
UK Ministers have ignored calls by SNP MPs to postpone the change until the introduction of the Universal Credit in 2013. As a result, over 212,000 couples with 470,000 children will be affected. Most families in this situation have a total household income of around £17,000. If they cannot find up to 8 hours extra work a week, they face the loss of £3,870 from their household income – potentially leading to a surge in child poverty.
“These changes will cause severe hardship for working families in East Kilbride, and plunge many households into poverty.
“After delivering a Budget tax cut for millionaires, the Westminster Government are now cutting support for vulnerable families.
“It is ridiculous to try to force people to find more hours of work to make up for the reduction in Tax Credits at a time when unemployment is up as a result of the UK Government’s austerity programme. That work is simply not easy to find.
“The families affected are not living a life of luxury, they are low income households who will be forced to cut back on basics such as heating costs and new clothes. In addition there is an impact on the wider economy with households spending less money locally. That reduces even further the availability of jobs.
“Scotland needs independence so that we can deliver a fair and effective welfare system – rather than be on the receiving end of unfair Tory policies.”
Notes for Editors:
A document produced by HMRC in December shows that 84,900 households in Scotland will no longer be eligible for Tax Credits when the changes to the threshold kick-in in April.
This would mean that 118,700 children in Scotland will be affected.
These families represent those who are claiming at or below the family element of the CTC which is worth £545 per year per family and as of April they will fall above the new lower income threshold.
The information can be seen in Table 4a in the HMRC document here: