McAlpine Criticises Osborne Over Tax Credit Cuts As Region Set to Bear Brunt

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has hit out at the Chancellor's plans after new research has shown the dangers of proposed Tory cuts to tax credits for families across the region.

The children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland has calculated that over half – 53% – of all families in Dumfries & Galloway currently use working tax credits, helping them buy food, clothes and other essentials for their children. This trend continues across Scotland; with 49.1% of Scottish families using tax credits as well as 30% of people entering employment remaining in poverty.

These figures come ahead of George Osborne’s Emergency Budget later this week, as it is expected to include measures to reduce tax credits – a vital measure for supporting working families.

A report by the Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission this week warns that more than seven million children across the UK will be hit by the proposed cut to tax credits, with the cut reducing the income of 45 per cent of working families – with 72 per cent of these families already earning less than £20,000 a year.

Commenting, Ms McAlpine said:

“The impact that George Osborne’s expected cuts will have on working families across the region is nothing short of scandalous. These cuts will have a major impact on the majority of working families in Dumfries & Galloway who use tax credits to help them stay above the breadline.

“The Chancellor must call a halt to these unfair cuts. Supporting people into work is such a vital element of tackling unemployment. At a time when employment in Scotland is rising in a challenging economic environment, cutting tax credits or work allowances is entirely counter-intuitive.

“This just highlights how important it if for Scotland to be given control over her economy and social securities. With this, The Scottish Government would be better equipped to protect the vulnerable, unemployed and working families than the austerity-obsessed Tory government in Westminster. With these tools, we can boost the minimum wage, tackle the increasing inequality in our society and get people back into meaningful employment.

“This week’s budget is indeed an Emergency Budget, as it stands to create family budget emergencies across this region and beyond.”

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