Hepburn and McDonald Highlight Local Impact of Tax Credit Cuts

Today Jamie Hepburn MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and Stuart McDonald MP for Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East have highlighted research proving the dangers posed to local families by Tory plans to cuts to Tax Credits.

It comes as children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland released figures highlighting the percentage of families in the area who are currently in receipt of the threatened source of funding.

Across the North Lanarkshire Council area 23,200 families receive Tax Credits meaning that 40,600 children live in families receiving Tax Credits – 50.6% of children in the area. It also reveals that 52.8% of the families in the area who receive Tax Credits have dependent children.

Barnardo’s Scotland also calculated that 49.1% of families in Scotland use working Tax Credits to help supply basics such as food and clothes.

The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission also published a report today warning that a cut to Tax Credits would cause a reduction to the income of over 45% of working families, 72% of which already earn below £20,000 annually.

Commenting on the matter Mr Hepburn said:

“The Tory government is out of touch with the least well off. It is clear that there are already far too many families struggling to get by in the local area and across the country and the Tories latest cut will make an already difficult task even harder for many.

“This information from Barnardo’s proves that so many families cannot afford the cuts Osborne is expected to announce. Many depend on these Tax Credits to keep them above the breadline. Cutting tax credits would only increase poverty and create more social inequality.”

The recently elected Mr McDonald added:

“The Chancellor needs to realise that these cuts are a threat to working families. In a constituency where half of the children are from families who are in receipt of Tax Credits, families are clearly finding that entering employment does not guarantee them the financial security they need.

“Pressing ahead with these planned cuts would increase the number of families facing in-work poverty and that is simply indefensible.”