The Scottish National Party have today called on the Tory party to reverse their plans for swingeing cuts to tax credits, which will leave 200,000 Scottish families £1,300 worse off a year, and to consider the true impact the policy will have on their constituents.
During an opposition day debate on tax credits, SNP MPs supported a Labour motion which called on the UK Government to think again about £4.3 billion of cuts to tax credits which will come into effect in April 2016.
The opposition motion was supported by 295 members but a majority of 317 voted against reversing the Tory cuts to tax credits.
Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:
“With this callous vote the Tories have shown their true colours – they are not a Government that supports working people, they are a Government that punishes working people.
“Over half a million children live in families that rely on tax credits to make ends meet. 350,000 of those children will feel the impact of Tory cuts as they strip away much needed tax credits from over 200,000 low income working families across Scotland.
“It is time for the Tories to think of their constituents and of the human impact behind their cruel policies. David Cameron has not launched a war on poverty but a war against the poor.
“And while the SNP welcome that Labour MPs were able to secure this important debate, the reality is that while Labour remains so divided and chaotic they cannot be an effective opposition to the Tories.
“If Labour had joined with the SNP in a progressive alliance and voted against the Government’s welfare reforms in July instead of sitting on their hands or if they had provided real opposition to Osborne’s fiscal charter then we could have made a tougher stand against the Tory austerity regime and done more to stop these ideological cuts.
“The debate presented an opportunity to send a message to the Government that they have got tax credits badly wrong and it was an also an opportunity for those on the government benches to admit that they got it wrong.
“The Tories want to give Scotland the ability to tinker around the edges of social security but it is completely unrealistic to expect Scotland to plug the black-hole created by their tax credits cuts.
“Our message to the UK Government is clear: Scotland must have the power to pull children and families out of poverty, and this can only be done if we have a proper welfare system with social security powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament.”