Friday, 30 October 2015

Halt plans to cut tax credits

The Tory Government must call a halt to the proposals which cut tax credits. The plans to change tax credits are another example of Tory economic illiteracy. It is not acceptable in the 21st century, for Glasgow's 45,000 low income families with 78,000 children to suffer increased poverty at the hands of the Chancellor, George Osborne and the UK Treasury. Existing Tax credits should be protected as they help motivate parents to get in to work and help to them to remain in work.

The Chancellor must step back from cutting tax credits as he knows it will only bring additional pressures on vulnerable families and organisations supporting them. Estimates by the Institute of Fiscal studies showed that the poorest families could lose £845 per child a year.

Thousands of families will experience food poverty due to any cuts in income and turn to emergency food aid provision to feed themselves. More demands will be placed on the existing food banks and additional services are likely to be needed. Families will have more problems with debt, and have to turn to a mix of coping strategies such as payday lenders, as well as borrowing money from family and friends. There will be increased stress and anxiety, with rising levels of poor mental health and suicide.  

There is significant work taking place across the city to mitigate the impacts of welfare reform on families. More action is needed to bring people affected together to offer support and ensure they have access to credit unions and adequate information and advice services. The UK Government has to improve support for working families so that parents do not have to choose between feeding their families and heating their homes.

Hard up families want and need to be given a fair chance. The Chancellor has to protect low income family budgets, tackle high housing costs and bring down soaring childcare prices. The Tory Government has to stop making life harder for low-income parents trying to do the right thing for their children.

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