SNP MSP Stuart McMillan has called for cross-party support for an SNP amendment to the Scotland Bill that would enable the Scottish Parliament to set its own tax credit system. In the Supporting Scotland’s Children debate in the Scottish Parliament today, Mr McMillan denounced Tory plans to cut tax credits for working families that would have a direct consequence on children.
Mr McMillan stated:
“The main tools for tackling poverty – and for tackling the attainment gap – lay in the tax and benefits system and employment services. Currently these critical powers are under the control of Westminster.
“Under the Scotland Bill as it stands, the Scottish Parliament cannot restore all tax credits and does not have the power to reimburse all of those who will be affected. The UK Government is not using those tools to tackle poverty or promote work in Scotland – but to cut welfare.
“These Tory tax credit cuts will lead to an immediate £1,500 taken from the pockets of 250,000 Scottish working households next April. In Inverclyde, almost 5,500 children will be affected by cuts to Tax credits. Our first priority must be to stop these plans altogether.”
Mr McMillan highlighted the continued SNP stance of opposing the welfare cuts directed from Westminster, and called on all parties in the Scottish Parliament to support the proposed SNP amendment to the Scotland Bill:
“Holyrood should send a united message to George Osborne that these cuts are completely unacceptable. Unlike Labour, the SNP have voted against these proposals at every possible opportunity and we will continue to do so.
“For as long as powers over working age benefits remain in the control of the likes of George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith, Scottish families and Inverclyde’s children will bear the brunt.”