Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s MP Angus Robertson says the UK Government must reconsider its position on cutting in-work incentives for the low-paid.

His comments come as the SNP’s Spokesperson on Work & Pensions, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, set out the SNP’s position in a speech to parliament. Dr Whiteford called on the Government to re-think the proposed cuts, which are scheduled for April.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies points out that there will be more losers than winners under the proposed cuts, and the Resolution Foundation estimates that working families with children on Universal Credit will be, on average, £1300 pounds a year worse off by 2020. The IFS estimate that overall, 2.6 million families across the UK will be worse off by an average of £1600 a year.

Angus Robertson MP said:

“I have many constituents in Moray contacting me who are in hugely challenging financial circumstances as a result of low pay and lack of welfare support for even the most basic household costs.

“The Government's U-turn on cutting tax credits was very welcome and it came after huge opposition from the SNP and others in parliament but I have stated before that while that decision was an improvement we had to keep a close eye on the Government’s welfare plans to make sure they weren’t just shifting welfare cuts elsewhere.

“That is unfortunately the case with the Tax Credits U-turn only being a stay of execution given the reductions to the Work Allowance under Universal Credit, scheduled for this April.

“The Government has sold Universal Credit on the basis that work should pay for those in employment. Indeed, Universal Credit was sold as a simplified system which would give families real incentives to find work, and keep work. The reality, however, is that by cutting the Work Allowance, the Government is once again heaping the costs of austerity onto low paid families.

“There are families in Moray who will be considerably worse off with these changes, families who are being penalised for working in lower paid jobs. The UK Government should be supporting these hard-working families.

“These plans will make the poorest even worse off and will take money away that would otherwise be spent in our local economy here in Moray. The SNP oppose these plans and instead back better pay and work incentives.

“The UK cannot continue to run an economy where the lowest paid cannot sustain even basic household costs let alone have any kind of reasonable social life with their families. That is clearly a crazy economic policy to follow.”