A GOVERNMENT U-TURN on tax credits has been welcomed by Moray’s MP – but he warns that the UK Government needs to reconsider its position on cutting in-work incentives for the low paid.
Angus Robertson’s comments came as his party’s position was being set in a speech at the Westminster Parliament this week, when Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP called on a review to proposed cuts that are still scheduled to come into force from April.
Mr Robertson said that he had heard from many of his Moray constituents on the issue as they faced ‘hugely challenging financial circumstances” resulting from low pay and a lack of welfare support for even the most basic household costs.
The Moray MP said: “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.”
The MP added that there are families in Moray who will be considerably worse off from these changes – families who he says are being penalised for working in lower paid jobs.
He added: “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 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.”