RELENTLESS TORY ATTACK ON WORKING POOR PUSHING CHILDREN INTO POVERTY
The ‘appalling’ impact of the Tory government’s continued attack on the working poor is being highlighted again today – as new figures from the IFS confirm that a growing number of children living in poverty live in working households.
New IFS figures published today find that 63 per cent of children in poverty lived in a working household in 2013/14 – up from 54 per cent in 2009/10. The new analysis also finds that despite the UK Government’s decision to increase the minimum wage, there will be ‘upward pressure’ on absolute poverty for working households due to the cuts to tax credits and other social security spending.
The SNP is today also highlighting the importance of the Scottish Government’s efforts to mitigate the impact of welfare cuts – after the IFS pointed out that the UK Government’s cuts to council tax support and the introduction of the Bedroom Tax have caused significant increases in rent and council tax arrears in the rest of the UK. The Scottish Government has mitigated the impact of the Bedroom Tax in Scotland and 530,000 low income households in Scotland are benefitting from the Scottish Government’s Council Tax Reduction scheme.
Commenting, SNP MSP Joan McAlpine said:
“This is damning new evidence from the IFS of the appalling impact David Cameron and George Osborne’s relentless attack on the working poor is having – and it is clear that it is vulnerable children who are paying the price.
“The Tory government should be utterly ashamed that the number of children from working families living in poverty has grown under their watch – but as we saw with last week’s Budget, they are intent on intensifying their punitive cuts agenda as their slavish devotion to right-wing ideology trumps any commitment to supporting those in need.
“Working families who are struggling to make ends meet need and deserve a real boost to their pay packets – not a con trick on the minimum wage from a Tory chancellor while he callously cuts tax credits and other social protection leaving people worse off.
“That’s why it is so important that all progressive forces unite to fight these unfair plans – if Labour are content to stand on the sidelines while the Tories continue to impose these regressive policies then it will be even clearer than before that they have completely lost their way.
“The working poor and vulnerable people in Scotland can’t afford for decisions over the economy and social security to continue to be made by the likes of George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith.
“It’s time for these powers to be transferred to Scotland – allowing us to take real action to truly tackle poverty, create more and better jobs and ensure that work always pays fairly – rather than continuing on the UK Government’s course, which will push even more children into poverty.”
Notes to editors:
The analysis by the IFS finds that:
• “The proportion of children in poverty living in a working family rose from 54% in 2009–10 to 63% by 2013–14.”
• “Benefit cuts over this parliament will put upward pressure on absolute poverty for working-age households – including those in work. The planned rises in the minimum wage will help many of those on the lowest hourly pay, but are smaller in overall magnitude than the benefit cuts and less tightly targeted on low-income households.”
• Cuts to council tax support and the introduction of the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ in 2013–14 both seem to have caused clear increases in arrears, on council tax and rent respectively.
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