New analysis from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) shows that under Labour’s plans, a family with one child will cumulatively lose out on more than £875, a family with two children will lose almost £1500 and a family with three children will lose over £2,000. Nearly 16,000 families across Dumfries & Galloway would be affected.
This is just the latest example of Labour’s attempts to go further than the Tories on welfare – following on from Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Rachel Reeves claiming that a Labour government would be ‘tougher than the Tories’ on benefits.
In stark contrast to Westminster’s attitude to welfare, the Scottish Government has argued that all benefits should rise in line with inflation.
“Tory welfare reforms are causing hardship for families across Dumfries & Galloway and it is absolutely unacceptable that Labour are now looking to extend these unfair policies and to continue with the Tory austerity agenda with a freeze of child benefit which will hammer 15,000 families across this region.
“Labour’s plans to extend the child benefit cap will hit ordinary families in the pocket. Families with three children will suffer a cumulative loss of over £2,000 by 2016/17. At a time when many families are already struggling to make ends meet, taking more money out of family budgets is absolutely unthinkable.
“The Westminster parties’ race to the right shows exactly why Scotland needs full powers over welfare to be transferred from Westminster – so we can use our welfare state to support people and as a springboard to a better life, rather than as a tool to punish some of our most vulnerable people.
“Labour’s rhetoric on welfare is now almost indistinguishable from the Tories – in fact, they have already promised to be ‘tougher than the Tories’ on welfare, which is a chilling insight into the further cuts Labour have in store.
“With policies like this designed to win over voters the South East of England, it’s absolutely no wonder that more and more people who used to support the Labour Party are switching to the SNP in their droves.”
Notes to editors:
The SPICe research is attached.