The SNP has called on the UK government to use the Budget to deliver a major boost to incomes – warning millions of families have suffered a “Tory decade of decline” in living standards as a result of austerity cuts and Brexit.
SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said the Tory record on living standards was “a miserable failure” with soaring poverty and inequality, stagnant wages, deep cuts to social security, and increased living costs leaving many families struggling to get by.
The MP for Glasgow Central has urged the Chancellor to end Tory austerity and implement the SNP’s six-point plan to put cash in people’s pockets:
- Match the SNP government’s Scottish Child Payment of £10 per week per eligible child for families across the UK – lifting thousands of children out of poverty.
- Introduce the real Living Wage – boosting wages for the lowest paid and abolishing discriminatory minimum wage rates for younger people.
- Halt the roll out of universal credit until fundamental flaws are fixed – increase the monthly allowance and scrap the two child cap and rape clause.
- Reverse the cuts to social security – end the benefit cap and introduce above-inflation increases to benefits to restore the lost value from the four-year freeze.
- Reverse the cuts to housing support – abolish the bedroom tax, and reverse the cuts to housing benefit and council tax reduction.
- Boost support for pensioners – maximising uptake of pension credit, delivering justice for WASPI women and covering the cost of the over 75s free TV licence.
Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) analysis shows the poorest 10% of households have lost on average 11% of their income (£1,200 per year) since 2010 as a result of Tory tax and benefit changes, while those with children have lost an average of 20% (£4,000).
Commenting, SNP Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said: “The UK government must use the budget to deliver a major and long-overdue boost to household incomes – putting cash back into people’s pockets after a Tory decade of decline in living standards.
“Millions of families are struggling to get by after years of Tory austerity cuts that have held back real wages, slashed social security, and pushed people into poverty and crisis.”
She continued: “The Tory government’s record on living standards has been a miserable failure with soaring child poverty and inequality – and Boris Johnson’s reckless plans for Brexit will leave people across the UK even poorer and worse off.
“The Chancellor must end Tory austerity and inject much-needed investment by introducing a real Living Wage, reversing the cuts to social security, and matching the SNP government’s new Scottish Child Payment for families across the UK.
“Scotland is defying the tide of increasing child poverty due to Scottish Government action – but we shouldn’t have to spend hundreds of millions mitigating against Tory austerity.
“Westminster isn’t working for Scotland – it’s no wonder support for independence continues to grow.”