The Scottish National Party (SNP) has heavily criticised what it describes as “devastating” and “chilling” Tory welfare cuts, which new figures suggest would affect around 900,000 Scottish households.
George Osborne’s pledge to freeze working age benefits for two years would impact upon 600,000 Scottish families where at least one person is working, the SNP claim.
When including real-terms cuts to Jobseeker’s Allowance, Child Benefit and Tax Credits the total number of households who would be hit by the cuts rises to 900,000, according to new figures produced by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICE).
Around one million children would also be affected by the changes, claim the SNP.
Commenting on the new analysis, SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn said:
“This new analysis shows the devastating impact George Osborne’s latest round of welfare cuts would have on families in Scotland – impacting on one million children and leading to a £250m cut in Scotland’s welfare budget every year.
“The fact that the vast majority of families hit by the latest round of Tory welfare cuts are working families gives lie to the ludicrous Tory claim that their cuts are designed to make work pay. The fact is that these cuts are nothing more than an attempt to punish vulnerable people and to balance the books on the back of the working poor.
“The fact that Tory conference cheered as George Osborne announced these cuts is a chilling reminder of the attitude of the Westminster parties to social justice – the race to the right on welfare between Labour and the Tories amounts to nothing less than a shameless and sustained attack on the poor.
“This analysis comes in the same week as a Citizens Advice Scotland report confirmed that Westminster’s welfare cuts are having a devastating impact on disabled people in Scotland – and Westminster refused Nicola Sturgeon’s request to halt the roll out of its universal credit scheme.
“The Westminster establishment has shown time and time again that it can’t be trusted on welfare. It’s time that welfare powers were transferred from Westminster to Scotland – to allow us to use the welfare state to build a fairer, more equal society, rather than to punish vulnerable people and the working poor.”