Axe tax credits and most families will suffer

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Charity implores chancellor not to cut tax credits in budget 

6th July 2015 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Half of all Scottish families could be left struggling if plans to cut working tax credits go ahead, a charity has warned.

Barnardo’s Scotland has estimated that 49% of families in the country currently use tax credits to top up their income but it fears Wednesday’s budget statement will include plans to cut this “economic lifeline”.

It says the UK government should instead focus on tackling the low wages and high living costs that drive hardship among families.

It is asking people in Scotland to email their MP with this message as part of a campaign to keep tax credits as they are. 

Increasing numbers of working parents are struggling to stay above the breadline - Mark Ballard

Head of policy for Barnardo’s Scotland, Mark Ballard, said: “The UK government has promised to improve support for working families so that parents do not have to choose between feeding their families and heating their homes.

“Unfortunately, the reality is increasing numbers of working parents are struggling to stay above the breadline and any proposed cuts to the benefits they rely on will only make things worse. Low paid parents with dependent children rely on tax credits to make up the difference between what they earn and what they need to get by.”

The most recent data for Scotland shows that 55% of children in severe poverty lived in working households and 39% lived in households with at least one adult in full-time employment.

Figures show that more than half of children in nine local authorities in Scotland live in families in receipt of tax credits.

Ballard adds: “Families would be better off if the UK government focused on tackling low wages and high childcare costs, instead of cutting struggling families' income.”