As pressure from all quarters mounts on George Osborne, including from his own backbenchers, the SNP has demanded that he change course and scrap his plans for damaging cuts to Tax Credits.
The Resolution Foundation has this week called on the Chancellor to reverse the most damaging cuts to Tax Credits and set out a number of options to do so – without undermining his own savings targets. Their director, Torsten Bell, has previously said that: “Even if you did not go ahead with any of the tax credit changes in April, the chancellor would still meet all his fiscal targets by the end of the parliament.”
The Centre for Social Justice, a right-of-centre think-tank set up by Iain Duncan Smith, has set out a number of alternative solutions for George Osborne and urged him not to take an approach that would not reduce work incentives in Universal Credit. Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, has said that income tax cuts or increases in the minimum wage are also not the best way for the Chancellor to mitigate the cuts, saying: “The answer to tax credits, is tax credits.”
Commenting, Clare Adamson MSP said:
“The SNP has consistently opposed damaging Tory cuts to Tax Credits. Just as pressure is growing on the Chancellor to reverse this callous reduction in support for low income families, now is not the time to let-up on our opposition to the Tories.
“From the outset SNP MPs at Westminster have voted against the changes and have lodged amendments to the Scotland Bill to devolve Tax Credits in full. And the SNP government has committed to bringing forward credible and costed plans to support low income households if the cuts do go ahead.
“This week we have seen another two well respected think-tanks line up to offer George Osborne alternative approaches that will reduce the impact of the cuts – alternatives that wouldn’t even break the Chancellor’s self-imposed austerity targets.
“Even leading Tories have criticised the cuts, including Boris Johnson, Tory backbenchers and Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson. Last month they were also rejected by the House of Lords.
“Scottish Labour may have run up the white flag and chosen to attack the SNP rather than the Tories but we will keep the pressure on George Osborne. George Osborne said he is in ‘listening-mode’ – if he really is then he should hear this groundswell of opposition and halt these cuts which will hit millions of working families across the UK.