Local MSP Jackie Baillie welcomed a significant victory for local families after the Tories caved in to pressure from Labour by scrapping plans to cut tax credits.
Labour forced Chancellor George Osborne to backtrack on plans to cut tax credits for thousands of local families when the proposals were defeated in a recent House of Lords vote. This means that Labour’s continued pressure on the issue has saved 4600 families in Dumbarton, Vale of Leven and Helensburgh from cuts of £1,300 a year on average.
Hundreds of local people signed Labour’s petition earlier this month when Jackie took to the streets of Dumbarton to highlight the importance of tax credits for working families and campaign against the cuts.
However the Labour MSP said the fight is not yet over and warned that the Chancellor may try to implement the cuts when the roll out of the new Universal Credit is complete.
“This is a significant climbdown from the Chancellor on tax credits. George Osborne’s u-turn is a victory for Labour and shows that voting against these changes in the House of Lords worked. We need to look carefully at the detail, in particular the impact on Universal Credit, but this announcement will come as a huge relief to the 4600 local families who would have been affected.
“This u-turn shows the difference Labour can make, even from opposition. The SNP were a total mess on tax credits and even refused to say whether they would use the new powers coming to Holyrood to stop the cuts in Scotland. Scottish Labour has consistently campaigned against the cuts and our pressure has finally forced the Chancellor to think again.
“As always with the Tories, we need to remain vigilant to ensure that George Osborne does not give with one hand and take away with the other. It has already been suggested that the Tories are simply delaying tax credits cuts until the new Universal Credit is fully introduced. Labour will therefore keep up the pressure and we will not give up the fight until local families are protected