‘Tax credit cuts will cost families dear’

Almost 2,000 families in the Northern Isles will lose a total of £1.4 million, thanks to the Westminster government’s changes to tax credits.

Figures from the House of Commons library also show that 3,300 children in Orkney and Shetland stand to be affected by the proposed Tory changes.

The findings have been highlighted by isles MP Alistair Carmichael, who insists the figures make a mockery of Prime Minister David Cameron’s recent claims that the Conservatives were standing up for working families.

“Families across the country will suffer from these changes to tax credits, including nearly 2,000 in the Northern Isles,” Mr Carmichael said.

“These are lifeline benefits to those on low or middle incomes striving to provide for their families. They are the very people that just a few months ago David Cameron was claiming to stick up for.

“The Prime Minister points to increases in the minimum wage and the amount that you can earn before paying tax as the means by which these cuts in tax credits will be restored. The problem is that these changes will bring in money in the future but these cuts are in the here and now.

“I have never shirked from the need to bring public spending under control. In government, Liberal Democrats constantly blocked this sort of change because we felt that it hit the poorest hardest. Now that the Conservatives are a majority government they can do whatever they want.

“As wage increases kick in the amount paid out in tax credits will automatically reduce. That is why these cuts are unnecessary.

“I have heard that there is now plenty of disquiet on the Conservative backbenches about the political cost of these reforms. I hope that the Chancellor will see some sense and row back on these plans.”


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