Chancellor George Osbourne has announced cuts to child benefit which have been slammed by the Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform SCoWR.
SCoWR – which counts Citizens Advice Scotland, Child Poverty Action Group, Oxfam and Poverty Alliance as members – has hit out at the proposition of axeing child benefit for higher rate tax earners.
Osbourne has decided to cut child benefit as early as 2013 for any parent in Scotland who earns over £44,000 a year.
Matt Lancashire of Citizens Advice Scotland and of SCoWR said:
“Child benefit is there to support all children in Scotland no matter what their parent’s income is. It is a vital part of family’s weekly household budget and to cut it now when parents across Scotland are struggling with repayment of record levels of personal debt and mortgages undermines Coalition promises to end child poverty.”
He also added:
“Both political parties of the coalition government need to honour their election manifesto pledges to not means test child benefit, begin to focus on how they recoup the money from the more than £40 billion lost each year to tax avoidance and to stop attacking hard working families”
John Dickie, Head of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, said:
“Means testing child benefit is the exact opposite of the kind of welfare reform we need. It will increase costly bureaucracy, drive down take up and undermine the financial rewards for parents moving into or increasing hours at work. This cut may be aimed at higher rate tax payers but by undermining the simplicity of universal support for children it will hurt the poorest families most.”
SCoWR is a coalition of agencies, charities and NGOs based in Scotland who are committed to monitoring and campaigning on the issues raised by the UK Government's welfare reform agenda. SCoWR's membership includes: Action for Children Scotland, Barnardo's, Capability Scotland, Carr-Gomm Scotland, Child Poverty Action Group in Scotland, Children 1st, Church Action on Poverty, Church of Scotland, Citizens Advice Scotland, Dundee Anti Poverty Forum, ECAS - Edinburgh, Energy Action Scotland, Faith In Community (Scotland), Glasgow Centre for Inclusive Living, Glasgow Council for the Voluntary Sector, Glasgow Disability Alliance, Glasgow University Students' Representative Council, Inclusion Scotland, Leonard Cheshire Scotland, Margaret Blackwood Housing Association, Media Co-op, One Parent Families Scotland, Oxfam Scotland, PCS Union, Rosemount Lifelong Learning, Scottish Alliance of Children's Rights, Scottish Churches Housing Action, Scottish Churches Social Inclusion Network, Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Scottish Drugs Forum, Scottish Local Government Forum Against Poverty, Scottish Trade Union Congress, Scottish Women's Convention, The Action Group, The Iona Community, The Poverty Alliance, and the Salvation Army.
For Interviews or further information please contact
- Matt Lancashire, Citizens Advice Scotland – 0131 5561062 or 07788546862
- John Dickie, Child Poverty Action Group – 0141 5523656 or 07795340618