Commenting on the UK Budget announcement today by Chancellor George Osborne, Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:
“This budget will hit Renfrewshire’s hard working families and the poorest hardest. The Tories have continued with a harsh austerity agenda – particularly the savage cuts in tax credits which currently help 10,500 families in Renfrewshire stay above the breadline.
“With more than 17,000 children in Renfrewshire benefiting from tax credits, and with the majority of expenditure on tax credits going to low-income working families, it is clear to see that cuts to tax credits are going to impact our poorest children first.
“While I would welcome any increase in the living wage, George Osborne is in reality proposing to lower it to £7.20 from £7.85 which it currently is in Scotland.
“The cuts in the living standards of young people are particularly severe, including scrapping student grants. This demonstrates the benefit of having these powers in the Scottish Parliament, where the SNP Government continue to deliver grants for the poorest students in Scotland, rather than in the hands of the Tories in Westminster.
“This Budget reiterates the need to have economic and welfare powers here in Scotland, so that we can build a more dynamic economy to boost tax revenues and a fairer society for all.”