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Austerity budget attacks low paid

“Con trick” on living wage as incomes cut

Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary John Swinney has branded the UK Government’s emergency budget as a “con trick” with a big attack on low income households and young people.

The announced freeze in working age benefits and cuts to tax credits will see the most vulnerable in our society continue to be hit the hardest whilst the revised minimum wage fails to deliver a real living wage.

Deputy First Minister John Swinney said yesterday:

“The reality is this budget is an attack on the low paid, the young and those entering the jobs market.

“This budget is a series of con tricks to try and hide the fact that individual households will now bear the brunt of austerity cuts.

“I support a meaningful living wage paid for by business – one that pays what people need to live, not one that fails to compensate for cuts to valuable tax credits.

“The Chancellor has not even promised to meet the current living wage of £7.85 and under 25’s will face the brunt of cuts but receive no increase in wages.

“As the Resolution Foundation – cited by the Chancellor – make clear the real living wage is based on people receiving tax credits and housing benefit so any new living wage must be far higher to compensate for it. The Chancellor’s con trick does not come close to meeting those costs.

“The Chancellor is cutting from the poor whilst paying out to the rich, he is short changing those on low incomes whilst giving tax breaks to the better off.

“There has been no easing up on austerity – he has simply shifted some of the balance from public services to the public themselves. The Scottish Government has faced a 10% cut in our overall budget for the last five years and the Chancellor today said deficit reduction would take place at the same pace in the future. Overall the scale of austerity being imposed by this UK Government remains unchanged.

“Despite revising down productivity and export figures in each of the next four years there was little in this budget to boost productivity or to set out a strategy for growth.

“The reality is that in delivering his emergency budget the Chancellor has simply exacerbated the emergency situation faced by many on low pay and low incomes.”


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