MSP’s concern at financial squeeze

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Graeme Dey MSP has expressed concern for families in his constituency who he fears will be “choked” by crippling UK Government policy.

The Angus South SNP parliamentarian made the remark on the back of a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) which warned middle-income families will see their spending slashed by an average of £34 per week due to changes in benefits.

And Mr Dey believes that Scotland will be the worst affected part of the UK due to the reforms imposed by Westminster.

He said: “The findings of this report are deeply concerning.

“We all know that many families are feeling the financial squeeze as a result of the Tories devastating austerity measures and this latest revelation is further bad news.

“The fact that Scotland is again poised to feel the sharp end of Westminster policies comes as little surprise. The UK Government will always put the need of the south east first – that was evident with the ridiculous introduction of the bedroom tax.

“The only way Scots can ensure a fairer deal is by voting for independence next year and giving Holyrood the necessary fiscal powers.”

The report also found that families with two children will see a fall of £34 in their weekly incomes and a childless couple is likely to lose £24 as they fail to keep pace with changes to the benefits system.

Such income inequality is mirrored by a disparity in wealth levels, and a recent Office for National Statistics (ONS) report shows Scotland has the lowest percentage share of the wealthiest households.

The IFS also said that over the next three years, less well-off families will be hit harder than those with higher incomes.

SNP spokesperson for work and pensions Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP added: “We know that families are struggling, however these findings make it clear, UK policy is hitting Scots pockets.”