SNP uncovers evidence spending review will hit poorest hardest

The Scottish National Party has declared that “Westminster isn’t working” as it has unearthed evidence showing the poorest 20 per cent will be worse of as a result of the spending review when compared with the budget in March.

The Scottish National Party has declared that “Westminster isn’t working” as it has unearthed evidence showing the poorest 20 per cent will be worse of as a result of the spending review compared with the budget in March.

Those outside of this group, however, have seen the impact of a number of government policies softened.

According to the distributional analysis published alongside the budget earlier this year, the bottom 20 per cent of households were on course to lose an average of £830 a year in 2014-15, compared with 2010-11 when assessing the impact of public spending, tax, tax credit, and benefit changes.

However, the analysis printed alongside last week’s spending review showed that the same group will be £930 worse off in 2015-16 as a result of “changes to government policy”. All other income groups have seen their losses reduced.

Attacking the figures as a sign of Westminster failing to deliver for Scotland, finance secretary John Swinney has declared:

“When the Treasury’s own analysis accepts that the policies of the Westminster government are leaving poor families worse off, there can be no doubt that Westminster isn’t working.

“This ideological drive that brands people shirkers and skivers when the majority of people on benefits are in work or retired is not something Scotland should have to accept.

“It is poorer households in poorer areas, who rely on public services and tax credits to top up their incomes from low-paying jobs, who are paying the price of Westminster’s failure.

“That is simply not acceptable in Scotland. Westminster’s continued economic failure is hitting family budgets, public services and driving inequality.”

He continued:

“The acceptance of austerity that has taken over at Westminster, despite all the evidence of its failure, is one of the most persuasive cases for bringing full powers to the Scottish Parliament so we can deliver prosperity and equality, instead of having a Westminster government determined to punish the poor.”

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