Anne McTaggart MSP has warned of the disastrous consequences of welfare reform currently being pursued by the Tory-Led Coalition in Westminster, compounded by the inaction of a distracted Scottish Government.
Ms McTaggart was speaking in a debate on Welfare Reform in the chamber today (23rd April 2013) where she focussed her contribution on the effects of welfare reform on women.
The abolition of the Health in Pregnancy grant means that since January 2011, expectant mothers are £190 worse off and will receive no direct support with the financial costs of starting a family. If a woman has a child under the age of 16, she will no longer receive the £500 Sure-Start maternity grant that was available to unemployed working parents and those in low paid jobs.
Child benefit, often paid directly to mothers, will be capped for three years resulting in a loss of over £1000 for a family with two children. Even the Statutory Maternity Pay has been cut in real terms and is likely to be reduced by nearly £300 a year by 2015.
Anne McTaggart MSP said:
“It falls upon this Scottish Government to mitigate the effects of this appalling attack from the disgraceful welfare reforms of a right wing Government.
“I urge the Scottish Government to reconsider their short-sighted approach to tackling the welfare reforms of the coalition government, and to reflect on the need for pro-active responses to benefit cuts that deliver real solutions for ordinary Scottish families.”