Commons Debate - Tax Credits (cost of nuclear weapons)

Array ( [0] => HoC Debate ) HoC Debate, Tax Credits , 20 October 2015, 913

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6.24 pm

Patricia Gibson (North Ayrshire and Arran) (SNP): 

As has been pointed out, this measure is very much part of the overall narrative of this Government. They have enthusiastically embraced both austerity measures that harm the poorest and the most vulnerable households in our constituencies while giving tax breaks to the better-off, and a series of ideological measures that can only increase inequality.

Scottish National party Members believe in progressive taxation, but these changes are not progressive. They are regressive, taking proportionately more from lower-income households than from rich ones. These changes will significantly reduce the incomes of more than 200,000 households in Scotland—that is 200,000 households where choices have to be made between eating and heating, and where families have to decide whether they will have to go to the food bank again this week. If the Government want to make cuts, I suggest they are made to the £100 billion being spent on Trident. If the Government want to make cuts, I suggest they do not increase tax breaks in respect of inheritance tax thresholds.

As the youngest of eight children to a widowed mother, I grew up in deep poverty—I know what it is like. I know what it does to aspiration and to motivation, and I know how corrosive it can be to every area of life. I suspect that if more Government Members had lived the life that I have lived, they would not be supporting  

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this measure tonight. I do not want any child in Scotland to grow up in more poverty than they are already in. I do not want any child in the UK growing up in poverty. Far from the mantra of “making work pay”, this measure punishes the working poor. I ask the Government to consider the impact of this measure on our poorest families; they should consider the impact on our households and on our most vulnerable children. Anyone who truly believes in a fairer society must reject this measure. Anyone who supports this measure tonight should hang their head in shame.