Local SNP MSP Adam Ingram has criticised Labour Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls on the back of his speech this week in which he revealed that a future Labour government would keep child benefit cuts made by the current coalition government as well as withdrawing winter fuel allowances and capping welfare.
Mr Ingram says that every working age adult in South Ayrshire will lose £500 per year and the area losing £35 million per annum as a result of welfare reforms by the Coalition government in Westminster for 2014-15.
Despite attacking the move in 2010 as unfair and ‘out of touch with hard-working families’, Mr Ingram said Labour party leader Ed Miliband supports capping the amount the next government will spend on welfare.
Mr Ingram said: “We already know that Labour and the Tories are cosy in the No campaign and now Labour are adopting Tory policies hand-over-fist on austerity and welfare cuts. Continued Westminster government means continued austerity, and cuts - a Yes vote next September is the only alternative.
“Just this week the Institute of Fiscal studies announced middle-income families will see their spending power cut by an average of £34 a week, or nearly £1,800 a year due to changes to benefits, with lowest earning families to be hardest hit over the next three years - and with Scotland the worst affected part of the UK.
“We know that locally the overall impact of welfare reform for 2014/15 in South Ayrshire will see every working age adult lose £500 and the area as a whole will see a £35m cut as a consequence of the reforms. I am appalled that a re-elected UK Labour Government would not only carry on with these draconian measures but would make further cuts.
“Already, a majority of people in Scotland believe that welfare and pensions policy should be decided by Holyrood not Westminster - and Labour converging on Tory ground at Westminster shows why having control in Scotland is essential. The only way to improve Scotland’s economy and protect the welfare state is with a Yes vote for independence next September.”