An SMP, vying for leadership of the Scottish Labour Party, believes his proposal of a new ‘tax credit’ could help lift thousands of children out of poverty.
Anas Sarwar, Scottish Labour MP for the Glasgow region, says his plans to replace an existing £225million universal payment to top up child benefit could lift as many as 50,000 young people out of the poverty trap.
The proposal would see an extra £10 per child paid to low-income families in receipt of child tax credit, although this additional amount would be means-tested.
Speaking at a foodbank in Scotland, Anas Sarwar said: “The last Labour UK government introduced tax credits and the Tories tried to take them away.
“Unlike the SNP, I’m prepared to use Holyrood’s new powers to build a better future for the next generation of Scots.”
Sarwar says that if he’s elected to become the new Scottish Labour leader he would use newly devolved powers from Westminster to amend the SNP’s social security bill, introducing a new payment that would go 493,000 children from 275,000 households claiming child tax credits.
The proposal would cost the Scottish Government an estimated £257million a year, which would be paid for through income tax proceeds, but Mr Sarwar has faced criticism over a family firm that pays less than the living wage.
An SNP spokesperson told the Daily Record: “It’s good to see Anas Sarwar move on from defending his family firm’s failure to pay the real living wage to now pledging to support those most in need.
“But when Anas Sarwar was last in the Labour leadership team, his party opposed giving Scotland the full powers needed to effectively tackle child poverty.”