Na h-Eileanan an Iar SNP MP Angus MacNeil has voted against the Welfare Reform and Work Bill in the House of Commons as it went through its second reading.

The Tory Government’s bill was ultimately passed at its second stage by 308 to 124 – with the Labour Group abstaining, while some 48 Labour MPs rebelled to vote with the SNP against the Bill.

Local MP Mr MacNeil said that Labour’s failure to oppose it would haunt them through next year’s Scottish Parliament election and beyond.

In Na h-Eileanan an Iar, hundreds of working families receiving tax credit support will see that cut as a result of welfare changes.

Angus MacNeil MP said:

“The Tories’ cruel welfare cuts damage the working poor and vulnerable people, and had to be opposed.

“The majority of people in Na h-Eileanan an Iar affected by these cuts will be working.

“Welfare is not a lifestyle choice, as is being suggested by the Tories, it is a symptom of a low wage economy where people are not valued enough.  Until that fundamental economic reality changes it is wrong to cut such vital support.

“Labour had the perfect opportunity to join the SNP in a progressive coalition to oppose the Tories – but with some honourable exceptions they sat on their hands.

“People will rightly be asking ‘What does the Labour Party stand for?’ especially since they don’t appear to know themselves.

“Labour have completely abandoned any pretence of being a party of social justice and progress – just as they did when they so shamefully voted to support George Osborne’s £30 billion more austerity cuts.

“This cuts Bill is an attack on civil society, it’s an attack on our poorest and hard working families, and it’s a regressive Bill that takes us back in time with cuts that will hit women and children the hardest.”


Notes for Editors:

Tax Credit Statistics for Na h-Eileanan an Iar:

Recipient families receiving Child Tax Credits or Working Tax Credits as of April 2015:

  • Families in work receiving both CTC & WTC: 400
  • Families in work receiving CTC only: 400
  • Total families in work with children receiving Tax Credits: 800
  • Total families with children receiving Tax Credits: 1,000 (36% of families with children)
  • Families with no children on WTC: 300
  • Total families on Tax Credits: 1,300