Tory cuts to Child Benefit – How should Holyrood react?

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The news that the Conservatives won the general election has been met with howls of disappointment from the left-leaning middle-class accross the UK. However, for those living on zero or low income the news must have been nightmarish.

Those nightmares will have now come true for many on hearing the news that we may be about to see significant cuts to Child Benefit.

Rightly, the Scottish Government has responded by saying they will back Labour in opposing these cuts. This must be welcomed, but why can’t they go further?

Why can’t the SNP Government put their money where there mouth is and say they will use the Smith Commission powers in 2016 to reverse these pernicious cuts?

The Smith Commission powers mean that the nightmare being visited on the rest of the UK need not happen in Scotland. We can choose a different path by using our powers to top-up welfare payments, create new targeted benefits and borrow to invest in creating jobs.

We have the powers to make a difference, but are our masters in Holyrood willing to use them?

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