Member of Parliament for North Ayrshire and Arran, Katy Clark, has voted against government proposals to cap annual rises in working age benefit.
Clark voted to cap annual rises at 1 per cent until 2016, which would break the link between benefit increases and the rising cost of living.
The bill, which was debated on Tuesday, January 8 in the House of Commons, seeks to cap increases in jobseekers’ allowance, employment and support allowance, income support, maternity allowance, sick pay, maternity and paternity pay and elements of housing benefit, working tax credit and child tax credit.
The increases in these benefits have traditionally been linked to inflation, which at the moment stands at 2.7 per cent.
Capping them at 1 per cent will mean a big cut in income for recipients.
Research from the Resolution Foundation has estimated that 68 per cent of households that are affected by these measures have at least one person in work.
Speaking on the subject, Ms Clark said: “I am deeply disappointed that the coalition government has passed this legislation.
“Single parents will be the worst affected group from these changes, losing an average of £5 a week, and the bill risks placing many children into child poverty.
“In North Ayrshire and Arran there are over twelve people on jobseekers’ allowance for every vacancy advertised on Jobcentre Plus.
“Instead of tackling the main economic problems of growth and unemployment, the government has chosen to hit working families whilst cutting the top rate of tax for the rich.”