Labour launches its Women's Manifesto today pledging to protect tax credits and family incomes.


Margaret Curran, Glasgow East candidate, is campaigning in the area with Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper and Scottish Deputy leader, Kezia Dugdale.

It pledges action on tax credits, equal pay, violence against women and gender balance in public positions.

The promises include using new devolved powers to legislate for a 50% quota for women on public boards.

Labour also wants to force companies with over 250 employees to report their pay gap.

Ms Curran said Labour will Invest more than £2 million in Women's Aid centres across Scotland.

She said"Tax credits protect people on low incomes and they lift people out of poverty. They are one of the last Labour Government's greatest legacies. Labour will protect tax credits, with increases every year in line with inflation, supporting hard working families."

She said women would also benefit from the policies in the main manifesto on pay and job guarantees. Labour said it will increase the minimum wage to over £8 an hour.

It also plans to guarantee a paid job for every 18-24 year old out of work for more than a year.

Ms Curran said the SNP would have to cut budgets, putting incomes and programmes at risk.

She said: "The SNP's plans for full fiscal autonomy -which they committed to in their manifesto, means cuts of £806 a year to tax credits.

"That's £15 a week for every family. Women can't afford these cuts. All the evidence suggests these cuts will fall disproportionately on women."

Instead she said Labour will increase tax credits every year in line with inflation which she claimed would protect women and their families.

The three women are meeting voters, women and children at a nursery in the east of the city.

They outlined the proposals at Coconut Corner Nursery in Baillieston in the constituency where Ms Curran faces a strong challenge from SNP candidate Natalie McGarry.

Ms McGarry was a founding member of Women for independence and speaks regularly on equality issues.

Ms Curran added: "Labour has a better plan. Our women's manifesto means increases to the minimum wage for women across Scotland and a guaranteed job for young women out of work for more than a year.

"We will also take action to address deep rooted inequality, with mandatory pay reporting, quotas to ensure 50:50 on our public boards and a new £2.3 million fund for women's aid centres across Scotland."

Labour said it will guarantee a real, paid job, preferably in the private sector, to every 18 to 24 year old who has been claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for more than a year and over 25 year olds claiming Jobseeker's Allowance for over two years.

It will see the Government paying full wages and national insurance costs directly to the business to cover 25 hours of work per week at the minimum wage.

Businesses will also receive an extra £500 per employee to help with set-up and admin costs.

The employer must provide training for a minimum of 10 hours a week and not use the programme to replace existing employees or fill existing vacancies.