Sunday, 6 January 2013

Tories Want to Cut Benefits for People in 'The North'


WELFARE HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR DECISIONS TO BE MADE IN SCOTLAND

Proposals initiated by George Osborne to cut the benefits for people in ‘The North’ and other parts of the UK including where the cost of living is less expensive than London has been criticised by the SNP.

Reports in today’s papers indicate that a range of new measures requested by the Chancellor George Osborne — including paying lower benefits in ‘the North’ - have been put forward in a paper by members of the 2020 Group, a panel of 70 Conservative MPs including Cabinet ministers, such as Michael Gove and Justine Greening.

Kevin Stewart MSP, a member of the Scottish Parliament Welfare Reform Committee, said the UK Chancellor’s plan stood in stark contrast to the announcement today by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon for an Expert Working Group on Welfare to look at benefit payments in Scotland, consider changes to the current system in an independent Scotland, and make initial recommendations for how a welfare system can reflect Scottish values.

Mr Stewart said:

“This is a typically cynical proposal by George Osborne - effectively punishing people who live in 'the North' for the impact of the Westminster government's own austerity policies, which have created a stagnating UK economy and destroyed jobs.

“The UK is already the fourth most unequal country in the developed world. To increase geographical inequalities by cutting welfare payments in 'the North' would only make the poor poorer and increase poverty in Scotland.

“The Westminster government’s failure to understand the needs and wants of the people of Scotland demonstrates how vital it is that decisions on welfare that affect the people of Scotland must be taken here in Scotland, in an independent Parliament.

“We need a welfare system in Scotland that reflects Scottish values and ensures fair and decent support for those that need it most by protecting the vulnerable in our society. Westminster's harsh welfare cuts stand in stark contrast to the Expert Working Group announced by Nicola Sturgeon that will look at benefit payments in Scotland, consider changes to the current system in an independent Scotland, and make initial recommendations for how a welfare system can reflect Scottish values.

“Only a Yes vote in 2014 can secure a fair and progressive welfare system for Scotland."


Notes

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/
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