Westminster’s ‘austerity decade’ will hurt East Kilbride

Voting No a major threat to social justice – Fabiani

East Kilbride MSP, Linda Fabiani, has highlighted the threat to the Scottish economy and social justice if there is a No vote in the Independence referendum in September 2014.

Her comments come after a week in which the independence debate focused on the future of welfare and pensions in an independent Scotland.

An independent group of experts recommended that Scotland and the rest of the UK continue to jointly administer welfare payments for a transitional period after Scottish independence.  The report demonstrates this would benefit welfare and pension recipients in both countries.

Linda highlighted that these arrangements would not prevent the Scottish Government developing a welfare system designed for Scotland’s needs.

She accused Labour of accepting the continuation of coalition welfare reforms in an effort to win over Tory voters in marginal English constituencies, many of whom are bypassing Labour and switching to the extreme right-wing UK Independence Party.

Linda said:

“While the SNP is focussed on building a prosperous and socially just Scotland, Labour is betraying its long-term voters, including here in East Kilbride, in an effort to win power at Westminster.

“Under pressure from the rise of UKIP, Labour has refused to confirm it will repeal the Bedroom Tax and now says it will live within the coalition’s austerity budget, including a new cap on payments to pensioners.

“With Labour now supporting cuts and abandoning universality in the welfare system it is no surprise former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling got a rousing welcome at the Scottish Tory conference.

“The problem is that these plans don’t just hurt the poor, they are also bad for the economy. The effect is already clear in East Kilbride, as reduced demand puts companies out of business.

“If there is a No vote in 2014, East Kilbride and Scotland would be damaged by a decade of austerity while UK parties battle it out for votes in more prosperous parts of the UK.”

###Ends###

Notes

“Labour ‘cannot make bedroom tax promises’” The Journal, May 17 2013

“Austerity to last until 2020: expect hard times for a decade, say think tanks” The Independent, 7 June 2013

“Ed Balls praised by Institute of Directors over pension cap” The Telegraph, 10 Jun 2013

 

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