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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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WHITEFORD CHALLENGES TORIES OVER OPPOSITION TO PRESCRIPTION CHARGE CUT

Thursday, 19 March 2009

SNP Westminster candidate for Banff & Buchan Eilidh Whiteford has challenged Tory politicians to justify their opposition to a further cut in prescription charges. The Scottish Government has put forward regulations to reduce prescription costs will reduce from £5 to £4 in April and pre-payment certificates for people with long term conditions from £48 to £38. The Scottish Tories have put forward a motion opposing this reduction in charges.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

"A great many people across the North-east benefited from the first reduction in prescription charges last year and the additional cut proposed this year is another step on the way to total abolition of prescription charges by 2011.

"Prescription charges are little more than a tax on ill-health hitting hardest those who suffer from chronic conditions that do not qualify for an exemption but which are real burden for hard working families for whom every bit of expenditure can stretch a tight budget to breaking point.

"Over the eight years of Labour/Lib Dem Executive, their refusal to remove prescription charges meant that folk in Scotland were charged millions of pounds just for being sick.

"I find it difficult to believe that the Tories are against the further reduction of these charges. In the current economic climate every measure, however small, to alleviate the financial burden people have to bear ought to be welcomed, not opposed."

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