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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Pensions Should Be Set By Scottish Parliament Survey Shows

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Two thirds of people in Scotland believe the Scottish Parliament should be responsible for setting the state pension and back Holyrood taking responsibility for all the decisions affecting Scotland according to the latest report on the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey.

With 65% of people in Scotland calling for decisions on the state pension being taken at Holyrood the SNP’s Work and Pensions spokesperson Eilidh Whiteford MP said there is a clear appetite for the Scottish Parliament to take on responsibility for welfare and benefits across the country.

The support for Holyrood having control over pensions was set out in the latest report on the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, conducted between June and September this year which also showed independence is now the preferred option for Scotland’s future with 43% favouring the Scottish Parliament making all the decisions for Scotland, against only 21% in favour of the status quo and 29% for “devolution max”.

Dr Whiteford said:

“There is a growing demand amongst people in Scotland for their parliament to be responsible for the key issues that affect their lives.

“Nearly two thirds of people in Scotland want their state pension to be set by a Scottish Parliament that will understand their needs and the value of the pension to them far better than a UK government.

“Last year’s survey showed that 62% of people thought welfare benefits should be determined by Holyrood – and that has now increased again to 65%.

“There is clearly little trust left in the UK Government over pensions. From the miserly rises of the Labour years to the UK Government’s current plans to raid public sector pensions to pay off the deficit too many people have seen their pension mistreated too often.

“Figures show that Scotland, as an independent nation, would be in a better position than the UK to meet pension costs with pensions and benefits taking up a smaller amount of Scottish income, than they do across the UK.

“There is a growing confidence in the Scottish Parliament and an increasing belief that it is Scotland’s Parliament that should make the decisions that affect people’s lives.”


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The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey interviewed 1,149 people between June and September 2011

  • Asked who should make key decisions for Scotland about pensions - 65% said the Scottish Parliament and 33% said Westminster
  • In 2010 respondents were asked Who should make key decisions for Scotland about welfare benefits – 62% said the Scottish Parliament.
Pension payments in Scotland total 15.1% of Scottish revenues, less than the 15.7% for the UK.

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