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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Westminster Parties "Joined at the Hip" on Welfare Cuts

Wednesday, 5 June 2013


LABOUR TO KEEP TORY POLICIES THEY PREVIOUSLY SAID WERE “OUT OF TOUCH”

The Scottish National Party has said Labour are uniting with the Tories as it has been revealed that a future Labour government would keep child benefit cuts made by the coalition government.

Despite attacking the move in 2010 as unfair and ‘out of touch with hard-working families’, party leader Ed Miliband reportedly will tomorrow (Thursday) say he supports capping the amount the next government will spend on welfare. The news follows an announcement from Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls earlier this week that the party would cap winter fuel payments for pensioners and parts of the country with lower housing costs could face lower welfare caps, confirming the only way to safeguard the welfare state in Scotland is by voting Yes next September.

Commenting, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“We already know that Labour and the Tories are cosy in the No campaign. Alistair Darling is launching an anti-independence event in London tonight with Treasury Chief Secretary Danny Alexander and Tory peer Lord Strathclyde, in support of Westminster deciding economic and welfare policy for Scotland - the same Mr Darling who says the Tory/Lib Dem coalition's policies are causing 'immeasurable damage'. And he is also expected to attend the Tory party conference in Stirling this weekend.

“And now Labour are adopting Tory policies hand-over-fist on austerity and welfare cuts. Continued Westminster government means continued austerity, and cuts and more cuts - a Yes vote next September is the only alternative.

“Just this week the Institute of Fiscal studies announced middle-income families will see their spending power cut by an average of £34 a week, or nearly £1,800 a year due to changes to benefits, with lowest earning families to be hardest hit over the next three years - and with Scotland the worst affected part of the UK.

“Already, a majority of people in Scotland believe that welfare and pensions policy should be decided by Holyrood not Westminster - and Labour converging on Tory ground at Westminster shows why having control in Scotland is essential. The only way to improve Scotland’s economy and protect the welfare state is with a Yes vote for independence next September.”

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