Eilidh Whiteford


Women Stand to Gain Most from a YES Vote

Saturday, 18 January 2014


The Scottish National Party's Work and Pensions Spokesperson at Westminster, Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, said today [Saturday] that it was important that women debate the opportunities offered by the independence referendum, and argued that women had the most to gain from a Yes vote.

Dr Whiteford referred to remarks from the NO perspective also being made this weekend by Labour's Shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret Curran. Dr Whiteford said:

"Margaret Curran is absolutely right that we need to engage woman across Scotland in the referendum debate, and the huge gain of a YES vote is that the Scottish Parliament will take far better decisions than Westminster on the economy, welfare and social policy to boost the circumstances and opportunities for all.

“The welfare state is being dismantled by Westminster and woman are being the hardest hit - I believe that women have the most to gain from a YES vote and an independent Scotland.

"Labour rightly lambasts decisions taken at Westminster on pensions, tax and maternity leave which damage the interests of women in particular - yet they prefer to have these vital areas of policy decided by Tories in London, even though there is just one Tory MP in Scotland, rather than in an independent Scottish Parliament.

"It is only with the financial powers of an independent Scotland that we can deliver the policies the SNP are pledged to - transform childcare to Scandinavian standards, building up to 1,140 hours for all children from age one to primary school, which will help more women into the workplace; increase the minimum wage by at least the cost of living every year; reverse the welfare reforms that will hit women the hardest, particularly the plan to pay benefit to the household instead of directly to second earners; protect women’s pensions; and guarantee more women in the boardroom.

"These are just some of the things we can achieve with a YES vote.

“However, Margaret Curran is right that both sides have a duty to provide information, which is exactly why the Scottish Government produced 'Scotland’s Future', a detailed 670-page guide to an independent Scotland - while the NO campaign refuse to publish any information or answer any questions about the dangers and downsides of a NO vote.

“The reality is that women will look at both sides of the argument, and consider whether the best future for them and their families is a Scotland making its own decisions to build a fairer, more prosperous society - or a Westminster system that is destroying the very welfare system that has helped women achieve greater equality."

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