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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Margaret Curran's Speech Highlights Westminster's Failure on Inequality

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


YES VOTE WOULD PUT POWERS TO TACKLE INEQUALITY INTO SCOTLAND’S HANDS

Responding to Margaret Curran’s speech today, the SNP has said the levels of inequality pointed out by Ms Curran highlight the failings of Westminster and show exactly why Scotland needs the full powers of independence.

In a speech given earlier today, Ms Curran pointed out the level of income inequality and inequality of opportunity in Scotland – issues which are reserved to Westminster and which highlight the failings of successive UK governments.

The UK is already the fourth most unequal country in the developed world – and with Westminster’s austerity agenda and welfare cuts continuing to bite the situation risks getting even worse.

Commenting, SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Powers to tackle economic inequality are reserved to the UK Government – so Margaret Curran’s speech today only highlights the failings of Westminster and shows exactly why we need the full powers of independence.

“While Margaret Curran is absolutely right to point out that there is too much inequality in Scotland – it can’t be forgotten that under Labour, the gap between rich and poor only grew wider, and the UK is the fourth most unequal country in the developed world. But the solution offered by Labour and the other Westminster parties is simply to offer more of the same.

"Scotland is a wealthier country in economic output per head than the UK, France and Japan. We can more than afford to be independent, and with powers over welfare and pensions we can be a fairer country too - with a transformation in childcare provision, and guaranteed rises in the minimum wage and pensions at least in line with the cost of living.

“What people in Scotland can’t afford is more of the same from a Westminster establishment obsessed with austerity – with figures showing that Tory welfare cuts could push 100,000 more children in Scotland into poverty by 2020.

“With a Yes vote, the powers to tackle inequality will be in our hands – rather than in the hands of a distant Westminster establishment whose policies have failed for generations and are only making matters worse.”

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