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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Bedroom Tax Vote Shows Why Welfare Powers Should be in Scotland's Hands

Wednesday, 17 December 2014


WESTMINSTER’S ‘SHAMEFUL’ TRACK RECORD ON WELFARE CONDEMNED

The SNP is today reiterating its call for the full devolution of the welfare system to Scotland – after the House of Commons voted to uphold the unfair Bedroom Tax.

In a vote in the House of Commons today, the SNP backed calls to finally end the iniquitous measure which hits some of the most vulnerable people in society– but were outvoted by the Tories and the Scottish Lib Dems who didn’t even show face in the Chamber of the House of Commons to defend their Government’s record.

Commenting after the vote, SNP Work and Pensions Spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Today’s vote is another shameful episode in Westminster’s appalling record on welfare. The Bedroom Tax is an iniquitous measure which has a disproportionate impact on disabled people – and should be completely abolished as soon as possible.

“That the Lib Dems voted against the motion along with their Tory allies despite claiming to now oppose the Bedroom Tax is nothing less than a scandal – and won’t be forgotten by the people of Scotland at the election in May.

“It’s clear that people in Scotland can’t trust any of the Westminster parties on welfare – while Labour now say they oppose the Bedroom Tax, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Ed Miliband barred Scottish Labour from speaking out against it for a whole year.

“In Scotland, the SNP has taken real action to mitigate the impact of the Bedroom Tax – but the idea that the Scottish Government should have to spend tens of millions of pounds protect some of our most vulnerable people from a policy people in Scotland completely reject is absurd.

“Today’s vote only confirms what was already abundantly clear – that the Westminster establishment simply can’t be trusted on welfare and is committed to continuing its relentless and sustained assault on vulnerable people.

“This is exactly why full powers over welfare should be in Scotland’s hands rather than in the hands of people like Iain Duncan Smith – to allow us to use the welfare state to protect and support vulnerable people, rather than as a weapon with which to attack some of the poorest people in society.”

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