ANTI-POVERTY MEASURES OF SCOT GOVT UNDONE BY WESTMINSTER AUSTERITY
Gordon MP Richard Thomson has welcomed a Scottish Parliament report which recommends the Conservative Westminster Government “take action to align benefits and tax credits with inflation and to reinstate the uplift in Universal Credit” to tackle Scotland’s health inequalities.
The report by Holyrood’s Health, Social Care and Sport Committee also recognised “that powers over employment law, and the majority of work-related social security benefits, are reserved to the UK Government” and that both the Covid19 pandemic and the rapidly rising cost of living have exacerbated health inequalities across Scotland.
Commenting on the report, Richard Thomson MP said:
“Much of the expert evidence behind this report highlighted how much good work is already being done by the SNP Scottish Government to tackle the root causes of poverty and associated poor health.
“With its fixed budget and limited borrowing powers, the Scottish Government is doing its best to fight poverty but has one hand tied behind its back. Game-changing policies like the £25-per-week Scottish Child Payment can only do so much when the UK Government is busy crashing the economy.
“What is clear is that the policies of the Conservative Westminster Government are having negative and long-lasting consequences. In reality they are cancelling out that good work by increasing poverty which, in turn, directly impacts on the health of many low-income households.
“Instead of prioritising tax breaks for those who least need financial help, the Prime Minister should tackle the root causes of poverty with better funded lifeline benefits.
“Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng’s morally bankrupt and financially incoherent budget is further proof that Scotland needs the full powers of a normal independent country to properly address the causes of poverty and create a wealthier, happier and fairer future for everyone.”