Welfare strategy will create more poverty

DUNDEE East MP Stewart Hosie has warned that the UK Government’s legislation on welfare reforms is set to cause more poverty and inequality through breaking the link between benefit payments and the rate of inflation across a range of welfare benefits including Jobseekers Allowance, Income Support and Maternity Allowance.

The MP was speaking after voting against the measures in the Welfare Benefits Uprating Bill in the Commons which achieved a majority and will continue for its second reading.

Mr Hosie told the Guide & Gazette: “By breaking the link between benefits and inflation, capping any increase to benefits payments of one per cent per annum, well below the rate of inflation, the Westminster Government’s benefit plans are an attack on the poorest workers, jobseekers, carers and disabled people.

“The legislation is expected to have the cumulative effect of introducing a four per cent real terms cut to working-age benefits payments received by workers, jobseekers, carers and disabled people over the next three years.”

He continued: “The Westminster Government are abandoning any pretence at a commitment to tackle child poverty by hammering some of the poorest people in society.

“It shows that their arguments are fundamentally flawed and are set to do untold damage to thousands and thousands of people across Scotland. The coalition’s welfare plans will inevitably only increase poverty and increase inequality in society.

“It could scarcely be clearer that the Westminster government has its priorities all wrong and are failing to act in the interests of people in Scotland.

“Decisions over taxes and welfare in Scotland should be made by people in Scotland so that we can build the kind of country that Westminster has consistently failed to deliver.

“Only a ‘yes’ vote for an independent Scotland in next year’s referendum will give us that opportunity.”