Labour Vote for the Welfare Cap

As the anniversary of Westminster's disastrous welfare changes approaches on the 1st of April, local MSP Bill Kidd, is highlighting the opportunity to build a fairer Scotland that comes with a Yes vote.

Since the introduction of the Bedroom Tax a year ago, an estimated 82,000 households in Scotland have lost around £50 a week as a result of Westminster's actions. While the Scottish Government has funded discretionary housing payments to mitigate the effects of the Bedroom Tax, the Scottish Parliament does not currently have the powers to fully abolish the Bedroom Tax.
Meanwhile Westminster's cap benefits – which Labour MP John Robertson voted in support of just last week - puts the most disadvantaged people in our communities on the front line and will not solve any of the long term problems which are getting worse because of Westminster's austerity agenda.
In April 2013, Child benefit was also frozen for the third year in a row with only 1% rises planned for the following two years. Between the start of that freeze in 2011/12 and 2015/16, families with two children are expected to lose out to the tune of over £1,100.
Statistics published by the Trussell Trust earlier this month show that dependence on foodbanks has increased by 300% over the past year.
In contrast, when the Scottish Parliament was given power over Council Tax Benefit, the Scottish Government stepped in to plug the 10% funding hole inflicted by Westminster – benefiting 547,860 people across Scotland, including 209,890 people over the age of 65.
Commenting, SNP MSP Bill Kidd said: "As the one year milestone since the introduction of Westminster's shambolic welfare changes approaches, it is clear that they have been an absolute disaster for Scotland.
"Households across Clackmannanshire have been forced to pay the price of Westminster's actions with cuts to housing benefits and increasingly unfair benefit sanctions and the rise in reliance on foodbanks has been the shocking consequence.
"It is simply wrong and time after time Westminster has shown itself to be completely out of step with the needs and priorities of people in Scotland and with Labour MPs like John Robertson backing a cap to welfare payments it is becoming clearer that only that a Yes vote in September will allow us to do things differently.
"Where the Scottish Government already has the power, we have acted to protect people in Scotland by filling the hole in Council Tax Benefit passed on by Westminster and doing what we can to mitigate the Bedroom Tax.
"With the powers of an independent Scotland, we will be able to make our own decisions and ensure that the welfare system in Scotland fully reflects the priorities of people living here."

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