THE welfare cuts imposed by Westminster are the political equivalent of kicking an old lady’s zimmer away

Daily Record Lion

 

JOAN McAlpine says that the brutal cuts imposed by the coalition Government can only be defended against if Scotland has full control over her own welfare state.

 

 
Iain Duncan Smith fingers  Iain Duncan Smith

 

THE welfare cuts imposed by Westminster are the political equivalent of kicking an old lady’s zimmer away.

Perhaps that is why no one from the Tory Lib Dem coalition is prepared to go on a planned STV debate to defend their cruelty to the old, the infirm, the young and the most vulnerable.

Last time one of them tried – Tory hatchet man Iain Duncan Smith in Edinburgh – he was shamed by disabled protesters and their guide dogs who staged an impromptu demonstration.

The UK Government’s own figures show that 70,000 disabled Scots will lose money in the change from Disability Living Allowance to Personal Independence Payments.

Another 100,000 will suffer hardship as a result of London’s bedroom tax.

survey by Sheffield Hallam University has found the overall impact of these welfare cuts on Scotland is £1.66billion a year.

So it’s perhaps not surprising that the Tory Lib Dem coalition have refused to put up a speaker for the TV debate into the shape of a welfare state in an independent Scotland.

They would need to explain why the current cuts mean the UK is doing OK.

It’s definitely not OK if you are low or average paid, poor, unemployed or disabled.

The surge in the number of crippling pay day loans, too, is not OK.

The growth in food banks as families struggle to feed their children is not OK.

Nicola Sturgeon will argue the Yes case in the STV debate, explaining why Scottish people themselves should make the decisions about welfare. She will be pushing at an open door.

Over half of all Scots in a recent opinion poll said they thought such matters were safer in the hands of their own Scottish parliament.

At the moment, Scotland has no control at all over pensions or benefits, just as we don’t control our own taxes. That powerlessness isn’t OK either.

Yes, we have devolution and that helps protect us, up to a point.

Just last week, it was revealed that 20,000 people had applied to the Scottish Welfare Fund in the first three months of its existence.

The £33million fund was set up by Sturgeon to help the most needy affected by Westminster cuts.

Alex Salmond and Sturgeon also refused to pass on the 10 per cent cut in council tax benefit imposed by the London Treasury. That has helped 70,000 disabled Scots, ironically the same number who will suffer from Westminster’s switch to PIP.

SNP councils, though not Labour ones, have promised no evictions as a result of the bedroom tax.

But all this is only possible through very careful budgeting of the diminishing grant we receive from Westminster, which is set to get lower still.

Scotland sends around £60billion worth of taxes to the Treasury each year but a government we didn’t vote for at Westminster decides how much we get back.

If we had that £60billion to spend as we wished, we could create a fairer benefits system, which helped the most needy while still making work pay.

Don’t believe the lies about decency being unaffordable.

This is a UK Government who think it’s okay to spend £100billion renewing Trident nuclear weapons no one needs. For the last three decades, Scotland has sent more to London than we get back in spending.

In fact, the surplus amounts to a whooping £800 a person for every year for the last 30 years.

And we are more able than the austerity-struck UK to meet the cost of the welfare state in future.

Official figures show that pensions and benefits consume 52 per cent of the UK government’s money, but in an independent Scotland it would be 48 per cent.

Labour will argue the NO case against Sturgeon in the STV welfare debate.

Maybe that’s appropriate, given that Ed Balls and Ed Miliband have said future Labour government will keep the bedroom tax and most other Tory cuts.

So the UK welfare state won’t be OK in their hands either, which is why we need our own.

The Scottish Daily Record

Comments
  • Steve Davies August 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Brilliant and inspirational words….good luck in your break from the stranglehold of Westminster

  • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 21, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Have you ever asked yourself how some of the most twisted, heinous and shocking reforms in UK welfare are ever able to proceed?.

    You don’t have to be a brain surgeon to work out that someone, somewhere, has given the green light for these things to be introduced………

    What you must first consider is, who has given the go ahead, what they represent and what do they gain?

    The government use a particular criteria for choosing who actually does an “IMPACT ASSESSMENT”.

    The usual criteria that comes first, is who can we choose who will give us the very answers that we require?
    In laymans language, to push a policy through, we need someone on the same wavelength, who has something to gain other than the service that they are supposed to be carrying out and getting paid for.
    All the impact assessments contain a section that asks the author of the report if the measures will have any Social impacts on health and wellbeing.
    Guess what the report says, NO!
    Will it infringe human rights, NO!
    Impact on justice system, NO!
    Of course it won’t. They have taken away every means of challenge for the working classes by stealing the rights of legal aid………..

    One must ask, “How the fuck do these comedians get away with it?”
    ……………….and more importantly, “Which government minister, signed off the impact assessment as being ok?”

    At present there is a call for a “Cumulative Impact Assessment” because of the fallout, in human terms, of the WELFARE REFORM ACT 2012.
    The impact on the poor and disabled is being played down by the ” in pocket” media, yet the tragedy of the impacts are yet to be fully known. We are just experiencing the first phase of casualties of which a huge deluge will certainly follow……

    For many, the cruelty and stress will never be reversed, they have already been uprooted as their benefits have been systematically raped by the DWP, the government hit squad.

    Our country is so deep in red tape and legislation that it is fast becoming a dictatorship.
    Freedoms are long gone, the talk of a free country are a thing of history……………….
    Wake up and start challenging the system………

  • JEFFREY August 21, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    your right there jeff,3 parties identicle policies.
    i met an australian disable person yesterday.
    they get a disablement pension and are allowed to work part time
    whey can they not do this here than spending mony on aunum
    or is it att toss.

    tnx jeff ..

  • David Moynagh August 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    The welfare state is systematically being dismantled by this uncaring westminster government. Scottish people are generally a more compassionate and caring people who consider a welfare system as a fine example of a progressive nation with the wellbeing of the people a central defining characteristic of the society they have helped to fashion. This is why we must gain total independence if this humanistic principle is to continue. Westminster would rather bring back the stigma and hardship of the workhouse for the poor. We cannot allow this to happen under any circumstances so independence is more of a necessity than a simple choice. I cannot stand back and witness the westminster imposition of starving children. “Can You ? “

  • Humanity2012 August 23, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Wake Up Britain and Stop Living in a Trance

    Tax the Rich Hands Off The Poor

  • GEOFF REYNOLDS August 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Yesterday i received a plea from the 38 DEGREES website………..

    Apparently, government officials are trying to get rid of on-line websites that utilise the voice of the people to try and change government policy.
    38 DEGREES actively promote people power by the use of of direct petitioning.
    The organisation has had lots of successful campaigns which have forced government to do changes to ill thought out policies.
    Their remit has been far and wide and includes issues amounting from the NHS reforms.

    It is crucial that these organisations exist because they are the backbone of true democracy.

    Under the guise of anti-lobbying legislation, the powers that be, are hellbent on trying to silence the voice of the people.

    They control the media and now they want to control the internet……..

    This is the email they sent to me;

    38 Degrees is facing its biggest ever threat.

    The government’s rushing through a new law which, if it passes, will stop us running the type of campaigns which have made us who we are. [1] The campaigns which have saved our forests, fought privatisation in the NHS, and defeated the snoopers’ charter. [2] The campaigns which have seen 1.7 million of us act together, locally and nationally, for over four years. In fact, if the new law passes, and we continue campaigning as we do now, the office team could even risk being sent to jail. [3]

    The law’s called the ‘Transparency of Lobbying, Non-party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill’. And if it goes through without any changes, it’ll wipe out our campaigning by slashing what we can spend during the year before elections. Not just general elections, either. Local elections, European elections and referendums, too. [4]

    But if we act now and we act together, we could make the government reverse their plan. Chloe Smith, the minister responsible for pushing this law through parliament, is coming under more and more pressure to re-think. If hundreds of thousands of us speak up now, we could swing her decision.

    Can you email Chloe Smith now to tell her why it’s important that we’re able to campaign during elections, and what you think of her plans to stifle us? There’s no template email, because it’s really important that Chloe Smith hears your personal reasons for being a member of 38 Degrees. Anything you write to her now is better than her not hearing from us at all.

    Click here to get started:
    https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/lobbying-bill

    ……………………………………………………….

    This is the thin end of the wedge, imagine what power the government would wield if they could close sites like ” BLACK TRIANGLE”, down.
    No dissent from the people is the first step towards a fascist state.
    Strangely we choose to highlight China’s freedom of information controls and the way it controls the internet and media.

    We are following this trend very closely. Already we are seeing hidden courts, hidden inquiries, classified material and evesdropping by GCHQ Cheltenham on private phone information and computer logging……………
    Where will it all stop?
    Your rights to challenge the laws have been taken away piece by piece. The overall picture is becoming alarming. What happened to appeal rights and legal aid?………….
    Your voice is the mainstay of what happens in our nation.
    Politicians are no longer representative of the views of the electorate, this disappeared many moons ago as the multinationals and banks poisoned the chalice of right and wrong.
    We have to act fast and form a resistance to the onslaught of corporate greed as it engulfs its victims like no other time in history…………………………

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