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TOPIC: It’s long past time that the SNP took real action to eradicate poverty

It’s long past time that the SNP took real action to eradicate poverty 20 Feb 2018 17:13 #6253

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It’s long past time that the SNP took real action to eradicate poverty
Childhood poverty is on the rise, so why won’t the SNP government act, asks ELAINE SMITH



TWENTY years ago, when I was campaigning for a Scottish Parliament, I didn’t envisage that it would be a vehicle to simply pass on Tory austerity — in fact, I thought the exact opposite.

It seemed at the time that the Scots had suffered enough under 18 years of a right-wing Tory government, in particular being used as guinea pigs for the hated poll tax.

It was thought that a devolved parliament would allow resistance to the worst excesses of Tory cuts in future.

The parliament we voted for had tax-varying powers and now those powers are even stronger and more effective, if only the current SNP Scottish government would use them to their full effect.

With those new powers there is even more opportunity to do things differently — to be radical instead of tinkering at the edges and to begin to reverse the damage of years of cuts in our communities.

This Budget is particularly important as it’s an opportunity to use the new tax bands to begin to reverse the public-sector cuts.

It’s important to councillors who have already seen services reduced and it’s important to council staff who haven’t had a decent pay rise for years and who have watched as colleagues’ jobs disappear and they have to take on more duties.

And it’s important to the people of Scotland who depend on our public services, who directly suffer from cuts to those services.
Whether it’s a reduction in learning support in schools, potholes in our roads, loss of a meals service for elderly or closure of community centres, libraries and swimming pools, we are all affected by a cuts Budget.

Now is not the time for the SNP to be timid with its tax plans. It should use the powers of our parliament for a fairer Scotland.
Scottish Labour’s alternative Budget is fully costed and based on progressive taxation because, as socialists, we believe in the redistribution of power and wealth to eradicate the obscenity of poverty in a rich country.

Read more Here;
www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/its-long-past-time-snp-took-real-action-eradicate-poverty
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It’s long past time that the SNP took real action to eradicate poverty 21 Feb 2018 09:03 #6261

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This:
This Budget is particularly important as it’s an opportunity to use the new tax bands to begin to reverse the public-sector cuts.

This has just been passed in the Scottish parliament and should make a difference to the way money comes in and is distributed. But I do agree with the author that the SNP could be doing more (and faster) on the welfare changes. I would have liked ESA (employment and support allowance) to have been taken over in Scotland and not just PIP (personal independence payment) and a few other non income based benefits. As it is, the monster that is Universal Credit which has ESA within it`s structure will still be under the control of a Westminster government, so the majority of people who claim UC and ESA because they can`t work because of ill health won`t see any of these mitigated safety nets that the few will. So at the moment, the changes being made to welfare won`t affect me one little bit.

The SNP welfare plans are being drip fed in stages and their argument is that these things cannot be rushed. Understandably. But people being put through the ringer by austerity and bullying would like to see some action here, especially on sanctions which seem to be the driver of fear and stress for many people. Even sanctions have not been dealt with, so we ask whether the first priority now for the Scottish parliemant is to eradicate sanctions as being the main issue for many people,knowing the knock on effects a sanction can have with housing benefit and the slow decline of living standards.

The Scottish government have also introduced voluntary couses here like Fair Start instaed of the new Health & Work programme that has sprung up over the border as another mill around the necks of claimants who face more of the same from where the old work programme left off.

Personally though,I would rather have the SNP and the Greens running Scotland than any other party. Labour under Corbyn would be a better alternative than the Tories obviously, but with a Universal government being in control again I wonder whether the plans to make Scotland a better place would disappear like a fart in the fog.
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