‘A truly equal society will be a pipe dream for Scotland under Westminster’

Following a new report, the SNP has criticised the Tories for callously ruling out options to create a fairer, more equal society – based on ideology.

The Work and Pensions Committee today (Tuesday) published a new report that blasts the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) for failing to set out a long-term plan to support people to adapt to changes in the labour market and finds that this failure risks exacerbating existing inequalities. 

Despite this finding, the Tories on the Committee voted down an amendment by SNP MP Chris Stephens, which would have seen the report recommend that the “DWP should engage with local authorities or devolved governments who wish to conduct pilots or feasibility studies of a Universal Basic Income.”

A Universal Basic Income policy has widely been suggested by experts and organisations to tackle the deep-rooted inequality in the UK, which has been made worse by a decade of Tory austerity, a hard Tory Brexit, and the global health pandemic. 

The SNP Scottish Government has committed to piloting a Universal Basic Income (UBI) but it can only be done with the full co-operation of the UK government. The SNP Scottish Government also made a manifesto commitment to bring in a minimum income guarantee to ensure everyone in Scotland can have enough money to live a dignified life by ensuring a minimum standard of living.

Commenting, Chris Stephens MP said;

“The refusal to look seriously at options that could lift people out of poverty and eradicate inequalities is sheer arrogance from the Tories. They themselves have agreed that it is vital for people who find themselves out of work to have access to a robust safety net, and have acknowledged that the UK does not have that right now – yet they will readily shut down options that could rectify this or allow devolved nations to rectify this.

“The Committee has heard story after story of how people across the UK are suffering from poverty, debt and financial hardship as a result of a decade of Tory austerity, a hard Tory Brexit and coronavirus, and we have heard – as the Scottish Government has heard – that a solution to this could be a Universal Basic Income. Yet, the Tories on this Committee are actively working against helping Scotland bring in a pilot on it.

“Scotland will never be a priority for the Tories at Westminster, and our needs and best interests will forever be sidelined in favour of ideology. We saw this when they dragged us out of the EU against our will. 

“Whilst the Tories look to revert to type and impose more austerity on thousands of families, Scotland is widening the safety net to create a fairer and more equal society. 

“But whilst the majority of welfare powers and employment powers remain reserved to Westminster, the Scottish Government will always be tackling poverty and inequality with one hand tied behind its back, and a truly equal society will be a pipe dream. The full powers of independence are vital to ensuring a strong and equal recovery for Scotland.”

Work and Pensions Committee Report – ‘DWP preparations for changes in the world of work’

Mr Stephens’ amendment can be found on page 52

7 thoughts on “‘A truly equal society will be a pipe dream for Scotland under Westminster’

  1. I remember in the 1970s when Mrs Thatcher was leader of the opposition one of her attack lines on Wilson, Callaghan and the Trade Unions was that they wanted to impose “doctrinaire socialism” on “Britain”. This, of course was amplified by the BBC and others. BBC news readers always used the term “THIS Labour Government” in a tone of disdain.

    Now, we have a government of doctrinaire nastiness and greed.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. We already have a trial for a UBI – it’s been going on for a while now and has been supported by every Tory MP .
    It has provided a support net for a dysfunctional family who , were it not for the benefits of UBI , would have been unemployable and destitute .

    If UBI is good enough for the Windsors then roll it out to the public at large !

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The £10 payment to children in lower income households will help to reduce poverty.

    Westminster illegal wars, financial fraud and tax evasion. The UK the most unequal country in the world. Westminster is totally corrupt. Independence will improve the Scottish economy and make it more equal.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The purpose of the Great British state,with regard to Scotland,is to ensure that it is not perceived by Scots to be different from England and more importantly not perceived in any way as being better.
    Dependency (Scotland being seen as dependent on England) is paramount.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The mere idea of a UBI must make the Tories sqirm, it’s an anathema to their whole raison d’être.

    If only Scotland could do something about the inequality and deliberate divide and rule which the Tories and red Tories embrace with glee.

    Get away from them Scotland, before it’s too late.


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