Friday, 31 January 2014

New benefit cuts will harm local families

Cunninghame South MSP Margaret Burgess has condemned UK Government plans to make a further £12bn of cuts to the welfare budget.

Highlighting Tory-Lib Dem threats to remove all benefits from people under the age of 25, Mrs Burgess revealed 400 local households would be affected by the move.

“My main concern would be the risk to children, with the social and economic cost far outweighing any savings that may be achieved,” said the SNP MSP, adding, “it would take a further £5million a year out of the North Ayrshire economy.”

Margaret Burgess, also the Scottish Government’s Minister for Housing & Welfare, said she had contacted UK ministers to set-out the implications for Scotland and request a meeting to discuss their proposals.  “This is another example of decisions on Scotland's welfare system being taken in Westminster, with negative impacts on our people and families,” said the MSP whose constituency includes Stevenston.

Mrs Burgess, a former leader of the SNP Council Group in North Ayrshire, said, “Decisions about things that affect Scottish people should be taken in Scotland - by people who live and work here.  Scotland wants a welfare system based on the clear principles of fairness and dignity that fosters a climate of social solidarity, and a ‘YES’ vote in September’s Independence Referendum will help us achieve that.”

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