In the week that marks one year since the Tory-Lib Dem UK Government imposed far-reaching changes to social security benefits, local MSP Margaret Burgess has described them as “an absolute disaster for Scotland”.
Mrs Burgess said, “Since the introduction of the
Bedroom Tax a year ago, an estimated 72,000 households in Scotland have
lost around £50 a month as a result of UK policy.
“In April 2013,
Child Benefit was frozen for the third year in a row, with rises of
only one-percent planned for the following two years. By 2015/16,
families with two children will have lost out by over £1,100.
have been forced to pay the price of Westminster’s actions and the rise
in reliance on foodbanks has been the shocking consequence.”
SNP MSP for Cunninghame South, which includes Stevenston, pointed out
that where the Scottish Government has power within the current devolved
settlement, it has taken action. “We have moved to protect people in
Scotland by filling the hole in Council Tax Benefit created by
Westminster,” said Mrs Burgess, adding, “and we are doing what we can,
with limited powers, to mitigate the damaging effects of the Bedroom
Margaret Burgess said, “With the powers of an independent
country, 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. A ‘YES’ vote in September will give us the opportunity to
do things differently – and we’ll no longer have to spend millions
mopping up bad Westminster policy.”