Friday, 4 April 2014

Labour's benefit vote shame - but local MP rebels

North Ayrshire & Arran’s Katy Clark was one of just two Labour MPs from Scotland who rebelled during a House of Commons vote last week, refusing to support Tory Government legislation that will introduce a cap to social security benefits.

The move to place a ceiling of £119.5bn on the UK’s total benefits bill, irrespective of actual need, was passed by 520 votes to 22. The Labour Party officially supported the Tory-Lib Dem Government. All six SNP MPs voted against the cap.

The respected charity Save the Children indicated the arbitrary cap being imposed on benefits would result in an additional 345,000 UK children being plunged into poverty. However, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Ed Balls MP, claimed the cap had originally been his party’s idea, adding, “We on this side of the House support capping social security spending”.

For the SNP, Eilidh Whiteford MP said, “The SNP voted against the welfare cap because it piles yet more pain onto our poorest pensioners, carers, disabled people and low income families. This cap is just a crude, blunt, instrument. It is shocking that so many Scottish Labour MPs have backed the Tories.”

During the House of Commons vote, Katy Clark acted as a teller for those opposing what is effectively a limit on help for the poorest members of society. The local MP said, “The cap alters the principle of the welfare state away from need and towards what a Tory Chancellor committed to permanent austerity says we can afford. A much better way of bringing down social security spending would be to focus on increasing employment, a living wage and building affordable homes.”

No comments:

Post a Comment