MSP for the Highlands and Islands Emma Roddick has slammed the Scottish Conservatives for what she described as their “hypocritical” stance on social security.
During her speech, in which she discussed her own experience of homelessness and welcomed the Scottish Government’s proposed prevention measures, a Conservative member intervened to ask why the Scottish Government was taking so long to take over the limited social security powers recently devolved.
“It is a real shame that my colleagues on the Tory benches have no sense of irony, hypocrisy or shame when they criticise the Scottish Government for being ‘too slow’ implementing benefits like the Scottish Child Payment – which only exist to mitigate the harm caused by a UK social security system which started out inadequate and then suffered years of cuts.
“It’s a real shame that so much of government budgets in this country are spent trying to stop UK austerity hitting our worst-off the hardest, and it’s a real shame the Scottish Government is having to wait another few years before every power is devolved for decisions to be made for this country in this country.
“The Tories’ amendment today laments the fact that the Scottish Government is not taking full control over devolved benefits until 2025. Now, I agree with that – it is disappointing that it took so long to devolve these powers and that it is taking a couple extra years – pandemic years – to bring in social security properly, something their party down south hasn’t managed in over a decade of power.”
Following the debate, she added:
“The Tories are the party responsible for the decision to remove the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, plunging an estimated half-a-million people into poverty. I will not be taking any lessons from them on how best to help those their government has already failed.”
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