Holyrood alliance urged in opposition to Coalition welfare cuts

By staff writers
5 Oct 2011

An SNP-Labour-Green alliance is needed to challenge the most damaging aspects of the Westminster coalition government's welfare changes, say Scottish Greens.

In today's Holyrood welfare debate (5 October 2011), the Greens are backing a Labour amendment calling for the Parliament to consider rejecting the legislative consent motion on the Welfare Reform Bill, in what would be a constitutionally unprecedented move.

Patrick Harvie MSP commented: "Everyone wants to see a more straightforward welfare system but the changes that are on their way from the Westminster Coalition are going to inflict some incredibly vicious and destructive cuts on those who need more support, not less.

"Those organisations on the care frontline have been sounding the alarm bell loud and clear for months now but the Scottish Parliament has been very slow to mobilise and unless we pull together now we risk sleepwalking into a full-scale welfare crisis when these changes hit Scotland.

"It's clear from the motions lodged in today's welfare debate by the Liberal Democrats and Tories that they are more than happy for these dramatic changes to be inflicted on Scotland's most vulnerable people without so much as a whisper of concern.

"The other parties must now unite to give this Coalition legislation the toughest scrutiny possible in the Scottish Parliament, and we must be prepared to stand up to Westminster and use our right to throw it out if necessary," concluded Harvie.

The overwhelming majority of those who voted in the last Scottish government elections did so in opposition to the policies the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats are imposing from Westminster, critics point out.

[Ekk/3]

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