Poverty increases under SNP

Responding to the National Statistics publication on poverty in Scotland, Scottish Labour’s Social Justice spokeswoman, Jackie Baillie, said:

“It is completely unacceptable that one million Scots are now living in poverty. This substantial increase should shame the SNP into using the powers they already have to tackle an issue which blights Scotland.

“With almost one in five children now living in poverty and 10,000 more pensioners struggling to make ends meet it is disgraceful that the Deputy First Minister’s response was essentially ‘it’ll all be better under independence’. They can and should act now.

“Instead Scots now find themselves stuck between two governments, the Tories at Westminster and the SNP at Holyrood, with the wrong priorities. The SNP failed to act quickly enough to mitigate the impact of the Tories bedroom tax in Scotland and did so only after vigorous campaigns and intervention from Labour. In addition the Scottish Welfare fund had a massive underspend and the fuel poverty budget wasn’t spent at a time when 900,000 households were in fuel poverty. All because we have a Scottish Government focused on independence before all else.

“Labour has a proud record of tackling poverty, with dramatic and consistent improvements under Labour governments in both Holyrood and Westminster, but all our hard work is in danger of being undone by a coalition government intent on penalising the poor and an SNP government more concerned about independence than improving the lives of ordinary Scots.”

1 July 2014