Independence ‘will prevent despair from welfare cuts’ says Salmond
ALEX Salmond last night claimed only independence would enable welfare claimants to avoid UK cuts, as senior social work chiefs said the country would have to pay more tax to do so.
Mr Salmond used a lecture to claim that an independent Scotland would enable the country to develop its own welfare state “without reducing people to penury or despair”.
Separately, in evidence to MSPs yesterday, one senior social work leader said that the proposed reductions to the welfare bill in Scotland could amount to as much as £3.9 billion.
Mike Brown, of the Association of Directors of Social Work, said the impact would be “absolutely staggering” and would lead to further inequalities in wealth within the country.
Scotland could choose to reverse that if it wanted, but he added: “If we want that [more equal] society, then we have to pay for it through additional taxation.”
The row comes with Chancellor George Osborne preparing his pre-budget report amid speculation he is to find a further £10bn of savings in the near £200bn welfare budget which pays out pensions, unemployment and housing benefits.
Mr Salmond told the inaugural Stephen Maxwell lecture last night that an independent Scotland under his control would take a “fairer” path.
He said: “We need the powers of an independent country if we are to properly protect the foundations of the welfare state in Scotland. In our own hands, it would surely not be beyond our collective abilities to manage to make work pay without reducing people to penury or despair.”
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Thursday 20 June 2013
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