Clause 24 — Universal credit: costs of claimants who rent accommodation

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:00 pm on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Angus MacNeil Angus MacNeil Chair, Energy and Climate Change Committee 3:00 pm, 30th June 2015

I should be fascinated to know the size of the changes in welfare spending that the right hon. Gentleman would find destabilising. Sir Edward Leigh said yesterday:

“the Scottish Parliament spends £37 billion and raises £30 billion”.—[Hansard, 29 June 2015; Vol. 597, c. 1234.]

He described that as “quite responsible”. He also said that the UK raised staggeringly more—£648 billion, an amount that is about 20 times greater—but, of course, the UK also spent a great deal more, with a black hole of £732 billion. Given those figures, and given the difference between the sizes of the states of Scotland and the UK, in terms of both spending and raising powers, just what type of changes does the right hon. Gentleman think would have to hit welfare before it began to destabilise the Union? I suggest that it would be necessary to make a millionaire of each and every unemployed person before that point was reached.