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 John Redwood John Redwood Conservative, Wokingham 3:00 pm, 30th June 2015

I am afraid that that is a bad example, because it proves my case. Ireland broke from the pound, set up its own currency and then, unfortunately for Ireland, chose the euro, but that was Ireland’s decision and it has had a bumpy ride ever since.

The big difference we need to remind ourselves about for the purposes of this welfare debate is that there is a common currency, so there have to be some limits to the amount of freedom appropriate for welfare benefits. If the SNP wishes to be truly independent and wants an independent currency, I fully understand its position and none of these arguments makes any sense.

I think I have made my point and I hope that Ministers will bear in mind that it is very difficult to come to a conclusion before we know what the financial settlement will be. It is also very important to remember that there is a common work, language and currency area, which means that there has to be some family resemblance in the benefits that are paid.