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

Part of Scotland Bill – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 30th June 2015.

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Photo of Ian Blackford Ian Blackford Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Pensions) 3:45 pm, 30th June 2015

No, not the current Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath; my hon. Friend would not do anything so rash.

There is a crisis in the funding of such schemes and the tax treatment of dividends requires a fresh examination. Pension freedoms were initiated in the last Parliament.

While we broadly welcome the enhancement of consumer choice, SNP Members have gone on record as questioning the appropriateness of the advice that consumers receive and the risks of mis-selling. Those concerns have not been adequately addressed, and if pensions are devolved to Scotland, the Parliament in Edinburgh may want to look at it.

We welcome the amendment, especially in the light of the threatened attack on the most vulnerable in our society if the Government go ahead with their £12 billion-worth of cuts. We recognise that we can deliver only if we have fiscal responsibility as part of the equation. We recognise our responsibilities to look after the vulnerable in our society. We firmly believe that we need power over our economy to deliver sustainable economic growth and grow the tax base to generate the resources to create not only a wealthier but a fairer Scotland. Passing the amendment today at least gives us the power to intervene to ameliorate some of the pain that will be inflicted on so many of our people by the policies of the UK Government.