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I want to finish off as I have spoken for quite some time.
Perhaps it is little wonder that the Government want to redefine poverty. The numbers being pushed into poverty are frightening. It is not a price that a civilised society can pay.
In conclusion, I am grateful that we are having this debate today, but it must not end here. I would plead with the Government to change course before it is too late. These millions of families should not be affected by these tax credit changes. I hope the Government act, but failure to do so would demonstrate yet again that we need full powers over Scotland’s welfare system to be in Scottish hands, not the hands of the Chancellor and the Work and Pensions Secretary.
There is a clear contrast, with a Tory Government in Westminster attacking the poor and a Scottish Government using their powers to protect the poorest and most vulnerable in our society. The Scottish Government have invested £100 million to ensure no one pays the bedroom tax and invested £40 million to protect council tax benefit. That is a caring, compassionate Scottish Government. If Westminster wants to punish the poor, give Scotland powers over tax and spending so that we can protect our own people from this heartless Conservative Government.