Independence (Benefits)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 13th June 2013.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party

Oh yes, I give the commitment to welfare, equity and justice—it will be one of the key arguments in this independence campaign. The cost of the commitments that we have made in terms of abolishing the bedroom tax will be £60 million a year, while moving away from the earnings disregard and giving parity and justice to women in Scotland will cost in the region of £60 million to £80 million a year. We have made those commitments already.

I say to Alex Johnstone that we should look at his argument: the imposition of deep unfairness in the Westminster Government’s attitude to these things; the plunging of tens of thousands more people in Scotland into relative poverty; and the reversal, which I believe the changes will bring about, of the progress that has been made on child poverty in Scotland. Of all the flimsy bases on which the union and the alliance with the Labour Party will stand, that is the flimsiest of them all. People who vote for independence will vote for social justice and progress in Scotland.