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Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th December 2013.

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Photo of Margaret Burgess Margaret Burgess Scottish National Party

Because I have been out there talking to the stakeholders and trying to get things moving. If leadership is judged by coming to the Parliament and speaking to the Opposition parties, I am sorry; for me, it is about going out there, talking to the stakeholders, listening to their concerns and taking action—and that is what we are doing.

The £16,000 benchmark was recommended by the working group. That was its figure and we took it on board. That change enables councils and housing associations to keep social rents affordable and reduces the amount that they have to contribute from their own resources. That is particularly important, given the uncertainties of the United Kingdom Government’s welfare reforms. We backed up that change with investment in the draft budget.