Draft Budget 2014-15

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th December 2013.

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Photo of Jenny Marra Jenny Marra Labour

I apologise to Jamie Hepburn for my mistake. It was actually the Finance Committee that the finance secretary appeared before, but he made the same point and said exactly the same thing. I am sure that the member agrees, and I know that members across the chamber have rehearsed many times the fact that the bedroom tax is causing misery in communities that we all represent across the country. There should be no hesitation in bringing forward the full £50 million to mitigate that impact. That is what we ask for.

We welcome the committee’s report and its recommendations. This has been an interesting, balanced and enjoyable debate. The committee’s recommendations are robust and challenging to the Scottish Government. They highlight several areas in which we could do better on matching our budget to the outcomes that we want to see for Scotland. Scottish Labour’s proposals on childcare and the bedroom tax harness that spirit by offering practical solutions to enduring problems, so I ask the finance secretary to use his power and the money in his budget to do those things now.