Equalities and Social Security (United Kingdom Government Proposals)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th June 2017.

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Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

9. To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the impact on Scotland of the equalities and social security aspects of proposals in the Queen’s speech. (S5O-01173)

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

The Queen’s speech was yet another wasted opportunity from the United Kingdom Government to make society more equal and fair for millions of people across the UK.

It is deeply disappointing, but in no way surprising, that the Queen’s speech did not signal any reduction in the Tories’ continued austerity plans or any reversal of their deeply damaging social security cuts, such as the £29 cut to employment and support allowance for unemployed disabled people, the cap on child tax credit, the repugnant “rape clause” or, indeed, the benefit cap that, last week, the High Court in England called illegal and discriminatory against single parents and children and which the judge damned as involving

“real misery being caused to no good purpose”.

Photo of Colin Beattie Colin Beattie Scottish National Party

What we learned from last week’s Queen’s speech is that, to quote Theresa May, “nothing has changed”. Does the cabinet secretary think that it is right that the Tories’ obsession with austerity and cuts will continue despite the volume of evidence against that approach and their failed general election gamble?

Photo of Angela Constance Angela Constance Scottish National Party

No, I do not think that it is right. However, the UK Government is not interested in doing what is right, even if the evidence shows that that is the right course of action, or in helping those who are just about managing.

Disabled people, women and minority ethnic people have been particularly adversely affected by the austerity agenda. In stark contrast, we have just published our Social Security (Scotland) Bill, which is based on the principles of dignity, fairness and respect.

The Presiding Officer:

Question 10 has not been lodged.