Food Bank Use (Income Supplement)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 25th April 2019.

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The First Minister:

Last year, the United Nations sent Philip Alston, who is an expert on poverty, here to write a report. He acknowledged the work of the Welsh Government on mitigating the worst impacts of austerity, but he said that

“It is outrageous that devolved administrations need to spend resources to shield people from Government policies.”

“He’s right”—and those are the words of Jeremy Corbyn.

This Government has mitigated the impact of Tory welfare cuts wherever we could. Is Richard Leonard really saying that the answer to the cuts is for a devolved Government to take money out of devolved services to plug the gaps in reserved services, while a Westminster Government holds on to the money? Surely, that is not the proposition of Scottish Labour.

I have given him this opportunity before now: if, as I do, he really wants to tackle the issues, will Richard Leonard join me this afternoon in signing a letter to the UK Government asking that full powers over welfare be devolved to this Parliament? Yes or no?