We will give the Scottish Parliament the final say over benefits

Jim Murphy has announced Scottish Labour's second election pledge: we will give the Scottish Parliament the final say over benefits.
 
Speaking in Edinburgh today, Jim Murphy and Gordon Brown argued with the Vow being delivered we now need to built on it so we can achieve our historic aim – full employment and social justice for the people of Scotland.
 
Scottish Labour will go further than The Vow and further than Smith in 5 important areas, offering distinctive Labour change in welfare:

  1. Giving the Scottish Parliament a power to top up benefits.
  2. Ensuring our Parliament has the power to create new benefits.
  3. Bringing employment and welfare policy together in Scotland.
  4. Full devolution of housing benefit.
  5. Devolving welfare not just to Holyrood but to local communities.

 


This follows Scottish Labour first pledge to fund 1,000 extra NHS nurses in Scotland using the money raised from the UK-wide Mansion Tax on homes worth more than £2 million.
 
Mr Murphy said:
 
“Scottish Labour’s commitment to delivering the Vow is absolute. Every Scottish Labour MP elected stands on a promise to legislate on the Smith Report within 100 days of the Election.
 
“However delivering The Vow is a starting point not an end point for Scottish Labour. Smith was a consensus between 5 parties. A Labour approach to powers, and to the use of powers, will reflect our different values and different ambitions for Scotland.
 
“We have different values from the Tories on welfare and different values from the nationalists on redistribution.
 
“The Smith Commission gives Scotland significant new spending and tax powers. The excuse used again and again, that the Scottish Government can’t act because it is a “pocket money parliament” is gone.
 
“If in Scotland we want to do more we will have the ability to raise more money. However, a Scottish Labour party would ensure that the Parliament also has more power to spend that money on tackling poverty and unemployment.
 
“So Scottish Labour will stand in May on this pledge: We will deliver on the Vow and offer more than the Vow: the security of the UK pension and benefits system plus the power for Scotland to top up UK benefits, and create new benefits of our own, because the Scottish parliament will have the fiscal strength to support this.
 
“When Scottish Labour created the Scottish Parliament, we wanted to  make sure sure that never again could something like the Poll Tax be imposed on Scotland. Today, again as the advocates of Home Rule, we are motivated by ensuring that never again could the Bedroom Tax be imposed on Scotland.
 
“The Vow delivers Home Rule, making the Scottish Parliament the most powerful devolved Parliament in the world. A vote for Scottish Labour will deliver Labour Home Rule where we go further and combine security and social justice."
 
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Only Scottish Labour can offer the change that people want to see: the ability with Home Rule to make distinctively Scottish decisions and the power to redistribute the wealth of the UK to invest in our NHS and to give young people more job opportunities.
 
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