“The SNP is the only party offering a genuine alternative”

Tuesday July 18th 2023

Colin Beattie MSP
Colin Beattie MSP, Midlothian North & Musselburgh, writes his monthly column for Midlothian View

Despite thirteen years of Tory austerity cuts, underfunding of public services and a failure to invest in economic growth, to the dismay of some Labour MSP’s, Keir Starmer has stated his intentions to continue the Tories approach should he become Prime Minister.

In his latest U-turn Keir Starmer has made clear his intention to continue the Tory introduced two-child benefit cap, which restricts benefits support to the first two children. The policy means households claiming tax credit or universal credit are unable to claim for a third or subsequent child born after April 6, 2017. This is despite Keir Starmer having previously pledged to scrap this policy, which has forced the most vulnerable in society into poverty.

In further desperate attempts to appeal to Tory voters, Labour have abandoned plans to commit to free university tuition and no longer support plans to nationalise railways, Royal Mail, energy companies or water firms in England.

The Labour party do not only intend to copy Tory economic and welfare policy, but Scottish Labour are complicit by their silence as the Tories in London and Edinburgh are actively undermining the authority and powers of the Scottish Parliament.

It really does not have to be like this. We are a wealthy country, however the levels of child poverty are soaring across many areas of the UK. The SNP Scottish Government is doing everything it can to reduce child poverty. Unique to Scotland is the Scottish Child Payment where eligible people receive £25 for every child they look after who’s under 16 years of age. This alone is forecast to lift 50,000 children in Scotland out of poverty this year.

And while the UK is suffering the worst levels of poverty and inequality out of neighbouring countries, small independent nations like Ireland, Belgium or Denmark perform significantly better.

The UK is on the path to long-term decline, and millions are struggling with the cost of living – but all the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party have to offer is more pain and the same damaging policies that got the UK into this mess.

The SNP is the only party offering a genuine alternative and real help with the cost of living. However, only with the full powers of independence, can Scotland secure sustained economic growth by re-joining the EU, maximising our potential, and building a better society.

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