We are wealthy and re­source rich

Rutherglen Reformer - - You Decide - Bob Doris MSP

This ref­er­en­dum campaign has con­firmed be­yond all doubt that Scot­land is a wealthy and re­source rich na­tion.

The Fi­nan­cial Times agrees. How­ever that has pre­sented a ma­jor headache for the No campaign as Scots ques­tion why the West­min­ster sys­tem pre­vents us from us­ing our wealth to ben­e­fit those most in need in Scot­land.

Just how would an In­de­pen­dent Scot­land help those most in need? There is con­sid­er­able de­tail. The work­ing poor will see an In­de­pen­dent Scot­land en­sure the min­i­mum wage will in­crease by at least the cost of liv­ing each year. That doesn’t hap­pen in the UK and the low­est paid Scot­tish work­ers are £600 worse off over the last five years as a re­sult.

An In­de­pen­dent Scot­land will end the at­tack on our dis­abled cit­i­zens by the Tories by halt­ing the move from DLA to Per­son­alised In­de­pen­dent Pay­ments y (PIP) in or­der to pro­tect 102,000 dis­abled Scots who would be at least £1,120 worse off if there is a No vote.

We will use our wel­fare sys­tem to bet­ter sup­port car­ers. Car­ers, of­ten fam­ily mem­bers, pro­vide a vi­tal ser­vice for so­ci­ety, yet Car­ers Al­lowance is too low. Car­ers are sup­ported less than those on Job­seek­ers Al­lowance.

An In­de­pen­dent Scot­land will there­fore rec­tify this, and, as a re­sult, en­sure over 100,000 car­ers in this sit­u­a­tion get an ad­di­tional £575 each year.

In­deed all ben­e­fits will be guar­an­teed af­ter in­de­pen­dence, but as with Car­ers Al­lowance, we will seek to make them bet­ter sup­port those in need rather than the cur­rent UK Gov­ern­ment whose tax credit re­forms are push­ing 100,000 Scots chil­dren into poverty.

There are many more com­mit­ments. Th­ese in­clude fi­nally abol­ish­ing the bed­room tax in the first year, end­ing dra­co­nian sanc­tions by job cen­tres that drive many to food banks, guar­an­tee­ing pen­sion in­creases of at least 2.5 per cent each year and a huge ex­pan­sion of childcare pro­vi­sion for one and two- year-olds.

In­de­pen­dence is about de­liv­er­ing the kind of so­ci­ety we wish to cre­ate and th­ese com­mit­ments demon­strate that a wealthy so­ci­ety can also be a so­cially just one.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has pro­vided clear, spe­cific ac­tions that will be taken to sup­port the dis­abled, families, pen­sion­ers, the un­em­ployed, our work­ing poor and so on.

Few would ques­tion the di­rec­tion we are trav­el­ling. Those want­ing al­ter­na­tive pro­pos­als can put them for­ward at 2016’s Scot­tish Par­lia­ment elec­tion fol­low­ing In­de­pen­dence and the Scot­tish peo­ple can choose the set of so­cially progressive poli­cies that best re­flects their as­pi­ra­tions.

Shame­fully the No campaign have of­fered no al­ter­na­tive.The UK is go­ing in a com­pletely op­po­site di­rec­tion to Scot­land. All the UK par­ties have signed up to a £4bil­lion cut to Scot­land’s bud­get and English NHS Pri­vati­sa­tion will un­der­mine Scot­land’s NHS.

As we en­ter the fi­nal weeks of the ref­er­en­dum campaign Yes has put some sig­nif­i­cant meat on the bones of how In­de­pen­dence can ben­e­fit the peo­ple of Scot­land.

That is why it is clear that a Yes vote on Septem­ber 18th will pro­vide the peo­ple of Scot­land with the cer­tainty they need. Cer­tainty that the peo­ple of Scot­land can have a Scot­tish Par­lia­ment that re­flects their views.

A Par­lia­ment with the full pow­ers to use our na­tion’s wealth for the ben­e­fit of all in so­ci­ety, rather than the few, as cur­rently be­ing in­flicted upon us by West­min­ster.

Bed timeBob Doris MSP says there would be no Bed­room Tax in an in­de­pen­dent Scot­land

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