By MARTIN DOCHERTY
MP for West Dunbartonshire
‘The Vow’was backed by both Labour and the Tories. They promised to make the Scottish Parliament a‘power house’parliament, but the Scotland Bill falls far short of delivering what the people of Scotland were told to expect.
The SNP submitted a total of 63 amendments that would have given the Scottish Parliament the powers that were promised by the Unionist parties. But the Labour Party have betrayed the communities of Scotland, once again joining with the Tories to vote down every SNP amendment.
The SNP amendment on tax credits would have devolved control over working and child tax credits to Scotland. The Scotland Bill will now only give Scotland the power to top up benefits – but gives us no power to do something for those who will lose their credits entirely as a result of the Tories’ tax credit cuts. 250,000 households in Scotland will face tax credit cuts of £1,500 a year on average.
In the long term, once all the tax credit changes are implemented, around 200,000 Scottish families with children stand to lose an average of around £3,000 a year.
It’s estimated estimate that 6,000 children in 3,400 families living inWest Dunbartonshire communities will be hit by the tax credits cuts. The SNP amendment on employment rights would have devolved control over employment rights and industrial relations to the Scottish Parliament.
BROKEN PROMISES? The Vow was delivered through the Daily Record newspaper.
The SNP have vociferously opposed the Trade Union Bill. We recognise that trade unions are social partners playing an important role in sustaining effective democracy in society, particularly in the workplace, and the existence of good employment practices is a key contributor to economic competitiveness and social justice.
I believe it is vital to ensure that industrial relations is the responsibility of the Scottish Parliament, but Labour have decided they would rather leave it in the hands of the Tories atWestminster. Any opposition to the Trade Union Bill from Labour is meaningless rhetoric; Labour have made their position clear through their actions in this vote.
Recent polls revealed that only 9 per cent of people in Scotland think the Vow has been delivered with 52 per cent seeing that very little or nothing from the Vow has been delivered; The Scotland Bill does nothing to convince the Communities of Scotland that the Unionist parties are keeping their word.
Labour’s decision to once again march through the voting lobbies with the Tories, to deny Scotland the rights we were promised, highlights further their moral deficit and willingness to abandon Scotland’s communities to prop up this callous Tory UK Government.