Holyrood to vote on using new powers to top up disability benefits

Written by Andrew Whitaker on 9 June 2016 in News

Labour MSP Mark Griffin will force a vote at Holyrood on using new powers to top-up welfare benefits 

Holyrood will today vote on whether to use new powers to ensure that welfare benefits “are increased at least in line with inflation to ensure that they cover the cost of living”.

Labour MSP Mark Griffin has said that new powers to top up welfare benefits should be used to keep up the level of disability benefit paid to claimants to protect the incomes of vulnerable people. 

Griffin will force a vote on the issue during a Holyrood debate today on “dignity, fairness and respect in disability benefits.


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MSPs are urged to back a motion from Scotland’s communities, social security and equalities secretary Angela Constance that states “the UK Government’s cuts to disability benefits are unfair and have caused unnecessary stress and financial hardship”.

However, Labour’s Griffin has lodged an amendment that would commit the Scottish Government to using new welfare powers to protect disability benefits and to effectively reverse such cuts.

Griffin’s amendment states that disability benefits should be “increased at least in line with inflation to ensure that they cover the cost of living.”

The SNP manifesto for the 2015 Westminster election committed the party to such a policy.

Labour is understood to hope that the vote today will be seen as the first test on how the Scottish Government will use the new powers that are due to be devolved as part of the Scotland Act.

The timing for the devolution of the powers has yet to be agreed.






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