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by Josh May
02 February 2015
Murphy and Brown outline 'top up' powers for Holyrood

Murphy and Brown outline 'top up' powers for Holyrood

Under Scottish Labour’s proposals, Holyrood would have the option to “top up” benefits beyond the allocation from the Westminster government’s grant, and would also gain control over housing policy to end the “housing crisis”.

At a joint appearance in Edinburgh, Murphy said that the agreement of the Smith Commission, which was promised by the Labour, Lib Dem and Tory leaders in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum, was not the “last word” for his party.

"We won’t just deliver on the Vow, we will go further than the Vow… [it is] not an end point for Scottish Labour," the Scottish Labour leader said. "The last word will be made here in Scotland, by the people of Scotland."

Murphy also promised that there would “never again be a bedroom tax in Scotland”.

Brown, the former prime minister, said Labour’s plans would leave Scotland better able to tackle unemployment and improve social justice.  

“Our proposal is not to transfer all welfare to the Scottish Parliament, it is not to transfer pensions to the Scottish Parliament, but it is to build on this common baseline where there are minimum rights for everybody across the United Kingdom – rights for the unemployed, for pensioners, for people who are disabled, for people who are on sickness benefit – and give the Scottish Parliament this extra power, if it so chooses to do so.

“And that is a better guarantee, in my view, with declining oil revenues at the moment that the poor people of Scotland would be better catered for under these proposals.”

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