SNP response to poverty report delayed until after election
The official response to poverty tsar Naomi Eisenstadt’s recommendations on tackling inequality in Scotland has been delayed until after the election, Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil has confirmed.
The 15 recommendations were contained in Eisenstadt’s report ‘Shifting the curve - a report for the First Minister’, which was published on January 20. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said at the time she would respond formally by the end of March.
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However, speaking during Holyrood’s welfare hustings yesterday, Neil said the government had not had enough time before parliament dissolved, but was treating the report “very seriously”.
“The detailed response will be made, if we are re-elected, after we come back,” he said.
Labour’s Neil Findlay said it was “sadly more evidence of the SNP putting rhetoric over reality”.
Alex Neil said the Scottish Parliament had done more to tackle poverty over the past 16 years than Westminster had done in 60.
“A lot of the levers over the kind of policies we need to change are still going to reside at Westminster. That's not an excuse for inaction because when we publish our manifesto next week we'll see a very comprehensive social justice action plan designed to reduce levels of poverty and inequality in Scotland,” he said.
Findlay said the SNP were trying to be “all things to all people” by appealing to left wing voters in Glasgow and right wing voters in the north of Scotland.
“But don't then at the same time say you're going to radically change Scotland because you won't."