This week I spoke in the Scottish Government debate on their strategy document for a Fairer Scotland, where they have set out 50 actions they plan to take to achieve this goal.
It is clear that the Westminster Government’s policies in areas like welfare reform have had the impact of creating a growth in poverty, reversing the trend from the last Westminster Labour Government where direct policies resulted in more than one million children and one million pensioners being lifted out of poverty.
It is equally clear that austerity imposed by the Tories is failing, resulting in more debt at a personal level and in the country, with record levels of debt being recorded. It is worth remembering that when the Tories came to power in 2010 the country was once again reducing the debt which had come about as a result of the global economic crisis but their austerity has revered this. It is also the case that the failure to invest has resulted in slower economic growth and a stagnation of household incomes for millions of workers.
So we need an alternative to austerity, something the Tories in Scotland refuse to accept and are happy to continue to impose austerity on the people of Scotland.
Whilst other parties including the SNP in Government in Edinburgh oppose austerity they have to date failed to use the powers of the Scottish Parliament to bring forward an alternative and if this continues it is my view they will fail to address the aims and objectives of the Fairer Scotland Plan.
I am putting forward an alternative and will fight to change the direction of austerity in Scotland and for investment in Scotland’s greatest asset, its people.