Former Labour MP Dennis Canavan warns Scots that they risk losing
their welfare state if they don't vote for independence
Scottish Independence: Vote independence to save welfare state, says Canavan
Former Labour MP and Chair of the Yes Scotland campaign Dennis Canavan has today stated that an independent Scotland is the only way to protect the Welfare state from Westminster cuts.
Mr Canavan, who is also former Labour MSP, spoke on Wednesday evening at the launch of Yes Glasgow.
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Canavan criticised the Westminster government for cutting benefits for the poorest in society, while asking for an increase in their own wages.
He stated that the opposition at Westminster “offers no real alternatives”, with even Labour questioning universal benefits, such as free prescriptions, that the Scottish parliament introduced.
Blair Jenkins, Chief Executive of Yes Scotland, also pointed out how successive ‘London governments’ have made Britain the fourth most unequal and unfair society in the western world.
He also pointed out the inability for Scotland to deal with any of the problems of inequality. While Scotland has recognised its high mortality rates, he stated “the main cause of health inequalities is economic and social inequality, and the powers in those areas remain at Westminster.”
Canavan thus similarly concluded:
“If the current generation of Westminster politicians is unwilling to introduce such a fair system, they should hand over all responsibility for tax and benefits within Scotland to the Scottish Parliament.”
“Independence is not an end in itself. It is a pathway to creating a fairer Scotland.”
The event also saw talks from Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Martha Wardrop of the Scottish Greens.
Ms Sturgeon asked who would vote for a government under Westminster, if things were reversed, “which would mean Trident nuclear weapons on the Clyde, our resources going to the UK Exchequer and only some of them coming back, and over 80% of Scots MPs being outvoted in opposing unfair benefit cuts.”
Sturgeon also emphasised that the decisions that Scotland would be allowed to make when independent would be for the ‘wellbeing’ of everyone who lives there.
Wardrop stated that while the Scottish Greens were “not nationalists”, she felt “it is best that decisions are made closest to the people they affect. That way, local needs can be taken into account better.”
Wardrop hoped for a Scotland of voluntary participation, equal opportunities, and, “more than anything else, we hope for Scotland to be nuclear-free and a peace-loving nation.”
Yes Scotland was launched on May 25, 2012, to campaign for yes vote in 2014.
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