Nationalists can't have it both ways on welfare

Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP today hit out at claims made by the Radical Independence Movement that that a yes vote would guarantee a radical new welfare system.


This weekend the nationalist campaign is organising a mass "takeover" of Glasgow delivering leaflets claiming that extra welfare spending would be guaranteed.  This is despite the White Paper not committing to one penny more on welfare and their expert group pledging to reintroduce sanctions, universal credit and work programme. 

Commenting, Mr Rennie said:
"In public the nationalists make grandiose promises to spend more on welfare and make big changes to the welfare system.  Yet behind the scenes their expert group on welfare and their white paper proposes no extra money and the reintroduction of measures they publicly condemn.  
"The nationalists say they want to increase welfare spending by £2.5bn every year but the White Paper commits to not one penny more.
"The nationalists want to abolish the work programme only for it to be replaced by a work programme. They want to abolish sanctions but plan to reintroduce them after independence. And they want to end the universal credit only for a new universal credit to take its place.
"The Institute for Fiscal Studies has been clear than an independent Scotland would need to raise taxes and cut public spending to the tune of £6 billion. Experts know that the Nationalists' sums don't add up, but this doesn't stop them promising the earth to those who would be hardest hit by the cuts which would come.
"We know what the Nationalists don't like but what is still unclear is how anything would change in the event of Scotland leaving the UK; how any changes would be paid for, or in what currency.
"Changing the name of policies to pretend that something radically different is being proposed is disingenuous, dishonest and it will not wash.
"Whatever your view on welfare reform the nationalists can't have it both ways.  They are either for more welfare or they are not.  I hope the people of Glasgow take the time to explain this inconsistency to the radical independence movement this weekend."

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