Households across Inverclyde are experiencing financial hardships and constraints forced on them by a Conservative and Unionist government that frequently uses the word compassionate but barely knows the meaning of the word. It should be judged by its actions and not its rhetoric. The Scottish government has used its limited budget to offset or mitigate a number of Conservative austerity policies.
It’s easy to forget that we benefit from free prescription, free entry to museums and art galleries because they have been part of our society for so long now. But that’s the tip of an iceberg. The school clothing grant. The Best Start grant. The Scottish child payment. The extension of free school meals throughout primary education. Free concessionary travel and the introduction of free bus travel to all children. Added to this, free Personal Care for the elderly and free sanitary products.
And don’t forget we still mitigate the bedroom tax.
The latest Child Poverty Action Group Scotland report states ‘Scottish policies are immensely important in reducing the level of financial strain and hardship on families at a particularly difficult time, but they are fighting a rear-guard action’ – citing that the Scottish Government’s bold actions can only cushion the impact of UK wide deterioration.
The SNP led Scottish government is doing everything it can, with limited powers, to reduce the burden but independence is the only way to escape the impact of the callous Westminster policies and free us to govern in a truly compassionate way for all the people of Scotland.