Campaigners pledge to “refine arguments” and give a sense of assurance and comfort to those intimidated by radical change
WOMEN OVER 55, could be won back over to the pro-independence position in a second referendum with the “security and dignity” of a universal basic income (UBI), the Scottish Independence Convention (SIC) conference has heard.
Support for the measure from delegates came in response to Panelbase data showing that support for independence from women over 55 had fallen by over 30 per cent since 2014.
In front of the convention held today (14 January) in Glasgow, SNP MP Philippa Whitford suggested that the way to ease the psychological strain on women feeling “worn down” by the fears of economic insecurity and pension injustice, would be to propose more innovative policies such as a UBI, also called citizens income.
“The idea that if you give a citizen’s income they people become lazy is in itself flawed and lazy thinking.” Dr Philippa Whitford
Speaking to broadcaster Lesley Riddock, the chair of an interactive session on strategy, the MP for Central Ayrshire said: “I think that’s a really scary statistic. But I think pensions, which have not been up on the headlines since 2014 are a major issue, whether it was the scare tactics of some campaigns or the insecurity of brexit.
“We must have that sorted and we must have it sorted in a way that is acceptable and convincing”, she added.
Dr Whitford, who is the SNP’s Westminister health spokesperson in the House of Commons, referred to the WASPI women who have been battling for pension justice against successive Westminister governments. The MP said that is what possible that the effect of brexit and prospect of more economic insecurity was responsible for the decline in support.
Support for independence among women over 55 has gone from 55 per cent to 22 per cent
The figures from data company Panelbase were conducted with a group of 1000 participants and showed that support for independence had gone from 55 per cent to 22 per cent.
She said: “If you look at the way these women have been treated – the whole issue of pensions and security for older women – all women should be an open goal for us. What these women want is security and dignity.
“The idea that if you give a citizen’s income people become lazy is in itself flawed and lazy thinking. People in fact become vibrant with community energy. They are out doing service, running the libraries, starting businesses and projects, becoming full of the breath of an enlivened citizenry.”
Speaking to the 800 strong audience, Stewart Kirkpatrick, former Yes Scotland said: “The only way to have control of your pension to have a nation where the funds are not at the mercy of the spivs and bankers in the City of London.
“The risk is being governed by conservative governments mismanaging Scottish affairs.”
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