Scotland needs more powers now, Miliband says
ED MILIBAND, Labour Party leader, has said that if Labour win the 2015 General Election a “home rule bill for Scotland” will be brought forward by his government within the first 100 days of taking power.
“This bill will give Scotland the powers that were promised over jobs, welfare and tax,” Miliband said, speaking ahead of his visit.
He added: “Scotland needs the job creating powers that the Smith Agreement promised. And Scotland needs them now. Next month, Labour will force a vote on our bill to pass these powers now.”
“If that’s not accepted, we will devolve control over the work programme immediately on taking power.”
The work programme is a UK government scheme to increase training and work opportunities for the unemployed that has been criticised for making people work without pay.
SNP Deputy Leader Stewart Hosie responded by saying Miliband could be “reported under the Trades Description Act” for claiming the devolution proposals amount to home rule for Scotland.
“The reality is that, with 70 per cent of taxation and 85 per cent of welfare spending staying under Westminster control, Labour and the other UK parties are offering Westminster rule not Home Rule – and it is embarrassing for Mr Miliband to try to pretend otherwise.”
“People in Scotland don’t believe Ed Miliband – who has achieved the extraordinary feat for a Labour leader of having even worse poll ratings in Scotland than the Tory Prime Minister,” Hosie added.
Miliband stated that Jim Murphy, Scottish Labour’s new leader was already leading the debate over the way forward for Scotland: “Jim’s getting to grips with the problems in Scotland’s NHS with his plan for 1000 new nurses.
“He has set out a plan to deal with damaging job losses in the oil and gas sector. And he’s talking about how Labour will use the new powers to deal with unemployment and get our young people back to work,” Miliband said.
Picture courtesy of the Department of Energy and Climate Change