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Even though Scotland didn’t vote in favour of independence yesterday, promises made by leaders at Westminster may spell disaster for claimants in the rest of the UK. In particular, it may mean IDS remaining free to persecute sick and disabled claimants, even if the Tories lose the next election.

Westminster politicians have guaranteed Holyrood much greater control over issues including welfare benefits and tax. But, in return, the Conservatives are now pushing to prevent Scottish MPs voting on benefits and tax measures in Westminster.

For Scottish claimants the changes are almost certainly good news. In their white paper on independence, published last November, Holyrood promised the abolition of the bedroom tax and a halt to the rollout of universal credit and personal independence payment. Holyrood has not gained independence overall, but in relation to benefits it looks like they may soon have a free hand.

So, for Scottish claimants, PIP, the bedroom tax and UC may all soon be distant memories.

But for the rest of the UK there is now the spectre that IDS and his persecution of the sick and disabled may not be halted even if the Tories lose the next election.

We could very easily find ourselves in a position where a Labour majority, or a Labour coalition, becomes a Conservative majority every time Westminster votes on tax or benefits issues if Scottish MPs are excluded. Whilst it might be difficult for the Conservatives to introduce radical new changes to the benefits system under these circumstances, they could certainly fight very effectively to keep things as they are.

Many claimants may argue that the difference between Labour and the Conservatives has become so slim that it will make little difference who is in charge. But others may consider that, no matter how awful Labour were when in power, they have suffered vastly more under the Conservatives.

So, for claimants at least, the prospect of life improving after the next general election may now be even more distant.

Comments  

#15 Paul Richards 2014-09-25 21:16
Hi tintack,
Yes I'd have thought that they could be in trouble whatever happens.
It's good to know that Labour has pledged to reform the WCA - it certainly needs doing that's for sure - but whether to trust their promises - I'll believe them if and when ever it is done!
And as you say, another 5 years of Tory rule and IDS still in charge could turn into a total disaster to all except their rich friends, rich private businesses and the multinationals - the very poorest will most likely be in sort of a modern day workhouse - lord help us!!

Braquo - a lot of interesting and very relevant comments by yourself - yes, I wonder too what secret deals are going to be done between them all. What a terrible political system we now have in Britain. Italy & France in the past would appear as angels in comparison whilst our politicians at the time leapt up and said that they were corrupt and sleazeful governments. The saying about kettles and pots comes to mind!!
#14 tintack 2014-09-24 18:56
Quoting Paul Richards:
This 'Vow' (as I see it) is probably a legally enforceable document - it has been signed and also dated by these three individual party leaders and they probably have a 'legal' obligation to carry it through.


I seriously doubt that it's legally enforceable. I don't think they would have signed it if that were the case. It's probably more on a par with a general election manifesto pledge, which means they can break the promise if they want to, but they'll have to take the political damage that that would entail. If they try to "honour" it in a way that is clearly being done for narrow party advantage, they'll be in trouble, as the pro-independence side in Scotland will cite this as proof that the Westminster parties can't be trusted.

Quote:
Miliband this afternoon in his speech said that Labour would abolish the 'Bedroom Tax', but what about their ideas re 'Welfare Reform' - as far as I am aware, nothing was mentioned at all about this - is this 'business as usual' - i.e: the same as Coalition policies!!??
To be fair, Labour have side they will reform the WCA, as have the Lib Dems, while the Tories haven't. How extensive that reform would be is of course open to question, to put it mildly, but we know that five more years of IDS means more of the same, or possibly even worse.
#13 Braquo 2014-09-23 21:49
I tried posting earlier today but the comment hasn't appeared. As far as I am aware the devolution of further power to Holyrood in relation to "welfare" amounts to no more than -possibly - more control over housing benefit and possibly attendance allowance.
It would come as a huge surprise to me if control over PIP/DLA were transferred. It also begs questions about the workability of unpicking these areas from the Universal credit debacle.
It certainly won't address ESA unless there are plans that remain completely embargoed and will suddenly miraculously give Scotland's administration the choice of tearing up the WCA and installing a new template.That's hardly likely anymore than control overPIP/ DLA given the ramifications for the dissent and division and outrage it would generate throughout the rest of the UK by those subject to the current despicably iniquitous system.
I'm sure we all wait with bated breath to see what the three signatories to the vow stitch-up/cobbl e together in their locked rooms late into the night.
#12 Paul Richards 2014-09-23 20:51
Hi tintack,
You are indeed right in all that you say - I am sure also, that sooner or later, Scotland will become independent - the recent incursion by the 'Westminster Gang of 3' has only (in the long run), helped the cause of the 'Yes' campaign.
At the end of the day, Cameron has now (with these other 2 party leaders) got to come up with what he (and they) have promised to the Scottish people - the Scots should not 'go to sleep and leave them rest' over this - they should watch all of them closely to see if they actually come up with what they have promised them.

This 'Vow' (as I see it) is probably a legally enforceable document - it has been signed and also dated by these three individual party leaders and they probably have a 'legal' obligation to carry it through.
Incidentally, if this had happened in any other Country, our presiding Government would probably have jumped up and said, something like 'there has been a perversion of an electoral referendum', - but so far I have not heard anything like this mentioned!
If they do not carry it out, or try to provide a terribly watered down version of what they promised to carry through, then I would have thought that the Scots could perhaps take legal action against them.
As you say, if the Tories 'win' at the next G.E. then soon, impendence for Scotland will most promptly follow, especially if they reneage on their agreement or do not follow it through in any way. This also applies to any other party as well I'd have thought.

And as for the 'deficit' - yes, exactly - this is the true fog of politics!! Misinformation, lies and misleading of the General Public.

Miliband this afternoon in his speech said that Labour would abolish the 'Bedroom Tax', but what about their ideas re 'Welfare Reform' - as far as I am aware, nothing was mentioned at all about this - is this 'business as usual' - i.e: the same as Coalition policies!!??
#11 Braquo 2014-09-23 14:46
My understanding is that the devolved powers that are being considered are very limited in scope and relate to housing benefit and attendance allowance (though how on earth these are supposed to be extricated from IDS' UC fiasco is a mystery).I'm not aware of Holyrood being given control over PIP/DLA. Nor any indication that ESA would be a component of that remit. the crumbs on devoted power appear to be what they are and it's why so many of us who voted yes are so brokenhearted by a result influenced by this duplicitous VOW.
#10 Jim Allison 2014-09-22 20:01
Never believe what a politician says, no matter what party they claim to represent.

The only qualifications needed to be an MP is to be economical with the truth (i.e a liar) and promise everything when an election is looming, but then to back out of promises made :sad:
+1 #9 tintack 2014-09-21 23:56
Quoting Paul Richards:
Nick Robinson on BBC TV News have just reported that Cameron & Clegg have a plan (to cut the deficit!!) - I don't think they have any plan whatsoever apart from helping the rich and to continue to kick down the poor and disabled people, whilst looking good in all other Countries eyes and to continue to hold onto their miserable POWER.


I think they have a plan to make it appear as though they're cutting the deficit, but that is of course a different matter entirely.
#8 tintack 2014-09-21 23:55
Quoting Paul Richards:
As re the recent Scottish referendum - well it looks like trouble for all of the 'Westminster Gang' (either way) as Alex Salmond said this morning -
if they deliver their reforms for Scotland, then everyone else, naturally and rightly so, will demand them also.
If they do not (and I strongly suspect that this will be the case), - (perhaps much more watered down!) then as he also said - they will face a wrath from the Scottish people that voted 'no' that the Westminster Gang will definitely live to regret.


I suspect Scotland will go independent sooner or later anyway. Despite the referendum result being described as a "big win" for the No side, the fact remains that they were 30% in front two years ago and 20% in front just a few months ago. In that context, a 10% win isn't so big. It's worth remembering that despite the dire warnings of impending doom in the event of a Yes vote, and despite all but one of the papers backing No, nearly half of Scots are already so disgusted with Westminster that they voted to leave. I don't see that trend being reversed any time soon.

The Scots could leave sooner than we think if the Tories win in May - god forbid - and we have a referendum on EU membership in 2017. It's quite possible that that would result in Britain leaving due to a majority of English voters voting to leave, while a majority of Scots vote to stay in (as they almost certainly would). If the Scots voted to stay in, but found themselves being forced out because of English votes, I can't see them accepting that. Demands for another independence referendum would become irresistible.
#7 Paul Richards 2014-09-21 22:11
Nick Robinson on BBC TV News have just reported that Cameron & Clegg have a plan (to cut the deficit!!) - I don't think they have any plan whatsoever apart from helping the rich and to continue to kick down the poor and disabled people, whilst looking good in all other Countries eyes and to continue to hold onto their miserable POWER.
#6 Paul Richards 2014-09-21 21:46
I have to say that I agree with everyone's comments and views on here about this - the sooner that IDS goes the better - and that goes for this awful Coalition too.
Incidentally, it was also announced that the Government is going to give 12 million pounds over the next four years to help the French government to stop the illegal immigrants to not get into Britain. I couldn't see the French government doing the same thing if it were reversed.
And again, the British people are not consulted at all before any of these money giving decisions are made.
It is very obvious though that this Coalition, and especially Cameron is far more interested in looking good in other Countries eyes than actually looking after his own British people - especially the sick and disabled who are continuing to be very worried and unnecessarily pilloried by his and Coalitions policies.
As re the recent Scottish referendum - well it looks like trouble for all of the 'Westminster Gang' (either way) as Alex Salmond said this morning -
if they deliver their reforms for Scotland, then everyone else, naturally and rightly so, will demand them also.
If they do not (and I strongly suspect that this will be the case), - (perhaps much more watered down!) then as he also said - they will face a wrath from the Scottish people that voted 'no' that the Westminster Gang will definitely live to regret.
All this could possibly end in a mini revolution & perhaps worse (for the Government of the day) than Thatcher's much hated Poll Tax.
#5 Blackcat 2014-09-20 18:08
Oh dear!! Will we ever get rid of IDS? Perhaps we should consult the people who know! David Tredinnick Con MP for Bosworth wants to use Astrology to provide answers to patients as an alternative to traditional medicine. There are twelve constellations of the Zodiac, the earth has tilted slightly since ancient times,and the constellations no longer correspond to the Zodiac, the dates that the Sun seems to pass in front of each constellation no longer match the dates Astologers use.
This is not the first time we have had a problem over Scotland. Elizabeth 1st used her Astrologer John Dee [the original 007] to cast a horoscope for Mary Queen of Scots. John Dee is also alleged to have been able to raise the spirits of the dead to predict the future. Perhaps we ought to get one of the more famous astrologers to raise the spirit of John Dee to find out what happens to IDS? John Dee died in poverty and obscurity after a spot of wife swapping,purely for research purposes into the occult you understand! How much tax payers money has been claimed for expenses into researching Astrology as an alternative to medicine? :-*
#4 Ger70 2014-09-20 14:57
As a scot and disabled I agree with every comment wether it be from Scotland,Englan d,Wales or Ireland that we fight this together and if Scotland are fortunate enough to scrap the introduction of pip etc then this has to be the same for all of the Uk and that IDS is sacked over this shambles that is costing the lives of BRITISH people!
#3 tintack 2014-09-19 21:38
As bizarre as it sounds, it would actually be better for English claimants if Westminster retains control of benefits like ESA and PIP. If the Scottish parliament gets control of them in Scotland, we'll have the problem described in this article, which would be great for the Scots, but a catastrophe for England. A near-permanent majority for the Tories on English matters, perhaps including benefits, even when they lose the UK general election? Dear lord.

Personally I'd love to see Commons elected by PR. That would make it far harder for governments to ride roughshod over public opinion, not least because PR would give us a Commons that reflected how the public voted, as contrasted with the current system in which it's possible to get two thirds of the seats - and hence a landslide majority - with little more than one third of the vote. But The Tories and Labour aren't very likely to ditch the system which has given them a virtual duopoly on power for decades. The Tories cling to first past the post as an article of faith. There is some support for PR in the Labour party, but almost certainly not enough to enable a Labour government to introduce it.

In short, the main parties' supposed new-found commitment to democracy and devolution will amount to attempting to force through whichever constitutional arrangement will stitch up their opponents, and in the process it will be the public that loses. The more it changes, the more it stays the same.
+2 #2 angela 2014-09-19 17:05
That's easy I,m off to live in Scotland if that's true
+4 #1 tintack 2014-09-19 13:39
The only flicker of hope I can see is if the Scots get considerable devolution in relation to benefits and start to introduce a more humane system. Having an example of a fairer system on England's doorstep might just serve as a reminder to English voters that the system doesn't have to be as callous as it currently is.

Of course, that takes us back to the problem of the media: even if the Scots introduce a more compassionate system, how much attention will it receive from the UK media? The broadcasters might cover it, but most of the print media probably won't (or if they do, their coverage will twist and distort the truth beyond recognition).

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