Wednesday, 06 February 2019 14:03


Ian Blackford MP has accused David Lidington of misleading the House of Commons during Prime Minister’s Questions, over his remarks that the Scottish Parliament would have the power to create new pensions or old age benefits. 

The SNP Westminster Leader had called out the Tory government for “sneaking through” a cut in pension credit which will see some couples up to £7000 a year worse off. 

According to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 300,000 more pensioners are living in poverty since 2012.

Commenting, Ian Blackford MP said:

“The UK government has a habit of misleading the House of Commons over pensions legislation. Today, despite his response to me, the Minister would be aware that pensions legislation is reserved to Westminster. 

“The Scottish Parliament would be unable to create a new pensions or old age benefit because of the restrictions in Section 28 of the Scotland Act 2016 which means we cannot give pensions assistance or assistance “by reason of old age.” 

“And why should Scottish tax payers have to pay to mitigate regressive and punitive Tory policies – instead we should be using our powers to alleviate poverty rather than plug holes in policies that we have long-campaigned for the UK government to scrap. 

“The Scottish Government have already spent hundreds of millions since 2013/14 mitigating the impact of some of the Tories worst social security cuts for people in Scotland. We should be able to spend money on vital public services instead of mitigating the impact of Tory policies.

“Pensioner poverty is not a myth, it is a reality. It is this Tory government that is allowing a proposal to take free TV licence from pensioners; that is denying women born in the 1950s rights to their state pension, and that presides over the lowest state pension of any developed country.

“With Scottish pensioners being short changed by the UK government, the only way to end pensioner poverty in Scotland, to put fairness back into our pension system and to give older people dignity in retirement – is for pension reform to be taken by the Scottish Government – in an independent Scotland.”

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