Labour's Curran Challenged on Labour Axing Key Services

>> 6 June 2013


With Labour's Shadow Scottish Secretary Margaret Curran visiting the Aberdeen Donside constituency today, the SNP's candidate for the by-election Mark McDonald has challenged her to to explain to voters why Labour north and south of the Border are abandoning the principle of universal benefits, and said that only a vote for the SNP can protect the vital services delivered by the SNP Government.

Labour leader Ed Miliband used a speech on welfare today to abandon the principle of universalism and follow Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont in attacking the welfare state as "something for nothing". Johann Lamont established a Cuts Commission last summer which warned that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to cutting universal services.

The SNP are committed to maintaining the social contract that binds society together, through maintaining free personal care, the bus pass for over-60s, protecting the council tax freeze, delivering free prescriptions so that sick people are not taxed for their ill health, and no tuition fees for young Scots.

Commenting, SNP candidate for Aberdeen Donside Mark McDonald said:

“Margaret Curran should use her visit to explain to people in Aberdeen Donside why at this time Labour both north and south of the Border have abandoned the principle of universal services. They have now become indistinguishable from the Tories, who are wreaking so much havoc at Westminster.

"With voters in Donside going to the polls in two weeks, Margaret Curran should be honest and tell us which of these popular and essential benefits Labour would axe.

"The SNP are the only party committed to maintaining the key services and policies that people in Donside hold dear, and which help bind society together in tough times - free personal care, the bus pass, the council tax freeze, no prescription charges for sick people, and free tuition to ensure that education is based on ability to learn, not ability to pay.

"Labour's Cuts Commission threatens every single one of these measures, and their attack on universal benefits has been compounded by Mr Miliband's speech.

"They can only be protected by voting SNP in this by-election. I am the only candidate who is fighting to keep the services that matter to people in Aberdeen Donside, and committed to voting for them in each and every annual budget in the Scottish Parliament if elected.

“They are part of the social contract that underpins our society - and while Labour might be content to join with the Tories in trying to tear it up, I will fight to maintain it at every turn if elected on 20 June.”

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