I would argue that the fundamental obstacle to the english masses and other 'western' peoples to developing struggle that sees victories in such backward political times as the Scots have achieved is shifting the embedded racist (white supremacist) and imperialist culture amongst the masses as indoctrinated since birth by the state, the media, education system and so on.
One wishes the Scottish people every victory in their continued anti-imperialist and pro-poor struggle which is all tied up with the struggle for an independent Scotland that will surely see continued socialist and anti-imperialist oriented victories. - Sukant Chandan, Sons of Malcolm
Bedroom Tax: Hated Tory tax is banished from Scotland after vote lasting less than 10 seconds
IN a stunning victory for the Record-led campaign against the policy, Finance Secretary John Swinney announced he would provide the full funds needed to undo the Con-Dem cut.
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THE misery of the bedroom tax in Scotland was banished yesterday – in a vote lasting less than 10 seconds.
In a stunning victory for the Record-led campaign against the vicious policy, Finance Secretary John Swinney announced he would provide the full funds needed to undo the Con-Dem cut.
Delighted campaigners were last night organising a Glasgow rally to celebrate their victory.
Bin The Bedroom Tax Coalition’s Sean Clerkin said: “This is the news everyone who has been involved in the campaign has been waiting for.
“I want to commend the Record for their fantastic coverage of this unjust policy.”
Swinney confirmed the lifeline as his £30billion budget for 2014-15 was approved at Holyrood.
He said the Scottish Government will spend more than £244million helping those affected by UK Government welfare cuts between 2013-14 and 2015-16 – at the expense of spending in other areas.
He confirmed an additional £15million has been found so the entire £50million required would be available in benefits to social housing tenants judged to have a spare bedroom.
Swinney said: “None of the funding is a solution to the bedroom tax. This is about mitigation, about picking up the pieces from Westminster’s iniquitous policy.
“The only real solution is to scrap the tax and this Government believes the only way to do that is for this Parliament to have full powers over welfare in Scotland.”
The SNP and Labour set aside differences to find a solution during budget negotiations.
Swinney pointed out that UK Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) rules mean the Scottish Government are constrained in what they can legally spend, as welfare policy is controlled by Westminster.
The DWP set a cap at £22.85million for discretionary housing payments, which can be used to support tenants at risk of falling behind in rent.
The SNP administration said the total support that could be provided directly by councils to individuals was £38million. Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has written to the DWP asking for the cap to be removed, so the remaining £12million can be distributed that way.
If this doesn’t happen, Swinney promised to find a way of getting the money to bedroom tax victims.
Scottish Labour’s finance spokesman Iain Gray said: “By passing this budget, as amended by Labour, we’ve shown that working together across the Parliament floor to support the people off Scotland is possible.
“I am delighted that with full funding now allocated, vulnerable tenants need not be subjected to the iniquitous bedroom tax.”
Scottish Anti-Bedroom Tax Federation chairman Tommy Sherican said: “This is a great victory for everyone – including the Daily Record – who fought against this tax.
“Ordinary people have come together to express their outrage at this hated tax. It is because of them that the Scottish Government have been forced to act.”
Housing charities welcomed the move. Shelter Scotland director Graeme Brown said: “This statement recognises the importance of getting money into the hands of tenants struggling to pay their rent. It also protects the future of social housing by ensuring social landlords don’t go out of business.”
However, Tory MSP Murdo Fraser said scrapping the bedroom tax should not have been a priority for the SNP.
He added: “My fear is that this budget is more about political opportunism, taking a big stick to beat the UK Coalition Government rather than any serious attempt to take practical steps to have a budget in Scotland’s best interests.”
NICOLA STURGEON: Deputy First Minister
YESTERDAY, the Scottish Parliament overwhelmingly rejected Westminster’s bedroom tax.
Approval of the SNP Government’s budget means £50million has been secured to mitigate the iniquitous tax.
This is not a long-termsolution but it’s enough to ensure people are protected from the effects of the tax.
The only real solution is to scrap the tax for good.
We are in the ridiculous position of having to find money to mitigate the impact of a policy imposed on us by a government we didn’t vote for.
To make matters worse, we are being forced to ask Westminster’s permission to allow us to spend all of this money – Scotland’s money.
But the cost of mitigating the tax in Scotland is a drop in the ocean compared to the £2billion of welfare cuts being inflicted on Scotland’s most vulnerable in the current year.
JACKIE BAILLIE: Labour's social justice spokeswoman
THE bedroom tax has to be the most wrong-headed, iniquitous policy devised by any government for quite some time.
I only had to pick up the Record over the last year and read about their campaign to see the damage it was doing to communities all over the country.
This week, the SNP finally accepted the Labour argument that by working with our councils and housing associations, we could abolish the bedroom tax in all but name.
We have shown this week that when we come together, we can use the Scottish Parliament to stop the Tories in Scotland targeting the most vulnerable in our society.