The vote on the second reading of the Welfare Reform and Work Bill in the House of Commons last night (Monday), was passed by 308 to 124 – with the Labour Group abstaining, while some 48 Labour MPs rebelled to vote with the SNP against the Bill – the SNP said that Labour’s failure to oppose it would haunt them through next year’s Scottish Parliament election and beyond.
Commenting, Joan McAlpine MSP, who sits on Holyrood’s Welfare Reform Committee said:
“The Tories’ cruel welfare cuts damage the working poor and vulnerable people, and it is right that our MPs opposed them.
“Labour had the perfect opportunity to join the SNP in a progressive coalition to oppose the Tories – but with some honourable exceptions they sat on their hands.
“This disgraceful stance will haunt Labour through next year’s Scottish Parliament election and far beyond.
“Labour has completely abandoned any pretence of being a party of social justice and progress – just as they did when they so shamefully voted to support George Osborne’s £30 billion more austerity cuts.
“This cuts Bill is an attack on civil society, it’s an attack on our poorest and hard working families, and it’s a regressive Bill that takes us back in time with cuts that will hit women and children the hardest.
“It is now beyond doubt that the SNP are the real and effective opposition to the Tory government. People in Scotland will be appalled by this Bill, and our 56 SNP MPs will continue to oppose it and set out a progressive alternative, even if Labour will not.”