Clare Lally, from the newly launched Carers Labour Network, marks Carers’ Rights Day.
There are more than half a million unpaid carers here in Scotland, making up one tenth of the population. I am one of them.
Our voices are not always heard even though our value to society is immense.
Unpaid carers provide support and care out of love and compassion, often to those who are amongst the most vulnerable. It is a job with little recognition and support, despite the value of unpaid carers in Scotland being immense.
Justin Reynolds of Edinburgh Central CLP reports on moves at the Radical Independence Campaign’s 2014 conference to start mobilising for another independence vote.
Some 12,000 SNP members, 3,500 Radical Independence supporters, several hundred bemused Country Living Christmas Fair shoppers, and at least one very quiet Labour member found themselves assembled on the banks of the Clyde last Saturday.
For a day the SECC was the capital of the ‘People’s Republic of Glasgow’ with an evangelical SNP rally and the largest RIC conference yet taking place within yards of each other at the SSE Hydro and Clyde Auditorium.
I’ve been an admirer of RIC for some time, frequently attending their Edinburgh meetings, listening in, hovering around at the back. Saturday’s conference was a fascinating opportunity to watch the movement work out how to sustain its momentum after the referendum.
Ed Miliband spoke in Glasgow today, the day after publication of the Smith Commission Report, and said that if Labour became the Government after the General election next May he would implement the Smith Commission in his first Queen’s Speech.
It is great to be in Glasgow today.
And especially to be here with our great shadow Secretary of State for Scotland, Margaret Curran, the interim leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Anas Sarwar, and all our excellent Members of the Scottish Parliament.
Friends, the referendum campaign showed the deep desire in Scotland for change.
Political change in the way Scotland is governed.
And economic and social change in who it is governed for.
Let me say it directly to the people of Scotland: you wanted stronger powers for the Scottish Parliament.
Greater control of the decisions that affect you.
We have listened.
We have learned.
And we have changed.
Sarah Boyack MSP responds to the Smith Commission.
I want to congratulate the members of the Smith Commission for their report yesterday.
It represents the next chapter of home rule and is a substantial package of new powers and accountability for the Scottish Parliament. It sets out a renewed Devolution settlement for Scotland within the UK.
If elected as Scottish Labour Leader I will ensure that this strengthening of our devolution settlement is fully implemented and that the new powers are used to benefit the people of Scotland.
Neil Findlay MSP responds to the Smith Commission.
Yesterday’s announcement by the Smith Commission marks another remarkable and historic day for Scotland’s body politic.
It is clear that a key promise has been kept to the Scottish people and that represents a potentially transformational increase in the powers and responsibilities of the Scottish Parliament.
However, let nobody be under any illusions: constitutional change is not social change. Real, lasting and beneficial change for working people will occur only with the right level of political willingness to use every power, existing as well as new, that the Scottish Parliament has at its disposal.
David Gow responds to Jim Murphy’s announcement of his support for devolved income tax and an increase in the top rate in Scotland.
Jim Murphy says he – and Labour – now supports giving the Scottish Parliament full powers over income tax ahead of the Smith Commission proposals later this week. He has specifically proposed reinstating the 50p tax rate for those earning over £150K a year – around 16,000 in Scotland – and suggests this would net £250m.
The former secretary of state for Scotland said at the Mitchell Library, Glasgow: “It is as important a change for the Scottish Labour Party as the rewriting of Clause Four was for the UK Labour Party. We will not only meet our promise on more powers for Scotland, we will exceed it. It is a clear signal to Scotland that we have changed, that we get it, that we will stand up for Scotland.”
Quite a volte-face indeed, not least on his own previous stance!
SMITH COMMISSION: BOYACK CALLS FOR POWERS TO DELIVER SOCIAL JUSTICE
Scottish Labour Leadership candidate, Sarah Boyack MSP, said:
“I’m not going to pre-empt the Smith Commission. If Scotland is to get the full devolution of income tax, and that has not been confirmed, I’d want a cast iron guarantee from Lord Smith that Scotland will be no worse off.
“I’m also determined that we get the welfare powers Labour has called for – in particular attendance allowance, the Work Programme and housing benefit. They are crucial if we are to have the power to deliver on our social justice aspirations and empower our local authorities.
“I’ve also been clear that as Leader I would support the implementation of a 50p rate for earners above £150,000. This policy is already supported by Labour at a UK level and must be our ambition for the Scottish Parliament too.”