VIDEO: THURSDAY 29th NOVEMBER 7.30pm Public Meeting Clydebank Trade Union Council

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont’s ‘something for nothing’ speech has been described as being like ‘a train wreck’ and the ‘longest suicide note in history’. The problem for Lamont and her supporters is that the universalism of free bus passes for the elderly, free prescription charges and free tuition are very popular and people know they're not free. They voted to pay for them through their taxes! It is argued that there are lots of reasons why universal services are preferable to means testing such as better take-up, less admin costs, more equality and social solidarity. Therefore shouldn’t progressive taxation - the rich pay more - be the way to fund decent public services and shouldn’t these be central to Labour's policy rather than ditching universal benefits in favour of the hated means test?

Jackie Baillie MSP - Labour

Gil Paterson MSP - SNP

Stephen Boyd - STUC

Cathy Leach - Scottish Pensioners Forum

Contributions from the speakers

 

Questions and discussion