The Scotland Bill went through its final stages in the House of Commons in a rushed debate on Monday afternoon. The SNP MPs put down a number of amendments designed to bring the Bill closer to what was propose by the Smith Commission.
Sensible proposals on devolving powers on tax credits, industrial relations and workers' rights were all rejected. In a move that's difficult to justify, the Labour party voted against devolving power over tax credits (Scottish Labour have been claiming they would protect people from the cuts which will hit the working poor http://www.theguardian.com/…/kezia-dugdale-scottish-labour-… Without the power over tax credits, the Scottish Government can do little more than apply a sticking plaster - and money provided to mitigate against the cuts may be clawed back centrally.
Another issue which was supported by the SNP but rejected by Labour was to bring control over abortion law to Holyrood, which already runs the NHS. Deidre challenged former labour leadership candidate Yvette Cooper during the debate, and by letter, over her comments that this was "deeply unwise," suggesting that women's rights could be undermined by lobbyists. Deidre pointed out that this was insulting to the people and politicians of Scotland, that there was no evidence to support the view that smaller jurisdictions were less able to look after women's rights, and that in fact the Scottish Parliament had more progressive legislation on equality related issues wherever it had the power to act. The debate was covered by The Herald: http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13951532.SNP_MP_accuses_Yvette_Cooper_of__patriarchal__stance_on_abortion/
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