Scottish Greens condemn former Labour PM Gordon Brown attacks on vital child poverty progress

Social Security Scotland is doing vital work to support vulnerable people and families.

The Scottish Greens have condemned the Labour Party over an astonishing statement in which former Prime Minister Gordon Brown branded the Scottish Government’s work in lifting children out of poverty as a “waste of money.” 

This was only weeks after the Party’s current leader, Sir Keir Starmer, confirmed that a Labour government would not scrap the brutal two child cap that has plunged families and children across the UK into poverty.

The Scottish Greens social security spokesperson, Maggie Chapman MSP, has branded the former PM’s comments ‘a slap in the face to families all over the country’ and called on Scottish Labour to disown them.

Gordon Brown is spearheading the Labour Party’s work on devolution.

Ms Chapman said:

“The former Prime Minister’s comments are a slap in the face to the families all over our country who are benefiting from the groundbreaking Scottish Child Payment, the action we have taken to mitigate Westminster’s punishing and cruel benefit cap, and the Social Security Scotland workers who are doing everything they can to help people.

“Every penny that is lifting families out of poverty is money well spent. It is staggering that Mr Brown would suggest otherwise.

“Scottish Greens are doing what we can to support and empower people who are being left behind by a broken Westminster system. 15 years of austerity and cuts have been inflicted on communities across Scotland by cruel UK governments, and the so-called Labour opposition has committed to continuing with them.

“But, using our influence here, we have more than doubled the Scottish Child Payment and raised benefits in line with inflation. We have introduced free bus travel for young people and one of our Scottish Green Ministers brought in a rent freeze. I am proud that all of this is being funded by the most progressive tax system anywhere in the UK.

“And I pay tribute to the workers in Social Security Scotland. They are committed to doing what they can to treat people with dignity and compassion. Anyone with experience of the punitive system run by Westminster will appreciate the importance of this. 

“Gordon Brown isn’t a fringe voice, he is a former Prime Minister and is leading on Labour’s plans for devolution. It is vital that Anas Sarwar and any Labour members who care about child poverty disown these comments and defend Social Security Scotland and the vital progress that we are making in Scotland. 

“There is nothing inevitable about poverty. It is the result of political and economic choices. We are doing everything we can to create a humane system with empathy and dignity at its heart. 

“There is far more to do, but it won’t be helped by former PMs undermining that work or a Labour Party that is committed to maintaining a two child benefit cap that they know has been disastrous for many of our most vulnerable families.”

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