First speech of the new Parliament

Lanark and Hamilton East MP Angela Crawley has continued her record of speaking out against the Tories, making her first speech in the new parliament this week (Thursday), calling on the UK Government to stop its obsessions on austerity.

Ms Crawley spoke as the SNP’s front bench spokesperson in the Housing and Social Security section of the debates on the Queen’s Speech.

In reference to the plan set out by the Government for the next two years, Ms Crawley said it “seems to me to be one of the most shambolic and lame legislative programmes in my lifetime”.

Ms Crawley highlighted the ideological nature of the Tories’ austerity plans, saying: “another Parliament of cuts is a choice, not a necessity, and it is a choice that has been decisively rejected by voters across the country”.

She highlighted that the benefit cap is damaging to families, particularly in Lanark and Hamilton East where almost 25 per cent of children are growing up in poverty.

She said: “Austerity has failed my constituents in Lanark and Hamilton East and it has failed constituents up and down the country.

“It is clear that austerity has failed the economy and failed society.
“It has driven the people that we should protect into poverty, hunger, humiliation and crippling debt.

“I had perhaps naively hoped that their defeat earlier this month would make the UK Government reflect on their approach to social security, listen to the experts, and inject the investment necessary to genuinely rebalance the economy and create a fairer society.

“At its very heart, that is what a social security system ought to do – yet that is exactly what this UK Government have failed to do.”