(In Cumbernauld with Jamie, local councillor Liz Irvine, SNP candidate for the European Parliament Anne McLaughlin and hard-working SNP activists)
We were out in Cumbernauld today, distributing a leaflet that exposed the hypocrisy of the local Labour MP over the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate. Rosemary McKenna has been making a big song and dance about campaigning against the abolition, despite having voted for this measure. Labour hypocrisy in action yet again.
In our local newspaper, Rosemary has attempted to deflect from her actions on the issue of the 10 pence tax rate by accusing me of possessing a ‘lack of knowledge of the parliamentary process’ and of issuing an ‘inaccurate’ statement.
What a novel approach for a Labour politician - attempt to patronise, mislead and generally bluster your way out of a situation.
Rosemary can try to pull the wool over peoples’ eyes in relation to her conduct over the abolition of 10 pence tax rate, but the fact of the matter is that she voted for this measure. The reality is that Rosemary’s actions as an MP are a matter of public record, and people can easily see for themselves how she has voted on each issue at Westminster. People don’t need to take my word for it; they can check out Rosemary’s record for themselves at websites such as www.theyworkforyou.com – which lists how each MP has voted.
She may well have called for a review of the abolition of the 10 pence tax rate, but we wouldn’t need a review if she and her Labour colleagues hadn’t voted for the abolition of the 10 pence rate in the first place!
As for Labour’s so-called U-turn on the 10 pence rate, that is nothing more than a compensation con (to use an already well worn phrase in this whole debacle). Not everyone set to lose from the abolition of the 10 pence rate will be adequately compensated by Darling's panic tax break and there is no guarantee that the tax break will continue next year. Labour MPs like Rosemary have been boasting about their victory in bringing about this U-turn from the Westminster Government, but this is a move that will still leave more than a million low paid households comparatively worse off.
As for my Labour opponent at the next Westminster election (Rosemary's standing down), well a few weeks ago I challenged him to condemn Rosemary McKenna’s actions over the 10 pence tax scandal. He refused to comment, to either condemn or support Rosemary. Not only is it strange that somebody who is putting themselves forward for election doesn’t seem to have an opinion on a matter as important as this, but also that he didn’t take the opportunity to back Rosemary McKenna’s actions. His silence speaks volumes.