Johann Lamont, currently leading the Scottish labour party to ruin has launched her great new policy – A commission to review universal benefits, and seeking to introduce means testing for the things she sees as a “something for nothing” culture in Scotland.
Johann has a problem with free prescriptions, free university places and free bus passes for the elderly.
So, yes, that’s right. The leader of the Labour Party in Scotland is trying to take entitlements away from the Sick, the Elderly and Students.
The really galling thing is that her minions have turned up on BBC Scotland to defend this, and suggest that it’s okay, because they are not seeking to get rid of these benefits completely, they want to means test them.
Again, the irony is staggering.
Labour want to introduce Means Testing for benefits that are currently universal thanks to our SNP Government.
Forget the Jarrow Marchers, Forget the entire history of the Labour movement and it’s fight against the Means Test, put all of that to one side.
We have Free Prescriptions in Scotland – but it’s not all altruism. The previous scheme exempted people that were terminally ill – seems only fair, doesn’t it? that someone who is living out their last shouldn’t have to pay for the medicine which is keeping them alive? and new mothers were exempt too. And those who weren’t working.
In fact, by the time you counted out all the exemptions, the scheme brought in so little money that it basically cost more in administrative charges than it brought in. So scrapping the charge was a sensible thing.
That being said, here’s the thing which really rankles in this. It’s not that we don’t pay for those prescriptions.
We pay for them from our taxes.
Johann Lamont’s “something for nothing” says something pretty dark about how she sees the world. I work hard, and I pay (a lot) of taxes. It’s the social contract. I pay in, and I see precious little in return. If I am sick, and need medicine, I don’t see why that shouldn’t be taken out of the tax I have paid, rather than me having to put my hand in my pocket again.
In Johann Lamont’s world, the money that I pay out of my taxes entitles me to NOTHING, and no matter how much I pay in, I shouldn’t get a bus pass or my medicine paid out of tax.
Roll on Independence!