Previously the council’s Labour Group has refused to back an SNP motion condemning the cuts as an attack on the most vulnerable for fear of upsetting their Tory partners and were roundly condemned as a consequence.
However the Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement, when he announced a further £4billion of cuts on top of the £20billion to £36billion already announced forced Labour into a dramatic u-turn and support for the SNP motion which was accepted by 29 votes to 2.
SNP Leader, Cecil Meiklejohn who moved the motion on behalf of the SNP said,
“It is clear that Labour’s u-turn was not only undertaken grudgingly but for the reason of self-interest rather than any concern for those suffering from the savage Tory cuts.
It is also clear that the Tories within the ruling administration will seek to extract a price for the humiliation they faced within the chamber and the SNP will watch developments very closely.
What the debate did show is that being governed by a party from London with only one Scottish based MP and locally with only 2 Councillors is bad for the health and wellbeing of ordinary people locally, something the 29 -2 vote demonstrates.
We welcome the Review Commission set up by the Scottish Government to seek a fairer Scottish alternative to the savage proposals from London.
Of course the welfare system is a retained function for Westminster but the independence referendum in 2014 gives up the option of developing a fairer more humane alternative to Tory cuts and inequality.”
Text of the SNP motion
“Council notes with concern the plans for a further attack on the most vulnerable within society by the UK Government with the announcement in the Autumn Statement on 5 December 2012 that a further c. £4bn is to be cut from the welfare budget at a time when income tax rates for the rich are being reduced.
Council also deplores the changes to the benefits and treatment of disabled people implemented in December 2012 and calls on the UK Government to secure termination of the contract with ATOS, the French company set targets for the removal of benefits to disabled people at present by the Tory/Liberal Coalition Government in London.
Council also calls for information about all benefit changes to be added to the report to be submitted following the 26 September 2012 meeting”.