First Minister Alex Salmond has today reaffirmed the Scottish Government’s commitment to universal benefits, describing Scotland as a “something for something society”.

Speaking to the annual STUC Congress in Perth, the First Minister said the Scottish Parliament was now being asked to reaffirm the social contract it has upheld through successive administrations since 1999, including free personal care and free access to higher education.

The First Minister said:

“In the face of the social and economic bedlam of the 1980s, there was a need, an overwhelming urgency, to establish a parliament for Scotland that could express a different concept of society – one based on a sense of public good and the common weal.

“And by and large, since 1999, the Scottish Parliament – and this is the Parliament as a whole, rather than any one party – has upheld that contract.

“Today the Scottish Parliament is being asked to reaffirm its commitment to universal public services – not a something for nothing country but a something for something society.”

The First Minister also used his address to reaffirm the Scottish Government’s joint working with Scotland’s trade unions, describing union rights as essential for “strong workplaces and a strong economy”.

He said the union movement would continue to play a “valuable and important role” in Scottish life as he gave a guarantee that the position of the trade unions was secure with his administration. 

And Mr Salmond also told delegates at Perth Concert Hall that union members among Scottish Government staff would continue to have protected facility time – allowing them to carry out union business during the working day.

Mr Salmond continued:

“Trade unions are important partners for the Scottish Government and we value our relationship with them very highly indeed. Strong trade unions mean strong workplaces and a strong economy.

“For working men and women, knowing their rights are protected and that their employers will work together with their trade union makes for a more secure and in turn more productive workplace.

“That’s why we are announcing today, with the STUC, that we are committing to retaining guaranteed trade union facility time for people working in the Scottish Government. This guarantee is in contrast to a recent decision by the UK Government but it is the right thing to do.

“The place of Scotland’s trade unions is absolutely secure with this administration – and I believe the trade union movement can and will continue to play an important and valuable role in Scotland in the years to come.”


2013-04-17 07:42

How was his speech received?
2013-04-18 07:26

Hi there,

Why was this article not given more prominence?

It is surely fundamental that the STUC, for so long a creature of the Labour Party, be won over to the Independence cause.

Just a few years ago it would have been inconceivable that anybody from the SNP could have addressed this meeting without being booed off the stage. Now it seems large sections of the TU movement are on the point of joining the Independence movement, and just as importantly, breaking their links, politically and financially, with Labour.

Long may that continue.

2013-04-18 07:42

ps In my “Yes” campaign canvassing in the Rutherglen constituency, I’ve found the “Labour for Independence” leaflets have been going down a bomb with Labour supporters, initially declaring themselves as pro-Union. It demonstrates to them how their party has been hijacked on this issue by the leadership and makes them more likely to reconsider their position than when they assume (correctly) that I am an SNP activist, such is the dislike of die-hard Labour supporters for the SNP.

Can I appeal to Labour supporters, or anybody else, who believes in an Independent Scotland to join the “Yes” activities in your area. You will be made very welcome.

Event details here:-…/
2013-04-18 07:46

There is no way that the 3 big unions ‘ unison ‘ unite or the g.m.b will come out and support Independence .
I was a g.m.b rep for 10 years and I can assure you that these unions are nothing more than recruiting and training agents for the labour party .
Every training course you went on it was labour this and labour that ‘ the likes of Jim McGovern & Duncan Mc Neil came through the g.m.b ranks .
2013-04-19 08:51

Hi Silverytay,

Yes, what you say is correct, but, just like the Labour party itself, the ordinary membership of these unions is turning away from Labour towards the SNP and Independence. It is only a matter of time until the membership exert their influence on the leadership, though I acknowledge this may take years to achieve. We are already seeing signs of this in a couple of branches of the smaller unions where resolutions in favour of Independence have been passed.


call me dave
2013-04-18 08:09

Lamont to offer substancial new powers to Scotland. Ehhh!
Milliband must have said yes. Aye right!

Don’t worry folks it’s a ‘red’ squirrel! Look—over here instead of thinking about independence we’re so better together.

Not all lunatic politicians live in the Northern Islands
Not all voters have heads that button up the back either.
2013-04-18 08:21

Lamont’s idea of substantial new powers and ours differs quite markedly. Housing benefits really don’t cut it for WOW factor.

It appears she has yet to grasp the concept that all of the powers of government are ours for the voting. They’ve been on loan for the past 306 years, but due to the fact that they are in fact ours by right, we’d like ALL OF THEM back now. 🙂

You must be logged-in in order to post a comment.