By Martin Kelly
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has blundered again after appearing not to know the timetable of her own party’s Welfare Reform Bill.
Ms Davidson was taking questions from the listeners on Radio Scotland’s Call Kaye when she had to be corrected by a caller after being asked a question relating to blindness.
Responding to a question from a female caller from Livingston, who was quizzing Ms Davidson about the proposed changes which will result in blind and partially sighted people losing out on the disability living allowance, Ms Davidson said:
“Have you had the assessment?”
The caller immediately replied: “No, nobody has had the assessment yet as it has not gone through parliament yet.
A clearly nonplussed Ms Davidson blurted out: “Right so…” before the caller interjected again and informed Ms Davidson that: “it doesn’t go through parliament until October.”
The blunder was seized on by the SNP who claimed the level of ignorance displayed by Davidson was “disrespectful” to those affected by the changes.
Commenting, Jamie Hepburn, Deputy Convener of the Welfare Reform Committee and SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, said:
“This just shows how dreadfully out of touch the Tories are with ordinary people and the profoundly negative impact their changes will have.
“Ruth Davidson has no idea about the cuts for disability allowance which is disrespectful to the people it impacts on.
“The Tories are all at sea on disability allowance changes. Ms Davidson defends welfare reforms without knowing what they mean. They are trying to hide their changes on disability allowance just like they did with their changes for the pensioner’s tax in the budget – but the people of Scotland know better.
“Ms Davidson refuses to apologise for the Tories past and says she wants to re-brand their toxic brand but how can they detoxify their brand when they don’t even know where it is toxic?”
The error is the latest in a series of gaffes by the blunder prone MSP who recently claimed that her party were in power in Stirling Council when in fact there are just 4 Conservative councillors out of a total of 22. The council is run by a minority SNP administration.
She also admitted that the best the Conservatives could hope for was third place in the local authority elections.
Annabel Goldie’s replacement was forced to backtrack after describing the SNP’s proposed referendum question as ‘fair and decisive’.
It followed another blunder when she insisted that the Scotland Bill was a “line in the sand”. Days later David Cameron, in comments made during a visit to Edinburgh, appeared to promise more powers for Holyrood should Scots reject independence.
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