Holyrood accused of being a ‘middle class Parliament’ and failing on poverty – Daily Record

Holyrood is a “middle class Parliament” that does not “walk the walk” on progressive politics, according to a professor at Edinburgh University.

James Mitchell called for resources to be used for the benefit of poorer areas and claimed the Parliament had not “really” addressed poverty.

Devolution has seen successive governments use their powers to make different policy decisions than those taken at Westminster.

However, critics have argued that big ticket items like free personal care and free prescriptions have benefited middle income earners the most.

Around one in four children north of the border live in poverty and the educational attainment gap is still sizable.

Mitchell, a seasoned observer on Scottish politics, spoke about the decisions made by the Parliament in an interview with ITV’s Representing Border.

He said: “The Scottish Parliament has got the powers to do an awful lot.

“Now, you could argue that they could do other things with new powers, but frankly they’ve got ample powers to be getting on with the job, and they are not really using them.

“They are not really addressing poverty with the kind of focus that the language, the rhetoric, would suggest.

“I don’t think you can get away with the argument, all the time, that it’s somebody else’s fault – you have it in your gift to do a lot, let’s see if you can get on with it.”

He continued: “The middle classes are doing quite well in Scotland. And this has been a middle class Parliament for a middle class population and electorate from the start.

“If we are going to tackle poverty, going to tackle that education gap, we are going to have to start moving resources about and putting it into poorer areas and into those who are served less well.

“On education, for example, shifting the resource into the schools, into the areas and into the communities and families that need it most. Frankly, we talk the talk on progressive politics, we don’t walk the walk.”

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