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Scottish government join Tories to block support for injured workers

THE SNP-GREEN Scottish government have joined with Tory MSPs to block plans to boost support for those injured at work.

Scottish Labour MSP Mark Griffin’s Employment Injuries Advisory Council (SEIAC) Bill aimed not only to put plans in place for a new employment injury benefit, but to create a new council of experts — including trade unions — which could advise on the scale and scope of the new benefit, and monitor progress.

However, just two days after SNP First Minister Humza Yousaf told the told the STUC of his ambitions to “do more to support workers and their families here and now,” his government joined with Tory MSPs to block the legislation.

Rejecting the Bill, SNP social justice secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville told Holyrood: “We do not need this Bill.”

But she added: “I wish to thank Mark Griffin for his work on this important matter, while the government cannot support the Bill, I do appreciate the work that he has done on this and it will inevitably assist as we develop employment injury assistance in the future.”

Commenting after the debate, Mr Griffin said:  “In siding with the Tories to vote down my Bill at the first opportunity, the SNP-Green government has chosen to turn its back on the frontline workers now struggling with long Covid, the firefighters diagnosed with cancer and the ex-professional footballers suffering from dementia.

“Today was the first test for Humza Yousaf after his warm words of working in the interests of working people.

“It is clear those words mean nothing after their failure to accelerate progress towards a fairer, more equal industrial injuries system in Scotland.

“The fight for a fairer industrial injuries system in Scotland, with workers’ voices at its heart and as its priority, will go on beyond today.”

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