Scots see England as a 'piggy bank', says Shropshire MP Owen Paterson

Re-elected MP for North Shropshire Owen Paterson has joined the debate over constitutional reform, accusing Scotland of treating England like "some piggy bank".

Owen Paterson
Owen Paterson

Mr Paterson was speaking during a TV discussion on the issue of English votes for English laws. He said both Scotland and Wales had England at a disadvantage.

"There are decisions made on health in Wales by a bad Labour government in Cardiff that affect me right up here in Shropshire and I can do nothing about it," he said. "The Scots can run around promising free healthcare, free holidays to Lanzarote and expect the English to pay."

He said Scotland should be given full fiscal responsibility.

"Are you going to vote for, effectively, a Marxist SNP, or would you vote for a prudent Scottish Conservative party?" he said.

Meanwhile, Mr Paterson has welcomed new figures showing claims for jobseekers allowance have dropped in his constituency. In April, the number of claimants in north Shropshire dropped to 921 – 1.4 per cent of the population and down from 959 the previous month.

Mr Paterson said: "North Shropshire is seeing record amounts of growth, much of which is from small businesses.

"You only have to walk through any of the market towns to see new businesses where empty shops used to be. Whitchurch has seen 187 start-ups since 2010. However, it's not just Whitchurch, the rest of the constituency is also seeing a marked improvement.

"Walking through Market Drayton a few years ago there were closed shops everywhere. There were 39 closed shops and we have managed to bring that down to 15. I am confident that we can decrease that number further still."

Mr Paterson was re-elected last week winning with a majority and total of 27,041 votes.

Labour's Graeme Currie narrowly beat Ukip's Andrea Allen into second place, while Tom Thornhill, representing the Liberal Democrats, came fourth and the Green Party's Duncan Kerr came fifth.

Mr Paterson added: "Since Labour were last in power in 2010 the number of people in work has increased by 2.05 million and unemployment has fallen by nearly 0.7 million.

"By sticking with our long-term economic plan and by continuing to build a welfare system that rewards work we will continue to make sure more families have the security and dignity of a regular pay packet."

"We are committed to achieving full employment, so everyone who wants to work can have the security of a regular pay-packet.

"Getting people into work is the best route out of poverty, and getting more good jobs across the UK means we can renew our country as a place where people who work hard and do the right thing are able to get on."

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