Labour Party conference

Welsh delegates are playing a prominent role at Labour's annual conference in Manchester - with Wales the only part of the UK where the party's in power

View all 12 updates ›

Scottish Labour leader renews her attack on 'free' benefits

The Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, has renewed her attack on the SNP government's introduction of universal benefits, such as free prescriptions, pioneered by Labour in Wales. She told her party's conference that poorer families are paying for Alex Salmond's 'tax break for the rich'.

Don't be fooled by the slogans. Salmond trying to claim more things are free in Scotland as a way of building up resentment with our partners elsewhere in the UK. The people of Scotland know that nothing is free. And every day we see more clearly that the costs of Salmond's slogans are being borne by hard working families struggling to make ends meet, borne by the elderly and vulnerable seeing their care slashed, borne by the student who can't get a place in further education.

– Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont MSP

In the Senedd, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, was asked by the Conservative AM Janet Finch Saunders to respond to Ms Lamont's criticism of universal free prescriptions, available even to people who earn over £100,000 a year.

0.4% of the population earn over £100,000 a year. Means testing would cost more than it would save.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones AM

More on this story