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Month: July 2016

Maximum Workplace Temperature

Maximum Workplace Temperature

I firmly believe that all people deserve humane working conditions, irrespective of which sector of the economy they happen to work in. I therefore welcome the excellent work of the TUC in highlighting the areas where more work needs to be done to improve conditions for working people. I have a lot of sympathy with the recommendation for a maximum working temperature and I agree with the TUC that this is an area where the UK Government must do further…

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Hinkley Power Plant

Hinkley Power Plant

It is vital that we ensure a sustainable, safe, and secure energy network but I am profoundly concerned about the UK Government’s plans for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The disastrous Hinkley Point C project exemplifies the failure of the UK Government’s energy strategy and lack of a long-term plan that could cost billions to taxpayers. The UK Government’s obsession with nuclear energy will do nothing to lower energy bills and will only burden future generations with…

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Civil Service Performance Management Systems

Civil Service Performance Management Systems

I am grateful to the trade union PCS for bringing this issue to the attention of the public and MPs. My SNP colleague Chris Stephens MP has tabled an Early Day Motion on this issue, and I too am concerned that performance management systems operating in UK Government departments are discriminatory and unfair. I am particularly concerned to read research from Keele University which indicates that there are statistically significant differences in performance outcomes based on gender, age, grade and…

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TORIES MUST LIVE UP TO RHETORIC AND SCRAP REGRESSIVE POLICIES AGAINST WOMEN

TORIES MUST LIVE UP TO RHETORIC AND SCRAP REGRESSIVE POLICIES AGAINST WOMEN

The SNP has called on Theresa May to “live up to her rhetoric” of being on the side of ordinary people by scrapping her party’s regressive policies against women. A 2015 report by Engender found that since 2010, £26 billion worth of cuts have been made to benefits, tax credits, pay and pensions and 85% of this has fallen on women’s incomes. This week, the new Work and Pensions Secretary Damian Green confirmed that as part of the delayed roll-out…

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Representation of the People Bill

Representation of the People Bill

My SNP colleagues and I have a strong record of supporting the enfranchising of our young people. In the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence, the SNP Scottish Government lowered the voting age to 16, to enable 16 and 17 year olds to have their say. My SNP colleagues and I also fought hard to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in the EU referendum, though we were ultimately defeated by the Tory UK Government. In Scotland, the SNP…

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Homelessness

Homelessness

This is a matter which is devolved to the Scottish Parliament. I am pleased that the SNP Scottish Government has pioneered the most progressive approach in the UK towards tackling homelessness.   In 2012, the Scottish Government passed groundbreaking legislation requiring local authorities to provide every unintentionally homeless person with a home. In December 2012, we achieved our homelessness commitment that all of those assessed as unintentionally homeless by local authorities will be entitled to settled accommodation as a legal…

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Action on Air Quality

Action on Air Quality

This is an issue which is largely devolved to the Scottish Parliament. The SNP Scottish Government has been taking concerted action to tackle air pollution. The Scottish Government has recently launched Cleaner Air for Scotland, our first distinct air quality strategy. It sets out actions across government portfolios that will further reduce air pollution, with a particular emphasis on protecting human health and reducing health inequalities. There are currently 32 Air Quality Management Areas in place across Scotland, the vast…

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Sex and Relationships Education

Sex and Relationships Education

Education is a matter which is wholly devolved to the Scottish Parliament.   I firmly believe that young people have a right to comprehensive and age-appropriate education to enable them to make healthy and responsible choices in their lives. With specific regard to sex and relationships education,  there is extensive evidence that high-quality relationship, sexual health and parenthood education helps reduce teenage pregnancy, delays the onset of sexual activity and increases the likelihood of young people using contraception when they…

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