TORY TAX CREDIT CUTS TO COST FAMILIES £2,000

‘TRUE COST’ OF OSBORNE’S AUSTERITY FOR FAMILIES HIGHLIGHTED

A new expert report showing how families could lose out on £2,000 due to tax credit cuts shows the ‘true cost’ of Westminster control of social security, the SNP has said today – as the party repeats its call for full control over the economy and welfare to be in Scotland’s hands.

The report produced by the Resolution Foundation reveals that the Westminster welfare cuts will plunge another 200,000 working households in the UK into poverty over the next five years.  Previous figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) have shown that almost 350,000 children in Scotland will be hit by the UK Government’s cuts to tax credits.

Commenting, SNP Westminster Social Justice Spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said,

“David Cameron claims to be waging an “all-out assault on poverty”, but the depressing reality is that his government is forcing more and more Scots below the poverty line, costing jobs and stifling economic growth.

“350,000 children in Scotland will be badly hit by the tax credit changes coming in to force and Holyrood has its hands tied by the refusal of the Tories to devolve key powers to the Scottish Parliament.

“The case for full control of social security being passed to the Scottish Parliament is undeniable and backed overwhelmingly by civic Scotland. Once again it is Scotland’s most vulnerable who will suffer as a result of Westminster policies.”

Local SNP MP and Vice Convener of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Civil Society & Volunteering, Martin Docherty said,

“Day-after-day, the true cost of the Tories savage and immoral cuts are coming to light. Their ideological obsession with austerity is a direct-attack on working people and their families across the UK.

While the SNP has consistently argued for a more sensible public spending policy that supports investment and protects the most vulnerable members of our community, the Tories remain committed to austerity and are backed by an ineffective Labour party, unable to muster any sort of cohesive opposition.

That’s why the list of third sector organisations calling on the UK Government to go further in the devolution of powers over the economy and social security is growing by the week; and why the SNP will continue to make the case for these powers to be in Scotland’s hands, rather than in the hands of George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith.”

Wear It Pink

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Martin Docherty, MP for West Dunbartonshire, has shown his/her support for women with breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging his/her constituents to take part in Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, on Friday 23rd October.

 

wear it pink, the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser, calls on supporters across the country to ditch the day-to-day colours and pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

 

Martin joined fellow parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Westminster this week to encourage people across the UK to get involved. Now in its 14th year, wear it pink raises over £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer, and this year it is back and bigger, brighter and bolder than ever before.

 

Anyone can take part, whether in school, at work or at home. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate whatever you can.

 

Martin Docherty MP said:

“Right now breast cancer is at a tipping point. Every year in the UK around 50,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly nearly 12,000 women still lose their lives to the disease. This is why we all must come together to support Breast Cancer Now’s cutting-edge research, and, in wear it pink, there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

 

“Together, we can make a big difference for women with breast cancer, now and in the future; I hope everyone in my local community will join me in wearing it pink on Friday 23 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”

 

Launched in June 2015 with the ambition of ensuring that no one dies from the disease by 2050, Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

 

This is a day when we stand out, stand together and stand for something: wear it pink on Friday 23 October to support Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research. For more information or to register for wear it pink visit www.wearitpink.org

 

Sunflower Nursery

Martin Docherty MP visited Sunflower Nursery last week to see the excellent service being delivered to the people of Clydebank.

 

The nursery, opened more than 12 years ago, has seen consistently high inspection grades from the Care Inspectorate but there are no signs of this excellent facility resting on their laurels.

 

Owned and run by Lisa Girasoli and Anne Latimer, both qualified nursery nurses and directors of Sunflower with over 25 years’ experience in childcare and education, the nursery is constantly working with parents and their highly professional staff to improve outcomes for the children especially when it comes to the transition to Primary Education.

 

As one of the Council’s ‘Partnership Nurseries’ they are a key provider of early years education in the area and are able to access funding to ensure that their staff have best, most up to date training.

 

Martin said,

 

“The energy and enthusiasm everyone has is immediately apparent and it’s clear that a ‘community’ ethos is behind their success. I was delighted to have the chance to meet the staff, parents and children and I was very impressed, not only with their results on paper, but to see how that has translated into a fantastic experience for the children.”

 

 

Note for Editor

 

Martin visited Sunflower Nursery in Clydebank on Thursday 3rd September at 10am. Contact details etc for the nursery can be found on their website at http://www.sunflowernursery.co.uk

 

The nursery have been consistently good inspection performers and had invited Martin along to see the service.

 

You can view their inspection report grades here: http://www.careinspectorate.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7644&Itemid=489&bereNextPageId=QualityGrades

Refugee Crisis – Comment from Martin Docherty

“Sons and Daughters of the Rock and their neighbours throughout the communities of West Dunbartonshire are well known for their generosity. This gesture highlights the difference in the humanitarian approach to this crisis adopted by the people of Scotland in stark contrast to this Westminster Tory Government who would ignore their moral obligation, turning their backs yet again on vulnerable people in desperate need. If your Neighbour’s House is on Fire, you don’t haggle over the price of your garden hose.”

Martin Docherty MP joins CND in Parliament to call for ‘No More Hiroshimas’

Martin Docherty SNP MP for West Dunbartonshire joined the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in Parliament to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and call for the horrors of the event never to be repeated.

 

The first use of an atomic bomb against a population took place on August 6 1945 when US air forces dropped a bomb on Hiroshima, which killed up to 180,000 people and destroyed 13 square kilometres of the city. A further bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki three days later and killed between 50,000 and 100,000 people.

 

The photo call is just one of a host of events taking place right across the country to mark the anniversary. Details of all the events are available on the CND website.

 

Martin Docherty MP said “I have been a long-time supporter of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and as an MP it is a pleasure to have to opportunity to publicly support CND in calling for the horrors of Hiroshima never to be repeated. That these weapons are based so close to home and an area that suffered so badly while friends and families fought to end the mass murder of Hitler’s Nazi regime is an affront to decency. The anniversary of the bombing is an important time to reflect on the human cost of using nuclear weapons.”

Welfare Reform – Response to Jackie Baillie MSP’s Press Release

Martin Docherty MP said,

 

“Ms Baillie’s position is farcical. Labour deliberately ensured that they did not have enough members in the chamber to win the vote on their own amendment and in any case, the SNP in good conscience could not vote in favour of a Labour amendment that pledged support for a number of this Government’s ill thought out welfare reforms.

 

The fact is that if all Labour MPs had turned up and joined us in voting against the second reading of this Bill, the Government’s welfare reform plans would have been stopped in their tracks as enough Tory MPs were absent to give the opposition a rare majority. For Labour to move an amendment supporting Tory policies and then to abstain when we try to block this legislation is a betrayal of the communities they are suppose represent.

 

The SNP are the only real opposition to the Government in Westminster and it’s clear that Labour will continue to help the Tories implement their austerity agenda.

 

The SNP will continue to speak up and oppose these damaging reforms on behalf of the communities of Scotland.”

 

SNP HIGHLIGHTS NORTHERN DEFENCE FOCUS FOR UK DEFENCE REVIEW

ANGUS ROBERTSON MP CALLS FOR MARITIME AIRCRAFT AND PATROL VESSELS TO BE BASED IN SCOTLAND

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has called for the UK to take northern defence priorities more seriously. Speaking at an event hosted by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) ahead of publication of the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) later this year, the Westminster SNP Leader Angus Robertson MP said “the UK has not taken northern regional security seriously enough and this must change with the new SDSR”.

In his speech in London he called for the procurement of Maritime Patrol Aircraft and for their basing in Scotland, the permanent stationing of ocean going conventional patrol vessels on the Clyde and a step change in UK engagement with regional allies in northern regional defence tasking. Mr Robertson highlighted the protracted absence of UK Armed Forces from northern maritime and air-patrol co-operation as unacceptable.

Westminster SNP Leader Angus Robertson MP said

As we approach publication of the Strategic Defence and Security Review it should be acknowledged that the UK has not taken northern regional security seriously enough and this must change with the new SDSR”.

While all our northern regional neighbours make defence, security and stability in our region a key priority, the UK has not. The UK did not even mention the High North and Arctic in the last SDSR. This must change.

The UK has the only armed forces in northern Europe without Maritime Patrol Aircraft, has not taken part in NATO northern maritime patrol groups for years and has never taken part in NATO northern air policing which is based in Iceland.

The Royal Navy bases all of its ocean going patrol vessels on the south coast of England and has repeatedly had gaps in their cover for UK waters.”

 

West Dunbartonshire’s MP Martin Docherty added,

 

“The Unionist parties continue to press forwards with their plans to waste billions of pounds of tax payer’s money on first strike nuclear weapons while Scotland’s defences remain the lowest priority for the Westminster Government.
In recent years we have seen increasing foreign military operations close to UK territorial waters and airspace, and UK armed forces have been known to rely on intelligence from Scottish fishing vessels and social media as they have not had the appropriate assets in place in time.

The forthcoming SDSR should signal that the UK will now take northern regional defence and security seriously. The Ministry of Defence must procure Maritime Patrol Aircraft and base them in Scotland which is closest to where they are needed most. The MOD should permanently station ocean going conventional patrol vessels on the Clyde to be close to northern waters.

Scotland is a northern maritime nation and it is shocking that UK government needs to be shamed into taking its northern defence responsibilities seriously.”

TORY BUDGET WILL HIT WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE’S HARD WORKING FAMILIES, POOREST AND YOUNG PEOPLE HARDEST

Commenting on George Osborne’s Budget, West Dunbartonshire SNP MP Martin Docherty said:
 
“George Osborne’s budget will hit hard working families, the poorest and young people the hardest. He has continued with his unionist austerity agenda which we now know includes savage cuts in tax credits. Any increase in the minimum wage is of course welcome, but the reality is that the good will be more than undone by the wider austerity cuts.

The living wage in Scotland is currently £7.85. George Osborne has a brass neck trying to frame his minimum wage increase as living wage implementation. With the living wage in Scotland currently at £7.85 the Tories’ offering of £7.20 per hour is an insult to the communities of West Dunbartonshire.
 
This Budget was a sermon from the high priest of the unionist austerity cult; ‘Robbing’ Hood, taking from the poor and hardworking people and giving to the richest in society. The Tories’ cuts in the living standards of young people are particularly severe, including scrapping student grants. The SNP Government will continue to deliver grants for the poorest students in Scotland, demonstrating the benefits of having these powers in the Scottish Parliament, rather than in Tory hands at Westminster.
 
There were measures which we welcome such as the freeze in fuel duty, but there was nothing in the Budget to encourage innovation or exports.
  
The UK Government are imposing this austerity Budget on Scotland on the basis of having a single Tory MP north of the border. The electorate in West Dunbartonshire and Scotland as a whole overwhelmingly rejected austerity at the election by returning 56 SNP MPs, and the Tories secured their lowest share of the vote in Scotland since 1865.
 
This Budget underlines the need to have economic and welfare powers in Scotland, so that we can build a more dynamic economy to boost tax revenues, and create a fairer society where policies benefit the many, not deliver tax cuts for millionaires.”