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Category: Latest Issues

Strike Action in Colleges

Strike Action in Colleges

I am disappointed that no agreement has been reached at ACAS and that industrial action is taking place. The Scottish Government is committed to National Bargaining, which was included in our 2011 manifesto. Indeed, the Minister for Further Education has met separately with EIS and representatives of the sector’s employers’ association regarding this dispute and encouraged both bodies to work together constructively to reach a resolution. Significant progress towards reaching a settlement has been made so far and we encourage…

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LGBT+ Rights in Chechnya

LGBT+ Rights in Chechnya

I share the public’s deep concern and I am alarmed by the reported violations of human rights in Chechnya. My SNP colleagues and I fully endorse Amnesty International’s call to action to protect those at risk in the region. The international community has a responsibility to raise concerns about human rights violations with Russia at the highest level. I believe that more generally, we require a way to ensure that in our interactions with other countries, we have particular attention…

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Independence #ScotRef

Independence #ScotRef

I believe the people of Scotland deserve a choice over our future.   In the EU referendum there was a 24-point margin in Scotland for Remain. Despite this, the Scottish Government put forward compromise proposals that would have reluctantly meant leaving the EU if we could at least stay in the Single Market.   Unfortunately the UK Government decided to reject this compromise and is insisting on a course of action that it said before the EU referendum, would make…

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Hardgate Mineshaft Collapse – Update (31-03-17)

Hardgate Mineshaft Collapse – Update (31-03-17)

I have been contacted by the Coal Authority to confirm that they will finish their cavity in-filling and stabilisation works next week.   The Council have confirmed to me that they have plans in place to get on-site as soon as the Coal Authority give them the go ahead, to start road reinstatement works. The Council expect to finish this work by the end of June.   When the Council take over, they will still have a 5m by 15m…

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Statement on Independence Referendum Announcement

Statement on Independence Referendum Announcement

Scotland stands at a hugely important crossroads but the position we find ourselves in isn’t one of our choosing – 62% of people in Scotland voted to Remain in the EU referendum last year but we now face being taken out against our will and against the promises that were made in 2014. In common with most people across Scotland, I wish that we weren’t in this situation. The Prime Minister has set her course towards hard Brexit, without listening…

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Changes to Personal Independence Payments

Changes to Personal Independence Payments

The SNP are very concerned about the impact of these changes on disabled people. It has been estimated that these changes will negatively affect the financial support that some 160,000 people rely upon.   We reject arguments that these amendments to the regulations are necessary and I understand the strength of feeling in Scotland against these changes given their far reaching impact on disabled people. My SNP colleagues and I are particularly concerned by some of the comments made in…

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National Audit Office Report – Benefits Sanctions

National Audit Office Report – Benefits Sanctions

The Tory UK Government’s benefit sanctions regime breaches the principles of dignity and respect. The SNP continue to call on the UK Government to scrap their current regime.   The National Audit Office report found that the Tory sanctions regime costs more than double the money that the DWP say its saves. The costs of administering the cruel system is £285 million a year, and is on the back of the £132 million removed from JSA and ESA payments. When…

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STATEMENT FROM MARTIN DOCHERTY-HUGHES MP FOLLOWING COAL AUTHORITY MEETING

STATEMENT FROM MARTIN DOCHERTY-HUGHES MP FOLLOWING COAL AUTHORITY MEETING

On Friday (17 February) I met with Tim Marples of the Coal Authority and other Senior Coal Authority Officers, and received an update on the coal shaft collapse at Hardgate. We discussed in detail a number of issues, including:   An historic overview of coal mines in the area. Works to date and work still to be completed. The extent of the damage to utilities and sewage. Noise pollution from pumping stations impacting on local residents and the provision of…

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