LABOUR USE TAXPAYER CASH TO ATTACK PROGRESSIVE TAX

Glasgow Labour have shamelessly used council resources to send politically motivated letters to city residents ahead of May’s council elections – attacking the Scottish Government for introducing progressive tax reforms.

The letter, in the name of Labour councillor and City Treasurer Philip Bratt, complains that those in the most expensive properties will see a modest increase in their bills – despite the national party complaining that taxes will not rise enough.

The revelation will embarrass Kezia Dugdale as she launches Labour’s council campaign at the party’s spring conference, with polls indicating that the party will fall behind the Tories at a local government level.

Commenting, SNP MSP Sandra White said:

“Week after week, month after month, we hear Labour politicians complain that tax bills aren’t being hiked enough – and that we won’t adopt their plans to raise the basic rate of income tax on the lowest earners.

“But when we introduce a progressive reform to make Council Tax fairer, Labour use taxpayer funds to send campaign material complaining that the richest will pay a wee bit more.
“Labour obviously want to man the barricades for something, but they can’t decide if they’re for tax raises on the poor or for low taxes for the well-off.
“What’s shameful is that Labour are using taxpayer’s money to send out party political material ahead of the council elections – but unfortunately for them the public will see right through it.”

ENDS

LABOUR & LIB DEMS ALIGN WITH PARTY OF AUSTERITY

Thursday 23 February 2017

SNP MSP Sandra White has condemned opposition parties for not backing the Scottish Government’s support for jobs, wages and public services across Glasgow during Stage 3 of the budget debate this week.

Even under extreme budgetary pressure from Westminster – the Scottish Government’s budget will benefit Glasgow with City Deal investment; Edinburgh Glasgow Rail Improvement; National Trauma Centre; £2.1bn for NHS Greater Glasgow; investment in the sewerage network; electrification between Glasgow QS and Edinburgh Waverley; £35m in the Glasgow Subway modernisation and contribute to Kelvin Hall.

Sandra White has condemned local opposition MSPs for choosing to oppose investment in communities throughout Glasgow.

Commenting, SNP MSP Sandra White said:

“Despite continuing Tory austerity, the Scottish Government’s budget will deliver above inflation investment in the NHS, including a National Trauma Centre for Glasgow.

“Glasgow Kelvin itself will benefit from a range of direct spending commitments, including funding to Kelvin Hall which has undergone extensive refurbishment and now offers a diverse range of activities for all of the local community to access.

“This comes on top of additional funding for health and social care partnerships and for schools, with £21,602,400 attainment cash going directly to primary, secondary and special schools across Glasgow.

“It’s time the opposition got behind this strong package of investment which will bring huge benefits both locally in Glasgow Kelvin and nationally.”

 

ENDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL MSP BACKS RATES RELIEF

Thursday 23 February 2017

Local SNP MSP Sandra White has backed the Scottish Government’s proposals on business rates, after Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced a wide-ranging relief scheme that will offer strong support to businesses across Glasgow Kelvin.

Overall, the complete package of Scottish Government relief will ensure that 73% of local businesses will see either no change or a decrease in their business rates bill – with more businesses being entitled to support through the small business bonus scheme. The Scottish Government had already taken action to reduce the rates poundage to help businesses who have seen a revaluation.

The relief proposals will provide support for hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes, which had seen their rates rise the steepest following the 2015 revaluation. Any rises in this sector will be capped at 12.5% – providing substantial support to the tourism and hospitality industries across Glasgow Kelvin.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ms White said:

“This announcement by the Scottish Government proves once again the SNP’s commitment to local businesses across Glasgow Kelvin – with the substantial package of support ensuring that many businesses will not see any rise in the rates that they pay. 

“The support for the tourism and hospitality sectors is very welcome – after these industries were left facing substantial hikes in their rates bills. The cap of a 12.5% increase provides excellent support to hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes throughout Glasgow Kelvin. 

“The extension to the small business bonus will see over 100,000 firms across Scotland pay no rates whatsoever, which is a strong package of support for local businesses, and comes in addition to other funding offered in the Scottish Government’s budget, including the £500m Scottish Growth Scheme, and action taken to reduce the rates poundage. 

“Overall, 73% of local businesses will see either a decrease or no change in the bills that they pay – helping to protect jobs and support firms. It is time for the opposition parties to put their political opportunism to one side and to get behind the substantial support that the Scottish Government is proposing.”

ENDS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandra White MSP welcomes Government commitment to enshrine Social Security

Social security as a human right will be enshrined in the foundation and functions of Scotland’s new social security agency.

The overwhelming majority of respondents to the social security consultation backed the principles of fairness, dignity and respect being built into the agency from day one.

The human right to social security will be on the face of the Bill which will be introduced to parliament in June, and an early action from the consultation will see those principles reflected in a charter.

Sandra White MSP, Chair of the Scottish Parliament’s Social Security Committee, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s announcement today  that Social Security will be enshrined as a Human Right, by law, in the new Bill that will be presented to Parliament. Ms White said:

“Having spoken to many of my constituents and those who have given evidence to the Social Security Committee it is plain to see that social security is an issue that transcends politics and is a right that should be protected by law.

I have no doubt that the Bill presented to parliament in the summer will have fairness, inclusivity, dignity and respect at its core.”

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman made the announcement in a statement to the Scottish Parliament where she also responded to Research Scotland’s independent report into the consultation. She said:

“I have made clear the transfer of these powers will not be a simple inheritance and instead we will work in partnership with the people of Scotland to do things in a different way – one that is fairer, more inclusive, dignified and more respectful. But we must also make sure that the transition of powers is safe and secure, and we get a system that is right for Scotland.

“That partnership is already paying dividends with the consultation responses helping to shape the look and work of Scotland’s agency.

“There was clear support for our commitment to a rights based approach and continuing Scotland’s longstanding tradition of support for human rights, which is why we will enshrine these principles in the new system’s legislation.

“We are taking this further by including a charter within the Bill – it strengthens our guarantee by going beyond warm words and creating a binding contract between the system and the people who use it.

“I will also announce further details on our experience panels in the next few weeks, and these will see us work with people who use the current system to design, build and refine a new and better model.”

It was confirmed that Dr Jim McCormick, associate director for Scotland with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will chair the Expert Advisory Group on Disability and Carers’ Benefits. Ms Freeman added:

“Jim’s credentials for the role are impeccable as he has extensive knowledge of the issues and a genuine passion for fairness and equality.

“He will offer us independent and expert guidance and will work closely with the experience panels to understand and listen to people who use the current system, helping us create a new and better one in Scotland.”

Dr McCormick said:

“Devolution of key disability and carer benefits marks a significant change for Scotland. Ensuring the process is safe and secure for the many people who rely on these payments now, and who will claim them in future, is the first priority. We will need a system that raises take-up, reduces poverty and significantly improves communication.

“I am delighted the Social Security Minister has asked me to chair this independent advisory group which will work for the duration of this parliament. It will draw on many types of expertise, with the diverse experiences of disabled people and carers as its consistent core.

“In providing advice to the Scottish Government, it will not shy away from difficult questions and it will seek to learn from effective approaches outside Scotland.”

SNP MSP SLAMS DWP FOR KELVIN CLOSURES

CUTS TO CONTINUE SEVERE IMPACT OF TORY GOVERNMENT

 

SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White has condemned the Tory UK government for its proposed closures of Portcullis House & Corunna House in Kelvin – with the latest barrage of Tory cuts set to have a devastating impact on local communities.

 

It follows an earlier announcement that 8 job centres in Glasgow had been marked for closure by the DWP – and local MSP Sandra White is set to take up the fight with the DWP over the plans to cut this vital service in Kelvin.

 

The closures come on the back of 7 years of brutal Tory austerity, which has severely impacted communities in Kelvin and across the country – with the latest round of cuts simply representing an ideological attack on society’s most vulnerable.

 

Commenting, SNP MSP Sandra White said:

 

“I was angered to hear of the planned closures in Kelvin – which will have a severe impact on our local communities, making it more difficult and more expensive for people to access vital public services.

 

“The latest round of ideologically driven cuts is targeted at the most vulnerable people in our society – and completely betrays the Tories’ claims that they are attempting to get people into work.

 

“How can they possibly be getting people into work or receive vital support if they are closing the services that people need to develop the skills and knowledge to be successful applicants, taking away a vital resource where jobs can be found and resources secured?

 

“It was always felt that the earlier announcement of closures in Glasgow was simply the tip of the iceberg when it came to the Tories’ attempts to target our communities – and it is with absolutely no joy that we have been proven right.

 

“I will work closely with my MP colleagues Patrick Grady, Alison Thewliss & Carol Monaghan and the Scottish Government to fight these closures and resist this latest round of cuts in our community.”