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SNP Takes The Lead On Income Tax Discussion

Tax Must “Protect Low Earners, Be Progressive And Proportionate”

 George sma shot portrait

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed the publication of a discussion paper on the role of income tax in Scotland and praised the Scottish Government for taking the initiative to discuss the issue in an open and honest manner.

 

The Scottish Government’s paper includes proposals from all of Scotland’s political parties – with progressive parties backing varied measures in order to support public services, and Tory proposals supporting tax cuts for highest earners at the expense of public services.

 

The First Minister also outlined that any changes to income tax in Scotland must pass four key tests – including supporting public services, ensuring the lowest earners don’t see their taxes increase, making the system more progressive, and supporting the economy.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“This discussion paper outlines the various proposals of Scotland’s political parties and where we stand heading towards the budget.

 

“It is perfectly clear that the Tories are isolated on taxation, as they are on so many other issues – with their proposals only offering a tax cut for the wealthiest and continued austerity for the rest of us.

 

“People in Paisley and across Scotland have the right to an open and honest discussion about the income tax that they will pay – and this is exactly what the Scottish Government is delivering.

 

“We need to be prepared to ask these difficult questions and to work with other parties to find an answer that means individuals and businesses are treated fairly and pay the right amount for the services that they receive in return.

 

“And as we work towards delivering a budget that works for Paisley and all of Scotland, we can rest assured that the Scottish Government will bring forward policy proposals that are in the interests of everyone, protecting the lowest earners and our public services in Paisley as opposed to just standing up for a wealthy few and putting our education and health services on the bonfire.”

 

 

Grass almost up to your knees is currently plotting the Paisley landscape

The Brexit Bombshell: Farmer’s Incomes Could Halve After No Deal

 

Farmers in Scotland could see their incomes cut in half after Brexit, a report by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board has warned.

The staggering new research warns that a No Deal Brexit, as increasingly threatened by Theresa May, is one of a number of threats to farm incomes – alongside possible changes to tariffs and subsidies.

The report finds that the “worst-case scenario” would see average farm profits across the UK fall from £38,000 a year to just £15,000.

Grass almost up to your knees is currently plotting the Paisley landscape

 

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

This is a bombshell report that exposes just how bad a Tory Brexit could get for rural Scotland.

 

“The food and drink industries are flourishing, and agriculture is an essential part to the local economy in Scotland – helping drive our tourism and hospitality industries as well as putting food on family tables.

 

“Theresa May’s reckless approach to negotiations risks enormous damage to our economy. It’s time that the Tories put the interests of the country ahead of their party squabbles – and committed to staying in the single market.”

 

Scottish Economic Growth Outstrips The UK

New GDP figures show that Scotland’s economy has grown 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017, four times the UK growth rate for the same quarter.

 

Production grew by 3.1%, accounting for most of the growth in Scotland, and the services industry grew by 0.3%.

 

Since 2007, productivity in Scotland – the key driver of economic performance  –  has grown by more than 7%. In the UK as a whole productivity growth has been close to zero (0.4%).

 

Commenting on the latest GDP figures, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:russell institute

 

“We are seeing an improving picture across Scotland – the economy is growing, the number of people in employment is rising and unemployment is at historic lows.

 

“Paisley has lots to be confident about. The SNP Scottish Government’s £6 billion infrastructure plan, £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme and record investment in Modern Apprenticeships and education will continue to support Paisley’s economy.

 

“However Brexit, and being removed from the world’s largest single market, poses the biggest threat to this progress and Scotland’s economy. A blind crusade towards a hard Brexit cliff edge could cost our economy around £11 billion a year by 2030 and result in 80,000 fewer jobs, and the fall in Sterling since the referendum is already pushing up prices and squeezing household incomes. This, accompanied by relentless Tory austerity, means we cannot be complacent.

 

“The SNP has a plan to grow our economy and we will continue to work hard to support it through difficult times ahead – determined to remain an open, European nation inside the world’s largest single market.”

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes Charities Social Advice Service

George Adam MSP is urging deaf in Paisley who have queries about benefits decisions to use a charity’s welfare rights advocacy service.

 

The service, which is run by the charity Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, can provide people who are Deaf or have hearing loss – including British Sign Language (BSL) users – with information, advice and, where possible, formal representation to challenge benefits decisions.

 

George Adam MSP said: “I’m pleased to support Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s welfare rights advocacy service which provides valuable advice and reassurance for deaf or hard of hearing people who are concerned or confused about their social security benefits.

 

“I encourage people in Paisley who are Deaf or have hearing loss to contact the service if you would like to be better informed about the support you may be entitled to.”

George alongside Eileen, Director of Action on Hearing Loss

Eileen Clarkson, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland and George Adam, Paisley’s MSP.

 

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “We’re delighted to have George Adam MSP’s backing for our welfare rights advocacy service which is making a real difference to the everyday lives of deaf people trying to access Personal Independence Payment (PIP) in particular.

 

“If you are Deaf or have hearing loss and need some help to understand letters you have received regarding your benefits, our Welfare Rights Officer would be delighted to help you make sense of it all.”

 

For information about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s social security advice service, call telephone: 0141 341 5346, textphone: 0141 341 5350, email: SocialSecurity@hearingloss.org.uk or visit www.hearingloss.org.uk/SocialSecurity.  British Sign Language users can contact via the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL service

I, Daniel Blake write launches attack on minister following Holyrood grilling

THE writer of an acclaimed film that savages Britain’s welfare regime has accused the UK Work and Pensions Secretary of talking “guff” during a showdown with MSPs.

Paul Laverty, the Scot who penned I, Daniel Blake, escalated a war of words between the film’s creators and Damian Green after watching the minister reject claims that the benefits system had driven people to suicide in an appearance at the Scottish Parliament._92246155_cwvfyd4wiaafwdu

During a fraught evidence session with Holyrood’s social security committee, Mr Green was given a signed copy of the script of the film which he has previously criticised as a ‘monstrously unfair’ work of fiction despite admitting he has never seen it.

Afterwards, Mr Laverty accused Mr Green of “an absolute and total whitewash” during questioning and failing to acknowledge the reality of the “terrifying” impact of benefit sanctions on the lives of the vulnerable.

The writer added: “That was a public relations exercise, it’s absolutely guff. Two days ago Mr Damian Green described our film ‘as having no relationship to the modern benefits system’ and ‘monstrously unfair’ to the job centre staff. Then he admits he hasn’t seen it.

“I travelled the whole country, spoke to whistleblowers within the DWP, activists, academics and people in foodbanks. What we saw was people’s lives thrown into absolute chaos by the sanctions regime. When he says our film has no resemblance to reality, it does make my blood boil.

“The characters in the film are fictional, but are informed and inspired by everything we saw during some serious investigation.”

Mr Green was repeatedly challenged by MSPs over benefit reforms and the sanctions regime which can see claimants’ payments suspended if they do not follow strict rules.

He declined an invitation to apologise the “significant failures and problems” of the reforms since their 2010 roll-out, saying the policies were aimed at helping people “take control” of their lives while describing sanctions are a “necessary backstop”.

SNP MSP George Adam presented Mr Green with a signed copy of the Daniel Blake book as “light reading” for his journey back to London. He added that campaigners who had previously given evidence to the committee had “almost” accused Mr Green of murder due to suicides that had taken place due to the stresses of the benefits system.

 

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

Damian Green being presented with a signed I, Daniel Blake book by George

A visibly irritated Mr Green replied: “There is no evidence, and I think bringing people who committed suicide into political debate is always unfortunate. Clearly every suicide is a tragedy, there are complex reasons behind everyone, and as I say to try and politicise individual tragedies like this always seems to me to be very unfortunate.”

 

He added: “It is absolutely not the intention of anyone connected with the welfare system, whether it’s ministers or staff of the DWP, to cause distress. The system is there to help people and I see it as an essential part of my job to try and set up structures and set up the organisation of the system so that it is there to help.”

“Absolutely I think they need to be there, but also they need to be there only as a last resort,” he said.

George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

JOBS BLOW: 300 Paisley DWP workers give devastating news that the Lonend centre is closing

More than 300 people face the sack after Department of Work and Pensions bosses announced plans to close its centre in Paisley.

Trade unions and politicians reacted with fury at the latest jobs’ blow to affect Renfrewshire, coming on the back of Chivas’ announcement shedding 460 jobs, as well as Doosan Backcock’s shock decision to axe more than 300 workers at its Renfrew factory.

Staff at the Lonend site face compulsory redundancy from April with the administration centre closing for good by March 2018.

George outside Paisley's East End Branch of the Bank of Scotland

Trade union, Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) last night voiced its anger at the announcement.

Paisley shop steward Colin Mack said: “We have more than 300 jobs at risk. I am shocked and disgusted by this decision.

“They are taking these jobs out of Paisley and leaving the staff without their livelihoods, where they have families, childcare, mortgages.

“The staff work really hard and they have been left reeling by this sudden and unexpected announcement. People here are really upset.”

He added redundancy talks are underway and will end by April with the centre closing for good from March 2018.

Union sources added the work is being transferred to a site in Glasgow, which remains unidentified to the workforce.

Jobs Boost For Renfrewshire As Scottish Tourism Booms

The number of people working in tourism in Renfrewshire increased by 14% in one year, new figures show – with Scotland as a whole seeing an increase of 11 per cent.

 

The statistics produced by Visit Scotland show that tourism supports 5,800 jobs in Renfrewshire, 7% of total jobs in the area.

 

Between 2014 and 2015, the number of people employed in the sector across Scotland grew to 217,000 – with the 11 per cent increase in Scotland above the 4 per cent rise in Great Britain as a whole.

 

The 217,000 members of the Scottish tourism industry represent 9 per cent of the country’s total employment and is the highest tourism level since Business Register and Employment Survey (BRES) records began in 2009.

 

41% of staff in the tourism industry work in restaurants, 24% in hotels and other accommodation and 17% in bars and related businesses.

 

George Adam MSP commented:

 

“Our tourism industry is going from strength to strength and this increase in jobs shows the vital role that tourism plays in Scotland’s economy and particularly in Paisley.

 

“Scotland is famed for its warm welcome, incredible scenery and top class attractions – and with 2017 the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology we are celebrating our exceptional historical attractions.

 

“With Scotland ranked second in the Rough Guides list of the best countries in the world to visit this year, tourism in Paisley has a very bright future.”

 

Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said:

 

“Tourism is more than a holiday experience. It creates jobs and sustains communities in every corner of Scotland all year round and is at the heart of the Scottish economy.

 

“These fantastic new figures show that, from hotel owners to waiting staff, tourism really is the driving force for providing the jobs of today and tomorrow. They also demonstrate the industry’s commitment to the 2020 strategy – which aims to generate economic growth through tourism.”

Paisley’s MSP Condemns Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Announcements Show Brexit “Will Hit Poorest Hardest”

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has condemned the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement – which drove home the fact that Brexit and continuing austerity will hit poorest families hardest.

 

Philip Hammond revealed the staggering level of borrowing needed to fill the Brexit blackhole in government finances and failed to halt the Tories’ austerity onslaught – policies that have proven so damaging to families and communities throughout Paisley.

 George Serious Paisley Town Hall

The Chancellor announced a rise in insurance premiums which will mean rising costs for hard pressed families in Paisley. The Autumn Statement came alongside forecasts from the OBR, predicting consumers will be squeezed by the rising cost of exports due to a weak pound caused by Brexit – which will hit family budgets in supermarkets and shops across Paisley.

 

The retailer, Mothercare, and former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King have both warned this week of expected price rises of around 5% in children’s clothes and groceries due to Brexit.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“The Chancellor has just proved that this UK government simply does not care for working families across Paisley – with the full impact of Brexit yet to come.

 

“We are already seeing the impact of leaving the EU hitting consumers, with OBR figures showing that the rising cost of imports due to a fall in the value of Sterling will cause prices of products to rise in our supermarkets and shops – as industry leaders have warned in recent weeks. Insurance premiums are also on the rise – yet another UK government policy that will hit the poorest hardest.

 

“The Chancellor has completely failed to protect those on low incomes – continuing with the failed austerity onslaught that has been deeply damaging to families and communities across Paisley. Think-tanks and charities have rightly condemned this, with lower earnings, benefit cuts and higher costs providing a bleak outlook for people throughout Paisley – and this is before the full impact of Brexit is felt.

 

“We already know that Brexit could cost up to 80,000 jobs in Scotland and take £11.2 billion from our economy every year – and the Chancellor has not done enough to help prevent this happening, or to fill the forecasted £220 billion Brexit black hole.

 

“Piecemeal offerings from Philipp Hammond have been more than offset by the deeply damaging impact of this Tory government’s policies – and people across Paisley will be feeling the effects of the Tories’ regressive policies for a long time to come.”

 

Paisley’s MSP Backs SNP Stimulus In Brexit Aftermath

George Adam has backed the Scottish Government’s commitment to stimulate the economy with new infrastructure funding in the wake of the EU referendum.

 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced an additional £100m of funding in this financial year to speed up the delivery of health and other infrastructure projects – as well as the establishment of a new service to provide information and support to businesses affected by the EU referendum.

 

Projects will be assessed for accelerated funding against a range of criteria including how quickly work can start, the number of jobs that will be supported or created, the likely impact on the supply chain and geographic spread.deputy-first-minister2 (1)

 

George has called on the UK Government to urgently announce its own economic stimulus package, which would enable the Scottish Government to do even more to accelerate capital spending to support communities in Paisley and across Scotland.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“Nicola Sturgeon has been clear that the Scottish Government will pursue all possible options to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU.

 

“But in the meantime we must do all we can to ensure that our economy doesn’t suffer, hitting jobs and investment in Paisley and across the country.

 

“It’s up to the UK Government to match the Scottish Government’s ambition and begin fixing this mess of their own making. Theresa May must take meaningful action to alleviate uncertainty and announce a UK wide stimulus, allowing the Scottish Government to do even more to secure jobs in Paisley and beyond.”