“SCOTLAND HAS HAD ENOUGH OF BEING IGNORED” – SNP LAUNCH EURO CAMPAIGN

Voters in Paisley should use the upcoming European election to send a message to Theresa May that “Scotland has had enough of being ignored”, SNP MSP George Adam has said.

The SNP launched their European campaign on Thursday 9th May as postal ballots arrived with 750,000 voters across Scotland.

May 9 is also Europe Day, which celebrates peace and unity in Europe.

Paisley’s MSP George Adam said:

“This is by far the most important European election in Scotland’s history.

“Renfrewshire voted to Remain in the EU by 65%, along with the rest of Scotland voting overwhelmingly to remain in the EU; yet we face being dragged out against our will with no clarity on what Brexit actually means. What we do know is; Brexit will be bad for Scotland – with fewer jobs, fewer opportunities, and households right here in Paisley left worse off.

“On May the 23rd by voting SNP, people in our town can send a clear and unequivocal message to Theresa May – Scotland will not stand for Brexit and we deserve better than a Westminster system that isn’t working.

“Scotland has had enough of being ignored. We have already proven ourselves as world leaders in many areas – minimum pricing for alcohol, ambitious and radical climate change goals, and progressive policies for social and ecomonic change to name but a few – so I want Scotland to continue this trend on the world stage.

“Scotland’s future lies in Europe. A vote for the SNP is a vote to make clear Scotland says No to Brexit.”

360 RENFREWSHIRE FAMILIES SUPPORTED BY BEST START GRANT

APPLICATIONS FOR NEW SCOTGOV BENEFIT OPEN THIS WEEK

George Adam MSP

360 families in Renfrewshire received a payment of £600 on the birth of a first child, and £300 on the birth of any siblings, thanks to the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant scheme.

Since opening for applications in December, nearly 10,000 low income families across every area of Scotland got help from the new Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby payment, with the new benefit paying out £3.5 million in the first three months.

This week, the First Minister announced a brand-new benefit as part of the Scottish Government’s new Best Start Grant package, which will build on the success of the Pregnancy and Baby Payment.

Applications are open for the new payment, which will see low-income families paid a further £250 when their children start nursery and school.

The Early Learning Payment is for children aged between two to three and a half and can be used for anything from children’s clothes and shoes to toys, books or days out.

SNP MSP for Paisley, George Adam said:

“This substantial increase in support for families and new babies shows what can be achieved if we take a different approach to social security – using Scotland’s new powers to support families across the country.

“In just the first two months of the Best Start Grant, the Scottish Government got more money into people’s pockets than the DWP had managed under the old system in an entire year.

“The SNP in government has consistently demonstrated a commitment to increasing financial support for families, bringing equality to Scotland’s children by helping them towards the best possible start in life.

“With full powers over social security, Scotland can be the best place for a child to grow up.”

SNP MSP DEMANDS ACTION ON BANK CLOSURES IN PAISLEY

SNP MSP George Adam has called for re-assurances that local bank branches will remain open in Paisley, after concerns over the number of banks and building societies which have closed across the country were raised.

Geroge Adam MSP

A Which? study revealed that 8 banks and building societies have shut their doors in Paisley and Renfrewshire North, and almost 400 banks and building societies have closed across Scotland since 2015.

Communities across Scotland are rightly concerned about the impact of the decision to close will have on local businesses, employees, the elderly and vulnerable and all those who need access to banking services.

SNP MSPs and MPs have been arguing for the reversal of hundreds of bank branch closures across Scotland, and a Holyrood committee urged that banks should be required to consult with customers, businesses and the wider community before closing local branches.

Despite repeated calls for action, and its role as majority shareholder in RBS, the Tory Westminster government has failed to lift a finger to prevent the closures.

Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:

“These bank closures contribute to a lack of banking facilities, which will hit local families, small businesses, and tourism here in Paisley.

“More and more of us do our banking on the internet or by phone, but that simply isn’t an option for everyone. A face-to-face banking service is indispensable for many people, and banks must engage with people and businesses on their needs before deciding to close a branch.

“It would be a huge loss to Paisley to see any more branches shut their doors – this could leave a significant number of elderly and vulnerable people without the preferred or necessary level of face-to-face service.

“My SNP colleagues and I will continue to fight for urgent action to ensure our communities have full access to adequate banking facilities.”

MSPs pledge to fight MS during MS Awareness Week

This Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Week (22-28 April), MS Society Scotland were in the Scottish Parliament to raise awareness of the important role research plays in the lives of people affected by MS.

Geroge Adam, Stacey Adam, Morna Simpkins, Nick Moberly, Joe Fitzpatrick

MS affects more than 11,000 people in Scotland and can cause problems with how we walk, move, see, think and feel. But the MS Society is driving research into more – and better – treatments.

The charity currently funds 10 research projects in Scotland with the studies receiving over £3.56million over their lifetimes.

MSPs from across the country attended a reception at Holyrood to hear from some of the leading names in MS research and people living with the condition.

MSP for Paisley, George Adam pledged his support for the crucial research being done in Scotland to stop MS.

George said: “MS awareness week is a highlight of mine both politically and personally, and I have had the privilege of sponsoring the events in the Scottish Parliament for a few years now.

“My wife, Stacey, has MS so I understand first-hand the everyday difficulties that face those with the condition. Simply, research is vital for both those living with MS and their families and the work done by the MS Society is crucial in the quest for more treatments and options.”

Morna Simpkins, director of MS Society Scotland said: “This MS Awareness Week we are highlighting the importance of MS research.

“For more than 11,000 people in Scotland, living with MS is a daily reality. This is why the MS Society is driving cutting-edge research into more – and better treatments to ultimately stop MS.

“By contributing and joining a global group of fundraisers people can help us find new treatments for people living with the often painful and exhausting condition.”

MS is an unpredictable condition that is different for everyone. It affects how a person thinks, feels and moves. For support and information, please contact the helpline on 0808 800 8000.

LABOUR MUST “GET ON BOARD” WITH FULL DEVOLUTION OF RAIL

SNP MSP George Adam has called on Labour MSPs to get behind the full devolution of rail services to Scotland, after a former Labour transport minister urged that the Scottish Parliament be given full responsibility over Network Rail.


Tom Harris, a senior adviser to the Rail Review, said that all lines, signals, stations and infrastructure under the control of Network Rail should be transferred to a new body, answerable to the Scottish Government.

At the moment, Network Rail is responsible for railway infrastructure and is accountable to Westminster, not Holyrood.

In November, Labour MSPs were criticised for voting against the full devolution of rail, despite almost 60% of delays on Scotland’s railways over the last year being attributable to Tory government’s shambolic operation of Network Rail.
 
Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said:
 
“The SNP in government has consistently called for the full devolution of rail services, but successive Labour and Conservative governments have repeatedly denied Scotland a full say over how its railways are run – talking a good game while doing absolutely nothing to deliver the powers we need.
“The Rail Review gives us an opportunity for meaningful change. Full devolution of services currently under the control of Network Rail would help to improve performance on the railways and allow for a coherent, joined-up approach to transport.

“It’s time for Labour to get on board with the common sense approach – handing over full control of the rail infrastructure to Scotland to help ensure our railways deliver for all passengers in Paisley.”

EU CITIZENS URGED TO STAY IN PAISLEY

GEORGE ADAM: “YOU WILL ALWAYS REMAIN WELCOME IN SCOTLAND AND IN OUR COMMUNITY”

SNP MSP George Adam has made an impassioned plea to EU citizens living in Paisley to stay in Scotland amid ongoing Brexit uncertainty.

This week First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, made a commitment to EU citizens that Scotland remains their home – promising to continue making a strong case for their rights to be protected in any EU exit scenario.

The SNP leader has written an open letter to EU citizens to confirm a new ‘Stay in Scotland’ package that will consist of:

• £250,000 for community based support across Scotland

• a support and advice service for EU citizens with more complex needs or particular challenges

• a toolkit for employers, including posters, factsheets, digital content and guide directing EU citizens to further guidance

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said:

“It is important to make clear that EU citizens will always remain welcome here in Paisley, and I will continue to do all I can to help people stay in Scotland.

“It’s wrong for the UK government to oblige EU citizens who have built their lives in Scotland, and who contribute massively to our economy and communities, to apply for the continued right to remain in their own homes.

“With absolutely no clarity from Westminster, this announcement from the First Minister will provide welcome support for EU citizens in across Scotland.

“I’d like to urge anyone who has issues or concerns they would like to discuss with me to please get in touch.”

FREE PRESCRIPTIONS SAVES AVERAGE SCOTS UP TO £171 A YEAR

COST INCREASE IN ENGLAND SHOWS PEOPLE ARE BETTER OFF WITH THE SNP  
 
Scottish patients are saving £171 a year on their prescriptions compared to patients in England – after prescription charges in the Tory-run NHS rose to £9.
 
According to the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe), the average Scot receives 19 prescriptions per year. If these were charged at the new English rate of £9 each, people in Scotland would be out of pocket by £171 annually.
 
Commenting, SNP MSP Emma Harper said:
 
“Healthcare should be free at the point of use for everyone – that’s why the SNP scrapped prescription charges for all patients 2011.
 
“Prescription charges were nothing more than a tax on ill health that Scotland’s families could ill afford. I am proud that an SNP Government took the decision to improve access to prescriptions for all.
 
“In England, the Tories are putting the future of the health service at risk by opening up the NHS to privatisation, continuing to charge families a small fortune for vital medication.
 
“This is further evidence that people are better off with the SNP – and only the SNP will keep Scotland’s NHS safe in public hands.”

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

“These figures demonstrate once again that the SNP can be relied upon to put people first.

“Unlike the Westminster Government, here in Scotland we do not think access to healthcare should come down to financial background. No one should ever feel excluded from healthcare, and families should never have to make the choice between putting food on the table and the live saving medications they desperately need.”

96% OF NEW PARENTS BENEFITTING FROM BABY BOXES

New figures have revealed that 20244 families in Renfrewshire have benefitted from a Baby Box, as the Scottish Government announced a new design in time for Mother’s Day.

Across the country, over 80,000 Baby Boxes have been delivered since April 2017.  

The new Baby Box was created by a team of young people from schools across the country.

The new boxes will also encourage families to become more environmentally friendly, with parents-to-be receiving a voucher for a reusable cloth nappy, and liners.

Scotland’s Baby Box contains a selection of clothes, as well as every day must-haves, like a bath towel, a travel changing mat, muslin cloth squares, a bib, a digital thermometer, and books.

Commenting, MSP George Adam said:

“Every child, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life.

“At the heart of the Baby Box is a message about fairness and opportunity, which is why I’m delighted to see that numerous new families have benefitted from it.

“96% of expectant parents in Scotland are now requesting a Baby Box – and more than 80,000 have been delivered.  That’s a huge vote of confidence in the Baby Box.

“Given how beneficial they are to parents and newborns, long may that continue.

Health Board Boxes Delivered
NHS Ayrshire and Arran 4825
NHS Borders 1521
NHS Dumfries and Galloway 1916
NHS Fife 5212
NHS Forth Valley 4173
NHS Grampian 9153
NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde 20244
NHS Highland 3916
NHS Lanarkshire 9032
NHS Lothian 14193
NHS Orkney 280
NHS Shetland 335
NHS Tayside 5778
NHS Western Isles 295
Total 80873

The winning design was created by:

  • Demi Burnett, 12, from Banff Academy in Macduff.
  • Edith Macdonald, 13, from the Community School of Auchterader in Gleneagles.
  • Emily Wilson, 15, from St Luke’s High School in Barrhead.
  • Holly Henry, 16, from St Columba’s in Kilmacolm.
  • Sonny Robertson, 17, from Trinity Academy in Edinburgh.

PAISLEY’S MSP CALLS ON PM TO RULE OUT NO DEAL AND COMMIT TO SECOND EU REFERENDUM

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has joined with colleagues from across the party divide to oppose Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal and call for the threat of No-Deal to be taken off the table.

Speaking in the chamber during a Scottish Government debate on EU withdrawal negotiations, MSPs from the SNP, Scottish Labour, Green Party and the Liberal Democrats highlighted the growing support across Scotland for an extension to the Article 50 process to avoid a No-Deal scenario on 29th March.

In a historic move, politicians at the Welsh Assembly joined forces with Holyrood to debate the same motion simultaneously. Scottish Brexit Secretary Mike Russell said the unprecedented event sent a “strong message to the UK government that it must stop pursing such a disastrous course of action”.

Political commentators have suggested there is currently no prospect of the Prime Minister’s Brexit deal being passed by MPs at Westminster at the second attempt scheduled for 12th March – just 17 days before the UK is set to crash out of the EU.

Research has shown that Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal would lead to a 6% fall in GDP by 2031, costing each person in Scotland £1,600.

Speaking in the debate, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“No-Deal should be definitively ruled out – and today, from Edinburgh and Cardiff, we demand that it is.

“The deal on the table guarantees more years of uncertainty during which Scotland’s interests will be at the mercy of a vicious, and seemingly never-ending, Tory civil war – one where the extreme Brexiteers are currently in the ascendancy.

“The preferable alternative option, in my view, is now a second EU referendum. After all, nobody voting to leave the EU knew precisely what they were voting for – the leave campaign was deliberately vague, some may say deceitful, about the form Brexit would take.”

Last month, a report from the Chief Economic Advisor to Scotland warned that a No-Deal Brexit would expose up to [X%] of [Area’s] workforce to economic shock and possible job losses.

George Adam MSP said:

“The current Withdrawal Agreement means Scotland faces being taken out of the EU against our democratic wishes, taken out of the Single Market against our economic interests, and cut off from our European friends and neighbours against our will.

“This is something the SNP are not okay with, and we have made that fact blatantly clear since the day and hour the Brexit process began. Nevertheless, we have repeatedly been ignored and sidelined.

“The Westminster Government have handled the Brexit process deplorably since the moment the referendum result was announced, and just when you begin to think enough is surely enough; the cycle of broken promises, disappointment and confusion only continues to spin out of control.

“Scotland deserves better than this.”

FIRMS IN RENFREWSHIRE BENEFIT FROM £6.75m IN BUSINESS RATES SUPPORT

George Adam MSP

The Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme provided £6.75m of support for businesses across Renfrewshire in 2017/18 – a 16.9% rise on the previous year.

The Small Business Bonus Scheme, delivered by the SNP in 2008/09, supports local firms by reducing their rates liability or taking firms out of business rates altogether.

With businesses across Scotland receiving a total support relief of £6.75m last year, SNP MSP George Adam has said the Scottish Government’s commitment to local jobs and communities across Paisley is clear.

Commenting, local SNP MSP George Adam said:

“These figures prove the success of the Small Business Bonus Scheme for firms across Paisley.

“Businesses in Renfrewshire have benefitted from a massive amount of money in rates support, providing stability for local jobs and communities and giving firms that valuable headroom to grow and thrive.

“While Labour and the Tories have no credible plans between them, the SNP is getting on with the job – creating a better business environment in our town, boosting employment and creating a business environment where local companies can flourish.”