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LOCAL COUNCILS SPEND MILLIONS MITIGATING UNIVERSAL CREDIT

SNP MSP CALLS ON IMMEDIATE HALT TO FAILED TORY POLICY

George outside the old St Mirren ground on Love St

SNP MSP George Adam has renewed calls for an immediate halt to Universal Credit after it was revealed that councils are spending millions of pounds attempting to undo the damage of this failed Tory policy.

 

A series of Freedom of Information requests discovered that local authorities in Scotland have spent more than £24 million to mitigate the harmful effects of Universal Credit, which has faced huge backlash since its introduction.

 

Renfrewshire Council has set aside 1,596,000 for spending related to UC, with extra funds being reserved to manage the impact of Universal Credit on council housing tenants finding themselves plunged into rent arrears and poverty.

 

Universal Credit has been beset by problems since its rollout. This week, one of the UK’s biggest housing associations said that more than 100,000 children could face hardship over Christmas because families are being forced to wait for more than five weeks for their first benefit payment, and the Trussell Trust has warned that they are preparing for their busiest month ever – after a 15% rise in foodbank use in Scotland in the past year.

 

SNP MSP George Adam said:

 

“Universal Credit is a broken system – it’s leaving people destitute, driving kids into poverty and forcing families to rely on foodbanks in Paisley.

 

“And these latest eye-watering figures show that Renfrewshire Council has been left picking up the pieces, being forced to shell out 1,596,000.

 

“Money is being diverted away from key public services to cover the costs and mitigate the damage caused by this appalling change being imposed by the UK Government on Scotland. That is fundamentally unfair.

 

“But there’s an easy solution – halt the rollout of Universal Credit and fix this broken policy. Or better still, put all welfare powers in the hands of the Scottish Parliament – so we can build a social security system which puts dignity, fairness and respect at its heart.”

 

The Child Poverty Delivery Plan

                                                                                George Adam Welcomes Child Poverty Delivery Plan


Paisleys MSP, George Adam, has welcomed a range of Scottish Government proposals to tackle child poverty – including plans for a new income supplement, which will provide financial support to families who need it most.

Increasing family incomes and reducing living costs are prioritised in the Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, which sets out how the Scottish Government will meet ambitious legal targets to tackle child poverty.

Actions include a new £12 million employment support fund will help parents in work progress their careers and support unemployed parents into work.

Other initiatives include a new national entitlement for the School Clothing Grant, to help with the costs of uniforms and sports kits, and new support for after-school and holiday childcare, helping parents work more flexibly and increase their incomes.

The report comes after independent analysis found that, if the Scottish Government did nothing, Tory welfare cuts would mean 38% of Scottish children would be in relative poverty by 2030/31.

Commenting, George said:

“In a country as prosperous as Scotland no child should have their chances limited by poverty.

“I’m delighted that this ambitious plan includes a range of actions to support families in Paisley with the cost of living and direct financial support.

“And the ambitious proposal for a new, targeted income supplement show that, when we have the power, the SNP will take action to make Scotland a fairer, stronger country.

“Under Tory cuts, money being is taken from the pockets of low income families, pushing them into crisis, debt, and poverty, with our public services and emergency aid responding as best they can.

“That is why the SNP in government will take action to increase household incomes and reduce costs, supporting children and families here and now.”

                   

 

 


 

Renfrewshire Schools To Benefit From The Pupil Equity Fund

Investments have been aimed at closing the poverty-related attainment gap.

Renfrewshire schools receive £4,272,240 boost from pupil equity fund.

A Scottish Government fund aimed at boosting the attainment levels of the most deprived pupils is set to pay out £4,272,240 to schools across Renfrewshire next year.

 

More than 2,300 schools across Scotland are set to benefit from the funding – including 62 in Renfrewshire. The significant investment gives money directly to headteachers, allowing them to spend the money on local initiatives that will close the poverty-related attainment gap.

 

Commenting, Paisleys MSP, George Adam said:

 

“The SNP has made closing the attainment gap our priority in this parliament – and the latest investment of £4,272,240 in our schools and our children across Paisley is a key part of that.

 

“Every child should have the best possible start in life, no matter their background – and the role that schools play in giving children the support they need is absolutely vital.

 

“That is why it is right that this significant investment to close the poverty-related attainment gap goes straight to headteachers – giving those with the most intimate knowledge of their schools the ability to develop initiatives to benefit children across Paisley

 

“And with a total of 62 schools benefiting in Renfrewshire, from this latest round of funding – following a similar significant investment last year – even more of our children are going to benefit from creative new initiatives that will help to tackle the attainment gap in our schools.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

George town hall landscape

8,646 Children Eligible For Free School Meals In Renfrewshire

George town hall landscape

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam

With pupils across the country preparing to go back to school, 8,646 in Renfrewshire will be eligible for free school meals this year.

 

Throughout Scotland, over 250,000 pupils will be eligible for free school lunches – a figure that has doubled in the last three years.

 

Thanks to an SNP Government initiative in 2015, all primary 1-3 pupils are eligible for free school meals, which is of huge financial help to families.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“It’s fantastic that 8,646 of school pupils in Renfrewshire are eligible for free school meals – an integral part of ensuring that every child gets the best start in life and as much as possible out of their time in the classroom each day.

 

“Guaranteeing our youngest pupils a healthy meal during the school day helps them to learn and can save families an estimated £380 a year.

 

“This is just one of the steps the SNP Scottish Government is taking to tackle child poverty and help household incomes – and is an essential part of our central ambition to drive up standards in Scottish schools.

 

“I wish teachers and pupils alike the best of luck as they start the new academic year.”

 P1-P3 pupils only1 All primary pupils (P1-P7) Number of secondary school pupils registered for free school meals by local authority, 2017 Number of special school pupils registered for free school meals by local authority, 2017
Local Authority Primary pupils on school roll Pupils registered for free meals Pupils on the school roll Pupils registered for free meals Secondary School roll Registered for free meals Pupils on School roll Registered for free meals Total number of pupils registered/eligible for free school meals
Renfrewshire 5,584 5,584 13,068 6,950 9,651 1,432 378 264 8,646
George outside Paisley Museum

Paisley’s MSP Calls On Tory MSP’s Representing The West Of Scotland To Condemn Family Cap And Rape Clause

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has called on Maurice Corry, Maurice Golden and Jamie Greene Tory MSPs for the West of Scotland to stop acting as mere mouthpieces for the UK government and oppose the shocking and inhumane two child limit and rape clause.   

 

 

The family cap limits tax credits to only two children per family – unless the mother can prove that a third child was conceived as a result of rape or during an abusive relationship.

 

The Tories railroaded through these policies without a parliamentary debate or vote – leaving many outstanding questions with regards to womens’ rights, the impact on child poverty, as well as how the hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals will be trained to assess evidence of rape.  

 

Many sexual violence support charities such as Rape Crisis Scotland and Scottish Women’s Aid have said they will refuse to act as third party verifiers for the UK government, not least due to the trauma and stigma that the rape assessment process will cause both survivors and children of rape.

 

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has led the campaign to scrap the grotesque two child policy and rape clause.

 

 

Paisley’s MSP, George said:George outside Paisley Museum

“The Tory policy that has become known as the rape clause, requiring women to disclose deeply personal information and prove that a third or subsequent child was conceived as a result of rape in order to claim tax credits, is both disgraceful and disgusting.

 

“Ruth Davidson and the Scottish Tories should be thoroughly ashamed of their party but instead they are defending the indefensible welfare cuts coming from Westminster.

 

“The two child policy will mean a loss of up to £2,800 every year per child for hardworking families – driving up child poverty after the UK government scrapped their child poverty targets.

 

“I will continue to fight these heartless policies and I would like to believe that the Conservative MSP’s for the West of Scotland will join me with opposing the two child limit and rape clause. By doing so, I am asking them to stand up for the dignity and human rights of Women in Scotland and condemn these utterly appalling Tory Government policies.”

 

 

 

 

 

George outside Paisley Museum

MSP Supports Child Poverty Consultation

George outside Paisley MuseumScottish Government Setting Framework For Child Poverty Eradication By 2030

 

Paisley’s MSP, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s newly launched consultation on ending child poverty. The consultation comes ahead of the Child Poverty Bill which will be introduced next year and will form part of the overall approach to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.

 

The Scottish Government aims to eradicate child poverty – and this consultation asks for comments on the proposals to introduce four statutory income targets seeking to drastically reduce child poverty by 2030, as well as how existing work can be strengthened.

 

These next steps will build on the range of work the Scottish Government already has underway to tackle poverty and inequality, such as the commitment to the Living Wage, free school meals, expansion of funded early learning and childcare, and the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

 

Commenting on the consultation launch, George said:

 

“The launch of this consultation shows that the Scottish Government is taking vital action to tackle poverty and inequality across Scotland.

 

“I am delighted to see the Scottish Government taking this active approach to end the blight of child poverty. Tackling deep-seated inequalities is the job of all society so  we need everyone across local authorities, business, the third sector and those who experience poverty to work together.

 

“The Child Poverty Bill consultation will allow further evidence and ideas to emerge, helping to build on efforts already underway – such as free school meals, a commitment to the Living Wage of £8.25/hour, the Scottish Attainment Challenge and duties to tackle inequalities of educational outcome due to socio-economic disadvantage.

 

“The Scottish Government sees child poverty as a priority – and this Bill consultation shows that the SNP in Government will work hard to end the cycle of poverty in Scotland once and for all.”

Childcare transformation will benefit 240,000 kids

George Adam MSPFollowing the publication of figures showing that in the past year alone the number of children in poverty grew by 30,000, the Paisley’s MSP is today highlighting the need to vote Yes for a better future.

While Westminster cuts threaten to push 100,000 more children in Scotland into poverty by 2020, a Yes vote means we can transform childcare, benefiting 240,000 children across the country.

Commenting on the news, George said, “Over the last year, 30,000 more children in Scotland have been pushed into poverty. This is not due to Scotland being independent, but the Westminster dividend that Better Together are so keen to talk about. If we as a nation allow Westminster to continue controlling our economy and welfare system, 100,000 more children face poverty by 2020. I take no pleasure in saying this, but the cold hard facts are that Scotland is being deeply affected by the Westminster’s ‘Project Austerity’.

‘I do not want independence just for the sake of it, I wholeheartedly believe that a Yes vote will deliver for the people of Scotland, we will be able to elect a government that we voted for which will take decisions in the best interests of Scotland’s people. We will finally have the powers we need to enable us to tackle poverty. The Scottish Government’s plans to transform childcare will benefit around 240,000 children and their families, as well as creating around 35,000 jobs.

‘Westminster cuts are not going to stop if Scotland votes no, we are going to give David Cameron the green light to cut further into the Scottish budget and go further with ‘Project Austerity’, not to mention spending £4bn a year on nuclear weapons.

‘France, Japan and the UK, what they have in common is that Scotland, per head is more prosperous nation that all three of them. As a wealthy country, we should be using that wealth to help the poorest in our society, by tackling poverty and transforming childcare. Only independence will give us the powers to do so.”

One million Scots in poverty 

The Scottish Government’s plans to transform childcare with independence are outlined in Scotland’s Future