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George outside Paisley Museum

Tory Welfare Cuts Behind Rise In Food Bank Use

Paisleys MSP, George Adam, has criticised the UK government for “driving families to food banks” after new figures reveal the number of food parcels has increased over the past year.

 

The Trussell Trust’s annual foodbank statistics show that the number of food parcels distributed in Scotland surged by 17% in 2017-18 to record levels – with Tory welfare policy remaining the main driver.

 

Benefit delays and sanctions are the primary reason for referrals, with the roll-out of universal credit a factor in the rise.

 

The SNP have called on the UK government to reverse the benefits freeze and introduce a real living wage to help ensure families have enough money to live on.

 

Commenting, George said:George outside Paisley Museum

 

“It’s a disgrace that families in Paisley and across Scotland are having to rely on emergency food parcels just to get by.

 

“Millions of families across the UK are suffering from a Tory pay cut – as rising prices, stagnant wages, and cuts to social security continue to squeeze living standards and push households into poverty, debt and crisis.

 

“These figures from the Trussell Trust show that the problem is getting worse – with food bank usage rising year on year. Tory policies are making it harder for families to cover even the basic costs of food, housing, and bills.

 

“Families cannot afford another year of Tory cuts. It is vital that the UK government finally takes meaningful action to boost incomes. This must include delivering a real living wage and reverse the benefits freeze to help ensure families have enough money to live on.”

George town hall landscape

Paisley’s MSP Calls On Local Organisations To Adopt The New £8.45 Living Wage

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, today welcomed the new Scottish Living Wage rate of £8.45 an hour and encouraged more employers in Paisley to sign up as Accredited Living Wage Employers.

The Scottish Living Wage, calculated to meet the cost of living, is reviewed every year based on living standards.

The rise of 20 pence per hour will benefit thousands of workers at Living Wage across Scotland, including many in Paisley.

George town hall landscape George said:

“The new Living Wage of £8.45 will be a welcome pay rise for thousands of workers across Scotland and in Paisley , ensuring that people’s basic wage continues to meet the real costs of living.

“I would encourage all businesses in Paisley to consider becoming Scottish Living Wage employers. For business, paying the Living Wage makes sense – it’s an investment in people and all the evidence shows it leads to increased productivity and reduced staff absence and turnover, while sending a strong signal to customers about fairness.

“With millions of workers worse off as a result of the UK Government’s welfare cuts, and low pay one of the main drivers of in-work poverty, employers can make a real difference by choosing to pay the real Living Wage.

“I encourage all businesses in my constituency to recognise the benefits of paying the real Living Wage.”

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.”

Labour MSPs Vote With Tories Against Care Workers Living Wage And Attainment Funding

Labour MSPs have faced criticism after joining with the Tories to vote against a Living Wage for care workers and increased investment in tackling the attainment gap in the Scottish Parliament this week.

At Stage 3 of the Budget (Scotland) Bill this week, Labour MSPs voted against the Scottish Government package – which will deliver an additional £80 million of funding available to raise attainment, provide funding to local authorities to pay the Living Wage to care workers and record funding for Scotland’s NHS.

George outside Paisley Abbey

George outside Paisley Abbey

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP George Adam said:

“This is a budget which delivers funding for Renfrewshire Council to deliver the Living Wage to local care workers and which invests even more in tackling the attainment gap between rich and poor in our schools – and the idea that Labour MSPs would join with the Tories to vote against these progressive measures simply beggars belief.

“With care workers and children from deprived backgrounds in Paisley set to benefit from this Budget – Labour MSPs will have to answer to people in Paisley for their decision.

“It’s clear that Labour aren’t remotely interested in doing what’s best for Paisley – they’re far more concerned with launching failing party political attacks against the SNP and trumpeting their unworkable, bag of a fag packet policies which they have absolutely no intention of delivering.

“In contrast, the SNP in government is getting on with the job of delivering for Scotland – with a budget protecting public services in the face of Tory austerity, making our country fairer by tackling the attainment gap, and delivering a pay-rise for low-paid workers rather than a tax-rise.

“With the election just weeks away, this is a Budget the SNP can be proud to stand on – and the Labour Party will have to explain its decision to once again stand side by side with the Tories.”