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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.”

 

Paisley’s MSP George Adam, Calls On Constituents To Have Say On Bottle Deposit Return Plans

Zero Waste Scotland Holding Events To Gather Public Views

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has called on people across Paisley to get involved with the latest series of events to gather views on the proposed bottle deposit return scheme.

 

The Scottish Government is currently consulting on the scope of a deposit return scheme, to boost recycling and cut plastic waste – with the proposal being that customers would pay a deposit when they purchase a product, which would be refunded when the item is recycled. The scheme already operates in many other parts of Europe.

 

Zero Waste Scotland is now hosting a series of events across the country, including in Glasgow, to give people across Scotland the chance to put forward their views on the scheme.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“A deposit return scheme has huge potential to help us meet our recycling goals, as well as tackling the scourge of plastic litter and waste on our landscape.

 

“The issue of plastic pollution, particularly in our water, has become well known in recent months, as the impact of the problem was brought to light by Blue Planet last year.

 

“And it is of course an issue that affects us right here in Paisley – and the deposit return scheme can make a real difference.

 

“Zero Waste Scotland’s events across the country give us all a chance to give our views on the scheme, how it could work and how it can be implemented.

 

“We all have a stake in protecting and preserving our planet – and the bottle deposit return scheme is one small step we can take in the fight against plastic pollution.”

Sharp Fall In Weapons Offences Since 2007

 

SNP Knife Crime Approach Working In Renfrewshire

 

Cases of handling of offensive weapons across Renfrewshire have fallen sharply since the SNP came to power in 2007, latest figures have revealed – proving that the SNP’s approach to crime and justice in the community is working.

 

In 2007/08, there was 19 cases of handling offensive weapons per 10,000 of the population in Renfrewshire – which has fallen sharply to 7 by 2016/17, a drop of 63%.

 

The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland” – and are a further indication that SNP efforts to tackle issues such as knife crime have worked.

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“This is welcome news – and proves that the SNP’s approach to issues such as knife crime is paying dividends for our communities across Paisley and Renfrewshire.

 

“Thanks to our approach to justice and well-supported police in our communities there has been a marked drop in the number of weapons offences across Renfrewshire – meaning everyone can enjoy living here more safely.

 

“Given this sharp drop in weapons offences – 63% since 2007, contrasting sharply with the trend south of the border – it is no wonder that the Tory UK government are looking to Scotland for answers on how to tackle crime, acknowledging that they have ‘a lot to learn from Scotland’.

 

“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007 – putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are as safe as ever before.”

 

Sharp Fall In Vandalism Over Last Decade

SNP Tackling Crime In Renfrewshire

Cases of vandalism across Renfrewshire have fallen sharply since the SNP came to power in 2007, latest figures have revealed – proving that the SNP’s approach to crime and justice in the community is working.

 

In 2007/08, there was 199 instances of vandalism per 10,000 of the population in Renfrewshire – which has fallen sharply to 86 by 2016/17, a drop of 57%.

 

The latest figures back up Tory Justice Minister Rory Stewart’s comments that the rest of the UK “has a lot to learn from Scotland”.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“This is welcome news – and proves that the SNP’s approach to justice is paying dividends for our communities across Renfrewshire.

 

“Thanks to our approach to justice and well-supported police in our communities there has been a marked drop in the rate of vandalism across Renfrewshire – meaning everyone can enjoy living here more safely, without damage to property.

 

“Given this sharp drop in cases of vandalism – 57% since 2007 – it is no wonder that the Tory UK government are looking to Scotland for answers on how to tackle crime, acknowledging that they have ‘a lot to learn from Scotland’.

 

“The SNP has made justice one of its top priorities since coming to power in 2007 – putting more police on the streets and taking decisive action to reduce reoffending, meaning crime is at its lowest level in over 40 years and our communities are as safe as ever before.”

School Leavers Across Renfrewshire Heading For Work Or Study

Derek MacKay MSP, George Adam MSP, Gavin Newlands MP

More Young People Setting Up For Success After School

 

School leavers in Renfrewshire continue to go on to positive destinations after finishing secondary school – with the latest figures showing 92.8% of youngsters in Renfrewshire going into further or higher education, employment or training three months after leaving school.

 

The total across Scotland has risen from 93.3% last year to 93.7% this year – showing that even more young people are finding fulfilling opportunities after leaving school.

 

In Renfrewshire, the percentage of people going on to positive destinations has gone from 92.2% last year to 92.8% this year – and increased from 88.1% since 2011/12.

 

Of those in positive destinations, 45% are at University and 23% are at college, while 21% are in employment and 3% are in training.

 

Commenting on the latest stats, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“The Scottish Government continues to make education its priority this parliament – and these figures reflect just how important SNP action on education is for our young people.

 

“Being able to go on to a positive destination after leaving school – whether that is college, university, work or training – is a great boost for young people across Renfrewshire, improving their self-confidence and setting them up to make positive contributions to our communities as adults.

 

“That more young people across Renfrewshire are going on to positive destinations this year than previously – up from 88.1% to 92.8% over the last six years – is fantastic news for our local community.

 

“Our young people need fulfilling work, study or training after leaving school to help ensure they don’t get left behind – and these positive figures for Renfrewshire and across Scotland show that they are benefitting from exactly that.”

 

 

 

 

 

Renfrewshire Schools Receive £4,558,000 Attainment Funding Boost

Primary and secondary schools across Renfrewshire will receive £4,558,000 from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund in 2018/19 to help boost the attainment levels of the most deprived pupils.

 

Nine local authorities in Scotland and an additional 74 individual schools will share £50 million funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge fund for initiatives targeted at children living in communities affected by high levels of deprivation.

 

This brings the total Attainment Scotland Fund investment to £170 million this year – helping raise attainment in schools across the country.

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“The latest Scottish Government investment of £4,558,000 in Renfrewshire schools will help us significantly drive up standards in education and raise attainment in our schools.

 

“We want to ensure that every child in Scotland has the best possible start in life, no matter their background, and this investment will help us narrow the poverty-related attainment gap across Paisley.

 

“We now have hundreds more teachers in classrooms the length and breadth of Scotland as a direct result of the Attainment Scotland Fund – and the SNP Government’s £170 million investment this year will help us raise the bar higher still.”

 

George Adam MSP Back Charity’s Appeal For Paisley Buddies To Support Veterans With Hearing Loss

George Adam MSP is backing a charity’s call for Paisley Buddies to volunteer for a new service supporting older veterans whose lives have been distressed by hearing loss or tinnitus.

 

The MSP for Paisley found about Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Hearing Forces service and its need for more volunteers during the charity’s Deaf Awareness Week parliamentary reception on Tuesday 15 May.

 

Hearing Forces, which is part of the Unforgotten Forces consortium led by Poppyscotland, is looking for volunteers to give a few hours each month to provide veterans aged 65 or over, their families and carers with vital information and support to help them to cope with hearing loss or tinnitus.

 

The volunteers will be trained to clean, re-tube and adjust NHS hearing aids and provide vital information about ways to reduce the impacts of tinnitus and advice about assistive equipment, such as amplified telephones or personal listeners, which can make everyday life easier.

 

George Adam MSP said: “As a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Armed Forces and the Veterans Community, I’m always interested in finding out about the range of national or local support that is available for veterans living in Paisley.

 

“I’m delighted to discover that Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is working with 14 partners in the Unforgotten Forces consortium to provide holistic support for local older veterans and I encourage people in Paisley to come forward for the charity’s Hearing Forces service which aims to provide one-to-one support for those who are affected by hearing loss.”

 

Action on Hearing Loss Scotland’s Director, Teri Devine, said: “We appreciate George Adam MSP’s backing for our volunteers appeal for our new Hearing Forces service.

 

“We’d welcome the opportunity to speak with people from Paisley interested in helping to ensure that older veterans as well as their families or carers who have hearing loss or tinnitus are supported to hear family, friends or neighbours and remain active in their community.”

 

For information about volunteering for Hearing Forces, email: hearing.forces@hearingloss.org.uk or telephone/text 07388 227407.

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.”

Geroge Adam MSP

My Constituent Was Sanctioned For A Heart Attack!

DWP Boss Ignoring Real Life Impacts Of Tory Policies

DWP boss Esther McVey today struggled through a Holyrood committee meeting as the real life impact of Tory welfare policies was laid bare.

 

SNP MSP George Adam raised the case of a constituent who had been sanctioned after suffering a heart attack – but was met with a brick wall as Ms McVey insisted the system was working.

 

After Ms McVey said that Universal Credit was fit for purpose, Mr Adam told her “with the greatest respect, that’s completely devoid from the real world.”

 

He continued: “In my constituency, I’ve got people who’ve been suffering constantly because of the roll-out. We’re not even a full roll-out area.

 

“What about people like my constituent, who ended up getting sanctioned because he had a heart attack and was in the Royal Alexandria Hospital?”

 

Commenting, George Adam said:

 

“That was like speaking to a brick wall – despite the overwhelming evidence of the negative impact of the Tory welfare agenda, Esther McVey just insisted that all was well.

 

“The fact is, the botched Universal Credit roll-out is having a devastating impact on many across the country – and that’s just the latest in a long line of Tory welfare cuts.

 

“With our limited powers over welfare, we’re building a Scottish social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart – and we’ve refused to use the discredited sanctions regime in our new employability service.

 

“But the extent of Westminster cuts to the welfare state show why we need full powers over social security in Scotland – not in the hands of the Tories

Paisleys MSP, George Adam MSP Encourages Shoppers to Keep it Local

Paisleys MSP, George Adam, is encouraging consumers in Paisley to shop locally and support the 4,685 small businesses in the local economy.

 

 

The Scottish Government is committed to supporting businesses in Scotland, including retailers, providing the most competitive package of non-domestic rates reliefs anywhere in the UK in the 2018/19 budget. This includes the Small Business Bonus scheme that has already saved smaller firms £1.5bn, lifting 100,000 business premises out of rates altogether.

 

George commented:

 

“Shopping locally is good for communities, good for the environment and great for the local economy, supporting 28,430 workers in Renfrewshire in small businesses.

 

“Today’s market provides many new challenges for retailers, including the move to online shopping as well as Brexit-fuelled inflation and more expensive imports that translate into higher prices at the checkout. Brexit is the biggest threat facing the Scottish economy and the SNP will continue challenging the Tory government’s extreme Brexit plans and standing up for Scottish businesses and jobs.

 

“Given these challenges, wherever possible, we should all seek to support Paisley’s huge variety of brilliant independent, locally run businesses such as Zamboretto, Bianco Nero, The Mad Hatters, Helen’s Haberdashery, Kenneth Edwards, Finishing Touches & Little Potters. Each small business offers something unique and special, and it is important that we support them and help our local economy to thrive in a market that is increasingly dominated by the big players.”