Expert Analysis Warns of Big Losses for Low Income Families

Expert analysis is warning that yesterday’s Tory budget will hurt low income families.

Think-tank the Resolution Foundation published the analysis stating that “severe welfare cuts” will mean “big losses for many low-income families” – with a single parent with one child working 20 hours a week at £9.35 an hour ending up £1,000 a year worse off.

It also points out that Tax Credits, the Minimum Wage and the Living Wage currently complement each other and the Living Wage and Minimum Wage would need to rise further to compensate for the cuts announced today.

Resolution Foundation chief executive Gavin Kelly said it will take “many struggling families years before they earn their way back to their current position”.

Commenting on the report, Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“This expert analysis raises massive concerns, warning that the welfare cuts in George Osborne’s Budget will result in many families facing big financial loses – with a single parent with one child facing loses of up to £1,000 a year.

“The plans to introduce a National Living Wage, which is actually lower than the current Living Wage in Scotland, are a ‘con-trick’ that will actually result in slower growth in wages.

“It is now more important than ever that the Scotland Bill is strengthened to ensure that the powers to support and empower the least well off and most vulnerable people in society are in Scotland’s hands.”

 

The report can be found in full at http://www.resolutionfoundation.org/media/press-releases/welcome-boost-on-low-pay-but-severe-welfare-cuts-will-mean-big-losses-for-many-low-income-working-families/

“Budget Will Hit Renfrewshire’s Hard Working Families and the Poorest Hardest”

Commenting on the UK Budget announcement today by Chancellor George Osborne, Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“This budget will hit Renfrewshire’s hard working families and the poorest hardest. The Tories have continued with a harsh austerity agenda – particularly the savage cuts in tax credits which currently help 10,500 families in Renfrewshire stay above the breadline.

“With more than 17,000 children in Renfrewshire benefiting from tax credits, and with the majority of expenditure on tax credits going to low-income working families, it is clear to see that cuts to tax credits are going to impact our poorest children first.

“While I would welcome any increase in the living wage, George Osborne is in reality proposing to lower it to £7.20 from £7.85 which it currently is in Scotland.

“The cuts in the living standards of young people are particularly severe, including scrapping student grants. This demonstrates the benefit of having these powers in the Scottish Parliament, where the SNP Government continue to deliver grants for the poorest students in Scotland, rather than in the hands of the Tories in Westminster.

“This Budget reiterates the need to have economic and welfare powers here in Scotland, so that we can build a more dynamic economy to boost tax revenues and a fairer society for all.”

Mackay urges Constituents to Give Blood

SNP MSP Derek Mackay is encouraging his Renfrewshire constituents to help save a life this summer by donating blood before they go on holiday.

The Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service must maintain up to a week’s supply for all eight blood groups in Scotland and supplies often see a drop during the summer months, particularly as people travel overseas.

Renfrewshire North & West Mr Mackay MSP said:

“The generosity of Renfrewshire’s blood donors over the years has helped ensure that blood stocks have remained at a healthy level and those that require blood – get it.

“We can all help the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service by knowing what blood type we are and by keeping an eye on what particular blood groups are experiencing a shortage of supply.

“As someone who has given blood in the past, I can reassure any first time donors that the staff are friendly and do a great job in making the process quick and comfortable.

“I’d therefore like to urge both regular donors, and any first time donors, to give blood before they go away on holiday this summer.

“That few minutes out of your day could save someone’s life.”

 

To enquire about current blood stock levels, donor centre opening hours or the schedule for the mobile blood donation van, please visit www.scotblood.co.uk or call 0345 30 17 270.

10,500 RENFREWSHIRE FAMILIES WOULD BEAR THE BRUNT OF TAX CREDIT CUTS

Derek Mackay MSP is today highlighting research showing the dangers proposed Tory cuts to tax credits pose to families in Renfrewshire.

Children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland has calculated that 10,500 families, half of all families in Renfrewshire with dependent children, currently use tax credits, helping them to buy food, clothes and other essentials.

The figures cause concern ahead of George Osborne’s Emergency Budget on Wednesday (8th July), as it is expected to include measures to reduce tax credits – a key measure for supporting working families.

Commenting the Renfrewshire North & West MSP said:

“The evidence against George Osborne’s expected cuts to support for working families is stacking up. These figures estimate that half of Renfrewshire’s families stand to lose out on vital income that helps them pay the bills and put food on their tables.

“More than 17,000 children in Renfrewshire benefit from tax credits, and with the majority of expenditure on tax credits going to low-income working families, it is clear to see that any cuts to tax credits will impact our poorest children first.

“It’s not too late for the Tory Government to call a halt to these cuts to tax credits. Supporting people into work with tax credits is such a vital element of tackling unemployment and must be protected.”

Mackay Urges Residents to Check their Energy Bills

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay is today urging families across Renfrewshire to check their energy bills to ensure they are paying the correct amount.

With energy companies often sending customers estimated bills, which may be wrong, many customers can end paying for more than they actually use or suddenly owing hundreds of pounds at a later date.

The SNP MSP, Mr Mackay, warned:

“Previous research has shown that up to a quarter of Scottish households have been billed incorrectly as a result of being sent estimated bills. It is therefore extremely important that bill payers check their bills carefully when they come in.

“Failing to do so may result in inaccuracies on the account, which could leave residents unexpectedly owing hundreds of pounds to energy companies.

“Relying on estimates to calculate your bill may also result in overpaying energy suppliers, which could take a while to receive back.

“The only way to ensure you are paying for what you use, and to prevent any unexpected large bills landing on your doorstep, is to make sure you provide your energy company with a regular meter reading, rather than relying on estimated bills.”

Mackay Calls on Renfrewshire to Take Part in ‘Creating a Fairer Scotland’ Discussion

Derek Mackay MSP is calling on Renfrewshire’s residents, community groups and businesses to take part in a new national discussion about how Scotland can be a fairer and more equal place to live.

The national discussion is part of a Scottish Government plan to mobilise the nation to help tackle the scourge of intergenerational poverty and create fairer opportunities for all and build on the community-led discussions of the Referendum and General Election.

People are being invited to set out their own vision for a fairer Scotland and suggest practical solutions, based on local and personal experience.

The national discussion will take place over the summer and into the autumn, with public discussion events being planned to take place across Scotland.

People can take part in the ‘Creating a Fairer Scotland’ discussion in the following ways:

E-mail:          fairer@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
Follow:         @scotgovfairer
Post:              FREEPOST FAIRER SCOTLAND

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“Tackling inequality and creating a fairer Scotland is something we should all be striving to bring about.

“But, it is very important that it is not just politicians who decide how this may be best reached. Community groups, businesses and local residents can all play a vital role in creating a fairer Scotland.

“I therefore welcome the Scottish Government’s national discussion and encourage people from across Renfrewshire to take part.

“The Referendum and the recent General Election energised people to take part in community-led discussions about Scotland’s future. This new national discussion will give these groups and individuals across Renfrewshire an opportunity to submit their views on how Scotland can be a fairer and more equal place to live.”

Mackay Welcomes Domestic Abuse Protection Roll Out

Derek Mackay MSP has welcomed the announcement today that Police Scotland’s Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland will be rolled out across Scotland later this year.

The First Minister and Chief Constable Sir Stephen House made the announcement in Edinburgh today.

Also known as Clare’s Law, the scheme allows people to contact the police and request information on their partner’s background if they suspect them of a history of domestic abuse.

During a trial in Ayrshire and Aberdeen a total of 59 applications were received and 22 disclosures made.

Each case is considered carefully by Police Scotland and other agencies to determine whether the application is lawful, necessary and proportionate to protect the individual from their partner.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“There is no excuse for domestic abuse and everything that can be done to protect people from this disgusting crime must be considered.

“I therefore welcome the announcement by the First Minister that the Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse is to be rolled out across Scotland.

“This scheme will help protect people across Renfrewshire from possibly becoming victims of domestic abuse.”

END OF EU ROAMING CHARGES IN SIGHT AS DEAL REACHED

SNP MSP Derek Mackay has today welcomed the announcement that the abolition of data roaming charges across the EU is today a step closer.

Following a deal between the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, it is likely that data roaming charges will end in Europe starting from June 2017. This will help to open up internet access to EU citizens travelling between member states.

Commenting on the announcement, the Renfrewshire North and West MSP said:

“Anyone who has been on holiday abroad and forgot to turn their data roaming off on their phone will know just how easy it is for a huge bill to mount without even noticing.

“The abolition of data roaming charges will help to open up internet access to EU citizens travelling between member states, ensuring people across the EU can stay connected.

“Being able to enjoy the same data conditions at home and in Europe is an undoubted benefit of being part of the European Union.”

Mackay to Welcome Singing Children of Africa Back to Renfrewshire

A young choir group from Africa will be visiting Renfrewshire to raise funds for their home community in Kenya. The group is supported by the charity ‘Educate the Kids’ which is led by Scottish Granny Maureen McIntyre. The charity has helped fund a school and orphanage, with all funds raised will directly support their efforts back home.
The Renfrewshire contact, Mike Baldwin and his wife Lynn have been working on the visit, which will involve visits to local schools and businesses, with a fundraising concert planned for Renfrew Town Hall.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has been supporting plans for the visit, and will also arrange for them to visit the Scottish Parliament.

Derek Mackay, MSP for Renfrewshire North & West, said

CGPugvoWoAEIWsp“Thinking beyond our borders I will be delighted to welcome the Singing Children of Africa back to Renfrewshire. The school group visited Paisley and local towns about 5 years ago, touching the hearts of everybody they met, whilst raising money for their school and orphanage in Kenya. They sing and raise funds for education, which is the key life to prospects.
“They will be performing across Renfrewshire, and a highlight will be in the Renfrew Town Hall on Friday 29th May 2015 at 7.30pm. Tickets can be purchased from my constituency office in 37 Hairst Street Renfrew, or by calling 0141 885 2076.
“All funds raised will support their magnificent efforts. These children have next to nothing, and any support for them, and their charity would be appreciated.
“When they visited Renfrewshire before they were wonderful, really bringing joy and happiness wherever they went, whilst raising desperately needed funds for their community. I fully support the venture and recall how generous Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire were last time they came.”