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2014: 6 YEARS ON

I’m proud to have played my part in Yes Motherwell & Wishaw in 2014. We worked with anyone who strived for an independent Scotland. Some of our brightest stars on that campaign are no longer with us and we stand on their shoulders today. We won in Motherwell and Wishaw then. We will win again and take Scotland with us to independence.

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TORY POWER GRAB

Last night, I voted against the Tories’ power grab on the Scottish Parliament. Yet, the Internal Market Bill was passed despite Scottish MPs and the Scottish Parliament rejecting it.

All of the Scottish Tory MPs, including Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross, voted to undermine Scotland’s will and control over devolved policy areas. They have been spineless and have failed to stand up for Scotland.

This is an attack of devolution and a danger to our NHS and other public services; Scottish food and environmental standards; and democracy.

By breaking the devolution settlement and international law, the Tories have shown they cannot be trusted. It is clearer than ever that the only way to properly protect Scotland’s interests is to take our place as an independent country.

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UK BUDGET ANNOUNCED

Despite the spin from the Tories in London, Scotland’s budget will be lower in real terms that it was when the Tories came to power. It does not reverse £13.9bn of cumulative cuts or provide our people and services with the full support they need.

I was pleased that SNP calls to act on the tampon tax was heeded, and also my own calls to end the 20% tax on digital publications. However, many of the UK Government’s abhorrent policies remain. The two-child Tax Credit cap is still affecting 8,500 Scottish families. The minimum wage is still set below the real Living Wage. And the £200bn immoral and financial blackhole, Trident, will remain on the Clyde while children live in poverty, people go homeless, and families go hungry.

There was once again no strategy for the steel sector; no protection of workers’ rights; and no commitment to match the Scottish Government’s efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

Urgent action is needed to tackle the economic crisis coronavirus is causing: the UK Government should have matched the Scottish Government’s NHS spending. UK Statutory Sick Pay also lags behind the European average at £94 per week whereas Ireland is offering £266 – for all workers, including the self-employed.

The Scottish Government now needs clarity on what the UK Government’s coronavirus programme will means for spending here. Barnett consequentials must be passed on so we can effectively deal with the problem.

In summary, this year’s budget is a continuation of the budgets the Tories have been forcing on Scotland for ten years. Our economy is being undermined, our services are being hamstrung, and peoples’ incomes are being squeezed. With independence and all the powers at Scotland’s disposal, we could introduce a budget that meets the needs of people across Scotland to deliver for them and allow them to live a life of opportunity, prosperity and respect.

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NLC BUDGET 2020/21

Due to the continued cuts from the Tory Government in London, the SNP Group in NLC did their best to create a budget which protects frontline jobs and services by listening to the concerns of local people.

Sadly, the Labour budget was passed leading to:
🚨 New charges for community alarms of £3.40 per week.
🍞 An increase in schools meals by 25% to £3.
🚧 An end to the Safe and Sustainable Travel Team which educates our young people on road safety.
👩‍⚕️ A removal of £1.8m from the adult social care fund for “remodelling” which is supposedly going to be reinvested a year later.

🚣‍♂️ SNP Councillors attempted to re-open the discussion on Kilbowie to save the centre. Despite a majority of the council voting to do so, Labour councillors voted against and the two-thirds majority required was not reached.

🥁 Thankfully, music tuition was saved. Our young musicians will be able to continue to access the education which makes them world-class.

However, the Scottish Government has today announced an extra £6m for North Lanarkshire Council. I therefore hope Councillors of all parties will meet soon to agree how local people and services can be protected from the relentless onslaught of Tory austerity.

Only with independence can Scotland end Tory rule and Tory austerity so our services can provide the full support our communities need.

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SCOTS MPs BLOCKED ON NHS SPENDING BILL

Tonight, all Scottish MPs were blocked from voting on matters which would affect how much money Scotland would get in our block grant due to English Votes for English Laws (EVEL).

That means the Scottish people are being blocked from having their say over the decisions which affect our lives – again.

The UK is not a union of equals. With recent polling showing that support for independence has reached a majority, we must have our say so we can take control of all powers to build the country we want and not be treated as second class.

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BREXIT DAY

As successive UK Governments continue to ride roughshod over Scotland’s will, we must decide our own future – not have Boris Johnson decide it for us.

The First Minister has today announced that the SNP will seek to secure a binding referendum for the Scottish people. We will seek to do this by bringing together the elected representatives of Scotland: MSPs, MPs, the MEPs elected last year and council leaders – to come together to endorse a modern Claim of Right for Scotland through a new Constitutional Convention.

To declare that it is for the Scottish Parliament to decide whether and when there should be an independence choice and build support for that principle amongst civic Scotland.

Independence has always been backed up with a solid plan. In 2014, we produced ‘Scotland’s Future’. We will now produce the ‘New Scotland’ papers which will provide the information and answers people want on the details on how Scotland can make the transition from a Yes vote to becoming an independent country.

They will set out ideas and options for how we can use the powers of independence to build a better future – to grow a stronger and more sustainable economy, tackle poverty and inequality, better meet the climate challenge and expand opportunity for our country and for each and every person who lives here.

Scotland’s people are moving the country towards independence. Our will cannot be undermined and the SNP is fighting for a Scotland which will be able to make its own decisions. We can achieve that with independence.

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INDEPENDENCE LEADS IN POLLS

As the Scottish Parliament reaffirms its calls for an independence referendum, a poll has shown that support for independence has taken the lead.

We’ve had enough of Boris Johnson and his Tory pals deciding our future for us and undermining our economy and services.

The Tory UK Government cannot continue to run scared from the will of the Scottish people. We must have our say.

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SNP ELECTED ON REFERENDUM MANDATE

The SNP has been elected on a clear mandate for an independence referendum. The people of Scotland want to decide their own future – not have Boris Johnson decide it for us.

The SNP gained a better mandate from the Scottish electorate for an independence referendum than the Tories gained across the UK to form a government. Scotland’s will must be respected.

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VOTE SNP TO PUT SCOTLAND’S FUTURE IN SCOTLAND’S HANDS

MARION FELLOWS VOWS TO FIGHT SCOTLAND’S CORNER AND SECURE EXTRA FOUR BILLION POUNDS FOR THE NHS

Marion Fellows, the Scottish National Party (SNP) candidate for Motherwell and Wishaw who is seeking re-election to the House of Commons, has called on local voters put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands at the ballot box on the 12th December.

Mrs Fellows has welcomed a four billion pound commitment to the NHS in Scotland, which was set out in the SNP’s election manifesto, and has vowed to lock the Tories out of power by voting down any proposal from them to form a government.

Other key manifesto pledges include securing a Scottish Parliament veto on trade deals to prevent privatisation of the health service, stopping Brexit, giving new parents an additional twelve weeks of parental leave, securing justice for WASPI women, and an end to nuclear weapons on the Clyde.

Speaking before the final few days of local campaigning, Mrs Fellows said:

“On 12 December, the only way to put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands is to vote SNP. I will not allow Scotland’s future to be decided for us by Johnson’s Tories or Corbyn’s Labour.

“Westminster is broken, and none of the UK parties are putting Scotland’s interests first. Voters here know that unlike my opponents, I’ll always be on their side. For 36 of the last 60 years, Scotland has suffered under Tory Governments we did not vote for. In the past Labour has failed to protect our local interests, that’s why more and more people believe that we should have a new opportunity to determine our own future and are putting their trust in the SNP.

“Unlike Labour, I will not allow Brexit to put jobs on the line. And unlike the Tories, I will not allow our NHS to be trodden down by austerity and opened up to privatisation or Donald Trump. Our public services must remain in public hands.

“A vote for the SNP is a vote to lock the Tories out of power; to end austerity and invest in jobs and services; and to allow Scotland to determine our own future free from the chaos of Westminster.”

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£210 m PAID OUT OF SCOTTISH WELFARE FUND

Since established in 2013, the Scottish Government’s Welfare Fund has paid out £210 million has been paid to 347,045 low income households. The SNP is delivering for Scotland.

This is money granted to those in the most dire of need in order to mitigate the Tory Government’s austerity agenda attacking our communities.

As an independent country with full powers over welfare and other areas, Scotland can make the decisions to improve peoples’ lives and build on the work the SNP is already doing.