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Scottish Child Disability Payments Now Live

The Scottish Government’s Child Disability Payment is now open for applications across Scotland. It replaces Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for children and marks a major milestone in the foundation of Social Security Scotland.

Those who currently receive Disability Living Allowance for children from the DWP will also be transferred to Social Security Scotland. They will be told when this is happening and will find their payments transferred safely and securely within the next 18 months. Payments will be made at the same rate and there will be no break in entitlement.

Find out more: https://bit.ly/ChildDisabilityPaymentOpens

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PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT 2021/22

Today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined the Scottish Government’s Programme for the Parliamentary term ahead. This is an ambitious policy programme to secure a fairer, greener Scotland, founded on doing politics and governance better.

The Programme commits billions of pounds to tackle the challenges and grasp the opportunities by reducing inequalities, protecting our public services and creating a green economic recovery where the people of Scotland are the priority.

Just some of the actions the Scottish Government is taking include:Putting Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands by aiming to secure a referendum on Scottish Independence within the current parliamentary session.

110,000 affordable homes – 70% of which for social rent.

£1.8 billion investment in making homes greener and easier to heat.

Scotrail to be taken into public ownership by March 2022.

Free bus travel for everyone under 22 year old.

A National Care Service to oversee local delivery of community health and social care, ensuring consistent and high standards and embedding the principles of fair work for care workers.

Abolishing all dental charges.

Doubling of the Scottish Child Payment.

Extending free school meals to ALL primary pupils.

Provide every child with an electronic device and online connection.

Introduce changes to how fireworks can be used and sold in Scotland to address the misuse of pyrotechnics.

Introduce the Miners’ Pardon Bill to provide a collective pardon for those convicted of certain offences during the 1984/85 miners’ strike.

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MP URGES APPLICATIONS AS EU SETTLEMENT DEADLINE APPROACHES

Marion Fellows, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, has urged EU citizens to make their applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) as the deadline approaches on 30 June.

Those who do not apply by the deadline will lose their right to work, healthcare and public funds.

Mrs Fellows is concerned that a high number of looked after children are yet to apply which can cause serious implications for them if the deadline is missed.  

The Scottish Government has provided funding to Citizens Advice Scotland to support EU citizens living in Scotland in applying to the EUSS. Their team of specialist advisors can be contacted on their freephone EU Citizens Support Service helpline, 0800 916 9847.

SNP Parliamentarians have called on the UK Government to extend the deadline and improve the EUSS to ensure those people who have the right to reside are able to do so.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“EU citizens in Motherwell, Wishaw, Bellshill and across Scotland contribute so much to their communities, the economy and our public services. It is essential that all who are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme apply before the deadline of 30 June so they can continue to make those valued contributions.

“Brexit has created an incredible amount of uncertainty for EU citizens over their lives, careers and families. SNP MPs have called for the deadline to be extended and the scheme to be simplified. But the UK Government has ignored these calls.

“Citizens Advice Scotland are providing support to those who need assistance. I urge all EU citizens who have yet to apply to do so as soon as possible. Scotland is your home and you are welcome here.”E

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MP URGES PEOPLE TO DOWNLOAD NEW SCOTTISH COVID TRACING APP

Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has urged local people to download and use the Scottish Government’s new tracing app ‘Protect Scotland’ to halt the rise of Covid cases.

The free app was launched today (10/09/2020) and was downloaded by more than 100,000 people through the Google and Apple app stores by the afternoon.

The app will complement the proven person-to-person approach of Test and Protect and supports the easing of restrictions by building a memory of other devices a user came into close proximity with which can be used to notify users in the event of close contact with someone who tests positive.

The app will be anonymous as users will not have to enter any personal information. The locations of users will also not be monitored.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“Protect Scotland will be an invaluable tool to halt a rise in Covid cases in Lanarkshire and across Scotland. For the sake of protecting yourself and the lives of others, I urge everyone who is able to download the app to use it to its full extent.

“Recent outbreaks of covid have been concerning. Everyone has a part to play in fighting it. If we don’t want to take a step backwards and have further restrictions imposed, then people must follow the guidance and, I hope, use the app.

“This is not a replacement for the Test and Protect programme which is essential. But it is an added layer of armour which can be used to protect people, their families and communities.”

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PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT 2020/21

The Scottish Government has announced its Programme for Government. These are not normal times, this is not a normal Programme for Government. We must take the necessary steps to rebuild an economy that is stronger, fairer and more sustainable.

We have an opportunity, not simply to go back to how things were, but to address many of the deep seated challenges our country faces. The Programme for Government 2020-21 is based on the Scottish Government’s determination to recover from this virus and deliver a fairer, greener and more prosperous Scotland for everyone.

📱 Launch of Protect Scotland – a proximity contact tracing app to support the test and protect programme.

👶 Incorporate the UN’s Convention on the Rights of the Child into Scots Law.

🏡 £10m Tenants’ Hardship Fund for renters.

👩‍💼 National Transition Training Fund to provide support for up to 10,000 people facing redundancy and unemployment.

👨‍💻 Scottish Youth Guarantee to ensure every young person has the opportunity of work, education, or training.

👵 Independent Review of adult social care.

👧 Open applications for the new Scottish Child Payment in November 2020, with the first payments made from the end of February 2021.

🚲 £500m for active travel infrastructure.

👨‍🏫 £135 million additional investment to ensure young people catch-up on any lost education, with funding to recruit 1400 additional teachers and 200 support staff.

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Covid-19 Latest News

CLEAR YOUR HEAD

Isolation can be a stressful experience. It’s important to take the steps, however small, to protect your mental health, like getting some exercise or taking a break from social media.

The Scottish Government has launched Clear Your Head to support you during this time. Click here for more info.

If you need more support, you can visit my support directory by clicking here.

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Covid-19 Latest News

READY SCOTLAND – VOLUNTEER HERE

The Scottish Government has launched Ready Scotland – a scheme for those who are fit and able and want to volunteer in their community to assist tackling covid-19.

Already, over 21,000 have volunteered which is a testament to the kindness and compassion of people across Scotland.

Thousands have already been working hard to support their community. I want to provide my thanks to everyone doing their bit. Together, we will save lives.

for further info, click here.

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STEEL DEBATE: FORGING A FUTURE FOR STEEL

I have been repeating the calls of the steel industry for a sector deal since 2015. The SNP Scottish Government saved Dalzell in Motherwell and I am proud to have been a member of the Steel Task Force. The UK Government must now show the same commitment to steel and create a sector deal. #ForgeAFutureForSteel

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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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UK BUDGET TODAY

Scotland – our people, communities and services – have suffered under a decade of Tory austerity. With today’s budget, it is expected that it will continue. The Scottish Government Budget 2020-21 is still 2.8% (£840 million) lower in real terms compared to 2010-11. The £1.2bn extra next financial year will not reverse the £13.9bn of cumulative cuts.

Despite these pressures, the Scottish Government has delivered record public investment. For the first time, the NHS in Scotland will have a budget of £15bn. £800 million will be invested to deliver 50,000 new homes this parliament. The £10 weekly Scottish Child Payment, which when fully rolled out from this year, will help 30,000 children out of poverty as part of £3.4 billion in social security.

This shows what Scotland can do with one hand tied behind our back. Imagine what we can do with all the powers over our economy and society. Scotland has demanded to choose its future. We can either continue with tax cuts for the richest and under investment, or we can be independent and invest in our people.