By undermining the Barnett Formula and slipping their friends in the DUP an extra £1billion for their support, the Tories have denied Scotland and its people an extra £3.4billion per year.
The Minister’s response is a disgrace. The pressures people in Northern Ireland face is exactly the same as those faced by people in Scotland. We want more money to invest in our economy, our services and communities.
So, what would you have spent the £3.4billion the UK Government is denying Scotland on?
Indicative votes have shown a clear opposition to no deal and also the UK Government’s deal which has been rejected several times by a margin which has broken records. But the Tories are intent on staggering on with their zombie deal bringing no deal closer.
The SNP has voted against no deal, and for a second vote and the softest Brexit possible (Common Market 2.0) in order to minimise the damage to Scotland’s economy, services and communities. But the UK Government refuses to listen to Parliament or Scotland.
The UK Government is sinking and offers of negotiations with the Labour party are an attempt to spread the blame for their own failures. Nothing will come of negotiations as both parties are in civil war. They represent the failure of the British system which could see the UK crash out with no deal.
The UK Government committed themselves to creating a UK shared prosperity fund to replace EU funding that seeks to reduce inequalities across our communities between the four nations of the United Kingdom. Two years later, the fund still does not exist.
There must be a commitment from the UK Government that any funds after Brexit are matched and that devolved governments take a leading role in deciding how that money is spent rather than being dictated to by London.
With next week being Autism Awareness Week, this week I called upon the UK government to agree a time for a debate with respect to the issues adults with autism spectrum disorders accessing employment and apprenticeships.
Frequently many adults with ASDs graduate university with degrees and PhDs but find that they are unable to access or maintain employment due to the work environment not being autism friendly.
Many young adults successfully complete a college course or leaveschool with a desire to access apprenticeships, but, as yet there is no legislation that mandates providers to ensure a working environment meets autism friendly requirement.
I would like to see the government introduce new legislation that makes it compulsory that all employment sectors must ensure they offer an autism friendly work environment.
Brexit is having a real impact on our NHS as numbers of EU and non-EU nationals applying to be a nurse is in freefall and there is a mass exodus of EU nurses since the Brexit vote. The best way to protect our NHS is to prevent Brexit.
Our public services and public health relies on the skills of people outside Scotland who want to call it home. They pay taxes, contribute to our communities and staff our services. The UK government is turning them away.
The response from the Secretary of State? You tell me. It wasn’t an answer or a non-answer. More of an irrelevant ramble. He is supposed to be standing up for Scotland.
Due to an admin blunder, the Tories’ tampering of health assessment reports has been exposed and now Ministers are providing non-answers so they can continue to cheat some of society’s most vulnerable people out of support. There must be an immediate and independent review.
Regardless, previous answers and a written admission from IAS have confirmed that audits are being utilised by the UK government to force sweeping changes to reports. Despite their slippy language, the Tories cannot disguise the role they are playing in blocking access to PIP.
Assessment providers are not innocent either. They are complicit in a rigged system. The outsourcing of health assessments to so called health professionals is putting them under pressure to chase targets.
Given that a report could be amended by two people who weren’t even present during the health assessment, it’s evident that the aim isn’t to accurately assess people, but to carry out a charade and chase results which bear heavily on peoples’ lives.
While offering Northern Ireland a differentiated deal to keep them in the EU Single Market, the UK government has ignored the will of Scotland – which voted remain – by dragging us out of the Single Market despite it being possible to keep us in.
The Scottish Government published detailed proposals, but these have fallen on deaf ears. While Scotland stays in the UK, we will be constantly subject to Tory governments who repeatedly put Scotland last. It is their sheer disdain for the will of Scotland and lack of interest in our economy that drives them to ride roughshod over us.
The Minister failed to answer the question. The UK government knows fine well that Scotland can remain in the Single Market while the UK as a whole leaves the EU. But the UK government wouldn’t want to admit it.
As more and more banks close, more and more people are turning to their Post Offices for banking services. However, sub-Postmasters are paid miserable rates to handle banking transactions. They must be properly remunerated for the work they do so that our Post Office network is protected and sub-Postmasters do not hand in their keys.
Today I called on the Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to change legislation to ensure that statutory requirements for television broadcasters to provide audio description is increased making television more accessible to and not discriminating against visually impaired people. Current legislation requires broadcasters to provide only 10% of their content with audio description.
Access services should be equal to both hearing impaired and visually impaired TV users, however, for hearing impaired 80% of broadcasts have subtitling with a further 5% having signing. Visually impaired people are only receiving 10% of broadcasts with audio description.