Michael Russell MSP – TORY GOVERNMENT MUST SCRAP “HEARTLESS” POLICY

17% of children in Argyll and Bute could be affected by the two-child cap, according to new research  – prompting more calls for the UK Government to scrap the “heartless” policy.

The “two-child policy” allows low-income families to claim child tax credits or universal credit for their first two children only.

New research from the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) has revealed that 160,000 families have had their income slashed by the two-child limit to-date.

The charity estimates that more than 3 million children could eventually be affected by the benefit cap.

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell said:

“Social security should be a safety net for all of us, but the two-child limit is having a devastating effect on families up and down the country, with 17% of children in Argyll and Bute set to be affected by it.

“All families are valuable and worthy of support, but this heartless policy turns people away when they most need support, and leaves children to grow up in hardship – which can have lifelong consequences for their health and wellbeing.

“The SNP government has been left to pick up the pieces, investing over £125 million to mitigate callous Tory welfare policies.

“In addition, it is introducing a Scottish Child Payment to tackle child poverty. Without the two-child cap, this payment could go so much further.

“The next Tory Prime Minister should make it a priority to tackle poverty and enable children to thrive, starting with reversing the two-child limit and horrendous ‘rape clause.’”

Argyll and Bute MSP has raised serious concerns with Transport Scotland regarding the temporary traffic lights.

Having received a number of representations from concerned constituents, Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell has written to Transport Scotland asking that the traffic lights on the A83 are adjusted as soon as possible.

The issue at present, is that the interval between lights changing is shorter than the time it can take cyclists to travel through. This has led to traffic attempting to travel in both directions simultaneously.

Commenting, Michael Russell MSP said:

“After being informed of this issue by constituents I immediately contacted Transport Scotland and have asked that this is given their urgent attention. Whilst I am aware the lights are due to be removed for a period of time, it is vital that a solution to this problem is found before they are reinstated.

I will continue to update those concerned and expect that this matter will be resolved timeously now that it has been raised.”

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell is calling for constituents to help in the Scottish Government’s plans to bring an end to unfair parcel delivery charges.

 

Across Scotland, but particularly in rural constituencies like Argyll and Bute thousands of consumers are paying more for parcel deliveries often at an extreme and unnecessary excess.

 

Presently only the UK Government can regulate parcel delivery but they believe that this is unnecessary despite all the evidence. Campaigning lead by Richard Lochhead MSP and strongly supported by Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell is mounting pressure on the UK Government to change their stance on this matter.

 

This week the Scottish Governments Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills – Jamie Hepburn – wrote to all MSP’s highlighting the developments of his ‘Fairer Deliveries for All’ action plan which he launched in November of last year. This includes plans to create a Scottish Parcel Delivery Map which will highlight the specific issues caused by unfair delivery charges as well as showing which parts of the country are the worst affected.

 

Argyll and Bute MSP Michael Russell is asking his constituents to get involved with this process by completing the new Scottish Government survey at www.resolver.co.uk/parcels

 

Commenting, Michael Russell MSP said:

 

“Consumers in Argyll and Bute are consistently affected by this issue. I have received numerous representations from constituents who are fed up paying such extreme charges, especially when they know that most do not face this additional cost. This can even make everyday items unaffordable, leaving those living in rural Scotland at a major disadvantage.

 

Whilst the decision to bring an end to these charges presently lie with the UK Government, The Scottish Government is working hard to bring more focus to the issue and highlight the extent of the issue.

 

I would encourage anyone who has experienced unfair charges, or indeed complete refusal to deliver to their address which is also often the case, to complete the online survey and ensure their voice and indeed the voice of Argyll and Bute is heard.”