NHS STAFF AT RECORD LEVELS WITH 4.72% INCREASE LAST YEAR
SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has heralded the record health funding allocated to NHS Lanarkshire for the coming year and has said it demonstrates how only the SNP can be trusted to protect Scotland’s NHS.
The local health board has been given a record budget of £1,346.80 million for 2022/23 to recover after the dreadful impact of the pandemic.
To help with that recovery, NHS Lanarkshire also has record numbers of staff under the SNP, with 3170 Whole Time Equivalent staff, an increase of 34.2% compared to the previous year.
Commenting, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor said:
“We always appreciate the hard work and dedication of our NHS staff at NHS Lanarkshire but never more so than over the past two years and the SNP Scottish Government has recognised that by providing them with record funding for 2022/23.
“This will go a long way in ensuring that NHS Lanarkshire is well on its way to recovery from the pandemic.
“In Scotland, we have the most well-funded NHS per person and the highest paid healthcare staff in the UK. The SNP Scottish Government recognised the hard work and effort of NHS workers by giving them the biggest pay rise in the history of devolution.
“It is only the SNP that can be trusted with the future of our health service. On May 5th people of North Lanarkshire can send a message that the future of our NHS cannot be trusted to the Tories.”
As warnings about the Tory cost of living crisis continue to grow, SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has issued a fresh call for the UK government not to increase national insurance.
The MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston has said that ‘the Tories have a moral duty to urgently step in as household incomes are on course to collapse by the most since the mid-1970s.’ The fresh calls come after reports that the Russian war in Ukraine is adding to the intense pressures families face, as the price of oil and wholesale gas continues to soar.
Commenting SNP MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston, Fulton MacGregor said:
“The Tory cost-of-living crisis is hitting families across Coatbridge and Chryston hard right now and, if reports are right and the UK government refuses to take any proper action to tackle the issue, then it’s only going to get worse.
“Not only are the Tories not providing any measures to support households but they are breaking their own promises not to increase the rate of National Insurance contributions – gravely letting down people in Coatbridge and Chryston, who deserve far better.
“With reports showing that SNP policies are reducing the financial challenges facing families right now, it is ever more clear that the only way to deliver a fairer future for people across Coatbridge and Chryston is to become an independent country.”
SNP MSP, Fulton MacGregor, has welcomed statistics out today which show that approximately 9570 children in North Lanarkshire are in receipt of the Scottish Government’s Scottish Child Payment, set to double to £20 per child per week in April.
The payment was introduced in 2021 to support low-income families with children aged under six by providing regular, additional financial support for families already in receipt of qualifying benefits to assist with the costs of caring for a child.
As of 31 December 2021, it is estimated that 104,000 children across Scotland were in receipt of Scottish Child Payment – equating to £45.2 million worth of payments by the Scottish Government – and that is expected to rise to over 400,000 eligible children by the end 2022 which is when the benefit will be extended to children under the age of 16.
Commenting SNP MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston, Fulton MacGregor said:
“I am delighted that 9670 children across North Lanarkshire are benefitting from the Scottish Child Payment which will double in just a month’s time.
“Come April, this means that 9670 children and families across North Lanarkshire receive £20 per child per week – four times the amount originally demanded by campaigners and illustrating just how focussed the Scottish Government is on meeting Scotland’s Child Poverty targets.
“Once again though, the tale of two governments is striking. While the SNP is doubling the Scottish Child Payment to lift thousands of children out of poverty, this game changing action is being undone by the Tories at Westminster who have cut £20 per week from many of the same families – knowingly pushing thousands of families into poverty.
“The people in North Lanarkshire deserve the chance to escape the damaging policies we get under Westminster control and choose a better path, one with the full powers that an independent Scotland would bring and allow us to build a fairer society.”
SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed the news that North Lanarkshire will receive £233,272 to support care experienced families or children who are on the edges of care.
The SNP Scottish Government will distribute £3.275m of support across Scotland and it will be in addition to the £41m provided through the Winter Support Fund.
Commenting Fulton MacGregor MSP said:
“Many children across Coatbridge & Chryston who are on the edges of care or are care experienced are often in families on low income and will be experiencing a cost of living crisis made worse by a UK Tory government that has cut Universal Credit and failed to address the challenge of rising energy prices.
“As the cost of living crisis starts to spiral this will be welcome funding for these families and ensure that they have immediate resources to ensure they can stay together.
“Later this year families will also receive further support from the Scottish Government with the launch the £500m whole family wellbeing fund.
“However, the SNP Scottish Government continues to support families in Coatbridge & Chryston and across Scotland with one hand tied behind its back. That is why the people of Scotland must be able to choose a better path towards an independent country.”
Local MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed the announcement of a new grant to support local bus services while passenger numbers recover from the COVID pandemic.
The Scottish Government has committed £93.5 million of the 2022-23 Budget to support bus operators, due to the changed travel patterns during pandemic restrictions.
Fulton MacGregor MSP said:
“As passenger numbers recover across Coatbridge and Chryston due to the easing of restrictions, I’m delighted to see the Scottish Government offering significant support for Scotland’s bus services.
“Committing nearly £94 million for 2022-23 offers financial certainty for companies and for passengers and ensures our communities can remain connected by vital local bus links.
“Our travel options play a crucial part in Scotland’s transition to Net Zero – and this grant is an important step in protecting sustainable travel, cutting car kilometres and supporting connected communities across Scotland.”
Local MSP Fulton MacGregor has welcomed record investment in Scotland’s NHS, including for NHS Lanarkshire.
The Scottish Government Budget confirmed £18 billion for Health and Social Care, including £12.9 billion for health boards through the pandemic and to accelerate the recovery of vital services.
The Budget also supports the creation of a new National Care Service – the single greatest public health reform since the establishment of the NHS.
Scotland’s Finance Secretary Kate Forbes also outlined:
£1.6 investment in social care, including £846.6 million for local government
£61 million to address the tragedy of drugs deaths
£290 million investment in mental health, including £120 million for our Mental Health Recovery and Renewal Fund
Additional funding of £559 million for NHS Boards
Funding of £232 million to address waiting times and supporting National Treatment Centres
Fulton MacGregor MSP said:
“The Scottish Government’s Budget commits £18 billion for Health and Social Care this year – that’s the highest investment in the history of the Scottish Parliament.
“Prioritising the NHS was a key commitment of the SNP in May’s election, so I’m delighted to see the SNP Scottish Government delivering on this commitment despite a challenging financial outlook.
“In NHS Lanarkshire, the Scottish Government has committed £1,346.8 million to NHS Lanarkshire – an increase of over £60 million on last year’s Budget.
“This year, Scotland’s block grant has no Covid consequentials from the UK government – meaning when Covid spending is included, our budget decreased from last year. Prioritising Health and Social Care is absolutely the right thing to do – but it means difficult decisions elsewhere in Scotland’s budget.
“Scotland doesn’t have the powers to borrow for our pandemic response under Westminster control, so the UK government must now deliver new money to aid Scotland’s fight against Covid.”
FAMILIES IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE TO RECEIVE £1,135,500 SUPPORT FROM SCOTGOV
Low income families in Coatbridge & Chryston will benefit from a £320 uplift before Christmas as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling child poverty.
Fulton MacGregor MSP welcomed the payments which Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison highlighted during a debate on the commitments in the SNP Scottish Government’s Programme for Government which aim to create a fairer society.
Families eligible will receive payments of £160 per child in October and again in December. Two Bridging Payments of £100 which have already been made takes the total to £520 this year.
The cash is equivalent to the Scottish Child Payment – a £10-a-week benefit to assist with the costs of caring for a child aged under six years old. The Scottish Government will extend the Scottish Child payment to all eligible under-16s by the end of 2022 and are committed to double the payment to £20 per week as quickly as possible.
The Social Justice Secretary highlighted the payments in the Scottish Parliament just a day after the six Tory MPs failed to vote to stop the UK government’s plans to cut the incomes of six million people across the UK by £1040 a year – the biggest cut to welfare since the 1930’s.
Commenting Julie O’Byrne, Founder and Chair Person of Cool School Uniforms in Coatbridge said:
“This will make a huge difference to local families like the ones we see at Cool School Uniforms. Times are tough and this extra payment will give families a boost that will ensure their little ones are at their best for the rest of the school year.”
“This will boost the confidence of children and ensure they have what they need to be able to learn to the best of their abilities. This funding will really help towards closing the attainment gap.”
Commenting SNP MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston Fulton MacGregor said:
“I know that many families in Coatbridge & Chryston are finding it hard just now. The impact that the pandemic has had on household finances is real, and has only been made worse by the cost of Tory’s obsession with Brexit and their unrelenting cruel austerity agenda.
“I am pleased that in Scotland, we have an SNP Scottish Government doing right thing by its citizens with these payments meaning £1,135,500 in the pockets of 11,355 low income families in North Lanarkshire
“The Scottish Child Payment is already the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK and we have committed to doubling it to £20-a-week per child as soon as possible in this parliamentary term.
“It’s clear that building a better future for children in Coatbridge & Chryston, and right across Scotland, is of at the top of the agenda in the SNP’s Programme for Government.
“As the Tories plough on with their indefensible move to cut £20-a-week in Universal Credit from those who need it most, the SNP Government are using the powers we have to provide real, practical help for families in Scotland. It’s crystal clear that the only way to keep Scotland safe from Westminster cuts is to become an independent country.”
Fulton MacGregor MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s 2021/2022 Programme for Government as a strong plan to begin the recovery from the pandemic for Coatbridge & Chryston.
The First Minister unveiled the Government’s programme for the next year to MSPs today, saying that “a better Scotland – as part of a better world – is waiting to be built”.
The Programme for Government focussed on building a greener, fairer country for all individuals and families in Scotland, and offering the people of our country an informed choice on Scotland’s future.
This was backed by commitments to invest at least £1.8 billion to make Scotland’s homes and buildings more efficient and easier to heat, doubling the Scottish Child Payment as quickly as possible and restarting work on a detailed prospectus for an Independent Scotland.
Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:
“This is an ambitious policy programme from the Scottish Government which has clear commitments to deliver a better life for people across Coatbridge & Chryston.
“It addresses the challenges that the last 18 months has left us with and it has the ambition needed to rebuild a better country as we recover.
“The recovery and remobilisation of our health services is undoubtedly a top priority for people across Coatbridge & Chryston so the SNP Government’s commitment to a minimum of £2.5 billion more on frontline health spending will be particularly welcome news.
“Today we have seen that we have an SNP Government who keep their promises, has the ambition needed to help build a better Scotland but, most crucially, takes the action needed to make that ambition a reality.
“This is a prospectus that meets the challenges and opportunities ahead and offers the people of Scotland the choice the deserve over their future.”
£1,393,530 IN SUPPORT GIVEN TO CHILDREN IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE
8325 families in North Lanarkshire have benefitted from the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment, with £1,393,530 paid out to families in the area.
The most recent Scottish Government figures demonstrate how many families in North Lanarkshire have benefitted from the support since its introduction in February to 30th June 2021.
So far, across Scotland 108,000 children have benefitted from the payment which provides eligible families with £10-a-week.
Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:
“The Scottish Child Payment has been described by charities as game-changing and we are seeing that difference across Scotland and it is fantastic to see it make such a difference to the lives of families in Coatbridge & Chryston too.
“Not only is the Scottish Child Payment giving low-income families extra support, but coupled with other payments such as the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods, eligible families could receive up to £5,200 extra by the time their child turns six.
“I would urge any families in Coatbridge & Chryston who have not yet applied to do so.
“In Scotland, we are building a social security system built on fairness, dignity and respect. Contrast that with the system at Westminster where the Tories are planning on cutting Universal Credit at a time when vulnerable families need it most.”
Young people aged under 26 are now eligible for free NHS dental treatment.
The change comes as a further £7.5 million has been given to support the dental sector to recover and build back to pre-pandemic capacity.
Free treatment for people aged under 26 will take effect immediately and there is no “opt-in” required. Those who started a course of NHS treatment before their 26th birthday will also be eligible.
The £7.5 million funding will help dental practices to purchase drills that do not create as much aerosol as standard drills, and so allow dentists to help mitigate the impact of COVID restrictions on the number of patients they can see.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:
“We’re committed to scrapping NHS dental charges for everyone in Scotland, and removing them for everyone aged under 26 is our first step on that journey. Today’s announcement means around 600,000 young people aged under 26 will benefit from free dental care from 24 August.
“I want to thank the dental sector for its outstanding efforts over the last challenging period and I look forward to engaging with you further as the Scottish Government continues to support practice recovery and improved NHS dental services for patients.
“I am pleased to also confirm a further £7.5 million investment for the sector. This will be used to purchase new dental drill equipment that produces less airborne particles, and therefore helps reduce the risk of COVID transmission.
“Alongside our previously announced £5 million to improve ventilation, this will further enable dental practices to see more NHS patients under present COVID restrictions, and demonstrates our commitment to NHS dental services. I will continue to engage with the sector, as we look to remobilise our dental services in a way that is safe.”