GLASGOW CENTRAL CONSTITUENT HAS UNIVERSAL CREDIT SANCTION OVERTURNED

CONSTITUENT THANKS MP ALISON THEWLISS FOR SUPPORT
 
A Glasgow Central constituent has had a Universal Credit sanction rightfully overturned, after reaching out to the DWP and his local MP.
 
The constituent contacted the DWP in September 2022 to discuss a recent UC sanction imposed upon him, asking for this to be reviewed.
 
Due to being up late at night preparing for an upcoming job interview, the constituent slept in the following morning and missed a single appointment at the job centre. 
 
The constituent contacted the DWP one hour after the missed appointment and offered to attend later in the day however he received no response to this.
 
Following the missed appointment, the DWP imposed a sanction in the form of £11 a day over the course of 25 days, totalling £275.
 
After regular discussion between the DWP and Alison Thewliss, the decision to impose the Universal Credit sanction was overturned and the original amount paid was received.
 
Commenting, the Glasgow Central constituent explained:
 
“I am so delighted to have had this Universal Credit sanction overturned. This situation has been extremely stressful, and I am so relieved to be able to receive this money.
 
“After leaving university, it has been difficult enough trying to pay the rent without sanctions such as these being put upon me.
 
“The difficult thing for me was knowing the work and effort I was putting in to try and get a job and having all this work thrown right back in my face by an unfair sanction made the situation even worse.
 
“Alison and her team made the process of getting this sanction overturned as stress-free as it possibly could be, and I can’t thank them enough for this.
 
“I hope that others who might be in a similar situation will be able to see that there is hope and I would urge anyone to contact their local MP if they are experiencing issues of their own.”
 
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
 
“When the constituent first approached my office, it was clear that the sanction imposed upon him was extremely unfair.
 
“My team were able to contact the DWP and received a response advising that, as expected the constituent would receive the original amount.
 
“If constituents have been sanctioned and feel this is unfair, they are entitled to ask the decision is looked at again. This is known as a Mandatory Reconsideration.
 
“Frustratingly, this very small issue caused the DWP to react disproportionately – I am glad they have accepted this was wrong.
 
“I also want to give a huge thanks to the constituent, who has been so patient during all of this. I can imagine this would have been a distressing time for him, and I’m so glad he was able to have the sanction overturned and receive the money he was rightfully owed.
 
“My team are always available for constituents to contact us, not only on DWP issues, and I urge anyone to do so on any matter during this difficult cost-of-living crisis.”

LOCAL MP SHOWS SUPPORT FOR ROYAL MAIL POSTAL

WORKERS THREATENED WITH 10,000 JOB LOSSES

SNP MP Alison Thewliss has called on the Royal Mail to ‘stop the threats of job cuts to valued postal workers and ‘engage meaningfully’ with the Communications Worker Union to find an acceptable solution to prevent further postal strikes. 

In a joint letter to the Chief Executive Officer of Royal Mail, Alison Thewliss MP told the Royal Mail Chief that it is “unacceptable to see the language employed by Royal Mail in threatening its workforce with job losses because they dare to ask for a fair work package.”

Postal workers across Glasgow Central are on strike again today, with several more strike days planned early next month, from the 2nd of November to the 4th of November.

Last week, the Royal Mail’s announced its intention to slash 10,000 jobs, citing the strike action and low parcel delivery sales as the reason. Thewliss has called this move a ‘tactic in the ongoing pay dispute with postal workers’ and has accused Royal Mail of ‘acting in bad faith’.

Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“Postal workers across Glasgow Central are struggling to make ends meet in the face of the cost-of-living crisis while Royal Mail shareholders benefited from bumper profits in the millions.

“It is understandable that postal workers find the argument that there isn’t money for them to have a fair wage unpalatable when there are millions of pounds of profit for shareholders, who should share the burden – when hard working postal staff are struggling to put food on their table this winter.

“Royal Mail staff in Glasgow Central and their families need financial security. The decision to strike will not have been easy for any of them, but this is about more than pay; it is also about protecting the universal mail service we all expect and value.

“Royal Mail need to get back to the negotiating table – in a meaningful way – and put our communities at the heart of discussions.”

THEWLISS BACKS CALLS FOR EXTENSION OF PENSION CREDIT ELIGIBILITY PERIOD

Alison Thewliss MP has backed calls for the extension to the eligibility period for the £650 cost of living payment to older people entitled to Pension Credit.

The Glasgow Central MP has backed her colleague Anne McLaughlin, MP for Glasgow East who will be holding a debate in Westminster Hall on Pension Credit to all MPs on the 26th October.

Speaking about the proposals, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“The eligibility period for the £650 cost of living payment for anyone receiving Pension Credit has passed – but when 40% of those entitled to Personal Credit haven’t applied to it, this is simply not good enough.

“As winter bites and energy costs rise, this £650 could prove an essential lifeline to those 40%.

“The UK must extend the deadline to 31 March 2023.”

CRUEL TORY POLICIES “LIKELY” TO HAVE CAUSED 20,000 EXCESS DEATHS IN SCOTLAND

INDEPENDENCE SCOTLAND’S ONLY ESCAPE ROUTE FROM AUSTERITY

Following a new report showing Tory austerity policies have “likely” caused more deaths than the Covid-19 virus, the SNP has said that the human cost of Scotland remaining under the control of the Tories at Westminster has been laid bare and independence is the only escape route.

Alison Thewliss has urged the Prime Minister to recall parliament so the UK government can immediately scrap its cruel austerity measures to save lives – and has reminded people in Scotland they can have a better, safer future with independence.

Alison Thewliss has also called on Scottish Conservative Leader, Douglas Ross, to stand up for Scotland by denouncing the recent Tory budget and calling on the UK government to stand by its promise to uprate benefits in line with inflation.

The report, produced by Glasgow University and the Glasgow Centre for Population Health (GCPH), revealed that almost 335,000 more deaths than expected were recorded across Scotland, England and Wales in an eight year period, and that these were “likely to have been caused by UK government economic policy.”

In Scotland, 12,735 excess deaths were recorded amongst men, and 6,564 amongst women – making a total of 19,299 excess deaths.

Researchers have said the figures are “not only shocking but shameful.”

Commenting, Alison Thewliss said:

“The human cost of Scotland remaining under Westminster control and the Tories’ cruel austerity agenda has been laid bare in this report. Independence is the only way Scotland can escape austerity for good.

“The fact that almost 335,000 deaths – almost 20,000 in Scotland – are likely to have been caused by UK government policies should serve as a wake up call to the UK government and shame every single Tory to their core, including Douglas Ross and the rest of the Scottish Tories.

“The UK government had the opportunity to change course in its recent mini-budget by scrapping debt-inducing policies and bringing in meaningful, targeted support to help low and middle income families get through the cost-of-living crisis. Instead, it chose to confirm Tory austerity 2.0 with more cuts that will threaten our vital NHS and public services, scrap the cap on bankers bonuses and, before u-turning, cut tax for the wealthiest.  

“It is time for the Scottish Conservative Party to stand up for people in Scotland and help to save lives across the country by denouncing the Tory austerity agenda and calling on their boss to uprate benefits as promised, so people aren’t left cold or hungry.

“Scotland hasn’t voted for a Tory government in almost 60 years, yet we have had cruel Tory policy after cruel Tory policy imposed on us – and now we see those same policies are likely causing excess deaths here. It is truly heartbreaking – but we can have a brighter, safer future with independence, which would give us all the powers needed to ensure people weren’t left to go cold and hungry.”

THEWLISS DEMANDS AN END TO THE BENEFITS CAP

SNP: SCRAP THE BENEFITS CAP TO HELP THE MOST VULNERABLE
 
The SNP’s Shadow Chancellor has demanded that the UK Government must scrap its cruel benefits cap to provide support during the cost-of-living crisis.
 
A ‘fiscal event’ took place last Friday, with announcements expected from the new Chancellor to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
 
Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor, has called on the Government to use their powers to help the most vulnerable in society.
 
Commenting, the SNP’s Shadow Chancellor Alison Thewliss MP said:
 
“This UK Tory Government must take the opportunity to right some of the wrongs of their previous administrations. 
 
“Let’s not forget that Liz Truss sat round Johnson’s Cabinet table and backed every decision that led to the growing Tory-made cost-of-living crisis. This statement provides the ideal chance forher to take a new tack and make a difference to the lives of some of the most vulnerable. 
 
“The benefit cap is due to cost families up to £65 a week from April onwards. This, and other dreadful George Osborne policies like the two-child limit to Universal Credit and Tax Credits, are set to be catastrophic for households as we move deeper into a recession and energy crisis. Kwasi Kwarteng is the fifth Chancellor since George Osborne – scrapping his cruel, poverty-inducing policies is long overdue.
 
“Relative child poverty is set to reach its highest level since the 90s. Liz Truss must show initiative and scrap the two-child limit and benefit cap before any more harm is done.
 
“Without action, the misery and hardship we are seeing now will grow exponentially.”

SHADOW CHANCELLOR DEMANDS INCREASED BUDGET FOR DEVOLVED GOVERNMENTS

SNP: SCOTLAND’S “HANDS ARE TIED” DURING CRISIS
 
The SNP have called on the UK Government to increase budgets for devolved nations as the cost-of-living crisis continues across the UK.
 
The UK Government introduced new measures in the Parliament in an attempt to cope with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
 
The SNP’s Shadow Chancellor, Alison Thewliss MP has said that the measures don’t go far enough to mitigate the crisis and that an increase in Scotland’s block grant is necessary to combat spiralling inflation. 
 
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
 
“The needs of devolved nations are being side-lined during this crisis. The Tory Government is wasting money on tax giveaways for the rich and major companies, instead of providing support to those who need it most.
 
“Scotland has had a fixed budget with spending commitments in place long before the levels of inflation we are seeing. The Scottish Government is doing all it can to make sure that families across the country are not being left hungry. With no movement in this , Scotland’s hands are tied during these difficult times.
 
“The Union is growing weaker by the day as Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are continually shut out from any notable increases in support. If Liz Truss won’t acknowledge that more funding is needed, she should devolve the powers to allow Scotland to tackle this crisis. 
 
“Scotland is an energy rich country, with a wealth of natural resources. Once again, our population is paying the price for Westminster’s failures.”

THEWLISS URGES GOVERNMENT TO HELP UK BUSINESSES

SNP: ENERGY PRICE CAP ‘A DAY LATE AND A DOLLAR SHORT’ FOR MANY BUSINESSES
 
Alison Thewliss, the SNP Shadow Chancellor has commented on Jacob Rees Mogg’s energy price cap for businesses.

The BEIS Secretary has announced a six month cap on energy prices for businesses. However, firms expect prices to rise significantly, even with the mitigation package, and many expect an extremely challenging winter.
 
Food and drink, tourism and hospitality businesses have all struggled over the course of the pandemic, and astronomical energy bills will be the final straw for some. 
 
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
 
“The UK Government has come up short once again in their support for businesses across the country. As has been the case throughout this crisis, new measures have been introduced which are simply not enough – while businesses continue to beg for more support. While the six-month support package may help in the short term, the long-term worry for businesses remain.
 
“I met with several businesses in the Glasgow Central constituency during recess, who spoke to me of their concerns about the months ahead. They felt as though they are being forgotten about and left to fend for themselves in these darkest of times. The cost of the energy crisis comes on top of increased material costs, supply chain issues and labour shortages.
 
“One business in Dalmarnock, Calder Millerfield spoke to me of their profound worry for the year ahead – with soaring energy bills hitting them extremely hard. Their electricity has increased from £160,000 to £712,000, totalling a devastating 345% rise.
 
“They have been serving the community and employing local people for 60 years, but now face the real prospect of closing their doors for the last time. This business will be one of many businesses across the UK who face unprecedented uncertainty this winter.
 
“The UK Government proposals are a sticking plaster on a fundamentally broken energy market. Any help is welcome, but prices are already beyond the reach of many businesses and third sector organisations. The six-month cliff edge gives only temporary reassurance – a permanent fix is urgently required.
 
“What Scotland needs is the full powers of independence to create a wealthier, happier and fairer nation for every Scottish citizen. During the most distressing of times, we need the full range of financial levels to support our people and businesses.

GLASGOW CENTRAL CONSTITUENT SHARES DELIGHT AT PIP PAYMENT

CONSTITUENT THANKS ALISON THEWLISS FOR SUPPORT

A Glasgow Central constituent has thanked Alison Thewliss MP for supporting a recent Personal Independence Payment (PIP) claim.

Michael O’Donnell contacted the office of Alison Thewliss in June to discuss an ongoing claim for PIP. Mr O’Donnell explained that he had been pursuing the PIP claim for several years but was yet to receive any answer on the matter.

The constituent asked for a Legal Entitlements and Administrative Practices (LEAP) review as he believed his mobility element may have been miscalculated due to having agoraphobia.

A letter from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) was sent to confirm that the matter was being investigated and an update would be provided in due course. 

After years of patience, Mr O’Donnell was informed by the DWP that he would be given a payment of £9191.41. This payment was calculated using the PIP payments he received and those he is now entitled to for the period 23 March 2016 until 7 June 2022.

Commenting on his delight at receiving this payment, Michael O’Donnell said:

“I can’t thank Alison and her team enough for the support they have given me in this case. The patience and dedication shown by the team is something which I am extremely grateful for.

“I have been trying for years to get this PIP payment but to get it after such a long period of waiting has been such a relief.

“The amount of money I have received is truly life-changing and will help greatly in the lead up to Christmas.

“Since getting this money, I have spoken with several friends to urge them to speak with Alison about any issue they have due to how helpful she has been in this process.

“The process was much easier than I expected, and I will be forever grateful to the team for making sure that I was given this life-changing amount of money.”

Commenting on this case, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“I am so happy that Michael was able to receive this payment. After approaching our office in June, it was clear he had been waiting a long time for this payment which he was owed.

“While my team spoke with the DWP, Michael was so patient and understood the issues we faced in this case.

“I also want to extend a thanks to the DWP, who were also very helpful in this issue and were in regular dialogue with my team about this case.

“As Michael said, this amount of money will no doubt make a huge difference to his life, and it brings me such great pride to be able to help the constituent in this way.”

GLASGOW CENTRAL MP WELCOMES EUROVISION SHORTLIST ANNOUNCEMENT

GLASGOW LISTED ON HOST CITIES SHORTLIST

Glasgow has been officially revealed on the shortlist of potential host cities for Eurovision 2023.
 
Seven UK cities were announced as part of the shortlist this morning including Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
 
The shortlist was revealed on the Zoe Ball Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 2, with a guest appearance from Eurovision Song Contest Executive Supervisor Martin Österdahl, declaring the Host City race ‘good to go’!
 
The selection of the Host City for the Eurovision Song Contest 2023 will be decided by the BBC in conjunction with the EBU, and the successful city will be announced in the Autumn.
 
Commenting, Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss said:

“It would have been such a special moment to see Ukraine hosting Eurovision next year. But under the current circumstances, this is sadly not possible.

“It is such a proud moment to once again see Glasgow listed as a potential host of an international event.
 
“I think Glasgow has shown itself to be the number one choice to host next year’s Eurovision. Glasgow is a unique city full of life and culture, and I can see plenty of reasons why the banks of the Clyde would be the ideal location to step in for Ukraine and host the contest.
 
“COP26 and the 2014 Commonwealth Games brought the world to Glasgow and the city was recognised for the success of these events. The Hydro and the wider Scottish Event Campus have some of the best facilities in the UK and would be more than capable of hosting such a prestigious and adored event like Eurovision.
 
“With Glasgow’s location, experience and facilities combined, it forms the perfect place to host Eurovision next year.”

SNP MP CALLS ON CHANCELLOR TO STOP CUTS TO DEVOLVED GOVERNMENTS

By Ross Barclay

On Tuesday, Glasgow Central MP and SNP Treasury Spokesperson, Alison Thewliss, called on the Chancellor to either mitigate real-terms cuts to the budgets of devolved governments or give them the power to raise funds to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
 
Inflation has tripled since the UK Spending Review, where benefits and tax credits were set to be uprated by 3.1% in April this year – it’s now running at 9.1%. The Spending Review also predicted that inflation would peak at 4.4% in Q2 2022, which is less than half of the current rate. 
 
A real-terms cut to the Scottish government budget of 5.2% this year will impact Scotland’s recovery from the pandemic and put further pressure on services and public sector wages.
 
Commenting, Alison Thewliss MP said:
 
“The UK Tory Government continue to exacerbate the pain felt by people across the country as inflation worsens by cutting budgets to devolved governments.
 
“Inflation is a global problem but the Chancellor is presiding over the highest inflation rate in the G7.
 
“Allowing real-terms cuts to go ahead means further pressure on public sector wages and vital services for those in need.
 
“It comes at the worst possible time for people struggling with the cost-of-living crisis.
 
“Independent countries across the world are introducing measures to ease the burden on the public. Ireland has reduced public transport fares to help people save on ticket and petrol prices.
 
“These measures are funded by borrowing. Scotland does not have the ability to help in this way because of the devolved funding arrangements.
 
“The Scottish Government has done all it can with its fixed budget – uprating the Scottish Child Payment, making public transport free for under-22s, and expanding energy efficiency schemes to cut energy bills – but providing further support requires having control of more finance levers.
 
“If Rishi Sunak refuses to mitigate cuts to the Scottish Government’s budget, he should support giving the devolved parliament the borrowing powers to do so itself.”