Alison Thewliss MP supports World Cancer Day 2016

Alison Thewliss MP supporting World Cancer Day

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, attended an event in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday 3 February) to show her support for World Cancer Day today (February 4, 2016).

Ms Thewliss met with representatives from four of the UK’s leading cancer charities who are working together to unite the nation and help transform the lives of millions of people who are affected by cancer.

Cancer Research UK, Breast Cancer Care, Anthony Nolan and the Movember Foundation are calling on people across Glasgow to show their support by wearing a Unity Band with pride today (February 4).

The Unity Band is made of two parts, knotted together, to represent strength in unity and the power of what can be achieved when people come together.

The Unity Bands are available from each charity in their own colours at for a suggested donation of £2. All money raised from the Unity Bands will go towards the charities’ individual research projects and support services.
One in two people born in the UK will develop cancer at some point in their lifetime.

Alison Thewliss said:

“Today (February 4) is World Cancer Day and I’m calling on people in Glasgow to join me by wearing a Unity Band, making a donation or spreading the word on social media.

“Whether you want to celebrate people who have overcome cancer, show solidarity to those going through treatment or remember loved ones – World Cancer Day is a chance to get involved and help reduce the impact of cancer on future generations.”

Collectively the four charities support millions of people every year through their individual work in the prevention, detection, treatment and support of those affected by cancer.

Money raised from the Unity Bands will fund breakthroughs in scientific research; save and improve the lives of people with blood cancers; provide high quality care, support and information for people with breast cancer, and fund research and support services to tackle prostate and testicular cancer.

For more information, to get any of the charities’ Unity Bands or make a donation visit

Roosh V in Glasgow

I am pleased to hear that, following public backlash and a sustained campaign, Roosh V has cancelled the event he had planned in Glasgow on Saturday. In the House of Commons this morning I took the opportunity to pay tribute to the campaigners and to all those who signed the petition against his vile, misogynist views.

MP raises pensioner winter fuel payment debacle

Alison Thewliss, SNP MP for Glasgow Central, is calling upon the UK Government to urgently review the computer system which allocates winter fuel payments to pensioners.

A recent constituency case raised with Ms Thewliss suggests that pensioners living in properties, such as tenements and tower blocks, are losing out because the system is – wrongly – factoring in other people in the building when calculating the total winter fuel payment due.

In Ms Thewliss’ constituent’s case, this resulted in one pensioner only receiving half of his winter fuel payment because the system, wrongly, counted other residents in his close when, in fact, the constituent in question lives on his own. Rather than receiving the £200 payment, he only received half, which was eventually rectified following his MP’s intervention.

The Glasgow Central MP has written to Work & Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, to ask for a full investigation into the system.

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, said:

“My constituent’s case highlights a serious anomaly within the UK Government’s winter fuel payment scheme, whereby potentially thousands of pensioners are being underpaid their winter fuel payments. All of this is because the Government’s system doesn’t always recognise buildings with multiple flats. I’ve written to Iain Duncan Smith to ask for a full investigation into this issue and to specifically ask for an urgent review of the payment system which seems to discriminate against buildings with more than one residence.

“My own research shows that Glasgow alone has over 220,000 properties which comprise of flats, tenements and tower blocks. In my own constituency, over 45,000 properties are part of multi-dwelling properties. Now, of course, not all of those properties will be entitled to winter fuel payments but it does give you an idea of the scale of this problem in a city which is, after all, renowned for its red sandstone tenements.

“Figures from Age UK show that an eye watering £3.7 billion in benefits already goes unclaimed by elderly people in the UK and I’m concerned that this is another example of older people not getting what they’re due.

“As temperatures continue to plummet this January, we simply cannot continue on with the perverse scenario, whereby pensioners living in flats are possibly being undercut because of an anomaly in the DWP’s payment system.”

Press release – Campaign to Scrap the Rape Clause moves up a gear

Alison Thewliss MP joins supporters at the launch of her campaign to scrap the rape clause

Campaigners against the UK Government’s proposed rape clause have stepped up their campaign by launching a hard hitting poster campaign and website, calling upon the Government to ‘scrap the rape clause’.

The Government’s proposals would require a woman, who has a third child as the result of rape, to justify her position in order to avoid losing tax credits. The plan to restrict child tax credits to two children for new claimants is due to commence in 2017.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss first identified the issue in July 2015 during the Government’s summer budget.

Commenting as she launched the latest stage of the campaign in Glasgow City Centre, Alison Thewliss MP said:

“We think the policy on limiting tax credits to the first two children is appalling and tantamount to social engineering, but to put a woman who has been raped in a position where she needs to declare that to a government official is just abhorrent. This also stigmatises the child involved, which is surely against the UN convention on the rights of the child. This proposal has no place in the twenty-first century and must be dropped immediately.

“I’ve raised this issue on the floor of the House of Commons on no less than nine occasions – yet the Government still can’t explain how it will work and remains hell bent on pressing ahead with this draconian procedure.

“With just two weeks left to run on this important petition, we are urging as many people as possible to visit and add their voice to the many others calling upon the Government to drop this appalling proposal.”

Angela Devine, Manager of Glasgow Women’s Aid, said:

“Glasgow Women’s Aid is pleased to support this coordinated campaign calling for the Government to scrap the proposed rape clause for tax credits.

“As an organisation offering refuge and support to some of the most vulnerable women and children in our city, we know the damaging effect this clause could have on women who have already endured trauma.

“It is not uncommon for children to be the product of rape or coercive control and women should never be placed in the humiliating position of appealing to the DWP for benefits.

“We would ask whether DWP staff will be trained to deal with sensitive disclosures and to signpost women to the correct support services.

“Any just society has a moral obligation to care for its poor and vulnerable with children at the heart of this obligation, regardless of their provenance.

“We as an organisation see this policy as an attempt to control and thereby undermine the already vulnerable position of women, children and young people within society.

“We reject these changes as untenable and discriminatory.”

Surgery – Friday 8th January 2016

This week’s surgeries – the first surgeries of 2016! – are taking place on Friday 8th January at the Kinning Park Complex (9.30am) and Calton Heritage and Learning Centre (1pm). Constituents are welcome and there is no need to book an appointment in advance.


If you cannot attend surgeries and require assistance, feel free to contact me and we can make alternative arrangements.

Press release – MP challenges UK Government on minimum wage record

SNP MP, Alison Thewliss, has written to Prime Minister, David Cameron, challenging his Government on its ‘scandalous’ record at enforcing the National Minimum Wage (NMW).  Ms Thewliss tabled a series of parliamentary questions.  The response, issued by the National Statistician’s Office suggest that over 100,000 people in Scotland still earn below the minimum wage.

Commenting on the data, Glasgow Central MP Alison Thewliss MP said:

“These figures shine a very bright light on the UK Government’s awful record on pay and more specifically, pay inequality.

“One of the main reasons cited for increased food bank usage – in addition to benefit sanctions – is low pay which is absolutely scandalous for twenty first century Britain. It is perhaps one of the clearest signs that we are not all in this together and people aren’t benefiting from the UK continuing to have decision making powers over pay.

“So often we hear this UK Government’s much coveted long term economic plan, but it’s not working if tens of thousands of people aren’t even being paid a minimum wage, let alone a living wage.

“Serious questions need to be asked about how, 18 years on from minimum wage legislation being introduced, so many people are still being exploited and let down by this Government.

“One of things these figures reveal is that young people in particular lose out big time. The SNP is clear – we believe that pay shouldn’t be based on your age. That is discriminatory and we will resist any moves, particularly with the new con trick that is the UK Government’s living wage, to further penalise young people with their pay slips.”

MP backs Age UK campaign to tackle loneliness at Christmas

Glasgow Central MP, Alison Thewliss, has given her backing to Age UK’s campaign “No one should have no one at Christmas”. Ms Thewliss is calling upon constituents to spare some time over Christmas and New Year, to pop in and visit elderly neighbours, who might otherwise be on their own.

Official statistics, published by Age UK, show that 17% of older people have less than weekly contact with family, friends and neighbours, and 600,000 older people leave their house just once a week or less.

The Glasgow MP’s call to action came as she spent the final few days before Christmas delivering over 1,000 ‘Hot Tips’ calendars to sheltered housing complexes around her constituency. The calendars give practical advice to elderly residents about keeping homes warm during the winter months.

SNP MP, Alison Thewliss, said:

“As we approach Christmas, I would encourage all constituents to spare a bit of time over the festive period and pop in to visit elderly friends, neighbours or family. Although many of us are incredibly busy at this time of year, we could still spare an hour or two visiting someone and enjoying a cup of tea and a chat”.