Tele column – 7th Aug 15

Three weeks into summer recess and the building process continues. I am pleased to say that I have secured a temporary office at 11b Clarence Street, Greenock and once change of use is secured from the council, my permanent office will be opening shortly. I have been advertising for more staff. The standard of the applications has been outstanding. Unfortunately I only have two more positions to offer.

While we are in recess my day to day business will be more focused on Inverclyde and I am taking this opportunity to talk to a wide variety of businesses and organisations. These meetings will continue throughout recess.  My office has received hundreds of enquiries from members of the public and our casework will always take priority. I have met with our Duncan McNeil MSP and leader of the council Stephen McCabe. Despite our political differences we continue to put our shared interests in Inverclyde’s future before all else.

But the business of parliament continues, amongst which the analysis into the Tory budget, based on figures from the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe), show that 197,200 families in Scotland with a total of 346,000 children will be worse off after the changes to tax credits. That encompasses 5,500 children living in Inverclyde. Figures from an IFS report show that the vast majority of children in poverty in the UK live in working households. The Tory government’s relentless assault on the working poor continues. While Labour have sat on their hands the SNP have opposed these cuts at every opportunity.

And given the recent issues with the House of Lords, it should come as no surprise to know that we  shall continue to argue for their abolition, while the Labour party and Conservative party fill the bloated red benches with more unelected members. This game of political one-upmanship must come to an end. It’s a corruption of anything resembling a modern democracy.