This week at the Scottish Parliament: Scotland leads UK in fight to reduce gender pay gap
FREE PRESCRIPTIONS SAVES SCOTS ON AVERAGE UP TO £171 A YEAR
Scottish patients are saving up to £171 a year on their prescriptions compared to patients in England – after prescription charges in the Tory-run NHS rose to £9.
According to the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe), the average Scot receives 19 prescriptions per year. If these were charged at the new English rate of £9 each, people in Scotland would be out of pocket by £171 annually.
Healthcare should be free at the point of use for everyone – that’s why the SNP scrapped prescription charges for all patients 2011.
In England, the Tories are putting the future of the health service at risk by opening up the NHS to privatisation, continuing to charge families a small fortune for vital medication.
Only the SNP will keep Scotland’s NHS safe in public hands.
The tax on ill health increases to £9 per prescription in England today. Today in Scotland prescriptions are free.
For as long as there’s an SNP led Scottish Government there will be no Tory ill health tax in Scotland.
— 🏴CHRISTOPHER McEleny (@SNPChris) April 1, 2019
SCOTLAND LEADS UK IN FIGHT TO REDUCE GENDER PAY GAP
According to new analysis, increasing the female employment rate and closing the gender pay gap in Scotland could provide an economic boost of £15 billion, equivalent to a 9% rise in GDP.
Last month, Scotland was named the best country in the UK for gender equality in the workplace. The UK was ranked 13th in the PwC ‘Women in Work’ Index.
The SNP Government has achieved more in Scotland when it comes to equality than the painfully slow progress Westminster has delivered – demanding that all public authorities with more than 20 employees publish their pay gap every two years, doubling funding to support businesses led by women, and establishing a women returners scheme.
With full powers, Scotland could lead the way on tackling gender inequality – something which will hugely benefit our workers, businesses and economy.
The gender pay gap has widened at a "significant proportion" of UK companies. @theSNP's @JennyGilruth says "we have the opportunity to achieve more in Scotland. Our economy could benefit by a further £15bn if we had the powers to fully eradicate that gap." https://t.co/Uz3K4gKCZm
— Emily Mackintosh (@EMackintosh1) April 5, 2019
TORY MSP SLAMMED FOR NHS COMMENTS
Tory front-bencher Michelle Ballantyne has been urged to withdraw remarks calling for the Scottish Government to have “nothing to do” with the NHS.
The MSP told a stunned Holyrood that “as somebody who has spent a lot of time in the NHS I would be quite happy if Government had nothing to do with the running of the NHS quite frankly”.
The Tory welfare spokesperson has previously been condemned for saying that “people on benefits cannot have as many children as they like” and claiming that “there’s no such thing as a bedroom tax”.
The NHS is a treasured, publicly-owned institution and it is right that Scottish ministers are ultimately accountable for it.
In England the Tories have waved through privatisation of the health service, forcing ordinary people to pay the price for effective care.
An SNP Government will never allow for this to happen in Scotland.
🤔 The Scottish Tories’ Social Security Spokesperson, Michelle Ballantyne: “I would be quite happy if Government had nothing to do with the running of the NHS” pic.twitter.com/lomv3XsLsS
— The SNP (@theSNP) April 3, 2019
UK GOV MUST END WASPI INJUSTICE
This week, Sandra White MSP led a cross-party debate demanding the UK government end the pension injustice for thousands of women across Scotland.
Sandra has been a fervent supporter of the WASPI campaign, challenging the Prime Minister and successive Work and Pensions Secretaries to support those who have been adversely affected by the acceleration of the change to their state pension age.
The SNP have argued that transitional measures to mitigate the issue would cost significantly less than the UK government’s £30 billion figure, with independent research commissioned by the SNP showing the cost would only sit at £8 billion.
Speaking in the debate, the Glasgow Kelvin MSP said:
“This issue has run on for far too long – it’s time for the UK government to get a grip and put an end to this serious injustice.”
Excellent speech by our own Glasgow Kelvin MSP Sandra White this afternoon in the Scottish Parliament in support of the #WASPI campaign. 👏🏻👏🏻
(This injustice affects around 250,000 women in Scotland alone).
Holyrood gallery packed with WASPI women. 💜🐝🐝💜@SandraWhiteSNP pic.twitter.com/ZijMARgqV5
— Kelvin SNP (@SNPKelvin) April 3, 2019
HOLYROOD DEBATE AHEAD OF STALKING AWARENESS WEEK
SNP MSP Rona Mackay led a debate this week to mark Stalking Awareness Week, which takes place on 8 to 12 April 2019 – highlighting the need for essential legal reform to help tackle the serious issue.
A Members’ Bill proposed by Rona will allow police to apply to court for protection orders on behalf of victims of stalking.
The new class of protection order would mean that victims would not have to take legal action through the courts themselves at a time when they may be particularly vulnerable.
Commenting, the Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP said:
“Everyone should feel confident they can walk down the street safely or use social media without fear of consequence. My proposal of legal reform would remove obstacles for victims and help curb the worrying rise of stalking in Scotland.”
📜 STALKING BILL: It’s time for specific legislation that will give faster and comprehensive protection to victims of stalking. I look forward to developing these proposals alongside colleagues from across the chamber.
— Rona Mackay MSP (@RonaMackayMSP) April 2, 2019