Apparently the Tory Secretary of State for Scotland finds my question asking for confirmation of the timeline for the UK Government to agree the Ayrshire Growth Deal as a “constant flow of negativity!". The only negative is his inability to answer such a basic question!
I had the opportunity to ask a question in the UN Relief and Works Agency: US Funding debate yesterday about representations made to the US Administration on their withholding funding from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. You can see my follow up question in the video below and the full text and responses to both questions here.
I recently asked the Minister for Immigration to confirm what the policy is on residence rights for EU nationals after the UK leaves the EU and you can see my follow up question and the Minister's response in the video below. You can access the full text here.
On the 24th January 2018 I presented a 10 Minute Rule Bill to make provision about Multi-employer Pension Schemes, including provision for the protection of unincorporated businesses, such as plumbing businesses, from certain multi-employer pension scheme liabilities; and for connected purposes.
The background to this was the revelation that the multi-employer scheme operated for plumbers in Scotland and Northern Ireland, (SNIPEF) is having to advise some members that they owe hundreds ...of thousands of pounds and even over £1m due to the perceived debt or black hole in their pension fund. However, this is as much to do with changes in legislation to the 1995 Pension Act and how the debt is calculated. And the debt includes “orphan debt” – debts assigned to members who left the scheme prior to the last legislation change in 2005.
As it stands several employers/individuals face financial ruin despite having responsibly tried to look after employees, and many live in fear of financial ruin and cannot change ownership or pass the business on for fear of triggering the debt. A plumbing company in my constituency with approximately 20 employees altogether closed before Christmas as a consequence of it being unsellable with the potential liability associated with it. So changes to the legislation are required before matters get worse across the country.
I had to commend the Tory Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union. As I thought it was impossible for this Government to get more incompetent … but they are doing a very good job of it!!!
When questioned about the Brexit impact assessments - He argued that while there was analysis of leaving there wasn’t qualitative analysis (ie predicting the financial effects). When I challenged him, arguing there is no point doing analysis without understanding financial consequences he then argued they had some; elsewhere he said it was now out of date and of no use. Logically, they must have some financial analysis that they want to hide.
The real concern remains – what analysis do they have for Scotland that they are hiding?
Supporting #ScrapTheCap at Parliament Square met dedicated Ayrshire staff. Tories found £30bn tax cuts so they can find money to scrap cap. UK Govt no qualms on giveaways for the wealthy while maintaining public sector pay cap - Tory priorities?!