THIRD SECTOR BACKS BENEFIT DEVOLUTION CALL

04 Oct 2011

SNP MSP John Mason a member of the Scotland Bill Committee and former SNP spokesman on Work and Pensions has welcomed submissions to the Scotland Bill Committee that develop the case for welfare devolution. The Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform and the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) have tabled submissions which point to the inadequacies of the present welfare system run from Westminster.

The SCVO says the UK Government control slows down progress in Scotland and highlight areas, including employability, where the situation in Scotland is hampered by UK controls saying: “Ideally, SCVO wanted the Scotland Bill to usher in more employability powers for Scotland.

And

“The UK Government’s move towards a profit driven Work Programme has further widened the gap between its approach and Scotland’s positive, inclusive approach.

The SCVO also cite housing as an area where the actions of the UK are having a negative impact in Scotland:

“The changes to Housing Benefit are likely to have an adverse effect on the Scottish Government’s homelessness commitment to remove the distinction between priority and non-priority need to give all applicants the same right to accommodation.

The Scottish Campaign on Welfare Reform wants to see “devolution of certain aspects of welfare reform” and call for “Welfare benefits in Scotland suitable for Scotland”.

They cite the needs of families and communities pointing out that the UK Governments plans are ill-advised, stating: “An unprecedented £18bn of cuts is being made to benefits and tax credits. Many aspects of these cuts and reforms will have significant and too often very negative impacts on individuals and communities across Scotland, and on devolved housing, childcare, health social care and anti-poverty policy.

Commenting ahead of Tuesday’s committee meeting John Mason, SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston said:

“Organisations on the frontline are well aware of the problems UK control of welfare causes in Scotland.

“In Scotland we want to combine our economic, health and social policy objectives with those of our welfare system. Despite the best efforts of the Scottish Government and organisations across Scottish society the UK Government’s approach hampers our ability to address some of our most serious problems including unemployment and worklessness.

“Too often when it comes to tackling social problems Scotland’s is operating with one hand tied behind our backs.

“If the UK Government hears the concerns of people and organisations working day in and day out on the front line then they will see that the benefit of devolving powers to the Scottish Parliament is greater than ever.”

MSP AND EAST ENDERS RAISE OVER £200 FOR CANCER CHARITY

30 Sep 2011

SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, today (Friday) held a successful coffee morning to raise funds for MacMillan Cancer Research.

The East End MSP, who was taking part in MacMillan’s “World Biggest Coffee Morning”, helped to raise over £200 for the cancer charity at his Constituency Office coffee morning.

Praising East End residents for their generosity, the SNP’s John Mason MSP said:

“Well done to the generous people of the East End for supporting our MacMillan Coffee Morning. Early indications show that we’ve raised over £200 and a number of people have also pledged donations on my facebook page.

“MacMillan Cancer Support does tremendous work and we all know people who have been affected by cancer, so I was keen to support them today.

“Last year 43,000 people signed up to hold a coffee morning, raising over £8 million for MacMillan Cancer Support. I have attended several of the coffee mornings in the past and very much enjoyed hosting one today”.

JOHN MASON URGES COUNCIL TO BE ‘CONSISTENT’

29 Sep 2011

SNP MSP for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, has welcomed Glasgow City Council’s decision to increase the living wage from £7.15 an hour to £7.20.

The Shettleston MSP, who has argued for the living wage to be rolled out into the private sector, is calling on Glasgow City Council Leader, Gordon Matheson, to be consistent and ensure that the living wage is also paid by the Council’s contractors and to temporary staff.

In a recent exchange with Finance Secretary John Swinney at Holyrood, Mr Mason called for Scotland to have powers to set the National Minimum Wage, which would have the effect of the living wage being extended to the private sector.

SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, commented:

“It’s time for Gordon Matheson to step up to the mark and be consistent here. Yes, it’s good that the Council is increasing the living wage but if Councillor Matheson really believes, that for many people, work is the best and most suitable route out of poverty – as I do – then he should be consistent and ensure that Council contractors and temporary staff are also paid a living wage. It’s only fair.

“As I said in Holyrood a fortnight ago, I would go one step further and ensure that the private sector is also committed to paying this living wage. The National Minimum Wage is too low and both the previous Labour and now coalition governments have done absolutely nothing to pay a minimum wage that truly reflects today’s cost of living”.

EAST END MSP ‘WEARS IT PINK’ TO FUND CURE FOR BREAST CANCER

21 Sep 2011

SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament for Glasgow Shettleston, John Mason, is joining forces with Breast Cancer Campaign to raise awareness of its award winning fundraising event, wear it pink day.

On Friday 28 October 2011 supporters in schools, colleges and businesses throughout the country are encouraged to don an item of pink in support of the campaign and each donate £2 to fund innovative world-class breast
cancer research.

Last year hundreds of thousands people took part in wear it pink to help improve survival rates for the one in eight women who experience breast cancer during their lifetime.

Commenting, whilst ‘wearing it pink’, the SNP’s John Mason said:

“It is estimated that there are over 41,000 women and 150 men alive in Scotland who have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I know people who have been affected by the disease and would like to encourage everyone in my constituency and throughout Scotland to support wear it pink on October 28th, to raise valuable funds for breast cancer research.”

To take part in the UK’s original and best pink day, visit www.wearitpink.co.uk and register to receive your free fundraising pack now. wear it pink is supported by Vanish, which has committed to raising an incredible £250,000 for the charity this year.