PETROL AT £1.20 PER LITRE – SNP PUSH FOR ‘FAIR FUEL’ PRICES

23 Mar 2010

With petrol prices at a record high of £1.20 a litre, East End MP John Mason has called on other parties to back the SNP’s proposal for a fuel duty regulator which would stabilise fuel prices.

The SNP Group at Westminster have announced they will be introducing an amendment to the coming UK Budget Bill for the introduction of a fuel duty regulator, and have challenged opposition parties to support its introduction.

Commenting, John Mason says:

“Sky high fuel taxes are effectively a poll tax on wheels. The AA are warning that it will become common for petrol to hit £1.20 a litre in the next few weeks.

“It’s not just haulage companies who suffer. The effects of sky high fuel taxes also impact on prices in the shops, with delivery costs rising.

“Ordinary East End families are struggling to run a car for normal use. It now costs the best part of £100 to fill up a Ford Mondeo.

“Labour has admitted that they will yet again use fuel tax to hammer household motorists to pay for their bank bail out. This is simply unacceptable”

JOHN REFERS LABOUR ALLEGATIONS TO STRATHCLYDE POLICE

15 Mar 2010

Following a series of extremely serious allegations reported in the media since Steven Purcell resigned from the leadership of Glasgow City Council on 2 March, Scottish National Party MP for Glasgow East , John Mason, today (Monday) formally referred the matter to Strathclyde Police.

Mr Mason wrote to Chief Constable Stephen House, following reports this weekend alleging that individuals and organisations have benefited from the Glasgow City Council external construction body City Building.

Key newspaper reports are:

* “The Sunday Times has learnt that Purcell revealed to friends and colleagues last Saturday that he was a user of cocaine. At his home in the west end of Glasgow, it was alleged that on a three-day trip to London on council business last month he used the drug several times.” (Sunday Times, 7 March).

* “Mr Purcell, once seen as the rising star of Scottish Labour, told four colleagues he had previously used the Class A drug after police officers spoke to him about a criminal inquiry. Two officers from the Serious Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA) spoke to Mr Purcell in his office at Glasgow City Chambers on May 12 after his name came up during an investigation into a major drug dealer. Although Mr Purcell was not interviewed as a suspect or accused of a crime, the police warned him that he was making himself vulnerable to blackmail.” (Sunday Herald, 7 March).

* “An investigation into one of Purcell’s initiatives – a construction quango called City Building – found that the wage bill for senior employees doubled in just two years. Some of those who benefited were Labour members closely allied to the former leader. The same quango also spent thousands of pounds on hospitality, including paying £2,000 for a table at a Labour party fundraiser where, among several Labour figures, it entertained Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray.” (Scotland on Sunday, 14 March).

Commenting, John Mason said:

“We have had a series of extremely serious allegations in the media over the past two weeks, including new reports over the weekend, and people in Glasgow deserve to have all of these issues properly investigated.

“This is no longer about the personal tragedy of Steven Purcell, or even how recent events are impacting on the running of the city. The issues reported in the media go well beyond that, which is why I am now referring the matter to Strathclyde Police.”

EAST END MP LOOKS TO STUB OUT EU TOBACCO SUBSIDY

03 Mar 2010

John Mason, SNP MP for Glasgow East, has tabled an early day motion in the House of Commons calling on the EU to stub out its tobacco subsidy.

The continuing subsidy by the European Union of tobacco cultivation is costing taxpayers £260 million a year. Consequentially, the SNP Euro-MP Alyn Smith has written to the EU Commissioner-Designate for Health, John Dalli, and EU Commissioner-Designate for Budget and Financial Programming, Janusz Lewandowski, calling for their support to end the payments, and has also launched a petition on his website (www.alynsmith.eu) which calls for an end to the subsidy.

John Mason’s motion has garnered support from all of the main political parties, as well as from independent MPs.

John Mason says:

“Europe is in the middle of a serious economic downturn, arguably the most severe to hit the continent since World War II. Spending over a quarter of a billion pounds on subsidising tobacco production would be hard to justify at the best of times, but in the midst of a recession it is utter madness.

“There are 1001 better ways in which these massive sums could be spent. In fact, diverting even a small proportion of the overall subsidy to economic developments projects in the East End would make all the difference to communities in my constituency.”

Alyn Smith MEP added:

“Subsidising tobacco equates to subsiding the cause of cancer it’s as straightforward as that and it has to stop. I’m not against agricultural subsidy, but it should go to crops with a nutritional or environmental benefit, not tobacco.”

The text of John’s motion is as follows:

EDM 948 – EU TOBACCO SUBSIDY
That this House expresses disappointment at the continuing subsidy by the European Union of tobacco cultivation to the tune of some £260 million each year despite the many more millions paid by the EU in anti-tobacco public information campaigns and billions of pounds worth of damage done to the EU’s economy by the public health impact of smoking as well as the real damage on the health of individuals; believes that tobacco subsidy should end immediately and if need be subsidies to cultivation of alternative crops be explored; wholly supports the campaign and petition by Alyn Smith MEP to achieve this aim; and welcomes the backing of the News of the World newspaper for the campaign.

John slams Labour over loss of Glasgow jobs

18 Feb 2010

After the shocking revelation that their Scottish supremo did nothing to keep Student Loans Company jobs in Glasgow, local MP John Mason has slammed Labour’s inaction.

A Freedom of Information request has shown that Labour’s Scottish Secretary, Jim Murphy MP, did nothing to stop or avert the Student Loans Company’s plans to axe up to 150 jobs from the company’s sites in Glasgow and Hillington.

East End MP, John Mason, said:

“The Student Loans Company is actually a UK Government quango. So Labour can’t even save Glasgow jobs when their own UK Government is in charge of the organisation.

“if ever there was an example of how ineffective the Labour Party is in working for Glasgow, this is it.

“Jim Murphy’s lack of action on Scottish jobs in Glasgow just exposes how his so-called Scotland Office is nothing but a taxpayer-subsidised campaign office for Labour.

“The fact that the Scottish Secretary failed even to act to save Scottish jobs raises serious questions about how he is employing his time as Scottish Secretary.”