East End MP calls for increase in cold weather and winter fuel allowance payments

11 Jan 2010

The SNP Member of Parliament for Glasgow East, John Mason, has backed demands by leading charities for the UK Government to increase cold weather fuel payments to pensioners and vulnerable households. John Mason has also revealed that the SNP is set to raise the issue in the UK Parliament this week.

Age Concern and Help the Aged have warned that existing UK Government support will not be enough to prevent a soaring death rate among older people.

Commenting, John Mason said:

“This has not just been a cold snap, but a sustained period of freezing weather which seems set to continue and the UK Government must take immediate action to help vulnerable households.

“Cold weather and winter fuel payments have not kept pace with the soaring increases in domestic energy bills over recent years and UK Ministers must take action to help vulnerable households – many of which were already in fuel poverty.

“Clearly a combination of the extreme weather, increasing bills and the real difficulties people face because of the recession make the situation much worse than in previous years.

“Not only is the UK Government failing to deal with fuel poverty, but some policies are making matters worse.

“It is incredible that a country with Scotland’s energy resources should be put in such a position by the incompetence of the London Administration. Westminster needs a wake up call on fuel poverty and the SNP will be leading demands in parliament this week for an increase in help for vulnerable households.”

JOHN MASON WELCOMES PRESCRIPTION CHARGE CUT

08 Jan 2010

John Mason, the SNP MP for the East End, has welcomed the Scottish Governmen’s publication of regulations which will see prescription charges cut from £4 to £3 from April 1st this year. As of next year, it is intended that prescription charges will be completely abolished in Scotland.

The planned legislation will also see the cost of a four-month Pre-Payment Certificate (PPC) reduced from £13 to £10 and a twelve-month PPC from £38 to £28.

Commenting on this news, John Mason said:

“In these tough economic times reducing prescription charges will be a welcome boost to working families in the East End, and across the city.

“Prescription charges are a tax on ill health and are unacceptable in a modern society. The take up of prescriptions has increased as charges have fallen which clearly shows that people in Glasgow East and were suffering because of cost.

“From Barlanark to Barrowfield, and from Carmyle to Cranhill there are many people on modest means who need long term treatment. They have suffered because of the tax on ill health that prescription charges represent, and I am delighted that the SNP Scottish Government is successfully phasing them out.”

JOHN MASON ENCOURAGES EAST END RESIDENTS TO BE “GOOD WINTER NEIGHBOURS”

05 Jan 2010

The SNP MP for Glasgow East, John Mason, today urged people across the East End to respond to the current cold weather by looking out for vulnerable people in their communities.

The East End MP, who is also the SNP spokesman on Work & Pensions said:

“With conditions forecast to remain very cold for some time to come, it seems likely that the City Council and our emergency services will be at full stretch trying to keep major routes open and attend to the most pressing emergencies.

“If you are able to, it would be an ideal time to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours, make sure they have heat and that their pre-payment meters are topped up. If you are in an area where the footpaths are still affected by snow and ice, you may be able to help clear paths.

“There is clearly frustration from people at the condition of roads and pavements and I have no doubt that the City Council will want to make sure that lessons are learnt so that they can be prepared in future years.

“That being said it is very important to recognise the hard work being put in by council workers, who have been working many long hours over the holiday period and continue to do so.”

John Mason concluded:

“It’s also important to remember the Scottish Government Energy Assistance Package is available and can be accessed by calling the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512 012 or visiting www.energyassistancepackage.com.”

Airport monopoly hurts Glasgow passengers, says East End MP

21 Dec 2009

John Mason, the SNP MP for Glasgow East, has expressed disappointment at the Competition Appeals Tribunal decision to overturn the Competition Commission’s ruling that BAA must sell some of its airports including either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

John Mason, who represents the East End in the House of Commons, thinks that it would be better for Glasgow if the BAA was forced to sell one of its main Scottish airports. Speaking earlier today (21 December), he said:

“In the aftermath of Globespan having gone into administration, it is vitally important that Glasgow Airport attracts new routes. I think that this is more likely to be achieved if Glasgow and Edinburgh airport are owned by different companies, rather than both operated by BAA.

“With one operator owning two airports within an hour’s drive of each other there is little incentive for them to introduce competition on routes, tickets or charges.

“This monopoly on air travel in Scotland is compounded by flights forced to go through London hubs. Scots travellers are being charged twice and paying fares considerably over the odds. Competition between airports could bring considerably more direct flights.”