Benefits System Not Fit For Purpose

'Last week I met Justin Tomlinson, a Junior Minister at the DWP, to raise my concerns about failings in the new disability benefits system. I regularly hear from constituents who have felt degraded and dehumanised by the assessment process. Many don’t bother to appeal against bad decisions because they simply can’t bear the thought of putting themselves through the process.

I’m sorry to say that although Mr Tomlinson was polite and courteous throughout our meeting he appears, like the rest of the UK Government, to be in denial about how much misery his department is causing.

Pressure from Opposition MPs has forced the DWP to make some small but welcome improvements but the system itself is simply not fit for purpose and neds to be radically changed.

“No Deal” Catastrophe Looms Closer

The prospect of Boris Johnson becoming Prime Minister, with the votes of fewer than quarter of a percent of the population, will bring the threat of a catastrophic “no deal” Brexit much closer.

Last week during Brexit Questions, the SNP joined other MPs to demand assurances about such vital matters as food supply, the availability of medicines, and staffing levels in our NHS, if we leave the EU without a deal. In reply we got a lot of bluster but no assurances whatsoever.

In 2016 Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU. At last month’s European Elections we utterly rejected the “no deal” policies of the Brexit parties when almost two thirds of Scots voted for parties who were committed to stopping Brexit altogether. It would be a democratic outrage if those who seek to drag us out of the EU were also to deny the people of Scotland the right to determine where our future lies.

Caring For Our Villages

I was pleased to be able to spend some time recently with volunteers from the Cardenden Community Development Group to see some of the improvements they have helped to make to the environment in and around the village. I know that in villages such as Cardenden and Kinglassie there are large numbers of people who give their time freely to various groups who help to improve the environment for all of us.

Summer Recess

The UK Parliament works to the English school calendar so although schools in Fife and most other parts of Scotland are now into their summer holidays, Westminster will continue till almost the end of July. As always I’m looking forward to spending some serious time in the constituency during August, and my office team are already busy organising visits etc for me. I’m also finalising the details of my summer surgery tour which will be advertised on my web site and facebook page.

Whatever your plans are for summer, stay safe, and I hope everyone manages to get some down time'.