'LAST week I attended and spoke at the 10th national Scottish Older People’s Assembly, held in the Scottish Parliament.

The main issues raised with me during the assembly were: the difficulties in getting an appointment with a local GP; the difficulty in getting a care package and social care support when required; and the need for more suitable housing for older people. These are all big issues and it was encouraging that so many older people came together to outline the big issues affecting older people and to ask politicians what they are going to do about them.

Politics has in many ways, been dumbed down over these last few years with less emphasis on day-to-day issues and more focus on constitutional and identity politics. This means concerns around poor public services, the lack of workforce planning in health and education, the cuts to school budgets and so on, are being overshadowed. If people have a poor experience then they will raise that issue but in terms of the deep-rooted failures of government, these are being overlooked.

So hard-Brexiteers, for example, think it will be all okay if we just leave Europe and likewise hardened independence supporters think all we need is to leave Britain and everything will be great. Then there are those who support more of the same and they do not want any change at all. All of these positions fail to recognise the need for fundamental change in the way our economic, social and political systems operate.

Labour has a plan to rewrite how our economy works and that starts by addressing the unfairness that exists in the system. Those that earn the very most, the top 5% in the country, will pay a bit more.

We will also tackle tax dodging and reverse the tax giveaways to the big corporations. We will bring to an end austerity, properly fund public services free at the point of use, and rebuild our economy so it works in the interest of the many. On top of this, to truly transform people’s lives, we will end the modern evil of in-work poverty by restoring trade union rights, introducing a real living wage of £10 per hour, scrap Universal Credit and build a million new genuinely affordable homes.

These are the kind of fundamental changes we need if we want a fairer society where every child can achieve their potential'.