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Eilidh Whiteford is MP for Banff & Buchan

Whiteford and Stevenson Deliver Festive Cheer to Local Post Office

Friday, 19 December 2014

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford and Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson visited Royal Mail’s Banff Delivery Office to pass on Christmas wishes and thanks to our postmen and women at this, their busiest time of the year.

MSP & MP with Gerald Duncan and Calum Tawse
The MP and MSP were shown around the sorting process by Banff Delivery Office Manager, Ian Jackson, and met the postmen and women who are working hard doing their bit to sort and deliver cards and parcels in the Banff area this Christmas.

Commenting on Royal Mail’s work at Christmas Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“I really value the opportunity to catch up with our hard working Royal Mail postmen and women in delivery offices each Christmas and witness first hand just how much effort is put into delivering for people at this time of year.

“We all rely very heavily on the Royal Mail, especially so at Christmas, and I would like to thank them for their commitment and wish them all the best over the busy festive period.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP added:

“Our postmen and women are working extremely hard to deliver Christmas cards, letters and parcels to people across the Banff area. It was our pleasure to drop in to see the workers, wish them well for Christmas, and deliver some festive cheer with a couple of boxes of chocolates."

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Fishing Champion MP Welcomes Scottish Quota Gains

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The SNP’s Spokesperson on Fisheries at Westminster, Dr. Eilidh Whiteford, has welcomed the outcome of the December Fisheries Council which has resulted in key quota gains for the Scottish fishing industry.

A freeze on proposed cuts to days fishermen can go to sea and gains in key quotas were two of the main wins for Scotland as a package for the next 12 months was agreed this week by EU Fishing Ministers.

The deal will see significant increases for the Scottish industry in key quotas such as monkfish, prawns, West Coast haddock and Rockall haddock. Initial estimates by the Scottish Government suggest that the quota deal will be worth an additional £10 million to the Scottish whitefish and prawn fleets.

Dr Whiteford, whose constituency has some of the most fishing-dependent communities in Europe, commented:

“The increase in quota is a welcome gain for the Scottish fleet and I commend Richard Lochhead and his negotiating team for winning such favourable concessions. These negotiations have resulted in increases in quota in 8 out of 10 of the most valuable North Sea and West Coast stocks – that will be a welcome economic boost not just for our fishing fleet but for our processors and the coastal communities in which they are rooted.”

“I also hope that these increases in quota and a freeze on the cuts to days at sea will help ease the burden of implementing the landing obligation, which starts to come into effect in January for parts of the fleet. Our industry has been straining to make the point that this discard ban will be very difficult to implement in mixed fisheries and I hope that some progress can be made on finding a workable way forward.”

Earlier this month, the Banff & Buchan MP used her speech in the House of Common’s annual fisheries debate to demand a consistent enforcement regime for all vessels subject to the discard ban, including non-EU boats fishing in Scottish waters, and warned of the need to move beyond single species quotas to make the landing obligation workable in a mixed fishery.

Dr. Whiteford also put on record a tribute to the lost crew of the Fraserburgh-registered Ocean Way, which sank off the coast of Northumberland earlier this year.

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Bedroom Tax Vote Shows Why Welfare Powers Should be in Scotland's Hands


WESTMINSTER’S ‘SHAMEFUL’ TRACK RECORD ON WELFARE CONDEMNED

The SNP is today reiterating its call for the full devolution of the welfare system to Scotland – after the House of Commons voted to uphold the unfair Bedroom Tax.

In a vote in the House of Commons today, the SNP backed calls to finally end the iniquitous measure which hits some of the most vulnerable people in society– but were outvoted by the Tories and the Scottish Lib Dems who didn’t even show face in the Chamber of the House of Commons to defend their Government’s record.

Commenting after the vote, SNP Work and Pensions Spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Today’s vote is another shameful episode in Westminster’s appalling record on welfare. The Bedroom Tax is an iniquitous measure which has a disproportionate impact on disabled people – and should be completely abolished as soon as possible.

“That the Lib Dems voted against the motion along with their Tory allies despite claiming to now oppose the Bedroom Tax is nothing less than a scandal – and won’t be forgotten by the people of Scotland at the election in May.

“It’s clear that people in Scotland can’t trust any of the Westminster parties on welfare – while Labour now say they oppose the Bedroom Tax, it shouldn’t be forgotten that Ed Miliband barred Scottish Labour from speaking out against it for a whole year.

“In Scotland, the SNP has taken real action to mitigate the impact of the Bedroom Tax – but the idea that the Scottish Government should have to spend tens of millions of pounds protect some of our most vulnerable people from a policy people in Scotland completely reject is absurd.

“Today’s vote only confirms what was already abundantly clear – that the Westminster establishment simply can’t be trusted on welfare and is committed to continuing its relentless and sustained assault on vulnerable people.

“This is exactly why full powers over welfare should be in Scotland’s hands rather than in the hands of people like Iain Duncan Smith – to allow us to use the welfare state to protect and support vulnerable people, rather than as a weapon with which to attack some of the poorest people in society.”

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Workfare not Fair for New Fathers

Sunday, 30 November 2014


SNP QUESTION UNCOVERS THE HARSH REALITY OF WESTMINSTER SANCTIONS

The SNP has today (Sunday) condemned Westminster’s failure to offer support to new fathers after it was revealed that the legal entitlement for Paternity Leave does not extend to jobseeker's allowance claimants in mandatory work or a community placement.

A parliamentary question tabled by SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP uncovered that the legal entitlement to Paternity Leave is not available to people who are forced to work for their benefits.

SNP MSP Christian Allard – a single father - said:

“These unfair rules effectively leave new fathers who are working for their benefits without any rights to see their baby and partner whatsoever.

“Not only does the Westminster system demand people work for free but they don’t even get any time off to be with a new born child - and if they go off anyway then they will sanctioned – it is totally ridiculous.

“I understand exactly how hard it is being a lone parent and fortunately I have always had understanding and fair employers, but sadly the UK Government either don’t understand or just don’t care about this.”

Eilidh Whiteford MP added:

“The sanctioning of a new parent’s benefits who is in a workfare programme threatens to be hugely detrimental to vulnerable families and is grossly unfair. I will be pursuing the Department of Work and Pensions on this matter and will be seeking clarification of the moral and legal grounds on which it was implemented.”

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