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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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MP Welcomes Tesco Backing for Buchan Chickens

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford, Vice-Chair of the All-Party Group on Pigs and Poultry in the Westminster Parliament, has welcomed the announcement from Tesco that it is to offer its customers 100% fresh Scottish chicken across all its ranges in its Scottish stores.

The chicken will be sourced from approved farms across Scotland, including Toux Farm at Fetterangus.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“I welcome this move by Tesco, particularly their sourcing of chickens from a local farm in Buchan. Morrisons supermarkets already use local meat through Woodhead Brothers at Turriff, so it is good to see Tesco following their lead.

“I am pleased to see that Tesco is recognising what our quality local butchers have known for decades, which is that quality meat is best sourced locally.”

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MP Hails Fraserburgh Winners of Technology Challenge

Youngsters from local academies excelled themselves on Friday, at the final of Banff and Buchan College’s S2 Technology Challenge.

Teams representing schools in Mintlaw, Oldmeldrum, Banff, Peterhead, Fraserburgh and Turriff took part in the event, which tested the technological, scientific and mathematical skills of participants.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan, spoke at the event to congratulate youngsters, and to present prizes to the top three teams.

Winners on the day were Fraserburgh Academy’s Rhys Buchan and Emily Duthie. They were followed by Ian Buchan and Kimberly Wilson of Peterhead, and Scott Millar and Rhianne Bathgate from Banff.

Speaking after the event, Dr Whiteford said that it was encouraging to see pupils engaging with science and technology at an early age.

She said:

“Engineering is a hugely important subject, and it is great to see how many talented young people are engaging with STEM subjects. My congratulations go to Rhys and Emily of Fraserburgh for their victory, and to all those who took part.

“There are always secure, well-paid job openings in engineering, especially in the north-east where our energy technologies continue to demand young people with the relevant skill sets. It was especially gratifying to see so many girls getting involved, when they have traditionally been under-represented in the engineering sector.

“It is testimony to Banff and Buchan’s foresight that the college is engaging with pupils at this early stage, to cultivate an interest before they go on to their Highers. Hopefully, the youngsters I met today have bright futures ahead - as the engineers of tomorrow.“

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Devastating Impact of Bedroom Tax Revealed

Saturday, 18 May 2013

GLASGOW HIT HARDEST - 4,064 MORE SEEKING EMERGENCY HELP

New figures can reveal the devastation of the UK Government’s Bedroom Tax - Glasgow has seen the highest number of claimants seeking emergency help of any council in the UK with 4,064 more people in the past month seeking emergency help in the form of a DHP payment, while North Lanarkshire has seen the number of claimants rise from just 37 over four months last year to 1,451 this April alone.

There has been a 338 per cent leap in the number of people applying for emergency handouts across the UK in the month since the bedroom tax was imposed.

Commenting, SNP Westminster spokesperson for Work and Pensions Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“These figures are absolutely astounding - they show the true impact of the UK Government’s Bedroom Tax just one month in.

“The Bedroom Tax is an inherently unfair policy. People on the lowest incomes are paying the price for structural problems affecting the supply of affordable housing in the south of England. The Bedroom Tax is also unworkable - instead of addressing the underlying problems, it undermines the ability of social landlords to invest in the kind of affordable housing that is so badly needed.

“The Tory/Lib Dem coalition are hitting the poorest and most disadvantaged in our society with their austerity measures, while the richest receive a cut in taxes.

“The Bedroom Tax will be imposed on Scotland despite over 90 per cent of Scottish MPs voted against it.

“In Scotland we have an opportunity to change, so that we make our own democratic decisions. To vote No in next year’s referendum would mean leaving Scotland at the mercy of the Westminster system, which on any measure is failing. With independence we have the opportunity to do things differently and better - and we will scrap the Bedroom Tax in an independent Scotland."


Information from research carried out by The Independent newspaper

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Bedroom Tax 'Designed Firstly to Save Money'

Thursday, 16 May 2013

TORY PEER LETS CAT OUT OF THE BAG

A Tory welfare minister has admitted the Bedroom Tax is designed with the main aim of saving money- despite repeated claims it is based on fairness.

Lord Freud
Lord Freud’s claims in the House of Lords yesterday come 6 weeks after the Bedroom Tax was introduced- with a damaging effect on the poorest and most disadvantaged in our societies- while the richest enjoy a cut in taxes.

Commenting, SNP spokesperson for Work and Pensions Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Lord Freud has let the cat out of the bag- and revealed the true agenda of the UK Government. But Scottish Government research shows that the extra costs imposed on the public purse mean that the Bedroom Tax won’t actually save any money- as well as being grossly unfair and damaging to families.

“People on the lowest incomes are paying the price for structural problems affecting the supply of affordable housing in the south of England. The Bedroom Tax is also unworkable - instead of addressing the underlying problems, it undermines the ability of social landlords to invest in the kind of affordable housing that is so badly needed.

“The real way for the UK Government to save money is to beat unemployment through economic growth and jobs- which the Tory/LibDem coalition is failing to deliver on. In Scotland, the Scottish Government’s policies are helping to support record job creation. Westminster are using the poorest in society as scapegoats to deflect from their economic failures.

“The Bedroom Tax will be imposed on Scotland despite over 90 per cent of Scottish MPs voted against it.

“Lord Freud’s comments give us an insight into the Tory agenda- no wonder inequality in the UK is growing faster than anywhere else.

“In Scotland we have an opportunity to change, so that we make our own democratic decisions. To vote No in next year’s referendum would mean leaving Scotland at the mercy of the Westminster system, which on any measure is failing. With independence we have the opportunity to do things differently and better - and we will scrap the Bedroom Tax in an independent Scotland."

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Local MP Supports Campaign to Stamp Out Wildlife Crime

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Banff & Buchan MP Eilidh Whiteford has shown her commitment to protecting animals by pledging her support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s (IFAW) campaign against wildlife crime.

Dr Whiteford attended IFAW’s ‘Wildlife Crime – The Fightback’ event at the House of Commons, which was hosted by Neil Parish MP, Chair of the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare. Key speakers included Environment Minister Richard Benyon MP, and Kelvin Alie, Wildlife Crime Programme Director, IFAW.

The SNP MP posed in front of a large elephant poster to highlight the issue and send a clear message that he/she wants the UK to take the lead in the international community to stamp out wildlife crime.

IFAW’s event highlighted that some of the planet’s most iconic species are being pushed to the brink of extinction by wildlife crime. The illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn, poaching of wild tigers for their parts, smuggling of rare birds and reptiles for the pet trade and the use of endangered animals in traditional Asian medicines are decimating wild populations. In addition it drew attention to the fact that it is now widely acknowledged that those involved in wildlife crime are often organised criminal syndicates that also deal in illegal drugs and arms.

This was echoed last year, when Hillary Clinton, then US Secretary of State, said,

“over the past few years wildlife trafficking has become more organised, more lucrative, more widespread, and more dangerous than ever before…wildlife trafficking has serious implications for the security and prosperity of people around the world”

Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“It was shocking to hear about the scale and impact of illegal trade in endangered species. I fully support IFAW’s campaign to stamp out wildlife crime, and urge my constituents to lend their support too.”

Robbie Marsland, UK Director of IFAW, said:

“Wildlife crime is pushing elephants, rhinos, tigers and many other species to the brink of extinction. We are very grateful to Eilidh for showing her commitment to halting wildlife crime by attending our event.”

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Labour Won't Rule Out Pensions Cuts

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman has highlighted another of the benefits of voting Yes in September 2014.

In an interview on BBC Radio this week she confirmed that Labour would be looking at cutting benefits for the elderly if elected to Westminster. Ms Harman said that Labour will review pensions,winter fuel allowances and the free bus pass.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson commented:

“In her interview on BBC Radio Harriet Harman was caught out. She admitted a Labour government would mean reductions in benefits for Scotland’s elderly. She said Labour would be reviewing the winter fuel allowance which helps pensioners in Scotland out of fuel poverty every year.

“Her comments confirm that whoever is in government at Westminster, their plan is to cut services and support that elderly people in Scotland have earned over many years. The only way to protect our older people from Westminster cuts is with a Yes vote in 2014, so that it is the people of Scotland who are making these decisions.”

“Coming off the back of Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont’s ‘Cuts Commission’ now busy planning repeals of hard-won universal benefits at Holyrood, we now know Labour’s plans will hit older people’s benefits in Scotland and across the UK.

“Labour North and South of the border have made it clear. They are quite happy to claw back benefits from older people to get them out of the economic hole they created. “

“One of the greatest benefits of independence is that a Scottish government would protect benefits in a way Westminster won’t. Voting Yes in September 2014 takes those threats away.”

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