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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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MP Officially Opens Portsoy Spa Venue

Monday, 28 April 2014

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford officially opened Banffshire’s newest spa venue on Saturday at a Georgian country house on the outskirts of Portsoy.

Durn House held a launch event for their Clementina Spa Room at the weekend where guests were entertained with live traditional music.

Durn House has been running very popular occasional “Ladies Days” with pampering treatment and posh Afternoon Tea packages for several months, and is now celebrating opening the Spa Room every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10.00am to 4.00pm, with a variety of relaxing massage and beauty treatments available. Whether or not they are enjoying the use of the Clementina Spa room, visitors are now also able enjoy the elegant period surroundings of Durn House for a lunch or afternoon tea (reservations required).

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“It’s an honour to have been asked to perform the official opening of the Clementine Spa at Durn House.

“Durn House is a wonderful venue and I am sure the spa will become a tremendous asset to the area as it attracts visitors from near and far. I congratulate owners John and Sandra Scrudis and the team and wish them the very best of success with this new venture.”

Beauty Therapist Lenise Bruce commented

“After relocating back to Aberdeenshire with 7 years spa industry experience, I jumped at the chance to become part of the Durn House team. This is a fantastic opportunity for me to bring my enthusiasm and spa management experience to the local area where I grew up. Having a treatment or a spa day at Durn House is more than just popping in for a facial or a massage. It is a fantastic opportunity to experience the unique surroundings of Durn House whilst escaping our hectic everyday life to take some precious time to relax and unwind.”

Whilst Durn House has been a fixture in Portsoy since the medieval era this is the first time it has been open to the public in this way. The Clementina Spa Room used to be the Butler’s Pantry and retains its splendid original Georgian fireplace. It has been freshly and sympathetically furnished to create an environment which is comfortable and relaxing.

Owner Sandra Scrudis said:

“The Clementina Spa has been so named after Lady Clementina, who was married to Sir William Dunbar of Durn. All of the principal rooms are named after former residents, and we chose Clementina for the Spa as it reminded me of oranges and lemons, which I thought was lovely and fresh for the room. I designed the room to be warm and welcoming, the antithesis of a sterile and clinical treatment room and in keeping with the rest of the house. We are the only accommodation provider in the area to provide these facilities, and by opening the Spa Room we are looking to encourage more visitors to this beautiful coastline, as well as welcoming local residents.”

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NO camp's Big Beast £118 Billion raid on pensions

Saturday, 26 April 2014

The SNP has today called out the No campaign on pensions scaremongering hypocrisy following a report revealing the extent of Gordon Brown’s pensions raid in his time as UK chancellor.

Today’s Daily Mail reports that Office of Budget Responsibility this week published figures showing that the No camp “big beast” ripped £118 billion from private pensions – meaning a loss for hundreds of thousands of retirees in Scotland

Scottish National Party Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The former UK chancellor has been rolled out by the anti-independence campaign various times in an effort to frighten Scots - but this plan has now totally backfired.

“From now on nobody can trust a word Gordon Brown says on pensions.

“The fact is that is Gordon Brown has betrayed the trust some people had in when he demolished their pension savings.

“The reality is that pensions are more affordable in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, a view supported by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, who have also made clear that the demographic challenge is no more significant for Scotland than it is to the rest of the UK.

“We also know that insurance providers, including HSBC and the Department of Work and Pensions itself, are clear that pensions would be unaffected following a Yes vote.

“With independence we will be able to ensure a fair deal for pensioners, with a triple lock on the state pension to keep pace with the cost of living, a review of the pension age to ensure it is right for Scotland's pensioners and a fair approach to public sector pensions."



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SNP Comments on Gordon Brown Speech

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Commenting on Gordon Brown’s speech today on pensions, Scottish National Party Work and Pensions spokesperson Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“The claims Gordon Brown is making on pensions are simply ludicrous.

“The reality is that pensions are more affordable in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, a view supported by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, who have also made clear that the demographic challenge is no more significant for Scotland than it is to the rest of the UK.

“We also know that insurance providers, including HSBC and the Department of Work and Pensions itself, are clear that pensions would be unaffected following a Yes vote.

“Gordon Brown cited the NHS as a positive example of being in partnership with the rest of the UK, yet his party at Westminster are claiming the Tories are privatising the NHS and destroying its founding values. Just today, Labour has accused David Cameron of selling off the NHS to his mates. It is blatant hypocrisy, and the people of Scotland are seeing right through it.

“With independence we will be able to ensure a fair deal for pensioners, with a triple lock on the state pension to keep pace with the cost of living, a review of the pension age to ensure it is right for Scotland's pensioners and a fair approach to public sector pensions."

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Brown on Pensions: Negative, Repetitive and Lacking Credibility

Monday, 21 April 2014


YES WILL ENSURE FAIR DEAL FOR PENSIONERS

Ahead of Gordon Brown’s speech tomorrow in which he will attempt to scaremonger on pensions despite his abysmal track record on them as Chancellor and Prime Minister, SNP Work and Pensions spokesperson Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Gordon Brown is simply repeating the same economically illiterate claims the Tories and Lib Dems made over a year ago. On this backwards logic the UK pensions bill is 25 times the value of its oil and gas - making it impossible for the UK to afford to pay for pensions.

“The only new thing in this contribution is that Gordon Brown has finally ended the charade and joined his Labour colleagues in the Tory No campaign.

"Far from re-launching as a positive campaign this contribution is negative, repetitive and lacks any credibility.

“The reality is that pensions are more affordable in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, a view supported by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research who have also made clear that the demographic challenge is no more important to Scotland than it is to the rest of the UK.

"Pensioners and public sector workers across Scotland will have little faith in Gordon Brown's comments on pensions. As Chancellor he failed to restore the link to earnings leaving pensioners out of pocket and his raid on the pension funds saw pensioners lose £100bn of investments. Meanwhile public sector workers have seen the terms and conditions of their pensions eroded and the Scottish Government threatened with funding cuts if it didn't implement the same policies.

"With independence we will be able to ensure a fair deal for pensioners with a triple lock on the state pension to keep pace with the cost of living, a review of the pension age to ensure it is right for Scotland's pensioners and a fair approach to public sector pensions."

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MSP & MP Pay Tribute to Former MP Hamish Watt

Monday, 14 April 2014

Hamish Watt
1925 - 2014
Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson and Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford have paid tribute to former MP Hamish Watt, who died peacefully at his home at the weekend.

Dr Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Hamish was the MP for my home town of Macduff in the 1970s and his victory in the Banffshire Constituency in 1974 was part of the big breakthrough for the SNP in the North-east.

“It is thanks to the hard work done by people like Hamish Watt during that time in building up the support for the party based on a reputation for speaking up for our local communities and helping people with the issues of the day, that we are where we are now, only five months out from a Referendum on Independence.

“Hamish will be sorely missed and it is so sad he will not be with us on the 18th of September. My condolences go to his family at this very sad time, who I know will take comfort from the fact that his was a life full of achievement.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

"Hamish was one of the first eleven in every sense of the word. As the Parliamentary Whip for the group of eleven SNP MPs elected in 1974, he played a key role in keeping Scotland on the political agenda.

"And in his contribution to the wider party and community, he undertook his role as MP for Banffshire with passion and commitment.

"In recent times he would pitch up at my surgeries in Rathven to make sure I had the benefit of his sage and measured advice. I welcomed that and was always impressed by his continuing engagement in topical issues.

"He will be much missed by his community, his political colleagues, his friends but most of all by his family.

"I know that he was immensely proud of his daughter Maureen's achievements as an MSP and I extend my sympathies to her and all who will miss Hamish."

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MP & MSP Congratulate Peterhead FC on Historic Win

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson and MP Eilidh Whiteford have congratulated Peterhead Football Club on winning the League Two title.

Stewart Stevenson MSP commented:

“I would like to congratulate Jim McInally and all of the players at Peterhead FC on winning the League Two title. Not only is this the club’s first trophy since coming into the national league but the club have managed to clinch the championship in style with three games of the season left to play.

“The title win comes just off the back of Peterhead’s prolific striker Rory McAllister becoming the first player from outside the Premiership to win the SPFL Player of the Month Award for March. Whilst top performances from individual players have helped the team this season, the winning of this title has come about due to the hard work and determination of everyone involved at the club.”

Eilidh Whiteford MP said:

“Not only is this excellent news for Peterhead FC but it is also something that the whole town and surrounding area should be proud of.

“Stewart and I wish the team all the best of luck for next season in League One.”

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Whiteford Meets Macduff Youngsters In Run Up To Parliament Trip

Monday, 7 April 2014

Banff & Buchan MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford has spoken warmly of her time at Macduff Primary School, after meeting with P7 and P6/7 pupils on Friday.

Dr Whiteford gave a short talk and took questions from the youngsters, many of whom will be visiting Westminster later this year. The questions covered topics as diverse as an MP’s day-to-day duties, the upcoming referendum, Dr Whiteford’s previous jobs, and how to become a Member of Parliament.

Speaking after the event, Dr Whiteford said:

“It was a pleasure to meet with pupils and staff to take the opportunity to discuss life as an MP. The pupils had excellent questions to ask, and the discussion was a lively and engaging one.

“It was also, of course, a pleasure to be shown around my own former primary school - I look forward to my next visit!”

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UK Government Welfare Reform Putting More Women in Poverty

"WOMEN HAVE THE MOST TO GAIN FROM INDEPENDENCE"

Women are at greater risk of deeper and sustained poverty because of the UK government’s welfare reform, a new publication from a group of Scottish organisations has said.

The report published by Engender Scotland, Close the Gap, Scottish Women’s Aid, Scottish Women’s Convention, Zero Tolerance and Scottish Refugee Council said cuts to welfare spending create further barriers to women’s full participation in society, including within their communities and in political spaces – and where women’s disposable income is reduced, spending on children decreases leading to higher levels of child poverty.

£14.9 billion worth of cuts have been made to beneļ¬ts, tax credits, pay and pensions since 2010 -74% of which has been taken from women’s incomes.

Commenting, Banff & Buchan MP and SNP Spokesperson for Work and Pensions Dr Eilidh Whiteford said:

“This is a damning report on the UK Government’s welfare reform.

“The UK Government have had a woeful record over the last four years when it comes to women. The welfare state is being dismantled by Westminster, and women are being the hardest hit.

"It is only with the financial powers of an independent Scotland that we can deliver the policies the SNP are pledged to - such as transforming childcare, building up to 1,140 hours for all children from age one to primary school, which will help more women into the workplace. We will be able to increase the minimum wage by at least the cost of living every year, and reverse the welfare reforms that hit women the hardest - particularly the plan to pay benefits to the household instead of directly to second earners, most of whom are women. These are just some of the things we can, should and must achieve with a Yes vote. Women have the most to gain from independence.”

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