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Eilidh Whiteford, MP for Banff & Buchan

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Sharp Rise in Foodbank Use is 'Shameful' Demonstration of Damage of Tory Austerity

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

A new report by the Trussell Trust showing that the number of people in Scotland using foodbanks rose by two thirds in the last year is the clearest demonstration possible of the damage Tory austerity cuts are causing and why a change of course is needed.

The report shows that more than 117,000 food parcels were distributed in Scotland by the Trussell Trust last year, including more than 36,000 which went to children. This is a 65 per cent increase on the previous year’s figure.

The SNP manifesto published this week commits SNP MPs to action that will help to tackle child poverty, by opposing further cuts to Child Benefit and Tax Credit and supporting increasing free childcare to 30 hours per week by 2020.

Commenting, Banff & Buchan SNP candidate Eilidh Whiteford said:

“The rise of foodbanks is utterly shameful and there is surely no clearer demonstration of the wilful damage that Tory austerity has caused to communities in Scotland and across the UK.

“Foodbank use has risen by two thirds and tens of thousands of children in Scotland have had to rely on food parcels in the last year.

“It is an absolute disgrace and the Tories’ studied complacency on this issue underlines why it is so important that we are able to lock David Cameron out of Downing Street.

“Meanwhile instead of committing to action, Labour has instead signed up to a further £30 billion of Tory austerity cuts.

“This cannot continue and there must be a change of course on the austerity that is doing so much damage to communities across Scotland.

“The SNP manifesto this week made clear that SNP MPs will oppose further cuts to Child Benefit and Tax Credits and support increasing free childcare to 30 hours per week by 2020.

“A strong team of SNP MPs will work with progressive voices across the UK to take action that helps tackle the scourge of child poverty and foodbank use.”

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Stronger for Banff & Buchan, Stronger for Scotland


EILIDH: "ENDING AUSTERITY IS NUMBER ONE PRIORITY"

Banff & Buchan SNP Candidate Eilidh Whiteford says the SNP’s number one priority is ending austerity and helping the thousands of families across the North-east who are struggling with low wages and cuts to the welfare system that are hitting household budgets hard.

Eilidh Whiteford has set out the SNP’s manifesto commitments for the General Election, pledging that a team of SNP MPs would be stronger for Scotland - and deliver progressive politics for Scotland and for the whole UK.

Along with SNP candidates across Scotland, Banff & Buchan SNP candidate Dr Whiteford has made the following commitments:
  • The SNP are the only party offering an alternative to the Westminster cuts agenda. Our proposal for a modest spending increase of 0.5 per cent a year will enable at least £140 billion extra investment in the economy and public services.
  • For the NHS this will mean an additional £9.5 billion spending above inflation across the UK by 2020/21 - £24 billion in total. This will deliver a total increase for NHS Scotland of £2 billion.
  • I will back plans for an annual UK target of 100,000 affordable homes, and use additional capital investment to deliver a further expansion of house-building in Scotland.
  • I will back an increase in the minimum wage to £8.70 by 2020.
  • I will back the restoration of the 50p top income tax rate for those earning over £150,000.
  • I will support an increase in the Employment Allowance from £2,000 per business per year to £6,000, to help smaller firms take on and retain additional staff.
  • I will oppose the £3 billion cut in disability support that threatens to cut the income of a million disabled people by more than £1,000 a year.
  • I will vote to retain the triple lock on pensions and protect the winter fuel allowance.
Eilidh Whiteford said that ending austerity is the SNP's number one priority in this election:

"The SNP has published a manifesto to make Scotland stronger at Westminster. The pledge I make to the people of Banff & Buchan is this. If you vote SNP on 7 May, the SNP will make your voice heard more loudly and clearly than it has ever been heard before at Westminster.

“I will work with SNP colleagues and other politicians who want to deliver progressive change and, above all else, end austerity and the damage it is doing to families and communities right here in Banff & Buchan.

“SNP candidates want to see modest spending increases - the equivalent of increasing departmental spending by 0.5 per cent above inflation - in each year of the next parliament.

"Under our proposal, the deficit and the national debt would still fall each year. But a slightly slower path to eliminating the deficit completely will still allow at least £140 billion extra to be invested in infrastructure and support for business, in protecting our public services, and in policies that will help to lift people out of poverty.

“The elimination of the deficit is important but it cannot continually be at the expense of those who have least, that's why we will back the restoration of the 50p tax rate for the highest earners, a mansion tax, and a bankers' bonus tax.

“We remain 100% opposed to Trident renewal at an eye watering cost of 100 billion pounds, which would be better spent in other public services and in ensuring we have an appropriate conventional defence, including maritime patrol aircraft to replace Nimrods.

"We will vote for an increase in health spending across the UK of £24 billion by 2020/21 - £9.5 billion above inflation. That will deliver a total increase to the budget of NHS Scotland of £2 billion by 2020/21 - and it will ensure that our NHS enters the next decade fully equipped for the challenges it faces.


"The SNP will always support independence - but this election is not about independence. It is about making Scotland stronger.

“Promises have been made by the other parties both during and since the referendum and they must be held to account to ensure those promises are kept.

"A vote for this SNP manifesto on May 7th will make Scotland's voice heard at Westminster more strongly than it has ever been before. And a stronger voice for Scotland will mean new, better and more progressive politics at Westminster - for everyone."



The SNP manifesto may be downloaded here votesnp.com/docs/manifesto.pdf.

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Whiteford & Hudghton in Visit to New Deer Bakery

SNP President and Member of the European Parliament Ian Hudghton has joined Banff & Buchan SNP candidate Eilidh Whiteford campaigning in Central Buchan.

Whilst in New Deer, the pair stopped off at the Kindness Bakery on Main Street to meet with owner Mark Kindness and staff and toured the production line.

Commenting, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“Kindness Bakery is a significant local employer and it was a pleasure to meet up with Mark and to hear of some of the issues facing local businesses at this time.

“Rural small businesses are the lifeblood of their local communities and I was pleased to hear of the firm’s plans and recent successes with new clients.”

SNP President Ian Hudghton added:

“I was very impressed with the bakery operation at New Deer and also the range of products which is produced there. It’s clear that Mark and the staff there have a passion for this long-established business and I wish them continued success.”

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Whiteford Attends Last Broch Home League Game of Season

Monday, 20 April 2015

Banff & Buchan SNP candidate Eilidh Whiteford joined Broch SNP councillor Charles Buchan at Bellslea Park on Saturday to cheer on Fraserburgh FC at their last league home game of the season.

The SNP candidate donned her black and white Broch scarf to watch new manager Mark Cowie’s first game in charge of the team.

Commenting after the match, Eilidh said:

“Despite the result, I had a great afternoon at Bellslea in the Fraserburgh sunshine and I’m grateful to Club Chairman Finlay Noble for his hospitality on the day.

“The club has been very much a part of the fabric of the town for the last 105 years and I wish Mark Cowie every success as he takes the team forward next season.”

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Allard and Whiteford Welcome Record Voter Numbers in Scotland

Friday, 17 April 2015

SNP MSP Christian Allard (North East Scotland) and Banff and Buchan Westminster candidate, Dr Eilidh Whiteford, has welcomed the latest figures on the number of people registered to vote with the Electoral Commission in local councils, Scottish Parliament, and UK Parliamentary elections.

March, 2015 figures show that this number now sits at 4,035,394, which is the highest it has ever been for Scotland. This figure surpasses last year’s record of 4,027,187.

With the exception of 2009, the number of people registered to vote in elections has risen every year in Scotland. The number of people registered to vote last year also broke records with 4,285,323 registered to vote in the referendum on Scottish independence – however, this figure also takes 16-17 year olds into account who are not yet entitled to vote in parliamentary or local elections.

North East Scotland constituencies have seen records of their own with regards to levels of registered electorate. As of March 2015, West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine had 73,096 people registered to vote – the highest number recorded for that constituency. Gordon constituency also has a record number of people registered with 79,002 people signed up to vote.

In 2004, Banff and Buchan constituency had 65,684 people registered to vote. As of March 2015, that number has now risen to 68,532.

The deadline for electoral registration before the 2015 UK General Election is Monday, 20th April. Online registration can be found at: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Commenting, Christian Allard MSP said:

“Democracy works when people get involved. It is great to see such high numbers of people interested in their politics and registering to vote.

“People across the North-East, and across Scotland as a whole, have felt the sting of Westminster cuts to our services. With wages being driven down in real terms, and the cost of living spiralling out of control, it is clear to see that the economic recovery is not being felt by many.

“People want great change as a result of this UK General Election. I urge all who have not yet done so, to register to vote.”

SNP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Banff and Buchan, Dr. Eilidh Whiteford also commented:

"There is a re-energisation of politics in Scotland and people are once again engaged and prepared to act on issues which they feel strongly about. I welcome the rise in numbers of people in Banff & Buchan registered and would urge anyone hoping to vote, to take action now to get on the register."

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Whiteford Calling - World Famous Phone Box in Urgent Need of Repairs

Monday, 13 April 2015

Banff & Buchan SNP candidate Eilidh Whiteford is calling on BT to take urgent action to spruce up one of the area’s unlikely visitor attractions before the tourist season gets underway.

While out campaigning in Pennan, the SNP candidate had it drawn to her attention just what a sorry state the village’s famous red telephone box was in, with the door off its hinges and in need of a lick of paint. The phone box was made famous by the 1983 film ‘Local Hero’, which was filmed in Pennan and still attracts film buffs who locals say make it one of the most-used telephone kiosks in the country.

Commenting, Eilidh said:

“Pennan is one of the iconic tourist destinations on the Moray Firth, made famous by ‘Local Hero’, which over 30 years later still draws people to the village.

“One of the biggest stars of the film is the red telephone box from where the American oil executive calls home to the USA. It was therefore very disappointing to see it in the condition it was in, badly in need of a spruce-up and with the door propped-up against the wall having come off its hinges.

“I’ve contacted BT on the matter and I hope that they will take action to remedy the situation in time for the tourist season.”

Local SNP councillor for Pennan, Ross Cassie added:

“It was very sad to see this cinema icon in such a poor state. Even on a rainy afternoon when I went to see it, Pennan was full of tourists, many of them taking photographs of the phone box. I hope BT will get this repaired soon.”

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Blow for Labour as 2010 Election Candidate Backs SNP's Whiteford

Friday, 10 April 2015

Banff & Buchan SNP candidate Eilidh Whiteford’s campaign received a major boost today as one of her opponents from the 2010 Election publicly backed her candidacy.

Glen Reynolds, who stood for the Labour Party in Banff & Buchan at the last General Election has given his backing to Eilidh Whiteford and the SNP.

Speaking on the day nominations for the constituency closed, Glen Reynolds said:

"I left the Labour Party because the Labour Party left me. Key Labour figures now talk about being anchored to the 'centre ground'. For 'centre ground', you can read the economic status quo, and I do not believe that is the right political approach for this area.

“I support Eilidh Whiteford because she will work for change, as she has been doing as an MP for the last five years. I believe Labour has become too close to the Tories in its values and outlook. For myself, this heavy hearted change to the SNP from Labour does not happen overnight, at least not when you have been steeped in Labour activism, having been a parliamentary candidate twice, supported by UNISON, and having been a Labour Councillor.

“Eilidh represents all that was important to me about my political values which have been jettisoned by Labour. And she is a rarity amongst many Westminster politicians - she is someone you can trust, not just with fighting to overcome austerity measures, but to work hard for you at Westminster, not for the status quo but for a change in the direction that Westminster threatens."

Glen was also previously Labour’s candidate for Berwick in the 2005 election and has been an elected councillor.

Welcoming the backing from Glen Reynolds, Eilidh Whiteford said:

“I’m delighted to have Glen’s support. Glen was a principled opponent at the 2010 election and I’m very pleased indeed to welcome him as a principled fellow-campaigner in 2015.

“In many ways, the journey Glen has made over the last few years is being mirrored across the country, certainly in the Labour Party, but also by supporters of other parties who are increasingly coming to the view that the Westminster system of government is failing people in Scotland and that better decisions will be made closer to home by people who are accountable to us.”

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