… and my somewhat totally peed off reply.
Your party is doing nothing in terms of addressing any issues but is only compounding them. I am ashamed to be a British citizen right now.
I sincerely hope we never ever have the tories leading our government again. And I hope Scotland manages to escape the inequality you have unleashed on all of us and the people of the UK vote out of the horror of your neo-liberalism which only serves you and your pals. I doubt very much that the tory party truly understands poverty and I am appalled to see that you do not take notice of reports like this by Oxfam or by the JRF.
If you have a conscience, then you will be living with it for many decades to come.
I say this as a single parent, working long and hard and I hope that we will never be darkened by your policies of inequality and favouritism of all your friends, ever again. I am hoping for the day that true reform will happen in the UK which is for the people and that all children have a just and fair childhood too.
You have put Attlee, and Bevan to shame. Remember who does all the hard work in the UK.
On Sep 04, 2013, at 11:31 AM, David.Bonsor@scottish.parliament.uk wrote:
Thank you for contacting Mary about the Oxfam Our Economy report.
She recognises that the report focuses on the often-complex needs of a number of the least well off in Scotland. There are many of our communities which suffer from the combined weight of low life expectancies, poor health, below-average educational attainment and a lack of aspiration.
It is a wide ranging document, crossing over numerous areas which touch the work of the Scottish Parliament on a day-to-day basis. Many of the issues within it have been debated extensively in recent months – both in the chamber and in committees. Some, such as health inequalities, have dedicated Cross Party Groups meeting regularly, bringing together politicians and other stakeholders to improve how we tackle various areas of policy.
We are always eager to see how wellbeing can be better measured, as the Oxfam Humankind index attempts to do. Mary’s colleagues in the Scottish Conservatives have worked with external groups to see how this may be better incorporated into our deliberations here at Holyrood as part of the on-going process of policy development.
Mary cannot, however, support a number of the report’s conclusions. Our economy does not work in isolation and while the report seems opposed to the normal process of economic growth, it provides little in the way of practical alternatives. It proposes, for example, a Financial Transactions Tax which, if applied to the UK, would simply see our financial services industry – which employs hundreds of thousands of people – leave for countries with more favourable tax regimes.
The UK Government has taken a number of realistic steps to reduce tax avoidance and close tax loopholes over the past three years. We have more jobs in this country than ever before and unemployment rates are low when contrasted against comparable countries in Europe. The problems with the welfare system which previously created little incentive for people to move into work are being addressed.
There have also been a number of other changes to help the less well off. Raising the income tax personal allowance means that someone on the minimum wage working 29 hours a week will no longer pay income tax and someone working 35 hours on the minimum wage will have seen their income tax bill cut by more than half since 2010. The low-paid will pay less and the government has taken 2.4 million people out of paying income tax altogether.
Mary acknowledges that times are difficult for many people at the moment but believes that we should be aiming for genuinely sustainable economic growth and the increase in jobs and wealth which that brings. In the meantime, we should ensure our public services work as well as they can for everyone and that we should continue to address issues such as educational and health inequalities.
A debate on the report has been scheduled for the afternoon of Wednesday 4 September. Unfortunately members’ business debates are time restricted and it is likely that only one Scottish Conservative MSP will be able to speak at length to present our party’s position.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact Mary.
David Bonsar on behalf of Mary Scanlon MSP (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party)