Work­ing for you

Rutherglen Reformer - - Working For You - Adam Tomkins MSP, Con­ser­va­tive

I am de­lighted to have the op­por­tu­nity to ad­dress peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang di­rectly through the Ruther­glen Reformer.

It was a great hon­our to be sworn in as a new MSP in May as one of your rep­re­sen­ta­tives on the Glas­gow Re­gional List.

Shortly af­ter the elec­tion I was ap­pointed by Ruth David­son to her shadow cab­i­net with re­spon­si­bil­ity for com­mu­ni­ties, so­cial se­cu­rity, the con­sti­tu­tion and equal­i­ties.

On July 29 the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment pub­lished their long awaited so­cial se­cu­rity con­sul­ta­tion pa­per. This is sig­nif­i­cant for peo­ple in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang be­cause, for the first time, one third of all ex­ist­ing work­ing-age benefits, in­clud­ing Carer’s Al­lowance, Dis­abil­ity Liv­ing Al­lowance and PIP will be un­der the full con­trol of the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment.

In ad­di­tion, the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment will be able to cre­ate new benefits if we feel a par­tic­u­lar group of peo­ple need ex­tra sup­port. We can also top-up any ben­e­fit that re­mains un­der the con­trol of West­min­ster if we feel the level of ben­e­fit is set too low. This is just as it should be.

Be­fore I was elected I was proud to play a role in en­sur­ing that both Holy­rood and West­min­ster would take re­spon­si­bil­ity for de­vel­op­ing and de­liv­er­ing so­cial se­cu­rity in Scot­land.

The Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tives be­lieve that so­cial se­cu­rity is an in­vest­ment by ev­ery­one. It sup­ports some of the most vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in our com­mu­nity and we need to pro­ceed through the tran­si­tion pe­riod with care and cau­tion to make sure peo­ple re­ceive the cor­rect pay­ment in a timely fashion. How­ever, the de­vo­lu­tion of such sub­stan­tial new pow­ers presents us with the op­por­tu­nity to do things bet­ter.

It will no longer be enough for the SNP to blame de­ci­sions made in West­min­ster for prob­lems which it iden­ti­fies when it has con­trol over so much and such flex­i­bil­ity in de­vel­op­ing pol­icy from here.

If the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment and the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment are to get the trans­fer right and de­liver a sys­tem which treats peo­ple with dig­nity and re­spect, which helps peo­ple over­come bar­ri­ers they face due to ill health or dis­abil­ity, and which builds on the low­est level of un­em­ploy­ment in decades by help­ing more peo­ple back into work, then we need to hear from you.

This sum­mer’s so­cial se­cu­rity con­sul­ta­tion is an op­por­tu­nity for com­mu­nity groups, in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses, not just politi­cians, to have their say and give an in­sight as to how so­cial se­cu­rity op­er­ates on an ev­ery­day ba­sis at the most lo­cal level. Your in­sight is in­valu­able and I hope read­ers or any or­gan­i­sa­tion you are part of in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang will take the time to re­spond be­fore the con­sul­ta­tion pe­riod closes at the end of Oc­to­ber.

Let’s work to­gether to en­sure that Scot­land has the best so­cial se­cu­rity sys­tem pos­si­ble.

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