11,355 CHILDREN IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE BENEFIT FROM SCOTGOV CHILD POVERTY MISSION

FAMILIES IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE TO RECEIVE £1,135,500 SUPPORT FROM SCOTGOV

Low income families in Coatbridge & Chryston will benefit from a £320 uplift before Christmas as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to tackling child poverty.

Fulton MacGregor MSP welcomed the payments which Social Justice Secretary Shona Robison highlighted during a debate on the commitments in the SNP Scottish Government’s Programme for Government which aim to create a fairer society.

Families eligible will receive payments of £160 per child in October and again in December. Two Bridging Payments of £100 which have already been made takes the total to £520 this year.

The cash is equivalent to the Scottish Child Payment – a £10-a-week benefit to assist with the costs of caring for a child aged under six years old. The Scottish Government will extend the Scottish Child payment to all eligible under-16s by the end of 2022 and are committed to double the payment to £20 per week as quickly as possible.

The Social Justice Secretary highlighted the payments in the Scottish Parliament just a day after the six Tory MPs failed to vote to stop the UK government’s plans to cut the incomes of six million people across the UK by £1040 a year – the biggest cut to welfare since the 1930’s.

Commenting Julie O’Byrne, Founder and Chair Person of Cool School Uniforms in Coatbridge said:

“This will make a huge difference to local families like the ones we see at Cool School Uniforms. Times are tough and this extra payment will give families a boost that will ensure their little ones are at their best for the rest of the school year.”

“This will boost the confidence of children and ensure they have what they need to be able to learn to the best of their abilities. This funding will really help towards closing the attainment gap.”

Commenting SNP MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston Fulton MacGregor said:

“I know that many families in Coatbridge & Chryston are finding it hard just now. The impact that the pandemic has had on household finances is real, and has only been made worse by the cost of Tory’s obsession with Brexit and their unrelenting cruel austerity agenda.

“I am pleased that in Scotland, we have an SNP Scottish Government doing right thing by its citizens with these payments meaning £1,135,500 in the pockets of 11,355 low income families in North Lanarkshire

“The Scottish Child Payment is already the most ambitious anti-poverty measure currently being undertaken anywhere in the UK and we have committed to doubling it to £20-a-week per child as soon as possible in this parliamentary term.

“It’s clear that building a better future for children in Coatbridge & Chryston, and right across Scotland, is of at the top of the agenda in the SNP’s Programme for Government.

“As the Tories plough on with their indefensible move to cut £20-a-week in Universal Credit from those who need it most, the SNP Government are using the powers we have to provide real, practical help for families in Scotland. It’s crystal clear that the only way to keep Scotland safe from Westminster cuts is to become an independent country.”

FULTON MACGREGOR MSP SAYS PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT WILL HELP BUILD BACK A BETTER COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON

Fulton MacGregor MSP has welcomed the Scottish Government’s 2021/2022 Programme for Government as a strong plan to begin the recovery from the pandemic for Coatbridge & Chryston.

The First Minister unveiled the Government’s programme for the next year to MSPs today, saying that “a better Scotland – as part of a better world – is waiting to be built”.

The Programme for Government focussed on building a greener, fairer country for all individuals and families in Scotland, and offering the people of our country an informed choice on Scotland’s future.

This was backed by commitments to invest at least £1.8 billion to make Scotland’s homes and buildings more efficient and easier to heat, doubling the Scottish Child Payment as quickly as possible and restarting work on a detailed prospectus for an Independent Scotland.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:

“This is an ambitious policy programme from the Scottish Government which has clear commitments to deliver a better life for people across Coatbridge & Chryston.

“It addresses the challenges that the last 18 months has left us with and it has the ambition needed to rebuild a better country as we recover.

“The recovery and remobilisation of our health services is undoubtedly a top priority for people across Coatbridge & Chryston so the SNP Government’s commitment to a minimum of £2.5 billion more on frontline health spending will be particularly welcome news.

“Today we have seen that we have an SNP Government who keep their promises, has the ambition needed to help build a better Scotland but, most crucially, takes the action needed to make that ambition a reality.

“This is a prospectus that meets the challenges and opportunities ahead and offers the people of Scotland the choice the deserve over their future.”

8325 FAMILIES IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE BENEFIT FROM SCOTTISH CHILD PAYMENT

£1,393,530 IN SUPPORT GIVEN TO CHILDREN IN NORTH LANARKSHIRE

8325 families in North Lanarkshire have benefitted from the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment, with £1,393,530 paid out to families in the area.

The most recent Scottish Government figures demonstrate how many families in North Lanarkshire have benefitted from the support since its introduction in February to 30th June 2021.

So far, across Scotland 108,000 children have benefitted from the payment which provides eligible families with £10-a-week.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:

“The Scottish Child Payment has been described by charities as game-changing and we are seeing that difference across Scotland and it is fantastic to see it make such a difference to the lives of families in Coatbridge & Chryston too.

“Not only is the Scottish Child Payment giving low-income families extra support, but coupled with other payments such as the Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods, eligible families could receive up to £5,200 extra by the time their child turns six.

“I would urge any families in Coatbridge & Chryston who have not yet applied to do so.

“In Scotland, we are building a social security system built on fairness, dignity and respect. Contrast that with the system at Westminster where the Tories are planning on cutting Universal Credit at a time when vulnerable families need it most.”

Removal of NHS dental charges for all young people

£7.5 million to support dental sector

Young people aged under 26 are now eligible for free NHS dental treatment.

The change comes as a further £7.5 million has been given to support the dental sector to recover and build back to pre-pandemic capacity.

Free treatment for people aged under 26 will take effect immediately and there is no “opt-in” required. Those who started a course of NHS treatment before their 26th birthday will also be eligible.

The £7.5 million funding will help dental practices to purchase drills that do not create as much aerosol as standard drills, and so allow dentists to help mitigate the impact of COVID restrictions on the number of patients they can see.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said:

“We’re committed to scrapping NHS dental charges for everyone in Scotland, and removing them for everyone aged under 26 is our first step on that journey. Today’s announcement means around 600,000 young people aged under 26 will benefit from free dental care from 24 August.

“I want to thank the dental sector for its outstanding efforts over the last challenging period and I look forward to engaging with you further as the Scottish Government continues to support practice recovery and improved NHS dental services for patients.

“I am pleased to also confirm a further £7.5 million investment for the sector. This will be used to purchase new dental drill equipment that produces less airborne particles, and therefore helps reduce the risk of COVID transmission.

“Alongside our previously announced £5 million to improve ventilation, this will further enable dental practices to see more NHS patients under present COVID restrictions, and demonstrates our commitment to NHS dental services.  I will continue to engage with the sector, as we look to remobilise our dental services in a way that is safe.”

Workplace testing rolled out to boost recovery

Fulton MacGregor MSP urges organisations to sign up.

Organisations with ten or more employees can now sign up for asymptomatic workplace testing as part of an enhanced drive to identify emerging coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and break chains of transmission.

Free lateral flow device (LFD) tests have been made more widely available as the country emerges from lockdown restrictions and moves beyond level 0.

The testing regime is voluntary and organisations can adopt an LFD Collect model to distribute among workers or implement their own asymptomatic test site (ATS) model in workplaces.

Workplace testing in Scotland had previously been targeted at prioritised areas of the public sector, critical national infrastructure and private businesses with higher transmission rates.

Public Health Minister Maree Todd said: “Testing has a vital role to play as we move safely out of lockdown and this rollout of workplace testing to cover all companies with 10 staff or more builds on our strategy to tackle COVID-19.

“The vaccination programme has been a major success, however even though you are fully vaccinated it does not guarantee that you cannot catch the virus and pass it on without knowing you have it. Asymptomatic testing will remain an important tool in breaking future chains of transmission.

“As more staff continue to return to the workplace in the months ahead, we must do all we can to ensure this is done as safely as possible.

“Workplace asymptomatic testing can play an important part in the recovery and organisations across our business, third and public sectors can contribute to this.

Fulton MacGregor said;

“It’s vital that all results are reported to ensure we understand the prevalence of the virus and halt further transmission.

“I would encourage all organisations who are eligible to sign up for workplace testing and play their part in our recovery from the pandemic.”

The workplace testing expansion has been introduced in response to requests from  organisations and representative bodies from a range of sectors.

Eligible Scottish organisations can find information on how to apply by visiting: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/workplace-testing/

FULTON MACGREGOR MSP URGES PROJECTS IN COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON TO APPLY FOR SCOTLAND LOVES LOCAL FUND

Fulton MacGregor MSP has urged projects in Coatbridge & Chryston to apply for the newly launched Scotland Loves Local Fund.

The scheme has been launched by the SNP Scottish Government to support local projects run by organisations like town centre partnerships, chambers of commerce or community and charity trusts. It will provide projects with match funding of between £5,000 and £25,000.

Eligible projects could include things like community shops, marketing and digital schemes, or enabling larger construction projects delivery.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor MSP said:

“The Scotland Loves Local Fund has been launched by the SNP Scottish Government as a way to help our town centres such as in Coatbridge recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic.

“Coatbridge and Chryston has a number of fantastic local community projects to stimulate growth and footfall into the area and this funding will allow them to continue to make our town centres a more vibrant place and stimulate the local economy.

“Not only is the funding important but when people shop locally and support local businesses it also boosts the economy here and ensure that money spent in the local area stays in the local area.

“I would urge local projects to apply for the Scotland Loves Local Fund and encourage people in Coatbridge & Chryston to continue to support local business at every opportunity.”

FULTON MACGREGOR MSP URGES FAMILIES TO APPLY FOR INCREASED BEST START PAYMENT

Eligible families in Coatbridge & Chryston are being encouraged to apply for the Best Start Foods payment after the SNP Scottish Government delivered on its promise to increase the support within its first 100 days in government.

The payment is increasing to £18 from £17 during pregnancy and for any children between one and three years old. It’s also increasing to £36 from £34 for children under one. Families already receiving the payment will automatically receive an increase.

Since its introduction by the SNP in December 2018, £60.8 million has been paid to 179,575 families across Scotland.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:

“I am delighted that the SNP government is delivering on another one of its commitments to increase the Best Start Foods payment, which is making a difference to the lives of families in Coatbridge and Chryston and across Scotland.

“Whilst the Tories at Westminster prepare to cut support to families at a time when they need it most, the SNP is increasing support to families and ensuring that every child has the best start in life.

“If you have not applied yet I would encourage you to do so immediately or if you have any family or friends who may be eligible to encourage them too.”

FULTON MACGREGOR MSP URGES YOUNG PEOPLE IN COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON TO APPLY FOR JOB START PAYMENT

Fulton MacGregor, MSP for Coatbridge & Chryston is urging young people in the area to apply for the Job Start Payment if they are starting a new job after a period of unemployment.

The Job Start Payment is available to 16-24-year-olds who have been on certain benefits for six months or more. Eligible young people can apply for the one-off payment worth £252.50, or £404 if they have children.

The payment will help with the costs of starting a job including travel, new clothes or childcare.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:

“The pandemic has been particularly difficult for young people in Coatbridge & Chryston and the Job Start Payment is a fantastic source of support for young people to ensure they can get off to a good start in a new job.

“Starting a new job can be very expensive for young people when you take into consideration the costs of travel, buying clothes and other costs associated with a new job.

“I would encourage all young people who have been unemployed for a long period of time and are starting a new jo or have recently started one to apply for this support.”

DELIGHT AS NORTH LANARKSHIRE RECEIVES £1,104,000 FOR KIDS’ SUMMER ACTIVITIES

SNP MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston Fulton MacGregor has expressed his delight as North Lanarkshire Council is set to receive £1,104,000 from the Scottish Government to encourage children to play and socialise as part of the recovery from the pandemic.

Councils across Scotland will receive a share of £15m to support summer activities that are already in place in certain areas.

The support will specifically target those aged up to 25 from low income households who may otherwise struggle to access such experiences during the holidays.

£5m will also be distributed among prominent Scottish children’s charities such as Barnardo’s and Who Cares Scotland.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:

“I am absolutely delighted at this investment in North Lanarkshire’s children and young people, who have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic as they have not been able to meet up with friends or play the sports they love.

“Coming out of the pandemic young people have told us that their mental health will be a priority and the SNP Scottish Government has listened to them and is investing in summer activities.

“This will have a positive impact on the mental and physical wellbeing of our young people, which will be extremely important when coming out of lockdown and into recovery.”

FAMILIES IN COATBRIDGE & CHRYSTON URGED TO APPLY FOR BEST START GRANT

Fulton MacGregor MSP is urging eligible families in Coatbridge & Chryston to apply for this year’s Best Start Grant School Age Payment, as applications open today.

The payment, which is only available in Scotland, is open to families who get tax credits or certain other benefits and have a child who was born between 1st March 2016 and 28th February 2017.

It is part of five family payments delivered by Social Security Scotland that also include: Best Start Foods, Best Start Grant Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Best Start Grant Early Learning Payment and Scottish Child Payment.

Best Start Foods payments are set to increase to £4.50 per week on 1st August to support low income families to buy healthy food for children under the age of three.

Commenting, Fulton MacGregor said:

“The SNP Scottish Government is working to ensure that every child in Coatbridge & Chryston has the best start in life and these payments – which have been described as ‘game-changing’ –  form part of that effort to build a fairer, more equal Scotland.

“As part of that work the Scottish Government is set to increase Best Start Foods payments within its first 100 days in government – the SNP is also committed to doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 a week as soon as practicable.

“The Best Start payments have been vital in ensuring children in Coatbridge & Chryston and across Scotland have the best start in life, with around £5,000 of support being provided by the time a child turns six.

“I would urge all families who are eligible to apply to do so as soon as possible.”