by Mary Fee MSP

SNP budget fails Clydebank

The Scottish Government budget passed its Stage 1 and Stage 2 votes in the Scottish Parliament recently after the Green’s bowed to pressure from the SNP while claiming to have secured more money for local government across Scotland and stop any cuts.

Just as they had in the previous financial year, the Scottish Greens voted through the budget despite knowing that it leaves local government underfunded for another year.

Finance Minister Derek Mackay MSP also set out the government’s tax proposals and failed to reverse the Tory tax cut for the highest earners.

Instead Mr Mackay’s weak proposals fall short of what is needed to invest in our public services, schools and NHS.

Tackling poverty should have been at the heart of the Scottish Government and having a bold and radical tax rate for the highest earners would have gone a long way to reducing child poverty and reverse the trend which has seen more children and families live in poverty, even those households with working parents.

Protecting shop workers from abuse and intimidation

As a former shop worker I know first-hand the level of abuse many people working in retail and hospitality face from customers.

That is why I am backing Daniel Johnson MSP’s proposal for a new law to give more protections to shop workers.

USDAW, the trade union for shop workers, revealed recently that 34 employees were assaulted every day in 2017, with 70 per cent receiving verbal abuse, 42 per cent facing threats and 5 per cent of all workers assaulted.

The Scottish Grocers Federation also revealed that 99 per cent of shop workers surveyed had received threats and abuse last years.

With these reported increases in abuse, it is right that the Parliament strengthens protections for shop workers.

Facing such abuse is not part of any job in retail, or any place of work.

To take part in the consultation before it closes on April 20, please visit

100 Years of Women’s Suffrage

Last week marked the centenary of the introduction of right to vote for many women back in 1918.

The fight by strong women, such Emmeline Pankhurst and Millicent Fawcett and the many women involved in suffragette movement, forced the government to give some women the vote before the franchise was extended 10 years later.

As we mark 100 years of the right to vote, we also reflect on the reality that in many aspects women are still not treated as equally as men.

Whether it be on equal pay, domestic and sexual abuse, participation in politics and business, women are still held back by a range of social and economic factors.

So as we remember the fight by the Suffragist and Suffragette movement, we continue in their spirit to fight for equality for all women at home and abroad.