My seasonal wish is an end to cuts and austerity

As we get ready for Christmas and wind down towards the end of the year, it’s important to take stock and reflect on what has happened this year. I feel the end of the year is a good opportunity for parliamentarians to right any wrongs and plan for a better year ahead.

Both Governments should take this opportunity to end the damaging cuts they have been making to our essential public services. I know that across Midlothian you will see the damaging impact these cuts are having on our communities and services. Many people have visited my office to discuss the problems they face in accessing services, and are deeply worried about proposed cuts to those services. It’s not helpful for either of our Governments’ to blame the other for the cuts facing our communities, or simply point the finger at our struggling Local Governments; it doesn’t solve the problem. The reality is that either Government could stop the cuts, and both should grasp the opportunity to do so.

I have written to both the UK Government and Scottish Government urging them to change course and to end austerity. I want to see all workers paid a decent wage, regardless of whether they are public sector workers or not. I want to see our NHS properly funded, especially our over-flowing doctors’ surgeries. I want to see our council services fully funded, ending the need for any cuts, and I want to see our benefits system fit for purpose, displaying compassion for those who use it.

I have made it perfectly clear that I won’t accept austerity, especially as I know the impact it is having on our families, friends and communities. As your MP, I will continue to fight for a fairly funded society where our public services are there for us all, as long as we need them. And I will fight into 2018 to end austerity – because good will isn’t just for Christmas!

I wish you and yours a very happy Christmas and New Year.