Maureen’s Matters - Directly addressing inequality

Schools are back and MSPs have now returned to the Scottish Parliament to represent their constituents in the corridors of power in Edinburgh.

This week the First Minister unveiled the Programme of Government for 2015/16 – an outline of what is planned for Scotland between now and next March. It directly addresses issues of inequality with detailed policies that aim to make the most of the country’s resources by improving public services and creating a fairer society.

The oil and gas industry will be supported by the extension of the Energy Jobs Taskforce for another six months, work will continue on the Aberdeen bypass, and there will be investments in rail improvements between Aberdeen and Inverness.

Investment will be made in education and young people with the aim of increasing the number of apprenticeships from 25,000 to 30,000 a year by 2020, and £16 million will be ploughed into the youth employment strategy this year.

With the lack of affordable housing an ongoing issue for Aberdeen, I also welcomed the commitment to an additional £195m to be invested over the next three years in the Help to Buy scheme.

With the First Minister, I agree with the IMF, the OECD and others that greater equality is good for economic growth and I want this for the people who live in my constituency. This extends to the business world as well. Society benefits from a strong business community and businesses benefit from a fairer society. 

I would also like to thank all of those who ensured that I will be fighting for the SNP in Aberdeen South and North Kincardine at the Holyrood elections in 2016. Since winning the seat for the first time in 2011 I have worked hard to help as many people as I can and I am delighted and honoured to have the opportunity to do this again.