Following the Prime Ministers announcement that she will seek approval from Parliament to hold a General Election on 8 June 2017, Drew Hendry MP said:
Calling this election is clear signal that it’s the narrow interests of the Tory party Theresa May is concerned with – there can be no doubt that she is attempting to force through a hard Brexit and increasingly right wing policies on Scotland.
We just have to look to the shambolic rollout of Universal Credit to see the devastating effects Tory polices are having on families across our constituency and I’m sure voters here will want to send a strong message that they reject this Tory power grab and all that it stands for.
I will be offering myself to the Party for selection, to continue the job of standing up for the people of Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey.
It’s time for Scotland’s voice to be heard, louder than ever.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what analysis his Department has conducted of the future capacity of the Post Office, to meet its commitment, that 95 per cent of the total rural population is within three miles of a post office outlet.
The Government has committed to secure the future of 3,000 rural post offices in its manifesto and recognises the importance of post offices to communities across the UK, particularly to its more remote customers. That is why Government has invested significantly in modernisation and transformation of that network, helping to ensure its long-term sustainability. The network of branches is at its most stable in decades, and nearly 99% of the UK rural population lives within three miles of a post office.
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many regular universal payments were not paid on time in (a) January and (b) February 2017.
The information requested is currently not available.
As outlined in the strategy for releasing official statistics on Universal Credit, officials are currently assessing the data and will only release information once the necessary quality assurance work has taken place. These statistics will be published in accordance with the relevant protocols in the Code of Practice for official statistics
To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many people are in receipt of (a) live service universal credits and (b) full service universal credits.
The number of people on Universal Credit as of 12 January 2017 was 450,000.
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether the next High Level Output Specification will include specific projects targeted at increasing access to airports with spare capacity in the period before Heathrow expansion is complete.
The rail industry has recently provided its initial advice to Ministers for Control Period 6 (2019-2024), which we are carefully considering. In due course we will make announcements on the outcomes we want to see from the railway during CP6, as well as engage with stakeholders.
Scottish Ministers, under the provision of the Railways Act 2005, are required to set out their own High Level Output Statement and Statement of Funds Available (SoFA) in respect of railways in Scotland, through which they will set their own priorities.
To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions his Department has had with energy suppliers on enabling duel fuel customers with different suppliers of electricity and gas to allow the use of their smart meters for readings.
The Department has worked closely with energy suppliers to make sure that consumers who get their gas and electricity from different energy suppliers will get the benefits of smart meters.
The latest standard for smart meters (SMETS2) allows either a gas or an electricity smart meter to be installed first by one supplier and for the other smart meter to be installed later by the other supplier.
Ahead of that most energy suppliers are installing smart meters to customers where they provide both fuels or electricity only.
I know there are many of you worried about the impact Brexit will have on your future; therefore, I planned some public meetings to give us an opportunity to discuss your concerns.
Please do come along, and know that, here in Scotland, you are welcome and you are valued.
DREW HENDRY MP CALLS FOR TORY MP TO APOLOGISE OVER MENTAL HEALTH COMMENTS
SNP MP, Drew Hendry has described further cuts to disability benefits as “completely unacceptable” and called for an assurance from the UK government that disabled people will not be left with less financial support as a result of the proposals.
The UK government has announced emergency legislation to change PIPs, which replaced Disability Living Allowance, and overturn two tribunal rulings last year which it claims would have added £3.7bn to the benefits bill by 2023. The support is designed to help people cope with the extra costs of living with ill health or disability.
Tory MP and head of the Number 10 Policy Unit George Freeman, said the changes would ensure that benefits went to people who are “really disabled” rather than people “who suffer from anxiety”. His comments have drawn wide spread criticism from opposition MPs and disability organisations.
Commenting, Drew Hendry MP said:
“It is those most in need who continue to pay the price for the Tories failed austerity project and that one of Theresa May’s most senior advisers, thinks it’s ok to suggest that people with a mental health disability are not “really disabled” highlights just how far this Government has sunk. These comments are disgraceful and show a total lack of compassion or understanding when it comes to providing for those who are less fortunate than others.
“I have signed the motion laid in the House of Commons to formally object to this legislation. We now urgently need to know what impact these proposals will have on people who currently receive Personal Independent Payments and assurances that existing benefits will not be cut further.