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May Newsletter - Text Only Version

Published date : 15 May, 2024

Richard Thomson MP 

Gordon Parliamentary Newsletter - May 2024 

A message from Richard Thomson MP 

Hello and welcome to my May Parliamentary report. Here you’ll find details on my activities over the last month as your MP.

In Parliament, I highlighted the efforts undertaken by volunteer groups across Gordon; further scrutinised the Digital Markets Bill; and reaffirmed my support for small to medium-sized enterprises.

Closer to home, I met with local WASPI campaigners; visited a local ‘Monitor Farm’; and took the UK Government to task over its broken promises over bringing civil service energy jobs to the North East.

Please get in touch if my team or I can assist you, by emailing [email protected] or calling 020 3545 2236.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Thomson

In Westminster

Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill

Speaking in the Commons, I reaffirmed the SNP’s support for the Digital Markets, Competition and Consumers Bill, and all amendments which came from the House of Lords.

I also highlighted the key importance of addressing issues with ‘secondary ticketing’ for events, expressing concerns about exorbitant charges and the financial burden on families attending events.

Whilst welcoming the Minister's promise of a review, I stressed the need to provide better protections for consumers now.

Celebrating Volunteers in Gordon

I took part in a Westminster Hall Debate celebrating volunteers. Whilst it was impossible to acknowledge every group in Gordon which makes a contribution to community wellbeing and the overall ‘common good’ through volunteering, I took the chance to highlight three groups to illustrate the breadth and scope of volunteering which takes place locally.

I spoke a little about Gordon Rural Action, which plays a vital role helping people who are experiencing challenges in their lives, particularly when it comes to tackling social exclusion and poverty across rural Aberdeenshire.

I also took the opportunity to speak about Ellon Men's Shed, which like other Men’s Sheds across our area provide a space for camaraderie and purpose. Finally, I spoke about the committee behind the revitalisation of the Victoria Hall in Ellon, which for me exemplifies how community-led efforts can transform underused spaces into vibrant hubs.

Such organisations provide platforms for individuals to channel their energy positively. From Rotary Clubs supporting local and international causes to First Responders saving lives in rural areas, volunteers make invaluable contributions to our daily lives.

Finally, I highlighted some of the financial barriers to flexible working, which if overcome could create opportunities for many more people to volunteer.

Devolved Institutions

The return of devolved government to Northern Ireland has been rightly welcomed. Northern Ireland should be able to choose the form of government best suited to their needs, whether that happens to be inside or outside the United Kingdom.

I asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland to reaffirm his Government’s commitment to the principle of consent, not just in Northern Ireland but in Scotland and Wales.

Support for SMEs

This month, I attended a parliamentary event held by Santander. This event displayed the different businesses supported by Santander and their success stories of expanding their business internationally.

Support for SMEs is vital to help in growing the economy. I am always happy to see more practical support being made available for local businesses.

Across the Constituency

UK Government Breaks Aberdeen Jobs Pledge

This month saw the UK Government shamefully water down a promise to relocate ‘hundreds’ of jobs to Aberdeen.

The UK Government Cabinet Office Minister had previously stated that hundreds of jobs would be created in Aberdeen following UK Government plans to establish a 2nd HQ for the Department for Energy, Security and Net Zero in Aberdeen.

The UK Government has recently announced that only a further 35 jobs would now be relocated to Aberdeen.

This is unacceptable and highlights the UK Government’s long-running trend of underinvestment in the North East.

The North East contains significant energy resources and a skilled workforce that is being undervalued by the UK Government. The UK Government urgently needs to reverse its decision and invest properly in the North East.

I have signed a joint letter with my fellow SNP North East MPs to convey our disappointment and to urge the UK Government ?to reverse its decision and deliver on its original promise.

QMS and Local Farmers Visit

This month I met with representatives from Quality Meat Scotland and local farmers near Inverurie to see their innovative approaches to cattle farming through the Monitor Farm Scotland programme.

The programme, which is managed by QMS & funded by the Scottish Government, aims to increase the profitability, productivity and sustainability of participating farms.

WASPI Meeting

In April, I met local WASPI campaigners to reaffirm my support for the WASPI campaign, following a damning Ombudsman report that highlighted how successive UK Governments have failed women born in the 1950s.

I commend the WASPI women in their campaign for a just compensation package for all those who have been unfairly deprived of the security they expected from their pensions.

I have been proud to support the WASPI campaign in the House of Commons since being elected in 2019 and hope that the recent Ombudsman report will spur the UK Government into action to deliver justice for these women across the UK.

BBC Debate Night

This month, I was invited to participate in BBC’s Debate Night, hosted in Aberdeen.

I was glad to answer questions from the audience about a variety of issues. I highlighted the damage Brexit has had on Scottish businesses, the UK Government’s lack of investment in research and the benefits of the Scottish Government’s fairer taxation system, which sees those on the lowest incomes pay less in tax.

New Scottish Gov Disability Payment

In April, the Scottish Government announced that pensioners in five local authorities, including Aberdeen City Council, will be eligible for a new Scottish Government Disability Payment.

The Pension Age Disability Payment is an award worth between £290-434 every month depending on the needs of those eligible for the benefit.

This benefit will make a great difference to pensioners that live with disabilities and will be expanded across all of Scotland in April 2025.

In the news...

Gordon MP backs WASPI motion in Parliament

https://www.grampianonline.co.uk/news/gordon-mp-backs-waspi-motion-in-parliament-347077/

Brexit an “unforgivable betrayal” of Scottish exporters

https://www.richardthomsonmp.com/2024/04/brexit-an-unforgivable-betrayal-of-scottish-exporters

Concerns raised by MPs over UK Government’s Rwanda Bill

https://www.grampianonline.co.uk/news/concerns-raised-by-mps-over-uk-government-s-rwanda-bill-348147/

Footie fans could watch all Scotland matches on FREE channels as plan to add games to TV ‘crown jewels’

https://www.thescottishsun.co.uk/sport/12391928/scotland-tv-crown-jewels-talks-first-minister-humza-yousaf/

MP meets with north-east WASPI campaigners to pledge support

https://www.grampianonline.co.uk/news/mp-meets-with-north-east-waspi-campaigners-to-pledge-support-347680/

Gordon MP welcomes venison sector’s inclusion in new Agricultural Bill

https://www.grampianonline.co.uk/news/gordon-mp-welcomes-venison-sector-s-inclusion-in-new-agricul-348140/

THANK YOU! 

Richard Thomson MP 


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