Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP Colin Beattie demonstrated his support for Respect for Shopworkers Week when he visited the Co-op store in Musselburgh on 16 November.
During his visit to the store on Clayknowes Road, Mr Beattie discussed local community safety issues with store staff and heard about the Co-op’s operational programme to help tackle crime.
As part of its commitment to colleague safety and community well-being, the Co-op is backing the shopworkers’ union USDAW’s campaign and the Respect for Shopworkers Week.
Mr Beattie said: “Shop workers face an unprecedented level of threat from violent incidents as each day across the UK six are threatened with a knife and two with a gun. Recent figures show that across the country violent, weaponised crimes is on the rise with a 16% increase in incidents involving knives.
“Products can be replaced and stores repaired, but violent crime in shops often has a shocking, and lasting, impact on those working at the frontline. That is why I am backing this important initiative as we must all do everything we can to help reduce these attacks.”
Paul Gerrard, Director of Campaigns at the Co-op, said: “Retail crime is often considered to be victimless as people think it only involves a faceless business losing stock or money. However, it is not the shop that is left bruised, bleeding or traumatised. This type of crime has nothing to do with profit and everything to do with people.
“In the months ahead, we’ll be looking to work with local community groups and other neighbourhood leaders who are engaged in tackling the root causes of crime, to see if we can identify mutual solutions to shared concerns.”
Hundreds of families in Midlothian and East Lothian have seen their incomes cut by the Tory benefit cap, new figures have revealed – with 222 of 384 households affected being single parent families.
SNP MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, Colin Beattie, has criticised the “heartless” Tory austerity that is driving up child poverty and dependence on foodbanks.
Last month, the independent Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) revealed that around 230,000 Scottish children are living in relative poverty, claiming the rise since 2010 was “mainly due to UK Government-imposed social security cuts”.
Meanwhile, Britain’s biggest foodbank charity has this week called on the UK Government to halt the roll-out of Universal Credit as foodbank use in Scotland is up by 15% on this time last year.
Shockingly, 26 Midlothian households and seven households in East Lothian have lost out on over £100 per week after being hit by the UK Government’s benefit cap. Across Scotland 11,256 households have had their support stripped since the cap was introduced.
Commenting on the figures, SNP MSP Colin Beattie said:
“Tory austerity is having a devastating impact on thousands of low-income families across Scotland. The UK government should be deeply ashamed of stripping the income of families across my constituency and driving up child poverty.
“East Lothian and Midlothian have been hit hard by the benefit cap, as well as a host of other Tory welfare cuts – including the freeze on working-age benefits, unfair sanctions and the roll-out of Universal Credit.
“It is a disgrace that 33 households in my constituency have lost out on over £100 per week, with single parent families being worst hit.
“I see the impact of Tory benefit cuts on a daily basis in my constituency. Our welfare system is meant to be a safety net to help those most in need - instead the Tories punish the poorest in society, taking money from families who are already struggling to get by.
“With our limited powers in Scotland, the SNP in government are determined to build a social security system built on dignity and respect. It’s time the Scottish Parliament is handed the powers needed to create a fairer Scotland that’s ready to tackle the causes of inequality.”
See more at https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/benefit-cap-number-of-households-capped-to-august-2018
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh has praised the generosity of the people of East Lothian for their donations to the foodbank.
The Trussell Trust help to combat poverty in the constituency by providing emergency food to people in crisis. Between 1st April and 30th September in Midlothian and East Lothian, 4055 three-day emergency food supplies were given to local people in crisis, with 1584 going to children.
Across the UK, foodbanks in The Trussell Trust network distributed 658,048 three day emergency food supplies to help people in crisis, a rise of 13% for the same period last year. Of these, 232,761 went to children. This is a measure of volume rather than unique users, and on average people needed 1.7 foodbank referrals in a six month period.
Mr Beattie commented:
‘I am pleased to see that so many constituents are donating food to the foodbank to support those who are in desperate need for food and I cannot thank the foodbank in East Lothian enough for all that they do supporting vulnerable people.
‘This comes at a time when Conservative MSP and Welfare Spokesperson, Michelle Ballantyne, has recently stated that, “people on benefits cannot have as many children as they like” these deeply troubling remarks on such an important issue should be condemned and she should not hold a front bench position, especially on such this issue.
'The generosity from Midlothian is greatly appreciated and as we approach the Christmas period the supplies at the foodbank will be desperately required.'