SNP break bus pass promise to carers

Jackie Baillie and Transport Minister Michael Matheson.

By Lizzie Healey

Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie has called on the SNP to apologise to carers.

Transport Secretary Michael Matheson admitted to Parliament that the Scottish Government will break its promise to introduce a bus pass for carers of disabled children this coming financial year.

As part of the budget, which was passed just last month, the SNP promised to introduce the scheme in 2019/20.

But, under questioning from Labour’s transport spokesperson, Colin Smyth MSP at a Holyrood committee Mr Matheson, admitted it would not be introduced this year

Jackie Baillie said: “This is yet another broken promise from this failing SNP government. Just last month the government promised carers of disabled children that they would have a bus pass within the new financial year, but that turns out to be false.

“The Transport Secretary has now admitted that he has no plans to introduce the bus pass this year and carers will have to wait even longer for him to do so. There is no excuse for this failure and the Scottish Government must apologise.

“Scotland’s carers do an amazing job in challenging circumstances. They deserve to get all the help they need, not false promises from the SNP.”

Meanwhile, better news from Ms Baillie is that she welcomes funding boosts from the National Lottery Awards for All to St Patrick’s Youth Club, Vale of Leven Age Concern and Lodestone Creative.

 St Patrick’s Youth Club has been awarded £4,750, and will use the money to launch a programme of new after school activities for 10-15 year-olds.

The activities will include sports, arts and team building. In addition, a weekend trip will also be organised.

Vale of Leven Age Concern have received £1,809 and will use the money to purchase a cordless hoover and bed rails for a caravan which they use for respite holidays for elderly and disabled people.

In addition, they will purchase equipment to support marketing and committee work.

Lodestone Creative have received £9,945; the funding will be put towards a programme of 65 free arts workshops from April – September 2019 in Bowling.

Sessions will be for adults, children and families and will take many forms including kids’ curiosity club, Saturday craft sessions and skills sharing.

Jackie Baillie said: ““I am delighted that a number of local groups have received funding from the National Lottery’s Awards for All funding scheme.

“I know that the funding which has been awarded to all three groups will benefit the whole community.

“It is great that this funding is providing something for all parts of our community from children to the elderly.

“I want to thank all of these organisations for their contribution to our community.”


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