Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



SNP Councillors in Moray have condemned the failure of the region’s Conservative MP Douglas Ross to stand up for struggling families in the region.

The MP is set to earn a substantial sum as part of the refereeing team at Barcelona’s Camp Nou stadium on Wednesday instead of taking part in a major debate in the House of Commons on a proposal of a ‘Pause and fix of roll-out of universal credit’.

According to House of Commons figures up to 650 people in Moray may be Universal Credit claimants and faced with the major issues seen throughout the country.

In neighbouring Highland, delays in payments following transition to Universal Credit has resulted in significant hardship and a major increase in rent arrears to the Council as claimants struggle with the changes leaving them battling to pay even the most basic household bills.

The rollout of Universal Credit in its current form has been heavily criticised by Trade Unions and charities as well as being roundly opposed by many politicians, including Moray’s SNP Council Group.

Commenting on the issue SNP Councillor for Elgin City North, Paula Coy, who has raised concerns about the Universal Credit rollout in Council meetings, said:

“Hundreds of people in Moray will be affected by changes to Universal Credit, which have seen people elsewhere being left facing debt problems and unable to properly feed their families and heat their homes.

“As this system is rolled out in Moray in 2018 we are very likely to find folk in difficult circumstances being pushed to the edge by these changes.

“This debate in the House of Commons is a major opportunity for MPs to stand up for some of their hardest pressed constituents but our own MP will be absent from any vote while he pockets substantial additional income refereeing in Barcelona.

“He should be in Westminster raising the concerns of constituents and helping to ensure that they will not be hung out to dry by these totally unfair changes.

“If a claimant failed to turn up at the Job Centre they can be sanctioned and see their support cut. Perhaps Mr Ross should be sanctioned for failing to turn up and represent Moray in parliament.

“People in difficult circumstances need their elected representatives to stand up for them.”