Anne McTaggart MSP

Glasgow MSP Expresses Concern at Loss of Senior Clinicians in Scotland

anne mct speech AHP

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has spoken of her dismay at the loss of senior clinicians in the allied health professional workforce in Scotland.

Ms McTaggart voiced her concerns during a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 19th June which recognised the important role AHPs play in the NHS.

During the debate, Ms McTaggart highlighted figures from NHS Scotland’s workforce statistics which reveal there has been a 10% reduction in senior clinician posts since 2010. She reiterated the concerns of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy who have stated that this reduction in the number of senior grade roles means that the experience and knowledge of those clinicians will be lost to patients.

She also called for an audit of the 2012 national delivery plan for AHPs in order to identify good practice and provide greater support for AHPs in Scotland. The delivery plan is a significant document, offering important recognition of both the role and the contribution of AHPs in health and social care. It also recognises the potential of those professions to deliver improved services across health and social care.

Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said “All of us in the chamber recognise the role and celebrate the valued contribution of allied health professionals in health and social care. They play a vital role in our communities, leading the way to enable people to lead independent lives outside hospital and residential settings.

“It remains essential that the allied health professions are valued for their specific and unique contribution to service provision and to fulfilling the wider aims of health policy in Scotland. However, an audit of the AHP national delivery plan is essential in order to support AHPs by understanding the areas that are most in need, focusing on the performance of self-referral as a primary access route.

“It is vital that we continue to pay tribute to all AHPs for the changes that they are making in delivering new models of care; supporting self-management, innovation and improved outcomes; and enabling independent living. All of those are essential in securing sustainable and affordable health and social care services for the future.”

You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.

Ed Miliband speech in Glasgow outlines the General Election choice in Scotland

A speech delivered in Glasgow yesterday by the Leader of the Labour Party, Ed Miliband.

Thank you John.

And let’s pay tribute to Kez Dugdale for the work she does for our party and week in and week out in the Scottish Parliament holding Nicola Sturgeon to account.

Friends, it is great to be here in the East End of Glasgow.

And great to be here with your local champion here in the East End.

Margaret Curran.

Margaret has worked in this community for over thirty years.

She knows it inside out.

She is the strongest voice for people here.

That’s why I urge everyone in this community to vote for their champion, Margaret Curran.

And, friends, let’s hear it for the leader of the Scottish Labour Party.

A man with the energy to fight for every vote between now and next Thursday.

Someone who has shown how he can lead the argument and the debate here in Scotland.

Someone determined to make Scotland the fairest country in the world.

Jim Murphy.

1. The Choice

I have a simple message for everyone here today:

In six days time people here have the opportunity to be part of change.

To be part of electing a Labour Government.

This is going to be the closest election for a generation

It is one of the most important elections we have ever had.

And the difference between the two parties that could be in government after next Thursday couldn’t be any clearer.

It’s not simply about me or David Cameron.

It is about two different ideas, two different visions of the country.

They believe that if you help the richest and most powerful the country will succeed.

I have a different view: it is only when working people succeed tat Scotland succeeds and that Britain succeeds.

We know the damage that five years of the Tories have caused.

Working people £1600 a year worse off.

Tax cuts for millionaires while everyday people struggle to get by.

Ruthless cuts and policies like the bedroom tax that have hit the poorest the hardest.

A blind eye turned to tax avoidance.

A country of food banks and bank bonuses.

That is why we need to get these Tories out.

That is why we need a Labour Government.

And what the Tories have planned in the next five is far worse.

Cuts deeper in the next three years than the past five.

Billions of pounds cuts in tax credits that make work pay.

And after last night, we know the reality.

David Cameron had three chances to rule out cuts to child benefit.

He didn’t

Six hundred words he used, but he didn’t say No.

We have six days to save your child benefit.

600,000 families, 1 million children here in Scotland stand to lose their child benefit.

Hundreds of thousands of families stand to lose their tax credits.

I will protect tax credits.

I will protect child benefit.

It’s your vote, your family, your finances.

Vote Labour to put your family first.

Vote Labour to protect your family finances.

2. The SNP

And that’s why I have a clear message for the people of Scotland today:

Don’t gamble with the SNP.

When you can guarantee change with Labour.

And the tragedy is that the SNP very well might let the Tories in.

That’s what could happen if the Tories are the largest party.

I am clear there will be no deal, no pact, no coalition, no tie-in with the SNP.

And I say that for clear principled reasons, I don’t say that for tactical reasons

We cannot do a deal with a party that wants to break up the UK when we want to build it up

We believe in the principles of sharing and solidarity that underpin the partnerships of four nations that is the modern UK.

The solidarity and sharing is the essence of our belief in and vision of social justice:

That each of us helps the other in times of stress.

That those with the broadest shoulders should help those with the greatest needs when and wherever that need is greatest.

And so we cannot do a deal with a party that promises to end the sharing and throw solidarity to the winds.

The very sharing and solidarity that is the rock of social justice upon which we stand.

If we set England against Scotland, if we set any part of our country against another it does not help working people, it harms working people.

It undermines the ability to share resources.

It drives down wages and conditions in the race to the bottom.

Nationalism doesn’t understand we are stronger not weaker when we look after each other across the whole of our country.

Nationalism never built a school.

It never lifted people out of poverty.

It never created a welfare state that healed the sick and protected our most vulnerable.

Nationalism cannot create the jobs we need.

Nationalism cannot answer the problems of working people in any part of the United Kingdom.

And last night we learned something else:

There is only one thing the SNP really want

And that’s another referendum.

That’s their priority.

That’s their plan.

But it is not ours.

Our priority is social justice.

If you want social justice, not separatism vote for it, vote Labour.

3. Our Plan

And if you wonder what that change would look like, you don’t need to wonder because I will tell you.

Together we changed Scotland before and we will do it again.

The government I lead will be fuelled by the same radicalism that created the NHS here in Scotland.

That same restless urgency to improve people’s lives that made John Smith spend a generation fighting for a minimum wage.

And the same moral purpose that led Gordon Brown to lift hundreds of thousands of children out of poverty.

So here is our plan.


A Home Rule Bill for Scotland.

Devolving more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

More powers over jobs, tax and welfare.

Powers to change the lives of Scots.

To make the Scottish Parliament one of the most powerful devolved Parliaments in the world.

We made the vow.

We will keep the vow.

And in the first 100 days of the next Labour Government we will deliver the vow.


We still live in a country with Victorian working conditions.

It is a disgrace that a text message at 6am tells people on zero hours contracts whether they are going to earn a wage.

That should be the story of our past.

And it will not be part of our country’s future if I am Prime Minister.

So we will ban the exploitation of zero hours contracts and legislate that if you do regular hours you get a regular contract.


Across Scotland people can’t fulfil one of the foundations of family life – keeping your home warm – without being overcharged by one of the big energy firms.

Over 18 months ago I announced that we would freeze gas and electricity prices until 2017.

We heard loud protests then from the big energy companies.

And from the SNP Government here in Scotland who said it would never work.

If I am Prime Minister next Friday, I will not shrink in the face of opposition from the energy companies.

We will freeze energy prices so they can fall but not rise.

And we will go further. With a law to ensure falling energy costs are passed on to consumers this Winter.


Working people should not have to pay the price for a crisis not of their making.

So we will reverse the Tory’s tax cut for millionaires and introduce a 50p tax for people earning more than £150,000 a year.

Because under my government those with the broadest shoulders will bear the greatest burden.

And in the country I lead, there will be no hiding place for the hedge funds who don’t pay their taxes, the tax havens who shield the tax avoiders, the Tory Party donors who say tax avoidance is something everyone does.

We will do what hasn’t been done for hundreds of years.

We will abolish the privilege that allows people to work here, live here, be permanently settled here and not pay taxes here.

We will abolish non dom status.


Right here in the East End of Glasgow, and across Scotland, too many young people are out of work for too long.

So we will tax the bankers’ bonuses.

And we will use these resources from those at the top of our society to help people right across Britain.

And put young people back to work here in Glasgow and right across Scotland.

Friends, tonight I want to go further.

I want to add another line to my contract with Scotland.

Another pledge I can make to you.

We’re going to abolish the bedroom tax in every corner of the United Kingdom.

The bedroom tax is indefensible.

It’s cruel.

It’s unfair.

I think it tells you everything you need to know about a Tory Government.

And it tells you everything you need to know about a Labour Government that the first thing we’ll do is scrap it.

We will legislate straight away to abolish the Bedroom Tax.

Not just in Scotland.

But in England.

in Wales.

Right across our United Kingdom.

So simple truths about what a Labour government would bring:

Home rule for Scotland

A ban on exploitative zero hours contracts.

Freezing energy bills

A fair tax system

Opportunities for the young

The bedroom tax abolished

And yes, the NHS rescued too.

A mansion tax, money from the tobacco companies, and ending tax avoidance by the hedge funds to pay for 1,000 extra nurses here in Scotland.

A true rescue plan for the NHS.

4. Conclusion

So this is what I offer.

Now I’ve never pretended that changing our country, standing up to vested interests, would be easy.

It won’t.

It will be hard.

But I appeal to the people of Scotland to join me, join Labour, join people across the United Kingdom, in making it happen.

We could be under a week away from a Labour Government.

I don’t want anyone here to look back and wish you had been part of the change we are going to make.

Because throughout Scotland’s history you have always been part of change.

Always led change.

Led change when others said it couldn’t be done.

Think of all the people you know who have built Labour in Scotland.

Your grandparents who fought for their rights in the shipyards and mines across this country.

They won through and built workers rights when others said it couldn’t be done.

Your mums and dads, many of whom delivered leaflets for Labour or knocked on doors.

They fought and won the fight for an NHS, a Scottish Parliament, a minimum wage, when others said it couldn’t be done.

And remember our great leaders.

From Keir Hardie to Jennie Lee.

John Smith to Donald Dewar.

They changed the country when others said it couldn’t be done.

Now what they would want us to do today?

We could be on the verge of electing a Labour Government.

They would want Scotland to be part of making it happen.

Not David Cameron’s last best hope of stopping it happening.

They would want to be part of building the better future.

In the vanguard of change.

To be part of booking the removal vans rolling up outside Downing Street next Friday.

And they would want all of us to realise that we can win too when others say it cant be done.

The party that was born when others said it couldn’t be done.

This party that built the NHS when others said it couldn’t be done

Every time we have made change happen it has been when others said it couldn’t be done.

And now let us do the same again.

When others say it cant be done, let us redouble our efforts.

When others try and write us off, let us show them what we are made of.

When others say this election is decided before most people have voted, let us tell them they are wrong.

And to every voter who has not made up their mind.

Let us tell them: we offer the road to a fairer economy, while the SNP offer the road to another referendum.

This is your chance to vote Labour to put working families first.

This is your chance to vote Labour to put the NHS first.

This is your chance to vote Labour to put your family first.

This is your chance. This is your time.

Vote Labour

Vote Labour for an end to David Cameron’s government.

And let’s change the country together.


Anne McTaggart MSP

Questioning the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport

question to health minister

Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab):
To ask the Scottish Government how many general practices have been unable to recruit one or more partners for more than six months. (S4O-04257)

The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing and Sport (Shona Robison):
Numbers of vacancies for GP posts are not held centrally, as that is a matter for individual GP contractors as employers. As part of a move towards better-quality, more regular and more consistent information, preparations to conduct a workforce survey later this year are under way. The aim is to obtain robust and accurate information on the numbers, gender, age profile, working patterns, contractual status and workload of GPs and other staff working in general practices. I encourage all practices in Scotland to assist us in ensuring that the information is as robust as possible by taking part in the survey.

In addition, we are seeking to profile the GP workforce in terms of how it is placed to deliver high-quality services for Scotland’s people in future, whether in hours or out of hours.

Anne McTaggart:
Given the closure of practices to new patients and the growing number of practices that are already having difficulty in recruiting and retaining GPs, and given the British Medical Association survey showing that many GPs are intending to retire and that as many as one in five are considering emigrating, how does the Government plan to recruit between 563 and 915 additional GPs by 2020?

Shona Robison:
As I said in my earlier answers on the subject, there has been an increase in the number of GPs. There has been an increase in investment over recent years, too. However, there is more to be done. There is a current issue of GPs retiring earlier than they would have done due to some changes around the pension contributions, but we absolutely have to consider the model of primary care to ensure that it is not just about GPs themselves but about the wider primary care team and the issues of flexibility, on which I responded in my answer to Nanette Milne.

The issue is also how we make general practice more attractive. At the moment, there are GP training posts that we are not able to fill, because we are not getting the interest from doctors who want to go into general practice in the way that we need. We could expand GP training numbers, but if we have difficulty in filling the posts that we have at the moment, there is a wider issue about how attractive general practice is. We must address that and we must make it a more flexible profession to enter. That will be done not just through independent contractor-based practices, but through the use of salaried GPs where appropriate. I am happy to keep Anne McTaggart up to date on some of those discussions as we take them forward.

Anne McTaggart MSP

Anne McTaggart MSP on TTIP – “Our Public Services & Democratic Principles Are Not Up For Trade”


Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has voiced her concerns over the proposed new transatlantic trade and investment partnership (TTIP) between the EU and the USA.

Ms McTaggart, Scottish Labour’s Shadow Minister for Europe and International Development and a member of the European and External Relations Committee, was speaking in a debate at the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 29 April.

While acknowledging that TTIP could pave the way for numerous economic benefits for Glasgow and Scotland, Ms McTaggart highlighted concerns that it could undermine the regulation of goods, soften environmental and labour protections, and force privatisation.

She also spoke about the role that the European and External Relations Committee have played in monitoring the progress of TTIP, and repeated her commitment to protect the NHS in any deal.

Speaking in the debate Ms McTaggart said “I share the concerns of the committee, my colleagues in the chamber and my constituents in Glasgow over TTIP. I have signed a pledge to protect the NHS from it and believe that we should support a deal only if it fully protects our public services, particularly the NHS.

“Although the negotiations fall on the reserved powers list and the Scottish Government does not have any formal role in the agreement, it is still essential that the policies set under TTIP are as beneficial to Scotland as they are to the rest of the UK and the EU.

“I hope that the Scottish Government will work alongside the UK Government to call for far greater transparency, ensure that voters’ interests are protected fully and that voters receive the maximum benefits, and address any and all concerns that TTIP may bring.”

You can read Ms McTaggart’s speech here.

One week left to kick out the Tories

In a week’s time, Ed Miliband could be walking through the gates of Downing Street, ready to chair his first Cabinet and set Britain on the path of fair, balanced growth for all, not just those at the top.

Or we could have another five years of the Tories.

There are no two ways about it; either Labour or the Conservatives will form a government. In Scotland, any vote for the SNP is simply more likely to allow David Cameron to get back into No.10.

Throughout this campaign, Ed Miliband has repeatedly said that there will be no coalition and no deal of any kind with the SNP, a party which has less than a year after the referendum, has already broken its promise that the vote was a “once in a lifetime event”. Their own candidates have made clear in their statements and interviews they believe that a vote for the SNP at Westminster will be a mandate to seek a second referendum in a few years time. Instead of creating further division and uncertainty, Labour wants to get to work to deliver the change we so badly need to create a fairer society and an economy that works for the majority

In constituencies across Scotland, the only choice is between a Labour party that truly believes Scotland and Britain can do better than it is has done under the Tories, or a vote for the SNP, with its message of division and its not so secret wish for another independence referendum.

The SNP like to talk about their ‘progressive’ politics, but Labour is the party that legislated for the minimum wage and created the NHS. Labour is the party which first committed to international development. Labour is the party that is committed to building good homes for all. Labour is the party which set up the Scottish Parliament and Labour is the only party devoted to raising living standards across every part of our United Kingdom.

If you care about social justice, an end to poverty pay and proper job security, an end to the bedroom tax and foodbanks, you should vote Labour. Scottish Labour are pledging an £8 minimum wage and a ban on exploitative zero-hours contracts. We will offer a £1600 Future Fund for young people to get trained and get into the job market. We will tax mansions across the UK to provide an additional £800m to our NHS in Scotland. We will freeze energy bills until 2017 and reform the broken energy market.