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Politics: It is important that we listen and discuss issue critical to the north-east

By David Porter

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This week I was delighted to attend the Turriff Show for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic and it was a brilliant to be able to return to one of the highlights of the summer in person for the first time.

I attended the annual NFUS meeting with colleagues including Richard Thomson MP, who represents Gordon, and Karen Adam MSP, who represents Banffshire and Buchan Coast in the Scottish Parliament.

We were joined by colleagues from across the political divide as well and a lively discussion was had and it was important for me to be able to put across the views of the many concerned farmers I have spoken with, particularly around the issue of seed tatties.

I was also able to highlight the challenges pig farmers are currently having since the closure of the abattoir in Brechin last year.

This has caused an ongoing impact for the industry.

NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy and Gillian Martin MSP at the panel meeting
NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy and Gillian Martin MSP at the panel meeting

No matter where we are coming from politically, it’s important as elected representatives that we show up and have a lively and thoughtful discussion about how we can help support the sector and this was very much the case across the board on Monday.

I also held a drop-in surgery for constituents at the show and was pleased to be able to meet with exhibitors to see how they are managing since the pandemic and amid the cost-of-living crisis.

I look forward to the continued return of in-person events which offers a real wealth of opportunity to meet with constituents once again.

At the end of July, the Adult Disability Payment was rolled-out in Aberdeenshire by Social Security Scotland.

This means the Adult Disability Payment is now available in 13 council areas ahead of opening nationwide later this month.

It is the twelfth and most complex benefit to be delivered by the Scottish Government and replaces the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

The benefit provides financial support to people aged between 16 and state pension age, who are disabled, have a long-term health condition or have a terminal illness.

People already receiving the UK Government’s Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance do not need to make an application for Adult Disability Payment.

These existing awards will transfer automatically from the DWP to Social Security Scotland.

Cases will transfer in stages starting from this summer and this process is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. I am delighted the Adult Disability Payment has now been extended to Aberdeenshire.

The Scottish Government is taking a positive, responsible and compassionate approach to delivering disability benefits in contrast to the current UK Government system.

The Adult Disability Payment is an important financial support to provide security and help people live well.

I would encourage anyone in Aberdeenshire who could be eligible to please check and apply – it’s so important constituents get the support they’re entitled to, because social security is a shared investment to help build a fairer and better society together.

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