• As a member of Holyrood’s Social Security Committee, travelled to Westminster for the second of two joint meetings with members of Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee to take evidence on and discuss inter-governmental co-operation on social security.

 

  • Contributed to the first part of a historic Holyrood debate – as MSPs debated a motion calling for the Scottish Parliament to endorse the Scottish Government’s plans to give the people of Scotland another choice about our nation’s future. Ruth set out how the people deserve another right to choose, as the United Kingdom that people voted for, and were promised, in 2014 no longer exists. Ruth also stressed how important it was that politicians and parties honour their manifesto commitments, and highlighted that the manifesto upon which she as an MSP, and the SNP as the Government, were elected, explicitly reserved the right to hold another referendum if ‘there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.’

 

  • Hosted an evening reception in the Scottish Parliament to mark the launch of Financial Education Week 2017, which runs from 20 – 24 March. The week, launched in partnership with Education Scotland, the Money Advice Service and the Scottish Financial Capability Partnership, is designed to raise awareness of the importance of financial education across Scotland. Events will take place across the week, organised in conjunction with the Scottish Government, the University of Edinburgh, Young Scot and Lloyds Banking Group. The Holyrood evening reception was attended by guest speaker Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security & Equalities. Representatives of Money Advice Scotland, the Money Advice Service, Education Scotland also addressed the event, along with young people involved in the Llyods Money for Life Programme.

 

  • Held MSP advice surgeries in the constituency to listen to and help constituents

 

  • In Local Government Committee, looked into the issue of homelessness with a range of national and local homelessness charities. Ruth asked whether rough sleeping was increasing, or becoming more visible, and about the condition and availability of temporary accommodation for homeless people and families.

 

  • Spoke in an urgent Holyrood debate condemning the abhorrent genocide being perpetrated by ISIS against the Yazidi people, and calling for international action to bring the horror to an end. Ruth focused in particular on the plight of Yazidi women and girls, many of whom have been sold or forced into sexual slavery.