Over the past few weeks, a number of horrific Tory policies which we in the SNP have been fighting have come into effect.
The UK Government has, on the sly, taken £30 a week from disabled people on Employment and Support Allowance, despite organisations such as the Disability Benefits Consortium, which represents over 70 charities, coming out against these changes.
The government’s ‘rape clause’ also came into effect over the past few weeks. This is one of the worst policies I have seen in my time at Westminster so far.
In July 2015, the Tories outlined their intention to limit the child element of tax credits and universal credits to only the first two children in a family.
This policy is awful enough on its own but the government went on to say: “The Department for Work and Pensions and HMRC will develop protections for women who have a third child as the result of rape, or other exceptional circumstances.”
So, this government intends for women to have to re-live what is surely one of the worst experiences of their lives over and over every time they try to access the social security system.
Worst still, a question tabled by my colleague Allison Thewlis revealed that the government has provided no training whatsoever in domestic violence or in the application of the policy to the 660,000 third-party professionals who will be responsible for administering it.
It’s important to mention the reaction to this policy from the Scottish Tories. It has been a mess.
Ruth Davidson started by staying silent on the issue, then proceeded to insist that she supported the policy, then decided she would try to make it the Scottish Government’s fault by demanding they mitigate it.
This is typical of the Scottish Tories, however. Support the Tory Westminster government’s sweeping cuts, which in turn cut block grant, then insist that the Scottish Government should pay to mitigate the cuts, then call for tax cuts for the rich.
The hypocrisy of this is transparent and infuriating.
Last Thursday, a demonstration against the horrid policy was held in Glasgow, and I was glad to see so many people showing up to fight against the rape clause.
We must not allow cruelty like this to become normalised.
Renfrewshire Council and the decisions it makes have the biggest effect on public services that you will use most often, such as waste collection, street lighting and fixing the roads.
That is why it is so important to make sure you have people you trust in power.
Your opinion on how services are run must be heard and the best way to ensure that happens is to vote in the election on May 4.
If you are registered for a postal vote, you should receive your ballot over the next couple of weeks or may have already received it.
Please make sure your voice is heard by using your vote.