SNP MEP Alyn Smith welcomed a major report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) which backed minimum pricing and called for further efforts to tackle alcohol abuse. The report emphasised that while Minimum Unit Pricing had the potential to reduce drinking among heavy drinkers, moderate drinkers of all levels of income would be largely unaffected. Adults in Scotland consumed an average of 10.1 units of alcohol per week (13.7 units for men and 6.8 units for women) in 2013. Alyn said: “The OECD’s comments on the Scottish Government’s minimum pricing are great news. Minimum pricing is a proportionate, evidence-based policy to cutRead More →

Commenting on the appointment of David Mundell as Secretary of State for Scotland, SNP MP Pete Wishart said: “The Tories’ share of the vote in Scotland at the General Election – at under 15 per cent – was the lowest they have ever had, while the SNP achieved 56 of Scotland’s 59 seats. The days of business as usual are over, so it is a pity that David Cameron did not take the opportunity to scrap the post-devolution anomaly that is the Scotland Office, and invest the £7 million that is spent on it on public services instead. “David Mundell is the sole representative ofRead More →

Introducing Scotland’s 56 newly elected Scottish National Party MPs earlier today, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “I am absolutely delighted – bursting with pride even – to introduce to you for the very first time as one assembled group the fifty six men and women elected on Thursday to make Scotland’s voice heard. “The people of Scotland have spoken and the people have placed their trust in the SNP to represent Scotland at Westminster as well as at Holyrood – and just as voters in almost every part of this nation of ours chose the SNP – our pledge is that these 56 SNP MPsRead More →

Scribbling words in the last hours of any election campaign most often lends your material a whiff of irrelevance in a very short space of time. With the polls in General Election 2015 closing in hours, I hesitate to tempt the Gods by surmising the outcome. In this General Election however we have seen the SNP deliver a campaign in Scotland, in fact across the UK, such as those we have always aspired to in elections past. No longer are we the only ones who hear the independence message.  The referendum and its information campaign put paid to that. A poll this weekend put expectedRead More →

Fiscal autonomy, coupled with a comprehensive new economic strategy, could almost double the size of the Scottish economy over 25 years as well as increase Scotland’s public finances, propelling it to become one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world. These are the key findings of a new report published today (4th May) by independent business organisation, N-56 – Fiscal Autonomy: An Opportunity Not a Threat – which aims to support Scotland to become one of the top five wealthiest countries in the world through the delivery of a new economic strategy. This new economic strategy should include measures to boost productivity andRead More →

THIS election is like no other in modern times. It has seen the power of the Westminster establishment challenged as never before. That means the strength of the establishment parties is ebbing away – and that is a very healthy thing for democracy. In Scotland it means there is a fantastic opportunity to make our nation more powerful at Westminster than we have ever been before. Electing a strong group of SNP MPs to Westminster this Thursday will give Scotland potentially unprecedented power and influence at Westminster. And if Scotland – including those who have still to decide how they are voting – can uniteRead More →