Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, SNP MP for Ochil & South Perthshire, SNP Deputy Shadow Leader of the House of Commons and SNP Spokesperson on Trade and Investment You can’t fight an idea with brute force. It’s clear that in light of recent attacks in Tunisia and beyond, the battle of hearts and minds will be as important as any other part of our strategy to combat the scourge of terrorism. So I’ve been encouraged over the past week to hear an increasing number of MPs from across the House of Commons refer to “Daesh” when referring to the group previously called by nearly everyone “Islamic State”. I wasRead More →

Tuesday 30th June 2015 SNP CALL ON LABOUR TO SUPPORT WELFARE POWERS IN SCOTLAND BILL “CHOICE IS SCOTTISH CONTROL OR TORY CONTROL” The Scottish National Party has challenged Labour to support more welfare powers for Scotland ahead of the Scotland Bill debates in Westminster today (Tuesday). SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson MP has said Labour had a choice between welfare powers being in “Scottish control or Tory control.” The SNP is proposing amendments to the Scotland Bill that would remove Westminster vetoes over using welfare powers; give the Scottish Parliament additional powers including devolving working age benefits and benefits relating to children; the power toRead More →

Community Empowerment The Scottish Parliament last week passed the Community Empowerment Bill which will give communities more powers to take on land and buildings and to have a say on how their services are delivered Communities will have more rights to take over land in both urban and rural areas – this could include transforming waste ground into community gardens or bringing empty shops back into use. Local groups will also be able to take the initiative and, instead of waiting to be offered a building, service or piece of land groups will be able to put forward their case for why a community centreRead More →

Scottish Member of the European Parliament Alyn Smith and SNP Westminster Energy Spokesperson Callum McCaig MP have today (Wednesday) welcomed the announcement from the Austrian government that it will formally challenge the UK proposed subsidy regime for a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point. The Austrian government will lodge a formal complaint with the European Court of Justice on Monday alleging that the proposed subsidy for the plant is against EU state aid rules and a distortion of competition. It is unconfirmed but likely that the Luxembourg government will support the case. Alyn Smith MEP said: “The UK government’s nuclear obsession is bad forRead More →

The SNP is today highlighting a new expert report showing how Westminster energy policy is disadvantaging Scotland’s renewables industry – and is calling on the UK Government to commit to future onshore wind subsidies and end the uncertainty they are causing the industry. The EY report finds that the attractiveness of investing in renewable energy in the UK has been “marred” by conflicting messages – as well as “nervousness” around the EU referendum. Commenting, SNP MSP Mike Mackenzie said: “This report is a timely reminder of the damage uncertainty caused by the UK Government’s mixed messages can have on Scotland’s renewables industry – and highlightsRead More →

CLIMATE TARGET ON TRACK AS SNP STEP UP ACTIONAs new figures confirm that Scotland is three quarters of the way to meeting its ambition emissions targets – with a 14 per cent reduction in 2013 – the SNP has welcomed news that the Scottish Government is stepping up efforts to cut emissions with new investments across the energy, environment and transport sectors.Climate Change Minister Dr Aileen McLeod’s reaffirmed action on climate change in a statement to the Scottish Parliament today with a focus on energy efficiency of Scotland’s homes and buildings.Dr McLeod also highlighted a number of further, additional measures which the Scottish Government will deploy toRead More →

The SNP has today welcomed the Scottish Government receiving a Living Wage accreditation – the first government to receive this accolade. The news was welcomed by Peter Kelly, of the Poverty Alliance, who said: “The Living Wage is an important tool in helping lift people out of poverty and we are celebrating that The Scottish Government has chosen to lead by example.” Commenting, SNP MP Bob Doris, said: “The SNP Scottish Government has sent out a real signal of intent today in becoming Living Wage accredited – the first government on these islands to achieve such status. “The SNP is totally committed to fairness andRead More →

The SNP is today highlighting further expert evidence on the ‘devastating’ impacts of sanctions on women – amidst further backing for powers over the sanctions regime to be in Scotland’s hands rather than Westminster’s. Ahead of this week’s meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s Welfare Reform Committee, a series of expert submissions have underlined the appalling impact of sanctions on single mothers, survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, disabled women and refugees in particular. Close the Gap, One Parent Families Scotland, the Fawcett Society, Inclusion Scotland, the Scottish Refugee Council, Child Poverty Action Group and the Scottish Women’s Convention all submitted written evidence highly critical ofRead More →

  The SNP has welcomed the Scottish Parliament’s unanimous passing of Stage One of the Reduction of Voting Age Bill, following the debate at the Scottish Parliament today. The progress in Scotland is in stark comparison to Tory plans to exclude 16 and 17-year-olds and European Union nationals from voting in the EU membership referendum, which have been criticised. Rob Gibson MSP said: “I am delighted that MSPs from across party lines unanimously voted in favour of extending the right to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections to include 16 and 17-year-olds. “One of last the greatest achievements of year’s independence referendum wasRead More →

Many of you may not be aware of the ongoing crisis in the Glasgow Homeless Service. Homelessness is not sexy. It also appears that as 75% of the staff are women there is no need to address this. Time for Glasgow council to provide a fair working space for all their employees Seventy workers in Glasgow City Council’s Homeless Service walked out on indefinate strike action on the 31st March in a dispute over pay grades. The workers are all members of the trade union UNISON and will take the action in a dispute over the application of the council’s job evaluation scheme as appliedRead More →