by Steve Daley Scotland’s economy is strong with certain sectors such as the construction sector outperforming the rest of the UK. However Scotland’s economy recently has been slowing for the last two consecutive quarters. Tourism is a huge part of Scotland’s economy with an expenditure of nearly of nearly £5 billion and with 40 percent of that coming from oversea students It has been noted numerous times how British Air Passenger Duty (APD) is the most expensive air passenger tax in the world with only five other European countries using this regressive tax.  With APD being devolved to the Scottish Parliament, it is no surpriseRead More →

So, this past week has seen all the parties state what they would do about local tax if they are in government after May 5th, or did they? Ruth Davidson’s Tories don’t seem to have said anything except that it would be bad not to give those in the 40p tax bracket the added £2000 to limit where starting to pay the 40p begins. From what I can see the SNP are only going to raise that threshold by £387, the rate of inflation. By sticking with what the Tory chancellor has announced, Ruth would lose Scotland an income of £120 million in the nextRead More →

Young people in North Lanarkshire, eligible to vote for the first time, have been denied direct access to Scotland’s First Minister in a bizarre move by Labour run North Lanarkshire Council.   In denying our young people the chance to attend the question and answer event the Labour party has moved beyond desperation to hysteria.   This was not a ‘rally’ as the ill-informed Cllr Frank McNally suggests but an event, hosted alongside youth organisation Young Scot, for young people to engage with the First Minister in a question and answer session. It is similar to other such events previously held.  A diverse group ofRead More →

The Scottish Government is the most trusted government in the European Union, new analysis has shown. Earlier this week, the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey found that 73 per cent of respondents trust the Scottish Government – compared to only 23 per cent who trust the UK Government. When compared to a study of trust in national governments across the EU, analysis shows that the Scottish Government is the most trusted in Europe – with significantly higher trust levels than the nearest challengers in Finland and Denmark, who trail behind Scotland at 60% and 55% respectively. The study also shows that trust in the Scottish GovernmentRead More →

Kezia Dugdale has come under renewed pressure to use her party’s conference to set out a credible position on council tax – amidst polling evidence showing that even her own party’s voters are backing the SNP’s fair, progressive reforms to local tax. Labour has yet to detail any firm plans for local taxation – while a poll last week showed that the SNP’s planed reforms are by far the most popular option amongst even Labour voters.  The poll confirmed that the SNP’s plans were favoured amongst the majority of those who expressed an opinion. The SNP Government has announced plans to reform local tax, whichRead More →

Welcoming the passing of the Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill, SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said: “The Private Housing (Tenancies) Bill will provide for a transformative change in the private rented sector – providing security for Scotland’s 700,000 tenants. “The Bill creates a modern tenancy, ends no fault evictions and limits rent increases to once every 12 months. “This legislation addresses the problem of excessive rent rises by giving councils the ability to apply to introduce rent controls in designated rent pressure areas. This is the first time any such control has been introduced in Scotland and is an ambitious plan to ensure protection for tenantsRead More →

As a young woman I remember the feeling of being lumbered with the inconvenience and pain each month of the pleasure of being a woman. What irked even more was the ‘pleasure’ of having to pay for products that I was forced into buying. To then find out that the government also taxed you on this was just simply too much. Congratulations to Alison for being the figurehead in taking this forward on behalf of the women of Scotland and the other countries under UK government taxation. Editor SNP MP Alison Thewliss introduced an amendment in July 2015 at the Finance Bill Committee stage toRead More →

I went to the SECC in Glasgow for the Spring Conference;  it was my intention to go on the Saturday and Sunday, and as I do not like driving in Glasgow I took the bus.  Edinburgh to Buchanan Street, Glasgow no problem.  Hike down to Central Station – 20 minutes at least – never timed it.  Train to the SECC 5 minutes, then the walkway, no idea of how long but I was humphing a briefcase.   Coming back was worse as I bought three books to fill the briefcase.  By the time I got back to Buchanan Street I decided that I could notRead More →

There is little doubt these years are proving increasingly impossible for Labour but I believe the key moment occurred many years previously, in the mid 1990’s. The SNP Executive Committee had to make a key strategic decision, to join the Constitutional Convention or to remain on the outside. The Executive was divided with some favouring joining with the Unionist parties and others, myself included, who were firm in our belief that if the SNP stayed on the outside, keeping the pressure on and threatening electoral defeat on the unionists if there was any backsliding then that was the best way of ensuring a new ScottishRead More →

Dennis Robertson MSP for Aberdeenshire West and his guide dog Mr Q were spotted taking time out from the SNP conference at the SECC to visit the Quilter Cheviot Etape Royale stand at the Cycling and Walking exhibition which was also taking place. The 2016 100 mile closed road event starts and ends in Ballater on 18th September and takes in some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland on its route through upper Deeside, and on to Dufftown before climbing up over the Lecht and back to Ballater. Aboyne, Upper Deeside & Donside SNP Councillor Geva Blackett said “This event, now in its secondRead More →