INDEPENDENT ANALYSIS: COUNCIL TAX FREEZE “OVER-FUNDED” BY SNP The SNP has highlighted updated analysis from the independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre which has again confirmed that the SNP government has fully funded the Council Tax freeze since 2008-09. The new analysis finds that “on the basis that the freeze was intended to compensate for a foregone per annum increase in Council Tax it could be said that the freeze, over the period 2008-09 to 2014-15 was ‘over-funded’”. SPICe has estimated that this has resulted in an additional £180 million going to local government since the freeze was introduced. Commenting, SNP MSP Kevin Stewart said: “ThisRead More →

Council Tax Reform After maintaining the Council Tax freeze for eight years, the SNP Scottish Government has now announced reform of the tax to make it fairer and to release an additional  £100 million a year for schools. The Council Tax freeze has been fully funded, throughout, by the SNP Scottish Government with local authorities receiving £70 million year on year. The Scottish Parliament’s independent research department, SPICe, has found that this funding added up to more than Councils would have generated if they had increased the Council Tax every year in line with the Retail Price Index. The Council Tax freeze will continue untilRead More →

Ahead of a debate on rural affairs in the Scottish Parliament today (Wednesday), the Tories have been accused of ‘spectacular hypocrisy’ on farm support – after lodging a motion on the issue which fails to explain how they would guarantee support for farmers if the UK votes to leave the EU. Tory Farming Minister, George Eustice, has announced that he will vote for the UK to leave the EU – effectively campaigning for an end to all EU support for Scotland’s farmers and rural communities. CAP support in Scotland is worth around £4 billion in the period from 2015 to 2020 – and the ScottishRead More →

SNP PRESENT DAVID CAMERON WITH “CHECKLIST” The Scottish National Party has provided David Cameron with a “checklist” on International Women’s Day, urging him to take action on key issues affecting women. SNP Women and Equalities spokesperson Angela Crawley MP has written to the Prime Minister setting out five key areas where the UK government can and should take urgent action to improve the lives of women in the UK. •             Scrap the Rape Clause •             Close the Gender Pay Gap •             Protect Maternity Pay and End Maternity Discrimination •             Commit to Ending Violence Against Women •             Scrap the Tampon Tax Scrap the Rape Clause NewRead More →

Local MSP Signs Book of Commitment on Holocaust Memorial Day Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch recently (27/01/15) signed the Book of Commitment in the Scottish Parliament on Holocaust Memorial day. The Holocaust Educational Trust who was sponsoring the event was established in 1988. Their aim is to educate young people from every background about the Holocaust and the important lessons to be learned for today and is bringing together testimony from people who sought sanctuary in Scotland to escape the racism of Nazi-dominated Europe. Mr Thompson said, “The 27th of January was the day for everyone to remember the six millionRead More →

‘Schools for the Future Programme’ – funding for new schools On Monday 25th January, First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon announced that more than 6,500 pupils are set to benefit from the construction of 19 new schools across Scotland which will be completed by 2020. The SNP Scottish Government is investing £230 million pounds as part of the final phase of the ‘Schools for the Future’ programme. Total investment in the programme is £1.8 billion and the overall number of schools being delivered through it is 112. This is more than double the SNP Scottish Government’s original target of 55. Since 2007, the SNP Scottish Government hasRead More →

Wednesday 23rd December 2015 SCOTTISH DAIRY: A BRAND IN DEMAND SIX MONTHS OF SUCCESS FOR DAIRY SECTOR INITIATIVE As 2015 draws to a close, the SNP is welcoming the success of the Scottish Dairy Brand since its launch this summer at the Royal Highland Show. SNP MSP Graeme Dey has hailed the Scottish Government’s food and drink initiative which has to date attracted a dozen processors, 18 brands and 40 different products over three specialist ranges – all made using 100 per cent Scottish milk. There has been noted interest in the Scottish Dairy Brand products from markets in over 20 countries across the globeRead More →

Clare Adamson MSP welcomes legislation which will help modernise the criminal justice system A new law setting out improvements to the criminal justice system has been passed by the Scottish Parliament. Speaking after the Stage 3 debate, Ms Adamson said: “I am delighted that the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Bill has been approved by the Scottish Parliament today. I believe the Bill strikes the right balance between strengthening the powers available to police and prosecutors while protecting the rights of the accused and it takes forward a wide range of proposals all designed to modernise and improve our current criminal justice system in Scotland”. A newRead More →

House of Lords Rejection of Tax Credits Sparks “Constitutional Crisis” Chancellor George Osborne says he will lessen the impact of tax credit cuts on families after the Conservative Party was defeated twice in the House of Lords where it currently does not have an outright majority.  Following the defeat on October 26th, Osborne has been forced to water down his flagship tax credit reforms after peers voted to delay the measure. Tax credits were introduced under the last Labour government in an effort to help low-paid families. The government set out to have the income threshold for receiving Working Tax Credits and Child Tax CreditRead More →

SNP Defence spokesperson Brendan O’Hara – whose Argyll and Bute seat is the location of the Faslane Naval base – is commenting on reports that cost cutting by the MoD and Babcock at the nuclear submarine base is now raising serious safety concerns. It has emerged that Babcock, who run HMNB Clyde on behalf of the MoD, want to extend the time period that nuclear powered submarines can be berthed at Faslane without any electrical power, from the current 20 minutes to up to three hours. The fear among many of those working at Faslane is that this proposed change is principally a cost-driven exerciseRead More →