On Saturday Nicola set out a range of new policies which your SNP government will deliver if they are re-elected in May. A new initiative to build support for independence This summer the SNP will embark on a new initiative to build support for independence. Nicola outlined the next steps to build a strong majority for independence – to hear and address the concerns of those who weren’t convinced to vote for independence in 2014. That is how the 45 per cent of September 2014 will be turned into resounding yes vote. New funding for low-income families to give every child the best start in life Right now,Read More →

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 →

I sit down to write this flag on International Women’s Day, celebrated throughout the world and by our Scottish Government, with the First Minister visiting her former School and Ayrshire College to meet girls and young women promoting ‘#thisayrshiregirlcan’.   Last week I was lucky enough to meet inspiring Scottish women at the 30th Birthday Celebration of the Scottish Refugee Council, held at Edinburgh Castle’s Great Hall with excellent contributions from Alex Neil, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights, and a poetry reading from our retiring Makar, Liz Lochhead.   Liz beautifully spoke of her experience on a translation project A Bird is notRead 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 →

When it comes to an election everyone has a part to play, and some organisations produce a manifest in the run up to the Scottish Election. One of these has been produced by The Alliance, a national third sector intermediary for a range of health and social care organisations. The Alliance has over 1,500 members including a large network of networks of national and local third sector organisations, associates in the statutory and private sectors and individuals. Many NHS Boards and Health and social care partnerships are associate members. The Alliance worked closely with their member, and those they support, represent to develop the manifestoRead More →

We have 9 weeks of campaigning left for the Holyrood elections and I’m sure that many people were already looking forward to a well deserved rest after the last vote had been cast.  However, as suspected, that period of relaxation will have to wait a bit longer as we will be heading straight into the Euro Referendum and several more weeks of door chapping and street stalls. Canvassing is already seeing Europe as a discussion that many people want to have with you on the doorstep; some already know their mind and are only to eager to share it with you but many more areRead More →

Former Professor of Media Politics at the University of the West of Scotland, Dr John Robertson writes ‘So, on the objective evidence presented here, the mainstream TV coverage of the first year of the independence referendum campaigns has not been fair or balanced. Taken together, we have evidence of coverage which seems likely to have damaged the Yes campaign.’ Roughly two years ago, in January 2014, as a member of no political party, I concluded an interim research report, titled Fairness in the First Year, on BBC and STV/ITV coverage of issues, relevant to the outcome of the forthcoming Scottish Independence Referendum, with the aboveRead More →