MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed new statistics showing the Scottish economy is doing well — and has attributed the success to SNP government investment in key industries.
The latest Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) figures show the country’s finances improved in 2016/17.
Overall, the notional deficit fell by £1.3 billion in 2016-17 to stand at 8.3% of GDP. Onshore revenues increased by £3.3 billion (6.1%) between 2015-16 and 2016-17 – the fastest increase since current records began in 1998-99 – while North Sea revenue also grew.
Mr Paterson said:
“While the Tory cabinet ushers through new ways to close down public services, the SNP government here is literally building Scotland’s economy up, and the signs are very positive.
“Our investment in key sectors of our economy has absolutely shown through — in 2016, there were £6 billion worth of construction projects going on in Scotland. Huge projects like the M8 extension, A9 dual on the way and the Queensferry Crossing will be helping, to name a few.
“And here in Clydebank, Scottish Government investment in the Golden Jubilee National Hospital will create scores of brand new jobs and boost the local and national economy.
“It’s worth remembering, Scotland’s tax revenue goes into projects in the south of England that apparently benefit Scotland, like in the past the new high speed railway, Heathrow Airport and the London Underground. It is questionable that Scotland directly benefits from these projects.
“Despite our record of achievement, we hear constant spiteful rhetoric from opposition politicians and media pundits that Scotland is too wee and too stupid to be a success. It is still clear that Labour, the Tories and Liberal Democrats are just too fervent in their debt to the union to listen to the pragmatic reasons on why Scotland could easily be an independent close friend and ally of the UK.
“What does threaten to derail progress is a shambolic departure from the European Union, which would cost our economy up to £11 billion a year from 2030 and 80,000 jobs. While appreciating the vote to leave across the UK, the withdrawal from the EU needs to be considerate, and not a new series of the Tory cabinet soap opera power struggle.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342061722)
The report: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2017/08/7201
JO SWINSON must make her views indisputably clear on free tuition following comments from her new Liberal Democrat party leader.
MSPs Rona Mackay and Gil Paterson have condemned Vince Cable following a report in the Press and Journal where he calls for an end to free tuition.
They are demanding Jo Swinson makes her views clear on what they call a “hallmark issue” for the people of Scotland.
The Liberal Democrats betrayed voters when their MPs voted to charge students more than £9,000 — when they had campaigned against the hike.
In 2012, then leader Nick Clegg made a humiliating apology where he said “I am sorry” for misleading the voters — who, in the 2015 election, ousted most Lib Dem MPs. The video has been viewed millions of times since, and featured in comedy programmes, parodies and TV.
Ms Mackay said: “No one really has a clue where the Liberal Democrats stand on anything these days, so the public in East Dunbartonshire deserves to know where exactly their MP stands on this hallmark policy.
“In Scotland, we pride ourselves on having an inclusive education system where people of all backgrounds can enter higher and further education to learn and contribute to society.
“I am calling on Jo Swinson to make a crystal clear statement on whether she supports free tuition in Scotland or not, and her reasons why.”
Mr Paterson said: “It is not surprising that Vince Cable is supporting this conservative policy given he — and Jo Swinson — were working hand in hand with the Tory Party just a few years ago in government.
“Given Nick Clegg’s humiliating apology, it is incredible to see the Liberal Democrat leadership once again change direction on such a major issue.
“Disposing of free tuition in Scotland would simply block opportunities for so many people, especially young people from disadvantaged backgrounds. That is morally wrong, to me.
“I hope Jo Swinson can clarify her position on free tuition as a matter of urgency. The public deserves to know.”
Comments from Vince Cable about tuition fees reported in today’s Press and Journal https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/scotland/1306875/cable-accused-of-major-gaffe-after-hitting-out-at-snps-education-record
'Eliminating the deficit' is just a Tory excuse to continue hacking down the public sector with austerity
MSP Gil Paterson has criticised the Tory government’s perpetual austerity agenda — one that looks set to continue until at least 2027.
It has been reported Chancellor Philip Hammond is preparing a new package of cuts worth ten years to “eliminate the deficit”.
The Tories’ obsession with eliminating the deficit, Mr Paterson said, is an excuse to continue hacking down the public sector in the UK.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP said: “Yet another decade of downsizing the public sector with budget cuts — all in this attempt to ‘eliminate the deficit’.
“It looks like ‘eliminating the deficit’ is a mere excuse to continue flogging our public services in pursuit of the Tories’ free market fantasy.
“Private profiteers are gobbling up institutions, like the Royal Mail, parts of the NHS in England and swathes of the social security system.
“This is merely the beginning, and in post-Brexit Britain, the Tories will have free rein on selling off more of our cherished public facilities.”
MSP Gil Paterson has called on the public to get behind new measures to save Scotland’s bees and butterflies.
The Clydebank and Milngavie MSP has expressed his deep concerns at the plummeting pollinator populations in Scotland.
Since 1980, 51 per cent of Scotland’s bee and butterfly population has died out leading to fears of major problems in the environment, agriculture, economy and health and well-being of the public.
The Scottish Government has published the Pollinator Strategy that outlines objectives and outcomes to put in place measures by 2027 to ensure Scotland’s bee population is thriving and supported.
The objectives are:
A full list of how these objectives will be achieved is available in the Pollinator Strategy.
Mr Paterson said: “Modern civilisation is destroying the bee and butterfly populations in Scotland, whether it is our building habits, use of pesticides or polluting the environment, it is having a dramatic effect.
“In nature, 90 per cent of flowering plant species have a dependence on pollination; worldwide, 75 per cent of food crops rely on insect pollination; Scotland’s economy benefits to the tune of £43 million per year in crop and honey, and the ecological function pollinators perform maintains balance our natural environment. The importance of pollinators is paramount.
“The Scottish Government’s detailed Pollinator Strategy will target all sections of society to combat the problem, from government, its agencies, conservation groups, farmers, land owners, managers, gardeners, agricultural businesses, commercial enterprise and the public of Scotland.
“There is so much to be gained in this plan, and even the simplest of pleasures, making our towns and communities bloom in colour and buzz with the familiar sound of our pollinators.”
A special helpline with unique access to university and college places and more will be up and running when pupils receive exam results next week.
MSP Gil Paterson has welcomed the move by Skills Development Scotland that will see the annual Exam Results Helpline assist pupils.
A round 139,000 young people in Scotland will receive their National, Higher, Advanced Higher and Scottish Baccalaureate results on Tuesday August 8.
Qualified careers advisers will be on hand to help young people who may not have received the results they were hoping for or who have done better than they expected.
The skilled professionals will have unique access to information on UCAS course vacancies at UK colleges and universities, confirmation and clearing, advice about Modern and Foundation Apprenticeships and employment or volunteering.
Mr Paterson said: “This hotline is a very beneficial asset for pupils and parents alike, as they receive their exam results. I know fine well there will be much excitement, anxiety and nerves at play as these results come in. The resource from Skills Development Scotland provides some excellent access to places in college and university that will be very helpful. I commend SDS for setting this line up again.”
This is the 25th year of the free Helpline which offers advice, information and support for young people and their parents, who make a third of all calls.
The Helpline will be open from 8am until 8pm on 8 and 9 August and from 9am until 5pm from 10 until 16 August. The number to call is 0808 100 8000.
Press release from Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
Post-results information for pupils and parents is also available at myworldofwork.co.uk. There’s also information about Modern Apprenticeships and Foundation Apprenticeships, at apprenticeships.scot. Foundation Apprenticeships help young people gain valuable, real-world work experience and access work-based learning while they are still at school.
Students can also access help, advice and support via My World of Work's Facebook page which has practical help and links to UCAS, SAAS, Young Scot and the SQA.
Jeremy Corbyn has 'gone UKIP' on immigration and the Tory Brexit soap opera continues to embarrass the UK
THE TORY cabinet soap opera continues to embarrass the United Kingdom as the world watches our departure from the European Union.
Chancellor Philip Hammond has announced the exit from EU could be dragged out until 2022, in one of the latest surprising twists.
Amber Rudd is all over the place on immigration, and her harsh rhetoric on immigration has already put off skilled workers from coming to the UK. And, already the health service is under pressure from Brexit.
Despite that, she has shocked the public by contradicting her colleagues and calling for a liberal immigration system. When it comes to contradictions, you just can’t make it up.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies warned last week uncertainties on tariffs and the value of the pound with households facing dramatically higher prices on bare necessities, like food and clothing.
The International Monetary Fund has revised down the UK’s economic growth forecast for the year from two per cent to 1.7 per cent, as the UK cabinet daily drama continues. This will mean less money available for our vital public services.
It’s not just the economy either.
The Tory government needs to get its act together on the European Arrest Warrant arrangements to prevent a gap in extradition procedures following Brexit.
A new report from a House of Lords committee has warned the UK would face an “unacceptable risk” if the it did not have arrangements in place by March 2019.
We cannot allow criminals to go unpunished because of the sheer incompetence of the Tories.
The Labour Party has gone UKIP by abandoning support for membership the single market, despite the economic damage it will do.
Scotland does an enormous trade with the EU market, which is a relationship many countries aspire to achieve.
A poll by Ipsos MORI showed support for single market membership is now at the highest level since the EU referendum, with 49 per cent prioritising a soft Brexit.
But now Jeremy Corbyn has made it clear he supports ripping us out of the single market and blocking the freedom to live and work in Europe.
He and the Tories are completely ignoring 62 per cent of the Scottish people who want to remain in the European Union. And, the numbers are even higher for those who want access to the single market.
The world is watching this in awe and is gobsmacked with the sheer and utter incompetence of London rule.
And to cap it all, the Tory UK government lay the red carpet out for the DUP and give them £1.5 billion that will end austerity in Northern Ireland. Then, they fly them home using the RAF as a house to house taxi, but have the cheek to announce the PM will not now speak directly to the First Minister of Scotland.
So, what do the Tories think of Scotland? Obviously, that we just don’t count.
MSP Gil Paterson has urged the Clydebank public to take part in a Scottish courts consultation.
The Scottish Sentencing Council is launching the public opinion drive on new guidelines are sentenced by courts.
It is aimed at assisting judges in court and to help the public better understand how sentences are decided.
The consultation will run until October 27 and is available on the SSC website.
Mr Paterson said: “I know fine well the people of Clydebank have a lot to contribute when it comes to critiquing the sentences of criminals and matters of justice.
“From sentences on small crimes to high profile cases, there is always some form of discussion and passionate input from local people.
“The Clydebank Post does an excellent job of covering Dumbarton Sheriff Court, and we have constant coverage of relevant high court cases as well. There is often a lot of discussion between readers on individual court reports.
“I encourage the Clydebank public are able to take part in this and help inform our judges on how justice is dealt.”
From Gil Paterson MSP by Alan Ferguson (07342 061722)
Notes to reporter:
Although some guidance on appropriate sentences in particular cases is available in the form of court decisions, the fundamental principles and purposes of sentencing in Scotland have not been expressly defined in any single piece of legislation or court judgment. The Scottish Sentencing Council's first draft guideline, the Principles and Purposes of Sentencing, aims to set out clearly both the principles underlying sentencing decisions and the overarching purposes of sentencing.
The guideline is intended to:
Consultation Link: https://www.scottishsentencingcouncil.org.uk/consultations/principles-and-purposes-of-sentencing
MSP Gil Paterson has congratulated Faifley Art Group on a funding windfall to create an exhibition in Clydebank.
The small group of leisure artists, mostly senior citizens, secured £2,255 for an educational visit to the Modern Art Gallery of Edinburgh.
It is understood they will take part in four tutorials in visual arts with professional artists and produce work for the exhibition, which will also include children’s art from local primary schools.
Mr Paterson said: “Well done to Faifley Art Group for this successful funding application for extending the great work they do.
“I am particularly interested in this gallery they will be creating in Clydebank, which will include contributions from primary schools.
“The members will have a fantastic time learning from professional artists when they visit the Modern Art Gallery of Edinburgh.”