SCOTTISH NEWS FEATURES Scotland bucks UK and Europe trend to secure foreign investment project increase Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen in UK’s top 10 foreign investment cities outside of London READ MORE: https://www.insider.co.uk/news/scotland-bucks-uk-europe-trend-24250065?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=sharebar
This is the results page for the Scottish Parliament Elections held on the 6th of May 2021. The SNP will form the next Scottish Government – a historic fourth consecutive win for the party. Pro Independence parties also carried a majority of seats with the SNP and Greens winning 72 of the 129 seats in the parliament.
All 32 local authorities across Scotland have chosen to freeze council tax following a Scottish Government commitment to compensate those who do so. Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “With people facing unprecedented challenges and extra pressures, now is a time to work together to provide stability and certainty.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has officially launched the Scottish National Investment Bank. It will be backed by £2bn of Scottish Government funding over the next decade Scot Gov: “It will help to tackle some of the biggest challenges Scotland faces now and in years to come, delivering economic, social and environmental returns.”
The Scottish Government have introduced new regulations via The Scottish Parliament on smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all homes. Legislation due to come into effect will mean that the standards which currently apply to private rented property and new-builds will also eventually be extended to all homes in Scotland.
Statement on EU and UK Government talks by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon Commenting on the EU and UK Government talks, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: It is beyond belief that in the midst of a global pandemic and deep recession the Prime Minister is telling Scotland to get ready for a disastrous No Deal Brexit.
In the early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said: “This pandemic is not a war. Nations are not against other nations, soldiers against other soldiers. It is a test of our humanity.” These have been indeed the most testing of times for people in Europe and across the world.
Spending proposals would “reverse devolution”. (17 Sept 2020) Finance Ministers from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have met to discuss a range of fiscal matters and voiced their collective concerns about the financial implications the UK Internal Market Bill will have on devolved governments.
The Scottish Government has said it is impossible to recommend the Scottish Parliament gives consent to the UK Government’s Internal Market bill. (8 Sept 2020) The bill, which will be published by the UK Government tomorrow, engages the Sewel Convention, and therefore the UK’s constitutional rules require the consent of Holyrood.
Article by First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon on yes.scot (6 Sept 2020) Independence is the normal form of governance for most nations in the world. Most of them take it, and the ability it affords them to take decisions in their own national interest, for granted. Being independent does not magically solve every problem a country faces, but it does allow the opportunity to deal with those problems in a way best suited to your needs. That is the essence of self-government – but Scotland does not yet have the ability to exercise those independent choices.
First Minister NicolaSturgeon: “As of 9am this morning, there have been 8,672 positive cases confirmed, an increase of 222 since yesterday. While I would still urge caution in interpreting these figures, I remain cautiously optimistic that, while the numbers being admitted to hospital are still fluctuating, they appear to be broadly stable. Secondly, the number being admitted to intensive care are reducing.”
Writer Article by Kat Cary 09/04/20: U.S. Politics 2020 Presedential Election I knew that this was coming, but the timing seemed off. About an hour before the campaign livestream, news broke that Senator Bernie Sanders was suspending his bid for the Democrat nomination. As I listened to the broadcast – tuning out from time-to-time as Bernie went through his greatest hits – something grabbed my attention. If you were to guess who he would quote, who would it be? If you are like me and thought it would be Dr Martin Luther King, Jr., give yourself a half-point because he quoted two individuals. The senator from Vermont reserved his initial quote for Nelson Mandela, and the words hit me like a punch in the gut, “It always seems impossible until it is done.”
People advised to limit social contact (16/0320) Those most at risk strongly advised to reduce unnecessary contact. To slow the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) the general public are being asked to stay at home as much as possible and avoid unnecessary social contact. People over 70 and those who have high risk and underlying health conditions are being strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and significantly reduce unnecessary social contact. The advice is that people should: minimise social contact by avoiding crowded areas and large gatherings, including religious congregations and smaller gatherings such as restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, cinemas and gyms avoid using public transport as much as possible work from home when possible follow the latest health and travel advice, and follow basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing People showing symptoms suggestive of coronavirus should stay at home for seven days and only contact NHS 111 or their local GP if their symptoms worsen during that period. Members of a household where someone has suspected symptoms should stay at home for 14 days. This package of necessary measures comes into force with immediate effect. Schools will remain open for the time being, however this decision will be consistently monitored and reviewed depending on the spread of the infection. Those who cannot work from home should continue to go to work unless advised by their employer or if they display symptoms. These measures will be kept under constant review as we try to slow down the spread of the infection. The First Minister said: “Life as we know it will change in the coming weeks and months, but our goal is to protect lives. “We are facing an unprecedented situation that will require major societal change if we are to protect people, especially those most at risk and our NHS. “The package of measures we are announcing today is based on scientific and clinical advice. While it will cause some disruption and be difficult for us all, it will help us to prepare for the virus and to protect ourselves and each other in the long run. “We need your help to slow the spread of the infection. That is why we are advising everyone in Scotland to restrict their social contact and to stay at home as much as possible. We are strongly advising those who are over 70 or have an underlying health condition to stay at home. “People have a vital role to play in helping us contain this infection and I urge everyone in Scotland to follow the latest health and travel advice, and follow basic hygiene precautions, such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. “This has not been an easy decision but it is vital if we are to stop the spread of the infection.” THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE GOV.SCOT WEBSITE: https://www.gov.scot/news/people-advised-to-limit-social-contact/ Public should only contact GP or NHS 111 if symptoms worsen. LINKED INFORMATION: For those under 70 underlying health conditions refers to all those eligible for the flu vaccine. Those who have compromised immune systems will be contacted with specific advice in the coming days. Health Secretary Jeane Freeman will update the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 17 March on the Scottish Government’s plans to build up and scale up capacity in Scotland’s National Health Service. Read the COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings. Further additional guidance and information, including links to guidance for travellers and the general public, can also be found on HPS’ COVID-19 page. The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website. Common symptoms of coronavirus include: • fever or a temperature of above 37.8°C • persistent cough Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816. First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon @scotgov news conference update on #coronavirus 16/03/20pic.twitter.com/GCgT2qeKrZRead More: https://t.co/vxhTTA3PrN— ScottishPoliticsNews (@ScoPoliticsNews) March 16, 2020
(15/03/20) The Scottish Government has announced measures to increase and track the spread of Corona Virus in Scotland. This will allow for more detailed statistical analysis and help with measures to address relevant action to take in response. (The following Information is from the gov.scot website) Surveillance testing for COVID-19 (coronavirus) will be expanded to monitor the spread of the virus in the community. The programme will be extended to GP practices covering up to 1.2 million people across all health boards in Scotland. It will test people presenting with relevant symptoms, including with flu-like symptoms or general respiratory illness and underlying health conditions. It will also support the continued testing of people admitted to hospital with symptoms. People following the guidance to stay at home for seven days if they have mild symptoms of a new cough or raised temperature will not be routinely tested – and will continue to be advised to only phone NHS 111 or contact the GP if their condition worsens. Surveillance testing will provide real-time information on how the virus is spreading in Scotland, which will inform NHS planning and allow resources to be directed where they are needed most. Key workers such as NHS staff will continue to be tested if they show symptoms. Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has said. “This new approach to testing will enable us to understand the pattern and spread of coronavirus in the community, to develop a clear assessment of the situation and to predict the peak number of cases, without having to test everyone with possible symptoms. “Those with mild symptoms do not need to be tested. They should continue to stay at home for seven days and only contact their GP or 111 if their condition worsens. “Everybody has a role to play in helping contain this outbreak by following the latest health advice and basic hygiene precautions such as washing hands frequently, not touching their face and covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.” THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE GOV.SCOT WEBSITE: https://www.gov.scot/news/covid-19-testing-update/ Public should only contact GP or NHS 111 if symptoms worsen. LINKED INFORMATION: Chief Medical Officer’s letter to health boards. Read the COVID-19 Guidance for Non-Healthcare Settings. https://hpspubsrepo.blob.core.windows.net/hps-website/nss/2973/documents/1_COVID-19-Guidance-for-non-healthcare-settings.pdf Further additional guidance can also be found on HPS’ COVID-19 page. https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/ The latest numbers of test results are published at 2pm each day on the Scottish Government website. https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/ Common symptoms of coronavirus include: • fever or a temperature of above 37.8°C • new continuous cough Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816. For anyone who is planning to travel abroad, guidance can be found on fitfortravel. Where a COVID-19 risk is identified, country pages will be updated. The NHS and government are well-prepared to deal with coronavirus (#COVIDー19). There are some simple steps you can take to help. Please watch and share this video ⬇️Follow @NHS24 for the latest health adviceLearn more ➡️ https://t.co/TJ6rCC8vKX pic.twitter.com/alrIaJ9ZA4— Scot Gov Health (@scotgovhealth) March 13, 2020
(14/03/20) The Scottish Government has announced a range of measures to assist business in Scotland during the #coronavirus outbreak. Immediate action in response to COVID-19. New measures to limit the impact of COVID-19 on the business community in Scotland have been announced by Finance Secretary Kate Forbes. The following steps will be put in place to support businesses during the 2020-21 financial year: • a 75% rates relief for retail, hospitality and leisure sectors with a rateable value of less than £69,000 from 1 April 2020 • an £80 million fund to provide grants of at least £3,000 to small businesses in sectors facing the worst economic impact of COVID-19 • 1.6% rates relief for all properties across Scotland, effectively reversing the planned below inflation uplift in the poundage from 1 April 2020 • a fixed rates relief of up to £5,000 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 from 1 April 2020 The Finance Secretary will also write to all local authorities urging them to respond positively to requests from rate payers for payment deferrals for a fixed period. Ms Forbes said: “COVID-19 will have challenging implications for businesses and the economy over the coming weeks and months. “As well as following the latest health and travel advice, it’s also crucial we consider the latest economic analysis and listen carefully to what the business community is telling us. We know that the tourism and hospitality sectors are facing immediate pressure, which is why we have directed support to them in particular. “All rate-payers will benefit from a relief that effectively reverses the planned inflationary uplift in the poundage that was due to come into effect in April. “The measures I’m announcing today will provide £320 million of assistance to Scottish business and ensures that all Non Domestic Rate consequentials we expect to receive from the UK Government associated with the COVID-19 outbreak will be used to provide Scottish business with support through what is likely to be a difficult time. We will also be making the case to the UK Government that, because of the larger number of small businesses in Scotland, we need additional resources to be able to provide further support. “Businesses receiving support are being encouraged to operate with fair work principles including supporting staff to self-isolate when they need to and if they have caring responsibilities and to consider keeping staff in employment where at all possible. “We continue to work closely with our partners to identify what further support is needed and I’d encourage any businesses with questions relating to the impact of COVID-19 to contact the helpline we launched this week.” COVID-19 helpline for Scottish businesses The business helpline number is 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Callers should select option one to speak to the COVID-19 team. The article is from the scot.gov website: Page Source: https://www.gov.scot/news/gbp-320-million-package-of-support-for-businesses/
(04/03/20) Cabinet Secretary updates MSPs on EU talks. The Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe & External Affairs Michael Russell has updated the Scottish Parliament on latest brexit developments. The UK Government risks “breaching the basic premise of the Union” in EU-UK negotiations if it fails to respect the Scottish legal system, Constitution Secretary Michael Russell has warned. In a statement updating the Scottish Parliament on the Brexit negotiations, Mr Russell said the Scottish Government and Parliament must be involved in deciding the UK negotiating stance on devolved matters such as fisheries, the environment and justice, as well as the many other issues that will affect Scotland. He added that the UK Government was intent on a hard Brexit which “will result in the people of Scotland being worse off financially, cut off practically and turned off politically from the European mainstream”. Mr Russell said: “Devolved issues such as agriculture, environment and fisheries will be at the heart of these negotiations. As the legally and politically responsible body this Parliament and this Government must be involved in deciding on what stance to take. “The UK Government must respect and take full account of the Scottish legal system – our separate courts, prosecution system and police. To fail to do so would be a breach not just of convention, nor even of the devolution settlement, but of the basic premise on which the Union is founded, for that includes protection for our legal system. “No-one speaks for us, and no-one speaks about us, without us. “We are now entering an even more difficult phase of the Brexit process which, if handled the way the UK Government proposes, will have severe negative impacts for the vast majority of people in Scotland. I continue to urge the UK Government to move back from its current aggressive rhetoric and ideological obsession with a very damaging hard Brexit. “But I also urge this chamber to speak up for Scotland and put differences aside to do so.” This article is from the gov.scot website: https://www.gov.scot/news/scotlands-voice-must-be-heard/
(19/02/20) Migration Minister Ben Macpherson said: “The UK Government’s immigration proposals are an insult to Scotland – they completely disregard the needs of our employers, our public services and our communities. “There is a clear need for a fundamentally different approach to migration policy to reflect Scotland’s distinct demographic and geographical needs. The UK Government promised a system that would deliver for all of the UK including Scotland yet these proposals do not reflect the clear evidence from employers, local authorities, universities and experts about their needs. Indeed there is not a single reference to Scotland in the document. “Telling employers that they will just need to adjust will be deeply concerning to our agriculture sector; to our care sector; and to our transport sector. We need an evidence based approach to immigration policy which reflects the needs of our economy and has been developed through engagement with employers and communities. “The Scottish Government put forward a clear, workable proposal of devolving immigration powers by introducing a Scottish Visa, which would allow Scotland to attract and retain people with the skills and attributes we need for our communities and economy to flourish. “Our proposals have widespread support across the business and third sector communities in Scotland, and it is time the UK Government listened to those voices, instead of ploughing ahead with their deeply damaging proposals which will devastate the Scottish economy and our future prosperity.” ARTICLE SOURCE: Scot Gov Website https://www.gov.scot/news/response-to-uk-goverments-immigration-proposals/ 'UK immigration plans devastating for Scotland''A cross-party report has previously found Scotland faced demographic divergence with the rest of the UK – and that this will mean we have less money to spend on public services'. https://t.co/jmNETpBNAM— ScottishPoliticsNews (@ScoPoliticsNews) February 19, 2020
(17/2/20) – First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has outlined new appointments to the Scottish Government and cabinet. Following her delivery of the Scottish Budget, Kate Forbes has been nominated as Cabinet Secretary for Finance, while Fiona Hyslop will build on a hugely successful period as External Affairs Secretary by taking responsibility for the economy as Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture. As the process of Brexit, and the discussion on Scotland’s constitutional future move into a new phase, Michael Russell’s responsibilities will be expanded as Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs. Fergus Ewing will take on responsibility for tourism as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism. Jenny Gilruth has been nominated to join the Government as Minister for Europe and International Development, where she will support Michael Russell. Ben Macpherson will move to join the Finance team as Minister for Public Finance and Migration – where they will continue to make the strong economic and social case for a distinct migration policy for Scotland. Mr Macpherson will also work on issues around green and climate finance, to help ensure all of Scotland can deliver on our target of ending our contribution to climate change. He will also be tasked with ensuring that wellbeing sits at the heart of the budget process. The First Minister will propose the appointment of Kate Forbes to Cabinet and of Jenny Gilruth as a Minister to the Scottish Parliament tomorrow (Tuesday). Unveiling her new cabinet and government appointments, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “These appointments bring new talent into government and deliver a real focus, not only on driving forward our economy, but also on addressing the challenges of Brexit, increasing our population and ending Scotland’s contribution to the climate crisis. “I am pleased to make these appointments and – in particular – to be able to put Scotland’s finances and Scotland’s economy into the hands of two incredibly talented colleagues. “Fiona Hyslop has been an outstanding Cabinet Secretary, delivering a successful expansion of Scotland’s overseas presence and recognition, supporting our booming tourism industry and demonstrating the huge importance of culture – not just to our economy, but more importantly to who we are and how we see ourselves. “I know she will bring that drive, passion and sharp focus to Scotland’s economy. Working alongside Kate Forbes as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, she will continue to drive forward our economy, support our key industries and maintain Scotland’s long tradition as an outward-looking, dynamic and enterprising nation. “Ben Macpherson will continue to make the case for Scotland to have a distinct migration system in order to meet our economic, social and financial needs – and as Public Finance Minister will also take the lead on identifying ways to fund climate action, and he will work across government to build a wellbeing economy. “Jenny Gilruth will join government for the first time – having proven herself as a talented and hard-working MSP – and takes on the role of Minister for Europe and International Development. She will have the important task of promoting Scotland, building new links in a post-Brexit environment and delivering on our global responsibilities – and I know she is more than up to that challenge.” New Appointments •Cabinet Secretary for Finance – Kate Forbes (who also retains her current responsibility for the Digital Economy) •Public Finance and Migration – Ben Macpherson •Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Fair Work and Culture – Fiona Hyslop •Minister for Europe and International Development – Jenny Gilruth New Responsibilities •Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs – Michael Russell •Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Tourism – Fergus Ewing Article Source: Scot Gov Website >> https://www.gov.scot/news/cabinet-appointments/
Latest Featured News Articles From the gov.scot website Boosting Scotland’s exports First Minister stresses importance of international links. Efforts are being stepped up to help Scottish companies increase their exports following Brexit. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told business leaders and trade experts it was more important than ever for Scotland to strengthen its ties with other nations. In a keynote speech at the CBI’s International Trade conference in Edinburgh, the First Minister detailed initiatives being taken to help meet the Scottish Government’s 10 year target of increasing exports from 20 per cent to 25 per cent of Scotland’s GDP. READ MORE: https://www.gov.scot/news/boosting-scottish-exports/ A new bank for Scotland Scottish National Investment Bank Bill passes stage 3. Legislation to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank has been passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. The new institution will direct investments that deliver economic, environmental and social returns, and help Scotland’s journey towards net-zero carbon emissions. It will aim to increase innovation, give support to small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and build a high-tech and inclusive economy. The bank is expected to be operational before the end of the year. It will have an initial capitalisation of £2 billion over 10 years with the aim that it will ultimately become self-financing. Economy Secretary Derek Mackay said: “The Scottish National Investment Bank has the potential to transform Scotland’s society by powering innovation and building a high-tech, inclusive economy. READ MORE: https://www.gov.scot/news/a-new-bank-for-scotland/ Refreshed plan for economic growth New website among range of actions. A new website which makes it easier for businesses to get information and support is one of the measures in a refreshed Economic Action Plan for Scotland. Findbusinesssupport.gov.scot contains hundreds of products, services and events from Scotland’s enterprise and skills agencies, and will be further developed to host content from across Scotland’s public sector. The new site is one of the commitments in the refreshed plan, launched by Economy Secretary Derek Mackay at a business breakfast in Edinburgh. READ MORE: https://www.gov.scot/news/refreshed-plan-for-economic-growth/ Most vulnerable at risk from Brexit Report finds 137 separate impacts. The UK’s exit from the EU is highly likely to negatively impact the most vulnerable people in Scotland, a new report has found. ‘The Social and Equality Impacts of Brexit’ is an independent report, commissioned by the Scottish Government, which has identified 137 potential impacts on those already facing inequality, discrimination, or social exclusion. The report highlights impacts including the loss of legal rights, employment protections, funding opportunities, healthcare rights, and supply and access to food, fuel and medicines. Communities Secretary Aileen Campbell said: “The Scottish Government has repeatedly warned that any kind of Brexit will be disastrous for our most vulnerable citizens. “The UK Government failed to carry out any meaningful assessment on the impact of Brexit, including an Equality Impact Assessment. The Scottish Government asked an independent expert Dr Eve Hepburn to review the social and equality impacts of leaving the EU on people in Scotland and across the UK. READ MORE: https://www.gov.scot/news/most-vulnerable-at-risk-from-brexit/
First Minister: “Democracy must and will prevail.” The democratic case for Scotland having the ability to choose its own constitutional future is published today in a new document. The paper – entitled “Scotland’s Right to Choose: Putting Scotland’s Future in Scotland’s Hands” – lays out the detailed case for how and why the country should be able to have the choice of independence in a referendum. The document includes a specific call on the UK Government to “enter discussions about the Scottish Government’s mandate for giving the people of Scotland a choice, and to agree legislation with the Scottish Government that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.” Launching the document at Bute House in Edinburgh, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “It is a fundamental democratic principle that decisions on Scotland’s constitutional future should rest with the people who live here. “As this document lays out, the Scottish Government has a clear democratic mandate to offer people a choice on that future in an independence referendum, and the UK Government has a democratic duty to recognise that. Last week’s General Election has only strengthened that mandate. “Today, I am publishing the constitutional and democratic case for Scotland having that choice. “It is rooted in the principle of self-determination, in the material change of circumstances since the 2014 exercise of that right, and in the democratic mandate that exists for offering the choice afresh. “In a voluntary association of nations such as the UK, it cannot be in the interest of any part for our right to choose our own future to be conditional, or time limited or a one-off. “Nor is it right for it to be over-ridden by a Prime Minister, or indeed a First Minister. “It is a fundamental right of self-determination. The ability for Scotland to exercise that right now matters because the alternative is a future we have rejected. “The mandate we have to offer the Scottish people a choice over their future is, by any normal standard of democracy, unarguable.” The First Minister added: “We are therefore today calling for the UK Government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence. “Together with the constitutional and democratic case for that transfer of power, we are also publishing the draft legislation that would give effect to it. “Of course, I anticipate that in the short term we will simply hear a restatement of the UK Government’s opposition. But they should be under no illusion that this will be an end of the matter. “In this context, the question is often posed to me – what will you do if the Prime Minister says no? “But the document we are publishing today turns the question on its head. “It is for the Prime Minister to defend why he believes the UK is not a voluntary union of equal nations. It is for him to set out why he does not believe people in Scotland have the right to self-determination. “And it is for the Prime Minister to explain why he believes it is acceptable to ignore election after election in Scotland and to over-ride a democratic mandate stronger than the one he claims for his Brexit deal. “We live in a democracy, and ultimately democracy must and will prevail.” VIEW THE FULL PDF DOCUMENT ON THE SCOT GOV WEBSITE: https://www.gov.scot/binaries/content/documents/govscot/publications/publication/2019/12/scotlands-right-choose-putting-scotlands-future-scotlands-hands/documents/scotlands-right-to-choose-putting-scotlands-future-in-scotlands-hands/scotlands-right-to-choose-putting-scotlands-future-in-scotlands-hands/govscot%3Adocument/scotlands-right-choose-putting-scotlands-future-scotlands-hands.pdf