The No campaign has shot itself in the foot with the recent developments that they call themselves “Project Fear”.
A poll conducted by Angus Reid shows that support for independence stands at 34% while support for continuing with a Westminster-ruled union has fallen to 47% (down 3%) since their last poll.
The poll highlights that a 6.5% swing would put the Yes campaign in the driving seat.
Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, said:
“This poll clearly shows that months of scaremongering and negative campaigning have failed to keep Scots from seeing the positive message behind independence.
“The recent revelation that they call themselves Project Fear is alienating their supporters and forcing them to reconsider their stance. Their assertions that mobile phone charges would increase – despite the EU abolishing roaming charges only weeks before – and the threats to annex Faslane, shows the No campaign are clutching at straws. One of their own campaigners, Jackson Carlaw, the deputy leader of the Scottish Tories, even described the No campaign’s scare stories as “silly”.
“There a number of no voters who are becoming undecided and far more open-minded about the positive vision of independence. A vision of a fairer, more democratic, prosperous Scotland. With just a 6.5% swing needed, we are confident that we can win a YES vote next September.”
Household bills have increased by 61% during the same period where council tax has been frozen, according to new figures.
Since the SNP formed a minority government in 2007, the Council Tax has been frozen but these new figures showed that bills soared by 61.1% from 2007 to 2012. Meanwhile, petrol prices have risen 44.7% and food costs have risen by 37.5%.
By contrast gross median weekly pay has increased by just 9% over the same period with wages actually falling in the UK by 5.5% since 2010, the fourth worst drop in pay in the EU.
Midlothian North and Musselburgh MSP, Colin Beattie, said:
“These figures are deeply worrying. The Scottish Government has done what it can by freezing the Council Tax but bills are rising in areas which we have control over. Astronomical bills will only further hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society, particularly this increase of 61% on energy bills which I am sure will put many households into fuel poverty.
“A YES vote in the independence referendum will give the Scottish Government the power to act on these issues. With the full powers, which come with independence, we can take steps to reduce inequality and ease the pressure that is on so many households at the moment.”
We are working hard to make Scotland Europe’s green energy powerhouse
Scotland has enviable green energy resources which are delivering jobs and investment to communities across the country. It is estimated that 25% of Europe’s offshore wind and tidal energy potential is in Scottish waters and 10% of Europe’s capacity for wave power. 11,000 people are now employed in the renewable energy sector and that number will rise.
We have the target of generating the equivalent of 100 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs from renewables by 2020. This is an ambitious but achievable goal, with the equivalent of almost 39% of Scotland’s total electricity needs coming from renewables in 2012, maintaining progress towards the Scottish Government’s target of 50% by 2015.
We are concerned regarding the rising cost of energy – renewables are an important part of tackling this, offering energy security for the people of Scotland and protecting us all from price shock.Scotland produces more electricity than we require – we are a net exporter. Following independence, we will continue with the GB-wide integrated energy and electricity markets.
As Energy Minister Fergus Ewing has said: “The reality is that we will continue with the UK energy market, because it makes sense. Our renewable energy potential, our expertise, our jobs and our industries require it, as do English businesses, engineers, experts and consumers.”
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What about free prescriptions?
In 2011 the SNP government abolished prescription charges for all – returning Scotland’s NHS to its founding principles. The SNP remain committed to maintaining the NHS as a universal service – free at the point of need.
Devolution has allowed the Scottish Parliament to make this decision – protecting Scots from the rising charges we’ve seen in England. Prescription charges have now reached £7.85 south of the border and many long-term conditions still do not entitle someone to an exemption.
The decision to abolish prescription charges says something about the country we aspire to be. By completing Scotland’s home rule journey, we’ll have the full powers required to create a fairer and more equal society.
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Colin Beattie MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh welcomed the announcement that the Midlothian Young People’s Advice Service (MYPAS) is receiving a £282,442 grant from the Big Lottery Fund. The grant will be used to support the Young People’s Family Therapy Project which allows people aged 12-18 with mental health difficulties to participate in individual and family counselling. The aim of the counselling is to enable these young people to have better relationships with their family, school and community.
Colin Beattie MSP said:
“The additional support provided by this grant for MYPAS will allow them to expand their work and benefit those in the community that need it most. I know this project will help young people throughout Midlothian to develop the skills they need to thrive as adults.
“MYPAS has been a valuable asset to the Midlothian community and I look forward to the positive role they will continue to play in my constituency.”
You can learn more about the good work MYPAS do at their website: http://mypas.co.uk/
What about free personal care for older people?
The SNP remain absolutely committed to free personal care, which delivers better quality of life for 77,000 older vulnerable people in Scotland.
The Scottish Parliament’s commitment to free personal care says a lot about the society we want to live in. With independence we will be able to transform Scotland guided by these same values.