Today Colin Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, welcomed the Scottish Government’s financial support for local families to negate the effects of the ‘bedroom tax’.
The support so far this year comes to £384,481 for East Lothian, resulting in an average award of £432 across 891 families.
Colin remarked: “Any right-thinking person would consider the ‘bedroom tax’ to be an abhorrent method of punishing those in our communities who need the most support.
“If ever further proof was needed to display the differences between how the SNP Scottish Government want to help people, and how the Tories want to take from the poor and give to the rich, then this is it.
“I am proud to be a Member of the Scottish Parliament for a party that wants to help the poorest in our communities. We will continue to do what we can to mitigate the constant barrage of cuts to the welfare state that the Tories are thoughtlessly deploying.”
Local MSP Colin Beattie is today welcoming funding of £300,000 for Midothian to improve the learning environment in our schools and allow for greater partnership working between schools and colleges. The funding will be used to create four Learning Spaces of the Future – a “state of the art” learning space which would be incorporated into existing vacant classrooms within schools.
Commenting, Colin Beattie MSP said:
“This latest funding underlines the SNP Scottish government’s commitment to ensuring every child receives a world class education and will create the modern and creative new learning spaces we need to achieve this.
“The SNP already has a strong record of delivery on schools - since 2007, 520 schools across Scotland have been built or refurbished.
“But we know that we need to do more to ensure every child has an equal chance to succeed – that’s why the First Minister has made closing the educational attainment gap a priority. If re-elected in 2016, the SNP will continue to build on our strong record on education and will deliver in the face of harsh Westminster cuts.”
The SNP is today welcoming another very encouraging poll showing support for the party remains at an extraordinary level after eight years in government.
Today’s TNS poll reported by the Herald online puts support for the SNP at 62 per cent on the constituency vote – up two per cent compared with the last TNS poll and a full 42 points ahead of Labour.
On the list vote, support for the SNP is up three points to 54 per cent, while Labour are down one on 20 per cent.
Commenting, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay MSP said:
“This is another exceptional poll showing support for the SNP remains at extraordinary levels after eight years in government – it is also a vote of confidence in our 56 new SNP MPs, who are working hard for Scotland and have already secured Tory climbdowns on issues such as English Votes for English Laws, fox hunting and the Human Rights Act.
“We take absolutely nothing for granted, and will keep working hard every day between now and next year’s Holyrood election to retain the trust of people right across Scotland as we look to build on our record of delivery and success.
“Since coming to office in 2007 we have frozen council tax, protected free higher education, scrapped prescription charges, boosted apprenticeship numbers by almost 60 per cent, protected free personal care, maintained the concessionary travel scheme, increased Scotland’s health budget to record levels, and protected those hardest hit by unfair Tory welfare cuts. All this has been in the face of massive Westminster cuts to our budget.
“If re-elected in 2016, the SNP will build on our strong record and deliver further improvements. We will also continue to use the powers we have to strengthen and grow the Scottish economy – and push the case at Westminster for the further powers we need to create more and better jobs and to tackle poverty and inequality.”
Labour should apologise for the their shameless scaremongering in the midst of this year’s school exam diet as the results published today reveal a pass rate consistent with previous years.
Speaking as it is revealed that 70.8 per cent of candidates passed the exam, SNP MSP George Adam, applauded the hard work of young people and teachers but called on Kezia Dugdale to apologise for her deliberate attempt to scaremonger.
Ms Dugdale used FMQs and media articles to raise fears over the exam including stating in May that the results were a “coming storm”. Her approach was slated by her leadership rival Ken Macintosh who branded Ms Dugdale as “obsessed with the SNP, almost rabidly anti-SNP” and ridiculed the attacks on the Scottish Government saying: “At FMQs every week we stand up, take whatever the issue of the day is and say it is all the SNP’s fault. Take a few recent examples: the Higher maths exam or Scottish students’ inability to learn more than one language – are we really saying that is the fault of the SNP?”
Overall, young people across Scotland have achieved a record number of Higher passes with 156,000 attaining A to C qualifications this year, including Higher English up 17.7 per cent and Higher Modern Languages up 15.2 per cent compared to 2014.
Commenting, SNP MSP George Adam said:
“These figures are great news for Scotland’s young people but disastrous for Kezia Dugdale.
“She set out to scaremonger and deliberately ignored the simple fact that the exam varies in difficulty between years. The system then accounts for that fact in deciding what grade to award. Instead of recognising this reality, she attempted to use the exams for political purposes even while they were still going on.
“Even Ken Macintosh realised how badly wrong she had got this. Now the figures are out and we can see that her scaremongering for the shabby political posturing it was. She owes the young people of Scotland an apology.
“Candidates have delivered a record number of Higher passes. And this comes against a background of a record percentage of school leavers in employment, education or training.
“These results are down to the hard work and ability of school pupils, the support of their families, the dedication of their teachers and the professionalism of the Scottish Qualifications Authority. Politicians of every stripe should back their efforts. I hope Labour learns that lesson in future.”