George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

SNP Government Seeks Views To Shape Loneliness Strategy

Paisleys MSP, George Adam is calling on constituents in Paisley to contribute to the Scottish Government’s new consultation looking at the causes of social isolation and loneliness and how they can be addressed.

The consultation will run until 30 April and will thereafter feed into a new national strategy, one of the first in the world, to tackle loneliness and isolation. A national strategy to combat loneliness was a key ask of the Jo Cox Commission, which welcomed this announcement.

Views are also being sought on how communities can build on the work of the Scottish Government, and lead on ensuring those at risk of becoming lonely or isolated have access to the right support networks.

Commenting, George said:

“It’s important that voices from across Paisley get involved in the Scottish Government’s consultation to help shape the new loneliness and isolation strategy, especially since each and every one of us has a role to play in reducing loneliness in Scotland.

“Dealing with loneliness and isolation can be incredibly difficult, and by reaching out to our neighbours or anyone we think may be at risk of becoming isolated or lonely – by taking them out, doing a good deed or simply having a chat – we can all have a hugely positive impact.

Young or old – loneliness doesn’t discriminate and it is linked to both poor physical and mental health, and can have wide-ranging consequences on so many aspects of our lives.

“The SNP Government will be the first country in the UK and one of the first in the world to develop a national strategy to address loneliness and isolation, but this strategy needs our communities and society to lead the way in ensuring those at risk of loneliness get the support they need. I would encourage as many people as possible in Paisley to have a say on this very important issue by contributing to the consultation.”

Analysis Shows Single Market Essential For Paisley

Cost Of A Hard Tory Brexit: £2,300 Loss Per Person.

 

New economic impact analysis by the Scottish Government has confirmed that the best way to protect the local economy and household incomes in Paisley is through Scotland remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union.

Tom Arthur MSP, Derek MacKay MSP, George Adam MSP & Gavin Newlands MP

Failure by the Tory government to secure a Brexit deal would see Scotland take a £12.7 billion economic hit, equivalent to £2,300 per year for each person in Paisley. The analysis also shows that a ‘Canada-type’ deal with the EU, with limited access to the Single Market, would still leave people in Paisley £1,610 worse off per head.

 

Other key findings show that remaining in the Single Market could create new opportunities for the local economy in Paisley to flourish, and that continued freedom of movement is required to support economic growth. Local industries such as our NHS is dependent upon free movement. Figures show that EU citizens currently working in Paisley currently contribute an average of £10,400 in tax revenues.

 

Commenting, George Adam, Paisleys MSP said:

 

“The best way to protect the economy and jobs in Paisley is to ensure that Scotland remains within the European Single Market and Customs Union.

 

“This latest analysis by the Scottish Government shows just how important that is for people living in Paisley – who would be left £2,300 worse off in the result of a hard Brexit scenario that the Tories seem to be on course for.

 

“People in Paisley voted decisively to remain in the European Union. We’re almost two years on from the vote and they UK government has failed to provide certainty for businesses and our public services which rely on free trade and free movement with the rest of the EU.

 

“The decisions taken over the coming months will be absolutely vital for jobs and the future of the local economy in Paisley. Failing to back Scotland’s continued place in Europe would have serious consequences and would be an absolute tragedy for future generations.”

 

Tory Tax Plans Could Mean £111.9 Million Cut To NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

 

Tory tax proposals could mean cuts of up to £111.9 in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde, according to new Scottish Government analysis.

 

With the Scottish Parliament set to vote on Stage 1 of the budget this month, the Tories are proposing tax cuts for high earners that would leave a £500 million hole in the budget.

 

With health receiving the largest share of devolved spending, a £500 million fall in available spending would see the NHS in the firing line – and NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde could lose up to 2680 nurses.


Commenting, Paisleys MSP, George Adam said:

 

“Under the SNP, the NHS has record staffing and record funding – and the draft budget would see that funding increased.

 

“But this investment is only possible because of the decisions taken by the Scottish Government, with progressive policies seeing higher earnings paying slightly more to support public services.

 

“The Tory tax plans would blow a £500 million hole in our budget – and that’s on top of a decade of UK government austerity.

 

“That would risk valuable public services in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, including the NHS – and would be equivalent to cutting 2680 nurses in the region – and the Tories should explain why they’d prefer to give a handout to millionaires than to fund our hospitals.”

 

 

 

 

5621 Baby Boxes Delivered In Greater Glasgow and Clyde In First Six Months of Scheme

 

 

Latest figures from the Scottish Government have revealed that the transformative Baby Box policy has already benefitted 5621 newborns across Greater Glasgow and Clyde since they were introduced last year – and over 22,000 across Scotland.

 

The Baby Box is a key part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to making Scotland the very best place in the world to grow up – and contains important items for parents and babies alike, such as baby clothes, a digital ear thermometer, a bath towel, a changing mat and books.

 

The box itself also doubles as a bed for a newborn, containing a mattress, mattress protector and fitted sheet – providing a safe and warm place for babies to sleep.

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

 

“It is excellent to see so many families across Paisley and Greater Glasgow and Clyde benefitting from the Baby Box.

 

“The Boxes are a really positive Scottish Government initiative providing parents with many of the essentials they need to care for their child.

 

“From thermometers to towels, changing mats to clothes – the boxes are a fantastic way of giving children in Paisley the very best start in life.

 

“That 5621 boxes have already been provided to parents across Greater Glasgow & Clyde, part of a total of over 22,000 across Scotland, shows how popular they are proving with parents in every corner of the country – and given how beneficial they are to parents and newborns, long may that continue.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, Encourages Flu Jab Take Up

George Adam has urged all eligible adults in Paisley to take up the offer of a free flu vaccination.

Everyone aged 65 and over, pregnant women and people at most risk of serious illness are offered the flu vaccination on the NHS.

Flu rates in Scotland doubled in December with the most recent figures from Health Protection Scotland showing around 46 Scots in every 100,000 were suffering from the virus, comparing to 22 in every 100,000 for the same week in 2016.

George said:

“It’s not too late to get the flu jab – and if you’re eligible for vaccination on the NHS it’s important that you take that offer.

“Cases of flu were at double the rate in December as the previous year, and can be a serious illness that can make even healthy people very unwell.

“NHS staff in Renfrewshire are doing a tremendous job at a tough time of year, and we should all do our bit to not add unnecessary pressure on the health service.

“If you’re eligible, please make getting the vaccination a priority and book an appointment with your GP practice or health board as soon as possible.”

SNP Budget Protects Public Services

Pay Rise For Public Sector Workers – And Lower Taxes For Many

The Scottish Government’s budget protects low and middle income earners and delivers for public services and public sector workers, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said – after Finance Secretary Derek Mackay laid his plans before the Scottish Parliament.

The budget delivers progressive reforms to Scotland’s income tax system, with modest increases on high earners while a majority of taxpayers will pay less than in the rest of the UK. Polling has found that most Scots back an increase in income tax for those who can afford it.

Mr Mackay also outlined plans to spend an additional £400 million on the NHS, an expansion in childcare, more spending on broadband, extra funding for our police and fire services – and a pay rise for hard-working public sector employees.

Commenting, George said:

“This is a budget for a stronger economy and a fairer society – with increased funding for our NHS and protection for low and middle income earners.

“The Scottish Government is delivering lower income tax for the vast majority of Scots, with every worker earning less than £33,000 paying less in tax next year – while protecting public services across Paisley that we all hold dear.

“This budget brings an additional £400 million for our NHS, delivers a pay rise for public sector workers, £756 million for affordable homes, additional funding for the arts and culture sector, a £4 billion investment in infrastructure, including in superfast broadband – as well as significant investments in research, education and childcare.

“In the face of the challenges presented by a cut to Scottish Government funding, ongoing Tory austerity, and their extreme Brexit – this budget provides the investment we need to meet these challenges and seize the opportunities of tomorrow.”

SNP Funding Boosts Teacher Numbers Across Paisley

MSP Praises Education Commitment In Face Of Tory, Labour And Lib Dem Opposition

 

SNP Government education funding has boosted teacher numbers across Renfrewshire – part of an increase of 543 teachers across Scotland – as part of the Scottish Government’s commitment to education, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has said.

 

Teacher numbers in Renfrewshire have risen from 1,633 to 1,656 – while the number across Scotland has increased substantially to 51,513 – 543 more than last year, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers being funded through the Attainment Scotland Fund, money that the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems voted against.

 

There has also been an improvement in the pupil teacher ratio across Scotland, while skills in reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy are strong – with the proportion of S3 pupils achieving Curriculum for Excellence Third Level or better being between 88% and 91% for each skillset.

 

George Adam MSP

Commenting, George said:

 

“These figures prove that the SNP Government’s approach is working for schools across Paisley and throughout Scotland.

 

“Despite Tory, Labour and Lib Dem opposition, the SNP is delivering funding aimed at increasing teacher numbers and cutting the attainment gap – and this is already bearing fruit.

 

“We now have 23 more teachers in Renfrewshire than we did this time last year, and an additional 543 across Scotland. With this record of delivery, it is no surprise that pupils are performing strongly across reading, writing, listening, talking and numeracy.

 

“The SNP has made closing the attainment gap a key priority of this parliament – and these latest statistics show that our efforts are making progress on this, with 666 full-time equivalent teachers across Scotland being funded by the Attainment Scotland Fund.

 

“It is important that we don’t get complacent and keep working to improve education in Scotland – but given the clear progress that has been made, it would be good to see the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems dropping their political opposition and getting behind our positive efforts to support our young people across Paisley.”

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam Encourages Parents In Paisley To Make Use Of Free Flu Vaccine

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam is encouraging all parents and guardians of 2-5 year olds in Paisley to take advantage of the free flu vaccine before Christmas.

 

In a bid to keep children virus-free this winter, GP practices across Scotland are providing the nasal flu vaccine free of charge.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“With only two weeks left until Christmas I am urging all parents or guardians in Paisley who haven’t yet done so, to take their children between the ages of two and five to their local GP for the free flu vaccine.

 

“The nasal spray only takes a few minutes, is painless, and does not contain a live virus so will not cause flu in your child and can protect against flu for up to a year.

 

“It’s very important that children receive the vaccine, which the best defence against flu for your children and also helps reduce the spread of infectious flu.”

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, Encourages Shoppers To Keep It Local This Small Business Saturday

 

George Adam MSP

George Adam MSP is encouraging consumers in Paisley and across Scotland to shop locally and support the local economy this Small Business Saturday (2nd December).

 

Small Business Saturday boosted takings by £717m last year in Scotland, and with research showing that money spent locally is more likely to stay in the local economy, a key aim of this campaign is to encourage lasting, year-round support for small businesses.

 

There are 4,685 small businesses in Renfrewshire, employing 28,430 workers.

 

George Adam said:

“Small businesses are the backbone of the economy and account for 99% of all businesses across the country, supporting jobs and growth in our communities as well as providing an invaluable service to consumers.

 

“Since 2009, the SNP Government’s Small Business Bonus Scheme has provided a total of £1.5bn rates relief and last year a £500m growth fund was set up to cope with the new challenges posed by a Tory hard Brexit.

 

“Paisley has a huge variety of brilliant independent, locally run businesses such as Bianco Nero, Zambretto, Castlevecchi, With Love Flowers, Eigen & Helen’s Haberdashery. Each small business offers something unique and special, and it’s important that we support them in a market that’s increasingly dominated by the big players.

 

“That’s why I’d suggest kicking off your Christmas shopping this weekend, if you haven’t already, by sampling the delights on your door step and visiting your local businesses this Small Business Saturday and beyond to ensure our local businesses thrive.”

Record Number of Scots At Uni

Brexit Blamed For Fall In EU Students

 

The latest UCAS figures reveal that a record number of Scots were accepted to UK universities in 2017 and Scottish universities opened their doors to record numbers of new students.

 

While all other UK countries saw a decrease in the number of their residents accepted to university, Scotland bucks the trend with increasing numbers of Scots accepted to universities here.

 

Meanwhile, after years of positive growth, UCAS has cited Brexit as a possible cause for the 4.4% decline in EU applicants choosing to come and study in the UK.

 

The damage that this Brexit-fuelled reduction in EU students will do to both our economy and the world of academia is highlighted by the Universities UK research which found that EU students generated £414.1m for the Scottish economy in 2011-12, and in doing so created 3,743 jobs.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

 “It is fantastic that Scotland’s education system has supported 36,500 people to secure a place at university this year – that’s a 2.4% increase on last year.

 

 “We are also bucking the trend with increasing numbers of Scots accepted to universities here, while all other UK nations have experienced a decline in local applications to university.

 

“And while it’s great that Scottish universities opened their doors to record numbers in 2017, it is concerning that the UK has become an increasingly less popular destination for EU students since the Brexit vote last year. This is bad news for our universities and for the wider Scottish economy, which is boosted by hundreds of millions of pounds generated by EU students each year.

 

“The Tories’ increasingly insular approach to the world and the endless uncertainty they have created for EU citizens living here in Paisley is damaging the UK’s reputation, our economy and future prosperity, and the SNP will do all in its power to protect EU citizens in Paisley and continue making Scotland an attractive place to work and study.”