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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.”

 

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SNP Takes The Lead On Income Tax Discussion

Tax Must “Protect Low Earners, Be Progressive And Proportionate”

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed the publication of a discussion paper on the role of income tax in Scotland and praised the Scottish Government for taking the initiative to discuss the issue in an open and honest manner.

 

The Scottish Government’s paper includes proposals from all of Scotland’s political parties – with progressive parties backing varied measures in order to support public services, and Tory proposals supporting tax cuts for highest earners at the expense of public services.

 

The First Minister also outlined that any changes to income tax in Scotland must pass four key tests – including supporting public services, ensuring the lowest earners don’t see their taxes increase, making the system more progressive, and supporting the economy.

 

Commenting, George said:George sma shot portrait

 

“This discussion paper outlines the various proposals of Scotland’s political parties and where we stand heading towards the budget.

 

“It is perfectly clear that the Tories are isolated on taxation, as they are on so many other issues – with their proposals only offering a tax cut for the wealthiest and continued austerity for the rest of us.

 

“People in Paisley and across Scotland have the right to an open and honest discussion about the income tax that they will pay – and this is exactly what the Scottish Government is delivering.

 

“We need to be prepared to ask these difficult questions and to work with other parties to find an answer that means individuals and businesses are treated fairly and pay the right amount for the services that they receive in return.

 

“And as we work towards delivering a budget that works for Paisley and all of Scotland, we can rest assured that the Scottish Government will bring forward policy proposals that are in the interests of everyone, protecting the lowest earners and our public services in Paisley as opposed to just standing up for a wealthy few and putting our education and health services on the bonfire.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8,646 Children Eligible For Free School Meals In Renfrewshire

George town hall landscape

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam

With pupils across the country preparing to go back to school, 8,646 in Renfrewshire will be eligible for free school meals this year.

 

Throughout Scotland, over 250,000 pupils will be eligible for free school lunches – a figure that has doubled in the last three years.

 

Thanks to an SNP Government initiative in 2015, all primary 1-3 pupils are eligible for free school meals, which is of huge financial help to families.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“It’s fantastic that 8,646 of school pupils in Renfrewshire are eligible for free school meals – an integral part of ensuring that every child gets the best start in life and as much as possible out of their time in the classroom each day.

 

“Guaranteeing our youngest pupils a healthy meal during the school day helps them to learn and can save families an estimated £380 a year.

 

“This is just one of the steps the SNP Scottish Government is taking to tackle child poverty and help household incomes – and is an essential part of our central ambition to drive up standards in Scottish schools.

 

“I wish teachers and pupils alike the best of luck as they start the new academic year.”

 P1-P3 pupils only1 All primary pupils (P1-P7) Number of secondary school pupils registered for free school meals by local authority, 2017 Number of special school pupils registered for free school meals by local authority, 2017
Local Authority Primary pupils on school roll Pupils registered for free meals Pupils on the school roll Pupils registered for free meals Secondary School roll Registered for free meals Pupils on School roll Registered for free meals Total number of pupils registered/eligible for free school meals
Renfrewshire 5,584 5,584 13,068 6,950 9,651 1,432 378 264 8,646
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Excellence and Success on Results Day

George Town HallAround 136,000 students across Scotland have received their results for a wide range of SQA qualifications including National 5, Highers and SQA Awards; with the number of Higher passes exceeding 150,000 for the third year in a row. The number of skills-based awards has also more than doubled in the past five years, growing from 24,849 in 2012, to 50,148 this year.

George Adam, Paisley’s MSP said, ‘The whole country should be proud of the qualifications gained by Scotland’s young people. The amount of Higher passes achieved by students from across the country is outstanding and we should be very pleased for our hardworking children and teachers. I am also delighted to see the successes achieved in the skills-based awards, and am in no doubt that many of our young people will now go on and showcase these skills in the workplace or future learning development.’

Additionally, more students from deprived backgrounds have successfully gained a place at university according to UCAS statistics published today. The UCAS figures show the number of prospective students from the 20% most deprived areas – SIMD 20 – successfully getting a place at university has risen by 13% to record levels. Since 2015, it has increased from 3,470 to 4,150 – a rise of 20%. This comes as the total number of students from Scotland getting a place at a Scottish university hit a new record of 27,830. The figures, produced by UCAS each year to coincide with the release of Scottish exam results, mark the latest progress in the Scottish Government’s drive to widen access to higher education.

George Adam said, ‘I am delighted to see the vast amount of students gaining places at University – this is a testament to the hard work of our young people and those working tirelessly in the teaching profession. With The University of the West Scotland on my doorstep, I see for myself the excellent work they do and frequently talk to students who are enjoying studying and developing their skills at UWS. The opportunities our young people now have are endless and it is encouraging to see that so many, regardless of background, are working hard and seizing every one that comes their way.’

Schools In Paisley Get Funding Boost

George Adam MSP

George Adam MSP

A funding boost comes to Paisley as The Scottish Government announced this week that schools in Renfrewshire will receive £3,531,000 in 2017/18 to help close the poverty-related attainment gap.

 

More than £45 million of dedicated funding will be provided to primary and secondary schools across Scotland in 2017/18 to help pupils from low-income backgrounds succeed at school.

The Scottish Attainment Challenge is providing £750 million during the course of this Parliament to tackle the poverty related attainment gap. It prioritises improvements in literacy, numeracy, health and wellbeing of children adversely affected by poverty in Scotland’s Primary and Secondary schools. This funding takes the Challenge Authorities and Schools Programme into its third successive year.

Nine local authorities and an additional 72 individual schools have been allocated funding from the Scottish Attainment Challenge, for education initiatives and projects targeting Scotland’s most deprived children.

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

“Improving the education and life chances of our children and young people is the defining mission of the SNP in government.

“The Scottish Government are providing £750 million during the course of this Parliament to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap – and schools in Renfrewshire will benefit to the tune of £3,531,000 this year through our Attainment

Challenge.

“This latest round of funding will ensure that schools where the need is greatest have substantial additional funding for the coming year to improve literacy, numeracy and health and well-being.

“I’m delighted that schools in Renfrewshire are benefitting from this funding, which is targeted to improve the life chances of children and young people in Scotland.”

Scottish Economic Growth Outstrips The UK

New GDP figures show that Scotland’s economy has grown 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017, four times the UK growth rate for the same quarter.

 

Production grew by 3.1%, accounting for most of the growth in Scotland, and the services industry grew by 0.3%.

 

Since 2007, productivity in Scotland – the key driver of economic performance  –  has grown by more than 7%. In the UK as a whole productivity growth has been close to zero (0.4%).

 

Commenting on the latest GDP figures, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:russell institute

 

“We are seeing an improving picture across Scotland – the economy is growing, the number of people in employment is rising and unemployment is at historic lows.

 

“Paisley has lots to be confident about. The SNP Scottish Government’s £6 billion infrastructure plan, £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme and record investment in Modern Apprenticeships and education will continue to support Paisley’s economy.

 

“However Brexit, and being removed from the world’s largest single market, poses the biggest threat to this progress and Scotland’s economy. A blind crusade towards a hard Brexit cliff edge could cost our economy around £11 billion a year by 2030 and result in 80,000 fewer jobs, and the fall in Sterling since the referendum is already pushing up prices and squeezing household incomes. This, accompanied by relentless Tory austerity, means we cannot be complacent.

 

“The SNP has a plan to grow our economy and we will continue to work hard to support it through difficult times ahead – determined to remain an open, European nation inside the world’s largest single market.”

School Spending Boost For Renfrewshire

                                                                                                               Council Benefits From £4.7 Billion National Investment

 

Renfrewshire council benefitted from a nationwide increase of 2.7% in education spending last year – thanks to Scottish Government efforts to close the attainment gap and provide local authorities with a fair funding deal.

 

Net spending on education by local authorities across Scotland rose to £4.7 billion last year – the biggest spending area of the total £10.1 billion service expenditure in 2015-16, proving once again the SNP’s commitment to improving Scotland’s education system.

 

Last week’s budget saw local authorities benefit from £160 million of additional funding to help with service provision at a local level, as well as seeing £4,248,000  given to schools in Renfrewshire earlier this month as part of the national attainment fund.

Lochfield Primary Visiting George Adam MSP at The Scottish Parliament

Lochfield Primary School, Visiting George Adam, MSP For Paisley, at The Scottish Parliament.

 

Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:

 

“These latest local authority stats prove once again that the SNP Government is providing a strong funding deal for Renfrewshire – and is doing all it can to help close the attainment gap and improve the education system in Renfrewshire.

 

“Last week’s budget saw additional funding for Renfrewshire council to help with service provision at a local level – building on the excellent funding package for local services revealed in these figures.

 

“The Scottish Government has consistently said that education is its number one priority, and it is heartening to see that action is being taken to support Renfrewshire schools – through a 2.7% increase in funding last year and with the effective action taken in the budget this year.

 

“The £4,248,000 provided to schools across Renfrewshire through the Scottish Attainment Fund further proves the Scottish Government’s commitment to improving our education system – and action will continue to be taken by the SNP to make sure that every child, no matter their background, gets an equal chance in life.”

 

Paisley’s MSP Welcomes £4,248,000 Boost For Renfrewshire Schools

Schools in Renfrewshire will benefit from a £4,248,000 funding boost as part of the Scottish Government’s drive to improve standards in schools, it has been revealed.

 

The share each school is due to receive from the Scottish Government’s new £120 million Pupil Equity Fund has been revealed by Deputy First Minister John Swinney.

 

49 primaries and 11 secondaries across Renfrewshire are set to receive additional support worth thousands of pounds. It will be up to teachers and school leaders to decide the best way of using the funding to close the poverty related attainment gap in their schools.

 

russell instituteWelcoming the announcement, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam said:


“Every child in Scotland should have the best possible start in life, and it is unacceptable for children from the poorest backgrounds to have their chances limited by circumstances outside their control.

 

“The SNP in government has made closing the poverty-related attainment gap our number one priority, and our new £120 million Pupil Equity Fund is aimed at doing just that – supporting 49 primaries and 11 secondaries in Renfrewshire.

 

“This new announcement will let parents, teachers and school leaders in Renfrewshire see how much funding they can expect to drive up standards and tackle the inter-generational cycle of deprivation in their school.”

 

Early Years Workforce Expansion To Benefit Communities In Paisley

Scottish Government Investment Welcomed By Paisley’s MSP, George Adam.

 

The Scottish Government announcement that there will be an extra £1.5 million investment for more nursery teachers and graduates in deprived areas across Scotland has been welcomed by Paisley’s MSP, George Adam – with Renfrewshire set to receive 26 additional teachers or graduates.

 

The new staff in Renfrewshire, part of 435 nationwide, is part of the wider strategy of tackling the attainment gap and giving every child an equal start in life. The provision of extra high qualified childcare professionals will ensure that Renfrewshire’s young people benefit from the highest quality care and early years education.

 

The Scottish Government is taking decisive action to improve early years learning and childcare, including expanding guaranteed free provision from 1140 hours to 2020 hours – which will have a positive impact for families across Renfrewshire.

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Commenting, George said:

 

“This new funding is very welcome news for Renfrewshire, helping to ensure that more children in our most deprived communities are able to benefit from specialised childcare and high quality early years learning.

 

“The Scottish Government is committed to closing the attainment gap, and targeting funding in this way, as well as expanding the guaranteed free childcare provision from 1140 hours to 2020 hours, is important in making this happen, and to ensure that every child across Renfrewshire gets an equal start in life.

 

“The 26 new graduates or teachers that will be joining our workforce in Renfrewshire will help improve childcare provision in our communities, and I look forward to seeing the Scottish Government continue to invest in our children’s futures.”