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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.”

 

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.”

Minimum Unit Pricing

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, Welcomes Supreme Court Minimum Price Ruling

Policy Will Help Improve Scotland’s Relationship With Alcohol

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed the UK Supreme Court’s ruling that the Scottish Government’s minimum unit pricing policy is legal, allowing the legislation to proceed as part of efforts to improve Scotland’s damaging relationship with alcohol.

 

The policy was passed by the Scottish Parliament in 2012, but has been delayed due to a long-running legal challenge. Today’s ruling allows it to go ahead, setting a minimum unit price on alcohol of 50 pence.

 

Minimum unit pricing is backed by academic research, which suggests that the policy will cut alcohol-related deaths and reduce hospital admissions linked to alcohol misuse, which costs Scotland £3.6 billion every year.

 

  

Commenting, George said:

 

“This is excellent news, and a clear vindication of the Scottish Government’s policy.

 

“This ruling now allows us to go ahead with the policy that was overwhelmingly backed by the Scottish Parliament five years ago and take the action that is needed to cut alcohol-related deaths and reduce hospital admissions

 

“The health and wellbeing of people across Scotland is absolutely paramount – and the fact that alcohol misuse costs Scotland £3.6 billion every year shows how damaging our relationship with alcohol is.

 

“Given the clear and proven link between consumption and harm, minimum pricing is the most effective and efficient way to tackle the cheap, high strength alcohol that causes so much damage to so many families.

 

“We will continue to support the whisky industry and work alongside them to ensure their economic success, while maintaining our commitment to promote safe and responsible alcohol consumption.

 

“Scotland is the first country in the world to implement such a policy – and we should be proud of our pioneering approach that will benefit Paisley and Scotland for generations.”

 

George sma shot portrait

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Business Bonus Benefitting Local Companies In Paisley


Scottish Government Scheme Supports 2665 Businesses With Rates Relief

 

The Scottish Government’s Small Business Bonus scheme has helped to support 2598 of businesses in Renfrewshire this year – with the new figures proving once again the SNP Scottish Government’s commitment to local jobs and communities, Paisleys MSP, George Adam has said.

 

Across Scotland, the Small Business Bonus Scheme, brought about by the SNP Government in 2008/09, paid out over £226 million in 2017-18, supporting over 103,000 local firms by reducing their rates liability and taking some firms out of business rates altogether.

 

And across Paisley, the number of firms benefitting from this flagship Scottish Government policy has risen from 1797 in 2008 to 2665 in 2017/18, with 6.6 million being spent across Renfrewshire to support local businesses this year.

 

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“These figures prove the success of the Small Business Bonus for firms across Paisley.

 

“To have 2665 businesses in Renfrewshire and over 103,000 across Scotland benefitting from this policy is good for jobs and good for communities – helping to keep more money in our neighbourhoods and boosting our high streets.

 

“Over the last decade, the Scottish Government has taken strong action to support local businesses, while other parties have carped from the sidelines and chased cheap headlines rather than actually doing anything to support local jobs.

 

“It is the SNP that has delivered over £226 million of rates relief across Scotland in 2017/18 – and over 6.6 million in Renfrewshire alone.

 

“Only the SNP are taking the necessary action to help our local firms – and it is great to see 2598 firms benefitting from this in the last year.”

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, backs musicians in his constituency to get the best possible deal from Brexit

 

Musicians are very concerned that the Brexit process may lead to the introduction of individual member state work permits and/or visas for British musicians touring and working across Europe.

 

Most professional musicians and performers rely on touring and travelling for their careers and livelihoods and gigs are often organised at short notice.

 

As some performers can be working in several different European countries over the course of a few days, the possible introduction of work permissions and/or visas for British musicians touring and working in Europe could be extremely detrimental.

The Musicians’ Union launched its free movement campaign in Spring 2017.

 

Over 150 MSPs, MPs, Peers and MEPs have signed the pledge to do all they can to ensure musicians can travel freely and easily post-Brexit for time-limited activities such as touring and performing, with minimum administrative burdens.

 

A petition launched in September has attracted over 19,000 signatures, with the majority of people signing via a Change.org petition.

 

The MU is also encouraging all musicians to share their experiences of touring, performing, teaching and other work in the EU on social media using the hashtag #WorkingInTheEU.

 

The creative industries are worth over £87bn in GVA to the UK economy – more than oil and gas, life sciences and aerospace combined – and is the fastest-growing sector of the economy, employing 1 in 11 people.

 

The UK has the largest cultural economy in the world relative to GDP, is the largest producer of recorded music in Europe, and is the second largest exporter of music (after the US).

 

It is vital we get the best possible deal for the sector in a number of areas that have been so critical to its success – the ability to tour and trade easily with the UK’s largest export market and to attract talent, IP protection, EU arts funding, workers’ rights and the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

 

Horace Trubridge, Musicians’ Union General Secretary says: “British musicians have long enjoyed easy access to touring in Europe, as UK venues and festivals have benefited from easy access to European performers. We know from touring in the US elsewhere, that visas and other restrictions impose significant costs and administration, and occasionally considerable financial loss when visas aren’t processed in time. We are calling on MPs and the Government to help secure a deal that will ensure ease of movement for touring and performing post-Brexit”.

 

George said: “Today, I confirmed my support for professional musicians and performers in my constituency, and will urge the Government to ensure that they can continue to be able to travel easily across Europe post-Brexit for touring and performing with minimum administrative burdens”.

George Adam MSP Backs Charity’s Campaign Calling On Restaurants To Consider Customers With Hearing Loss

George Adam MSP is backing a charity campaign calling on restaurants across Paisley to consider improving their acoustics for customers who have hearing loss.

 

As part of its Speak Easy campaign, Action on Hearing Loss Scotland is highlighting that high levels of background music or the buzz of loud chatter between customers can cause difficulties for people who use hearing aids to follow conversations with their fellow diners.

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said: “Everyone loves going out for a meal but Action on Hearing Loss Scotland tell me they are often contacted by people who are hard of hearing about intrusive levels of background noise, exacerbated by hard surfaces, which can create real difficulties in hearing their dining companions.

“I’m pleased to support the charity’s Speak Easy campaign which is encouraging customers with hearing loss to give feedback to restaurants so that they can consider the many small but very effective ways in which they can be more accessible.”

 

Delia Henry, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Scotland, said: “Restaurants in Paisley which may be inadvertently deterring customers with hearing loss from making bookings can significantly improve their accessibility by reducing the volume of background noise in perhaps parts of their venue, using soft furnishings that better absorb sound, and by considering investing in better acoustic treatments.”

 

The charity’s campaign is also urging customers to leave reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor to help others to decide if the restaurants they have visited are suitable for hard of hearing people.

Action on Hearing Loss’s Speak Easy campaign pack can be downloaded www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/SpeakEasy

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, Backs Huge Expansion Of Free Childcare

 

Childcare Spending To Double To £840 Million A Year

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed the First Minister’s announcement that childcare spending will double to £840 million a year – signalling a huge expansion in free early learning and childcare provision across Scotland.

 

The move reaffirms the SNP Government’s commitment to making Scotland the best place in the world to grow up, and is part of efforts to nearly double free childcare entitlement to 1140 hours from August 2020 – and it is expected to save parents around £350 per child, per month.

 

The SNP Scottish Government has also taken positive action by providing the innovative baby box to all expectant parents in Scotland – as well as providing 100% business rates relief for all nursery premises.

 

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“This expansion of childcare and early learning will help transform young people’s lives in Paisley.

 

“We know that some parents continue to struggle with childcare costs to allow them to work – and this expansion will change that.

 

“Delivering 30 hours a week of free childcare for every three and four year old in Scotland, as well as eligible two year olds will give children across Paisley the very best start in life and play a vital role in our efforts to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up.

 

“The fact that this announcement comes hot on the heels of the recently launched Scottish baby box and the decision to remove nursery premises from business rates altogether proves the SNP’s commitment to our young people in Paisley.

 

“The move will help parents back into work, as well as saving them around £350 per child, per month, on childcare costs. This doubling of our investment, from £420 million to £840 million every year by 2021-22 is exactly the kind of support and progressive action that the SNP Government continues to deliver for Scotland.”