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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.”

 

Scotland Must Choose Its Own Future If All Attempts To Compromise Rejected

Yesterday The Prime Minister made it clear the UK is heading for an economically disastrous hard Brexit.

Nearly seven months since the referendum – the Scottish Government is still the only administration to publish a detailed plan on how to deal with Brexit and the economic, social, democratic and cultural risks associated with it.

Scotland voted overwhelming to remain in the EU and the Scottish Government is doing all it can to make sure the Tories cannot ignore and act against Scotland’s interests.

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Commenting, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, said:

 

“Theresa May today confirmed that she plans to take the UK towards an economically dangerous hard Brexit. The Prime Minister has chosen to pander to the obsessions of the hard-right of her Tory party, rather than act in the best interests of the country.

 

“Today’s speech made it clear she’s looking at  replacing our membership of the single market with a low wage, de-regulated economy that would see a race to the bottom – leaving everyone worse off as a result.

 

“If the Tories get away with dragging Scotland out of the EU and the Single Market they’ll think they can get away with anything.

 

“The Scottish Government has published compromise proposals that will keep Scotland in the Single Market and the Tories at Westminster must now show they are taking these plans seriously.

 

“The  Tory government must not be able to take Scotland out of the EU and the single market, regardless of the impact on our economy, jobs, living standards and our reputation as an open, tolerant country, without Scotland having the ability to choose between that and a better future.”

Paisley’s MSP Backs SNP Stimulus In Brexit Aftermath

George Adam has backed the Scottish Government’s commitment to stimulate the economy with new infrastructure funding in the wake of the EU referendum.

 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced an additional £100m of funding in this financial year to speed up the delivery of health and other infrastructure projects – as well as the establishment of a new service to provide information and support to businesses affected by the EU referendum.

 

Projects will be assessed for accelerated funding against a range of criteria including how quickly work can start, the number of jobs that will be supported or created, the likely impact on the supply chain and geographic spread.deputy-first-minister2 (1)

 

George has called on the UK Government to urgently announce its own economic stimulus package, which would enable the Scottish Government to do even more to accelerate capital spending to support communities in Paisley and across Scotland.

 

Commenting, George said:

 

“Nicola Sturgeon has been clear that the Scottish Government will pursue all possible options to protect Scotland’s relationship with the EU.

 

“But in the meantime we must do all we can to ensure that our economy doesn’t suffer, hitting jobs and investment in Paisley and across the country.

 

“It’s up to the UK Government to match the Scottish Government’s ambition and begin fixing this mess of their own making. Theresa May must take meaningful action to alleviate uncertainty and announce a UK wide stimulus, allowing the Scottish Government to do even more to secure jobs in Paisley and beyond.”

George town hall landscape

George Welcomes “Bold Agenda” For Scotland

George town hall landscapePaisley’s MSP George Adam has welcomed a series of policy announcements made by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the SNP Spring Conference in Glasgow.

The First Minister confirmed that a re-elected SNP government will:
• Increase Maternity Grants for the birth of a first child; reintroduce payments for subsequent children; and introduce payments for children beginning nursery and starting school.
• Extend free school meals to all 2, 3 and 4 year olds in our nurseries.
• Invest an extra £750 million over the next Parliament, partly paid for by making the Council Tax fairer, to tackle raise the attainment of the most disadvantaged young people.
Protect NHS funding in every year of the next Parliament and invest an additional £50 million in cancer treatment.
• Extend superfast broadband to every community in Scotland.

Commenting, George said:

“At the SNP Conference last weekend the First Minister set out a number of policies that I will be proud to take to people in Paisley in the Scottish Parliament election in May.

“The SNP already has record to be proud of: crime is at a 41 year low; Council Tax bills have been frozen for nine years; more school leavers are in work, education or training than ever before; the health budget has reached a record £13 billion; and we have full mitigated the Bedroom Tax.

“In Paisley, the Scottish Government has provided millions for the refurbishment of the Russell Institute, the old Arrnott’s building, electrification of the Paisley Canal line and to build a new school at St Fergus’ Primary to name but a few projects.

“The bold agenda set out by the First Minister will build on this record of achievement – to deliver a fairer, more prosperous and confident country.

“It is clear that the only way to secure this progressive vision for Scotland is to vote both votes SNP and re-elect a strong SNP government led by Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister.”

SNP Retain Huge Poll Lead

Another poll showing the SNP’s strong lead over the opposition parties has been welcomed by Paisley’s MSP George Adam. The poll highlighted that people in Scotland are continuing to back our place in Europe while ‘comprehensively rejecting’ Labour’s planned tax hike on working people.

The poll by Ipsos-Mori for STV shows SNP support on the constituency ballot up by three points to 53 per cent – a total of 33 points ahead of Labour, who are locked in a battle for second place with the Tories. On the regional list, SNP support stands at 49 per cent – compared to 19 per cent for Labour and 15 per cent for the Tories.

Nicola Sturgeon remains by far the most popular politician in Scotland – with net approval ratings of +39, compared to -38 for David Cameron and -13 for Jeremy Corbyn.

The poll also shows that Labour’s planned tax hike on working people is being soundly rejected by people in Scotland – with 64 per cent of people against the plans, compared to only 30 per cent in favour.

On the EU referendum, today’s poll finds that 62 per cent of people in Scotland will support retaining our place in Europe, compared to only 26 per cent who would back leaving.

Ipsos Mori also found that if Scotland was dragged out of Europe against our will, 54 per cent would favour independence, compared to only 39 per cent who would be opposed – giving a result of 58 per cent backing independence once Don’t Knows are discounted. The poll also finds support for independence currently stands at 52 per cent, when Don’t Knows are removed.george and nicola

Commenting, George said:

“This is another very welcome poll showing people in Scotland are continuing to back the SNP’s record in government and our positive, ambitious vision for Scotland’s future – in contrast to a chaotic Labour Party which isn’t even regarded as a credible party of opposition, never mind a credible party of government.

“Locally, we have seen the SNP Scottish Government provide funding to refurbish the Russell Institute and to build a new St Fergus Primary in Ferguslie while funding housing on Lawn Street, Shortroods, Thrushcraigs and Barrhead Road. Over the past 5 years we have also seen the electrification of the Canal Street Line and a massive investment in Paisley Gilmour Street, Scotland’s 4th busiest train station. On top of this, the Scottish Government has match funded the UK Government to provide the City Deal which will bring £1bn of investment to Paisley and the surrounding areas.

“We could talk about the woes of the Labour party, but I prefer to put forward a positive case to re-elect a strong SNP Scottish Government. The SNP has a positive vision for Scotland and a strong record in government to stand on as we approach the election – with crime at a 41 year low, NHS budget and staffing at a record high, the target of 30,000 affordable homes exceeded, and pay rises for thousands of public sector workers about to be delivered.

“But of course, we do not take even a single vote for granted – and over the next three months we will be working harder than ever to maintain the trust of people in Scotland and secure the re-election of Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister and an SNP Government with a track record of delivering for Scotland.”

On the poll’s findings on the EU referendum, George added:

“It’s clear that the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland want to play a positive, constructive role alongside our friends and allies in Europe – and if we find ourselves dragged out of Europe against our will by the reckless actions of this Tory government, people in Scotland will very quickly come to the conclusion that Westminster is simply incapable of representing Scotland’s interests.”

Details of the poll can be found by clicking here.

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Scotland Welcomes its New First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Scotland today welcomes its new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon as Alex Salmond stands down after seven and a half years at the helm of the country. Emotional scenes in the Scottish Parliament yesterday seen Mr Salmond applauded in the chamber and cheered as he left the parliament for one last time as First Minister. With Nicola Sturgeon becoming the first female to lead the SNP, she now becomes the first female to the lead the Scottish Government.

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

Speaking on the significant day in the history of the Scottish Parliament, Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, commented, “It’s a sad day to no longer see Alex as First Minister of Scotland. Many of the 16 and 17 year olds voting in the election might not fully remember Scotland without him as First Minister. However, in his place steps one of the best politicians of her generation, Nicola Sturgeon.

‘I have known Nicola since our teenage years, spent in the Young Scottish Nationalists, now the Young Scots for Independence. Even in those early days, you could just tell she was going to go far. A more committed person to social justice and equality you will not meet. As the most prominent politician in the Yes campaign, she took us within inches of securing a Yes vote.

‘Now as leader of our great nation, could she be the one to deliver a Yes vote in the future, should the public demand another vote? We have all watched Nicola over the past seven and a half years in her role as Deputy First Minister. The team of Alex and Nicola has seen off 3 Labour leaders, 2 Tory leaders and 3 leaders of the Lib Dems. Her longevity at the forefront of Scottish politics in this day and age shows how capable she has been at doing her job effectively. I feel this is evidence enough to point to the fact that she will go on to be a great First Minister of our country.”

Scottish Government Debate – First Minister’s Statement (Post Referendum Debate)

George speaks in the first debate after the referendum.  First Minister Alex Salmond gave a statement to parliament regarding the referendum followed by a debate on his statement.

SNP Deliver on Free School Meals

George and AlexFirst Minister pledges free school meals Primary 1 – Primary 3

 

Families and young people across Renfrewshire and Scotland will benefit from additional support after First Minister Alex Salmond announced a significant expansion of free school meals and childcare provision.

 

As part of a £114 million package for young people over two years, every one of Scotland’s P1 to P3 children will have the option of a free meal in school from January next year, improving health and wellbeing, increasing attainment and saving families at least £330 a year for each child.

 

Speaking during a parliamentary debate on poverty and the early years, Mr Salmond also announced that free childcare provision would be expanded to every two year-old from a workless household in Scotland – around 8,400 children or 15 per cent of all two year-olds – by August this year.

 

It was about a year ago Labour-led Renfrewshire Council decided to scale back free schools meals delivered by the previous SNP Administration.

 

Despite Labour’s actions free schools will be restored and extended in Scotland and Renfrewshire.

 

Paisley MSP George Adam added; 

 

“The SNP will fully fund this commitment to early years.  Providing adequate resources for local authorities to deliver on this policy commitment will be crucial in ensuring implementation and success.”

 

“Labour set back free school meals in Renfrewshire, and it is down to the SNP to restore them.  I’m sure parents and pupils will welcome this, and it would be foolish of Labour to oppose free school meals further.”

 

Every pupil to get free school meals during their first three years at school

By Dailyrecord.co.uk

 

George and AlexTHE new measure will kick in from next January and will save families at least £330 per child.

 

FREE school meals will be available to every pupil in Scotland during their first three years at primary school, First Minister Alex Salmond has announced.

The measure, which will be introduced from January next year, matches a scheme being brought in south of the border.

It is being funded with the extra money which will be received by the Scottish Government as a budget consequence of Westminster’s plans for schools in England.

During a debate on Scotland’s future at Holyrood, Salmond told MSPs that free meals in Scotland would be funded with £114million over the next two years, saving families at least £330 for each child.

“The announcements that we make today will have the greatest possible effect given the resources available to us,” Mr Salmond said.

“Under this Government, Scotland has made free meals available in every primary school to families which receive child and working tax credits. A step which hasn’t being taken in England and Wales, and which has contributed to 10,000 more pupils registering for free school meals.

“Now I am delighted to tell this chamber that we can go further. I can announce today that after discussions with our partners in local government, we will fund free school meals for all children in P1 to P3 from next January.

“That measure will build on and learn from the pilots we established in the five local authority areas in 2007/08.

“It will remove any possibility of free meals being a source of stigma during the first years of a child’s schooling, it will improve health and wellbeing, and will be worth crucially £330 each year for each child to families across the country.”

Mr Salmond also announced plans to further expand free childcare, starting with two-year-olds from the most deprived backgrounds.

From August this year, every two-year-old from a “workless” family will be entitled to 600 hours of free childcare, representing 15% of two-year-olds.

From August next year free childcare provision will be extended further, reaching 27 per cent of all two-year-olds, by widening the entitlement to families who receive certain welfare benefits such as income support.

The plans build on existing measures in Children and Young People’s Bill to provide free childcare to all two-year-olds in care.

“By August 2015, the overall level of free learning and care being delivered for two, three and four-year-olds in Scotland will exceed that which is promised elsewhere in the UK,” Mr Salmond said.

“These are important and immediate announcements, but they fall short, I readily admit, of the transformation that is required in Scottish society.

“We need to create a tax, welfare and childcare system that doesn’t plunge children into poverty as the UK Government is doing, that puts us on a par with the best childcare systems in the world.

“And that is why the future of Scotland’s children is the future of Scotland, and why Scotland’s future is an independent one.”

The Government said free school meals will cost £13million in 2014/15 and £42million in 2015/16. The expansion of childcare will cost £15million in 2014/15 and £44million in 2015/16.

The Scottish budget was boosted by an additional £308million in extra devolved spending following the UK Government’s Autumn Statement.

Mr Salmond said this funding was dwarfed by overall reductions in the Scottish budget.

SNP MSP George Adam said: “Opposition parties such as Labour say we will stop at nothing to get what we want.

“That’s true, we will stop at nothing to build a better future for the young people of Scotland, to give them hope and the vision that they can be everything they can be.

“That’s what we will stop at nothing to do, and an independent Scotland gives us the opportunity to create that.”