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SNP Budget Brings Funding Boost For Paisley.

More Cash For Local Services Thanks To Progressive Reforms

 

Renfrewshire Council is set to receive a significant funding boost as a result of this year’s SNP Scottish Government budget – with local services in Renfrewshire benefiting from an extra £8.823 million.

 

The SNP’s progressive reforms – which will see 55% of taxpayers pay less in income tax than if they lived in the rest of the UK – guarantee a 2.83% increase rise in Renfrewshire council’s resource budget, providing extra funding for schools, roads and housing. The budget will also see Renfrewshire schools benefit from £4,272,240 million as part of the Pupil Equity Fund, helping to tackle the attainment gap.

 

The Scottish Budget also provides additional spending on our NHS – which will see an extra £400 million in funding to help protect our health service from Tory austerity.

 

Commenting, Paisleys MSP, George Adam said:George high street

 

“This extra funding for Renfrewshire council – an additional £8.823 million for the coming year – is a great settlement for our communities.

 

“The SNP’s progressive reforms on income tax, seeing 70% of people pay less than they did last year, and 55% pay less than they would if they lived south of the border, are vital for allowing this funding increase despite continued austerity being imposed by the Tories at Westminster.

 

“And it takes the total resource budget for our council’s services – such as schools, roads and housing – to £311.453 million for the coming year, an increase of 2.83% when compared with last year.

 

“This progressive budget also provides extra funding for our NHS, education and broadband, and more money for our economy, research and our environment too – as well as protecting free university tuition, free personal care for the elderly, free school meals and free prescriptions.

 

“While the Tories propose cutting over £556 million from public services in order to pay for their tax cuts for the wealthiest – the SNP Government delivers for our councils and protects the vital local services in Paisley that we all hold dear.”

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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
George outside Paisley Museum

MSP Supports Child Poverty Consultation

George outside Paisley MuseumScottish Government Setting Framework For Child Poverty Eradication By 2030

 

Paisley’s MSP, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s newly launched consultation on ending child poverty. The consultation comes ahead of the Child Poverty Bill which will be introduced next year and will form part of the overall approach to tackle poverty and inequality in Scotland.

 

The Scottish Government aims to eradicate child poverty – and this consultation asks for comments on the proposals to introduce four statutory income targets seeking to drastically reduce child poverty by 2030, as well as how existing work can be strengthened.

 

These next steps will build on the range of work the Scottish Government already has underway to tackle poverty and inequality, such as the commitment to the Living Wage, free school meals, expansion of funded early learning and childcare, and the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

 

Commenting on the consultation launch, George said:

 

“The launch of this consultation shows that the Scottish Government is taking vital action to tackle poverty and inequality across Scotland.

 

“I am delighted to see the Scottish Government taking this active approach to end the blight of child poverty. Tackling deep-seated inequalities is the job of all society so  we need everyone across local authorities, business, the third sector and those who experience poverty to work together.

 

“The Child Poverty Bill consultation will allow further evidence and ideas to emerge, helping to build on efforts already underway – such as free school meals, a commitment to the Living Wage of £8.25/hour, the Scottish Attainment Challenge and duties to tackle inequalities of educational outcome due to socio-economic disadvantage.

 

“The Scottish Government sees child poverty as a priority – and this Bill consultation shows that the SNP in Government will work hard to end the cycle of poverty in Scotland once and for all.”

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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 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.”