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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.”

 

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.”

 

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.”

 

George town hall landscape

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

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.”

Plans For Soft Opt-Out Organ Donation System Unveiled

George Town Hall

 

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam, has welcomed the Scottish Government’s decision to introduce legislation for a soft opt-out system of organ and tissue donation, which was backed by 82% of those who contributed to their consultation.

 

The 14-week consultation looked at various ways to increase the number of people being referred to the donation services in Scotland.

 

Currently in Scotland, organ and/or tissue donation after a person’s death only occurs if they have given advance authorisation or if their nearest relative authorises on their behalf.

 

A soft opt out, or deemed authorisation system, means that a donation can go ahead if the person has not opted out or told their family they do not wish to donate.

 

George said:

 

“Today’s decision to legislate for a soft opt-out system is great news for our health service.

 

“With the amazing help of donors and their families, NHS Scotland has already made great progress, including a 34% increase in donors this past year alone. Scotland now has the highest donor rate in the UK.

 

“However, we can do better and moving to a soft opt-out system is a really important step towards further reducing the number of people in Paisley waiting for transplants.

 

“We should always keep in mind the tragic circumstances that give rise to organ donation and forever appreciate the selfless acts of donors and their families that enable others to live. Organ and tissue donation saves lives and is one of the greatest gifts a person can give.”

 

 

George Adam MSP Urges Expectant Mothers In Paisley To Sign Up For Baby Box

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Paisley’s MSP, George Adam is encouraging all expectant mothers in Paisley, whose babies are due on or after 15 August 2017, to register for a baby box at their next midwife appointment.

 

These boxes, containing various essential items for a child’s first weeks and months, signal the SNP Government’s commitment to ensuring that every child in Scotland, regardless of their circumstances, should get the best start in life.

 

This comes on top of the SNP Government using new powers to create new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances, the Best Start Grant, which provides expectant mothers on low incomes with £600 for their first child, £300 for second and subsequent children and a further £250 grant when their child starts nursery, and £250 again when they start school.

 

 

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

George and Nicola outside Paisley Abbey

George said:

 

 “The Scottish Government is proudly gifting a Baby Box to every child in Scotland to help tackle deprivation, improve health and support parents – just one part of our determination to ensure that every child has an equal start in life.

 

“For mothers in Paisley looking forward to welcoming a new born into the world on or after 15th August this summer, all they need to do to be gifted a Baby Box is apply through their midwife in advance, supplying their preferred delivery address.

 

“The Baby Boxes are full of useful items such as books, clothes, blankets, a bath towel, a changing mat, a bib and a thermometer, while also providing a safe space for babies to sleep near their parents, to promote bonding and early attachment, and send a signal that every child, regardless their background, matters.

 

“And with the new powers coming to Scotland, the SNP Government will also provide targeted support of a significantly higher level than elsewhere in the UK, to help low income families via our new Maternity and Early Years’ Allowances- replacing the UK Sure Start grant with our Best Start Grant.

 

“The new Best Start Grant will be introduced in 2019.”

 

Renfrewshire Receives Major Investment In Affordable Housing

Paisley’s MSP, George Adam has welcomed the announcement of a further £1.75 billion Scottish Government investment in affordable housing across Scotland, which includes a £46.244 million investment in Renfrewshire.
 

Councils and house-builders across Scotland’s 32 local authorities will have the opportunity to plan ahead with grant subsidies guaranteed, for the first time, for the next three years until 2021.
 

In 2018-19, £532 million will be shared amongst local authorities – rising to £591 million in 2019-20 and £630 million in 2020-21.

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George commented:

“The announcement that Renfrewshire will receive £46.244 million over the next three years provides the certainty that Paisley and the sector needs to keep progressing and ensures we keep up the momentum to reach the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new affordable homes by 2021.

“Increasing the supply of affordable homes is a key SNP commitment and plays a vital role in helping to tackle poverty and inequality in Paisley.

“Committing funding until the end of this parliament will help ensure that Scotland leads the way in building homes that are high-quality, efficient and affordable, and will strengthen our house-building sector and the estimated 14,000 jobs that the affordable housing supply programme supports each year.

“The SNP believes that everyone in Scotland deserves a warm, affordable home and with a huge number of affordable homes approved last year, we are making great progress towards that aim.”