Sandra White MSP welcomes record Scottish Youth Parliament elections

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin has welcomed the Scottish Youth Parliament’s record-breaking election results announced this week.

SYP nationally received 77,000 votes with candidates fielded across Scotland after more than 1100 lodged interest in running.

In Sandra’s constituency of Glasgow Kelvin, Jessica Gow and Khaled Emkidh were elected as MSYPs.

Sandra White MSP said, “I am delighted that the Scottish Youth Parliament elections have seen more young people getting involved in seeking to represent and change their communities.

“I have enjoyed working with MSYPs over the years and I am looking forward to working with Glasgow Kelvin’s new youth parliamentarians. I was pleased to recognise their success and the ongoing achievements of the SYP in a motion to the Scottish Parliament.

“The role of the SYP in Scotland’s youth sector is an important one as it gives young people a platform to make change and develops Scotland’s future leaders, and I wish them all the best in this work.”

Sandra White MSP’s motion to the Scottish Parliament:

Motion S5M-04773: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/03/2017

Congratulations to Glasgow Kelvin’s New Youth Parliamentarians

That the Parliament welcomes the election of new Members of the Scottish Youth Parliament across the country and the efforts of everyone who stood to represent young people in their communities; notes that Jessica Gow and Khaled Emkidh will represent the constituency of Glasgow Kelvin; understands that both were elected by young people in Glasgow Kelvin to campaign on issues of education, transport, justice, human rights and health and wellbeing; recognises the important work of the Scottish Youth Parliament to highlight youth issues and provide a platform for the voices of young people in Scotland; further understands that it achieved a record-breaking 1,179 notifications of interest to stand for election lodged by young people, which is an increase of 39% on the 2015 elections; considers that it has increased its reach to young people across Scotland by working with 10 partnering National Voluntary Organisations, which have increased by three since 2015; congratulates the Scottish Youth Parliament on its continued success, and wishes its new youth parliamentarians the best with their work.

Supported by: Stuart McMillan, Gail Ross, Richard Lyle, Bill Kidd, Ash Denham, Joan McAlpine, Clare Haughey, David Torrance, Fulton MacGregor, Angus MacDonald, Bob Doris, Ivan McKee, Jenny Gilruth

Sandra White MSP highlights support for Scotland’s food and drink industry

£10m backing to boost growth in Scotland’s food and drink industry.

Sandra White MSP has welcomed new funding announced by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP to further support Scotland’s “phenomenal” food and drink industry.

The Scottish Government, its enterprise agencies, and the food and drink industry are supporting delivery of the new food and drink strategy – ‘Ambition 2030’ – through a new £10 million funding package.

The strategy will target key markets, boost innovation, focus on skills, and support local producers – with ambitious plans to double the value of the industry to £30 billion by 2030.

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin said: 

“I am delighted that the First Minister has announced this new funding to help further develop Scotland’s vibrant food and drink industry in which we are seeing massive growth across Scotland and particularly in Glasgow.

“The opening of the Clydeside Distillery is a great example of how Scotland’s food and drink sector continues to bring economical development and opportunities to our communities. I have been particularly pleased to support the establishment of this distillery bringing development, sustainable jobs, and vibrancy to Glasgow’s Riverside while preserving its great heritage.

“This is a story repeated across Scotland with a growing industry developing products and experiences which are enjoyed across Europe and the world. However, the great foundation in this vital part of the Scottish economy faces reckless challenges from the UK Government’s recent plans to drag us out of the single market and to hit our distilling industry with an 80% tax.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a world-renowned strong food and drinks sector but we cannot take this for granted and that’s why I am pleased this SNP Government is working with the sector to deliver growth and development.”

Making the announcement at Scotland Food and Drink’s 10th annual conference in Glasgow the First Minister said:

“Scotland’s food and drink sector has enjoyed phenomenal success over the past ten years with unprecedented growth in turnover and exports, including food exports alone doubling to £1.5 billion.

“Our nation is blessed with all the ingredients we need to achieve greater success. We have a fantastic natural larder, the skills and expertise, and the complementary strengths in tourism, innovation and research.

“Yet the risk of leaving the EU and the single market means these are uncertain times, while revoking the free movement of people could have a profound impact on our food and drink industry.

“That is why we are doing our utmost to support the industry – working in partnership with Scotland Food and Drink, the industry bodies, and our producers – and this new £10 million investment will support the industry realise its ambition to double its value by 2030.”

James Withers, Chief Executive, Scotland Food & Drink said:

“As an industry, we are hugely ambitious for the future. There are uncertainties ahead, but we have a world class industry and growing markets at home and abroad. ‘Ambition 2030’ will drive a new era of growth in our sector for the benefit of Scotland’s economy and communities. 

“The secret of success over the last decade has been a spirit of partnership between the industry, government and its agencies.   Today’s funding announcement demonstrates our collective commitment to deepen that partnership and take our work to a new level.”

Background

Funding contributions for this new investment is from the Scottish Government (£6.9 million); the enterprise agencies (£600k); and the industry (£2.5 million) over the next three years.

This is in addition to the range of support already provided to the industry by the Scottish Government and the enterprise agencies.

Scottish Food and drink exports grew by £421 million in 2016, to a record £5.5 billion, while there was an 8% increase in the value of exports over the past year.

Sandra White MSP says Scotland Must Have a Choice over Future

 

HARD BREXIT MEANS OPTION OF INDEPENDENCE MUST BE OFFERED

SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White has said that it is absolutely correct and appropriate for the people of Scotland to be offered a choice, once the options become clear, between a Tory hard Brexit and becoming an independent country, after the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed plans to seek parliamentary approval to begin discussions with the UK government to bring forward an independence vote.

Ahead of the UK government’s triggering of Article 50 and the beginning of the process of leaving the EU, the First Minister said that the Westminster government has been guilty of complete intransigence in the face of Scottish Government attempts to find a compromise – and has continually acted against the best interests of Scotland, not least by ruling out membership of the single market without consulting the Scottish Government.

SNP MSP Sandra White has said that it has become clear that the UK government has no intention of respecting Scotland’s 62% vote to remain in the EU and Glasgow’s 66% vote to remain in the EU.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White said:

“Throughout the entire Brexit process to date, the Scottish Government has been consistent in its pursuit of a compromise with the UK government, putting forward substantial proposals for Scotland to remain in the single market – yet the UK government has rejected these and is pursuing an ever harder line.

“It is within this context, with the UK government intent on pursuing a damaging hard Brexit and set to trigger Article 50 without communicating with the devolved governments, that it has become ever clearer that the people of Scotland must be offered a choice over our future.

“The SNP will always stand up for Scotland’s interests and we are intent on protecting Scotland’s place in the single market. The people of Scotland deserve to choose,  once the terms of Brexit are clear and before it is too late to decide our own path, honouring the manifesto pledge that we were elected on last year.

“Scotland now stands at a crossroads, and we cannot drift along for two years hoping for the best.  We face the real prospect of right-wing Tory governments until at least 2030 and being dragged out of the EU and Single Market with all the damage to our economy and society that will cause.”

Sandra condemns Tory plans to hit distillers with 80% tax.

 

SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White has condemned the Tories for choosing to increase whisky duty in yesterday’s Budget.

 

The tax on a bottle of whisky will now be 79%, and comes at a time when the Tory government is already threatening the whisky industry’s ability to export due to their plans for a damaging hard Brexit outside the single market.

 

Scotland’s distilleries have experienced a boom in recent years due to diversification beyond whisky and increased exports– and local MSP Sandra White has said that it is unacceptable to see Westminster attempting a cash grab on Scotland’s distilleries.

 

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White said:

 

“The Tory budget yesterday was deeply disappointing and is nothing more than an attempt to use Scotland’s whisky and distilling industry to plug the budgetary black hole caused by Tory austerity and the hard Brexit that is coming down the line.

 

“While the Scottish Government is making every effort to support our food and drink sector, the Tories at Westminster are determined to hit the industry ever harder with tax at a time when the industry is investing in the future – with excise duty on whisky now 21% higher than in 2010.

 

“Distilling is already a vital part of Scotland’s drinks and tourism industry, with many new distillers in the process of establishing themselves in Glasgow at the moment this shocking Tory tax couldn’t have come at a worst time. These plans will hit Scotland’s economy and the distilleries in this part of the country producing world class whiskies and creating important jobs for our communities.

 

“To see the Tories put this under threat, firstly by increasing taxes on the sector yet again, and secondly by pursuing a damaging hard Brexit, is completely unacceptable and something that the SNP will fight at every opportunity.”

 

 

Analysis by the Scotch Whisky Association states:

  • Scotch in the UK is now taxed more than 80% higher than the EU spirits tax average.
  • Scotch would face an extra £31 million excise bill in the UK on the basis of 2016 volumes.
  • The tax burden on an average priced bottle of Scotch will now be nearly 80%.
  • The excise duty on Scotch is now 21% higher than in 2010.

More information from the SWA can be found here: http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk/news-publications/blog/what-the-budget-means-for-scotch/#.WMEzJG-LR9N

Glasgow School Leavers Heading for Positive Destinations

 

Sandra White MSP for Glasgow Kelvin has welcomed the latest figures released by the Scottish Government have shown that school leavers across Glasgow are going on to positive destinations in great numbers.

 

In 2015-16, 89.9% of young people went onto positive destinations after leaving school in Glasgow. The figures also showed that 63% of leavers went into further and higher education, whilst 20% went into employment in 2015-16.

 

The SNP Government has made education its number one priority in this parliament and is committed to improving education standards in our schools and giving our young people the best opportunities in life.

 

Commenting, SNP MSP for Glasgow Kelvin Sandra White said:

 

“The Scottish Government is committed to continually improving standards in our schools and ensuring that young people have opportunities to go on to work, education or training and make the best start in adult life.

 

“Our schools across Glasgow are benefiting from this commitment from the Scottish Government and are making excellent progress in helping our young people have the best chances in life – and additional spending in the budget and the funding to close the attainment gap will go further still to helping more young people from Glasgow find positive destinations after leaving school.

 

“I’m delighted to see that just short of 90% of school leavers in Glasgow going to positive destinations such as employment, training, and university or college after leaving school. I’m passionate about making sure all young people receive opportunities to get ahead and these very welcoming figures shows the continued progress the Scottish Government is making to give young people across Glasgow the best start in life.”