Results 1–20 of 8565 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Decision Time (16 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I was not able to vote. I would have voted no.

Scottish Parliament: Local Authorities (Tourism) (Support) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Provided that restrictions can be lifted safely, we are very hopeful of a strong domestic tourism market in 2021. To support critical tourism projects in our more remote areas we are more than doubling the rural tourism infrastructure fund to £6.2 million in 2021-22, bringing our total investment to more than £15 million. We are also using consequentials and increasing our package of...

Scottish Parliament: Local Authorities (Tourism) (Support) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: We are working closely with local authorities, the national parks, VisitScotland, NatureScot, Forestry and Land Scotland and Police Scotland, and we have developed a rural visitor management strategy. It has many aspects, including a welcome campaign; high-level messages about responsible enjoyment; and co-ordinated promotion of the access code, including messages on vital topics such as...

Scottish Parliament: Local Authorities (Tourism) (Support) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I can confirm that the plan is that local authorities should launch the scheme from 15 February, which is next week. I absolutely agree with the member’s points that bed-and-breakfasts are an essential backbone of our accommodation provision. They are small businesses that are run by people who work extremely hard, and we absolutely appreciate the great offer that they provide to their...

Scottish Parliament: Employment (Rural Economy) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The “Skills Action Plan for Rural Scotland: 2019–2021” sets out how we will support the needs of the rural economy by addressing skill shortages and increasing access to education and skills provision. We are also providing green skills opportunities through a specific programme of funding for island projects relating to net zero and green recovery, and through a doubling of specific...

Scottish Parliament: Employment (Rural Economy) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I am sympathetic to the points that the member makes. I am apprised of the fact, and I absolutely agree, that we need to match jobs, people and housing. I am well aware of that from my own part of Scotland. In places such as Aviemore, people have been able to get a job but not a house; they have moved into temporary accommodation, but they have not been able to find a place to take their...

Scottish Parliament: Peak Visitor Season (Disruption) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Our rural tourism infrastructure fund is already supporting 45 projects and 26 design grants across Scotland, with investments in car parks, waste disposal facilities and toilet provision, for example. We recognise the tangible benefits of the fund and we have more than doubled it to £6.2 million in 2021-22. Last year I convened a group of public bodies to consider how we might collectively...

Scottish Parliament: Peak Visitor Season (Disruption) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I repeat what I said in my original answer, which is that the visitor management strategy for this season is in the final stages of drafting and will be published in the coming weeks. I absolutely accept that there were huge pressures in this past year. If we are able to safely resume the domestic tourism market—as I hope that we will be—we will be able to address those problems more...

Scottish Parliament: Peak Visitor Season (Disruption) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: VisitScotland is working hard to provide a boost to the domestic market. Of course, now is not the time to proceed with such a marketing strategy—at the moment it is safety first, and caution is the watchword—but I hope that we will see a resumption of access to the countryside sooner rather than later. VisitScotland and I work extremely hard to promote the enormous benefits of holidaying...

Scottish Parliament: Food and Drink Industry (Brexit) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government chairs the weekly food sector resilience group, whose members are industry leaders across the sector, in order that it can take quick and decisive action where necessary. The seafood sector has been particularly hard hit. On Friday, I launched the £6.45 million seafood producers resilience fund to support businesses that have lost all or part of their relevant market...

Scottish Parliament: Food and Drink Industry (Brexit) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, we will continue to fight for the sector with the UK Government—I do so day and daily. The saddest thing about the UK Government’s failure to recognise the plight of, for example, inshore fishermen, who have had no income for some time now due to the huge difficulties caused by Brexit, is that the families depend on those exports to get food on the table and roofs over their heads....

Scottish Parliament: Food and Drink Industry (Brexit) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I am familiar with the Glengoyne distillery, which produces marvellous, fine Scotch whisky. The tariffs have been in place for more than a year, and have cost the sector an unbelievable £500 million. My colleagues and I have taken every opportunity—most recently, in a call last week between my colleague Ivan McKee and the UK Minister of State for Trade Policy—to press the UK Government...

Scottish Parliament: Accommodation Providers (Financial Support) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: All self-catering, B and B and guest house businesses in level 4 areas that pay non-domestic rates can apply for grants of £2,000 or £3,000—depending on rateable value—every four weeks from the strategic framework business fund. Equivalent support for B and Bs that do not pay non-domestic rates, but pay council tax, is also available. Larger self-catering and exclusive-use properties...

Scottish Parliament: Accommodation Providers (Financial Support) (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Mr Rennie raises a serious point. I am determined that all businesses whose trade has been terminated as a result of the Covid restrictions and which have been unable to offer their excellent hospitality and accommodation to their guests are supported. The problem is a serious one. I am not sure that I recognise the figures that Mr Rennie quotes, but I am happy to discuss the issue with him,...

Scottish Parliament: Glasgow Tourism Sector (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Glasgow, which Mr Doris represents, is a vibrant and welcoming city, and I look forward to encouraging the return of visitors to enjoy its many world-class attractions. We understand the severe impact of the pandemic on tourism in our cities. We have provided a support package of almost £3 billion for businesses, including the tourism sector. We are working closely with all our partners....

Scottish Parliament: Glasgow Tourism Sector (11 Feb 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The international sector has been hit especially hard. Glasgow has been successful in attracting visitors from around the world. Its success in areas such as business conferences is well recognised. We are working hard with VisitScotland to pave the way for the recovery of the international market. We are also providing support for many of the key players, such as tour operators, which put...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Impact of European Union Exit) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Just three weeks have passed since Scotland was taken out of the European Union against our will, but we are already seeing catastrophic impacts across all sectors in our rural economy. The United Kingdom Government’s trade and co-operation agreement with the European Union has erected significant barriers to trade for Scottish producers and businesses. Already, real economic harm is being...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Impact of European Union Exit) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Regarding farm payments, those problems were fixed and now farmers in Scotland have received their payments earlier than anyone else in the UK. This month, the LFASS—less favoured area support scheme—payments have been paid, as far as I can recall, at the earliest point ever. I have just announced today that the second tranche of the convergence moneys—moneys that were rightfully due to...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Impact of European Union Exit) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: That is not what the NFUS president Andrew McCornick told me this week when I spoke to him. He said that he is very satisfied with the payments that we are making and especially with our plan to reinstate LFASS payments next year at 100 per cent, with the payment of the convergence moneys within a very short period, with the earliest payment of LFASS and, generally, with the Scottish...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Economy (Impact of European Union Exit) (21 Jan 2021)

Fergus Ewing: As Ms Watt opined, I think that there will be long-term damage, which will affect markets and customers and the value and the volume of trade, and will result in the loss of protected geographical indicators for products such as Arbroath smokies, Orkney cheese and Scotch beef and lamb. That damage will include the loss of influence, the loss of workers, the loss of freedom of movement and the...


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