Results 281–300 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism) (10 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I apologise to Mr Finnie, as I did not catch the last sentence. We can provide that assurance. Obviously, the ferry service is vital for residents, just as it is a vital means for tourists to visit our islands, and we are working very hard to make sure that both groups can be accommodated.

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism) (10 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Mike Rumbles has made a very fair point. We have engaged with the self-catering sector, particularly Fiona Campbell, throughout, and the point has been made by many, including by Mr Rumbles now, and he is right. It is in some ways easier to protect, and to comply with the Covid guidance and rules, in a self-catering establishment than in certain hotel accommodation. But—and this is the...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism) (10 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I stayed in Loch Lomond for a while, so that might work. [ Laughter .] That was not the answer that Jackie Baillie was expecting. I assure Jackie Baillie that yesterday I raised that point with Nigel Huddleston and suggested that a limited refined partial furlough may be required for many businesses to survive until next spring. He agreed in principle that the problem needs to be looked at....

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism) (10 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: That consideration will be part of the work that we will do. I am acutely conscious of the importance of the ferries to the islands. We have engaged regularly with the Outer Hebrides tourism organisations, as Dr Allan knows, and with many others on the islands. Having holidayed in his constituency myself most years in the past six years, I can testify to the great experience that one always...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism) (10 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The fact that we are making the announcement today, 10 June, preparatory to resumption on the indicative date of 15 July, means that there is quite a long lead-in time for us to do that work. That is partly why the First Minister and the Cabinet have agreed the approach that I have set out today, given the exceptional circumstances, in which the tourism sector has basically lost all its...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism) (10 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: My colleague Roseanna Cunningham is looking urgently at the issue of financial support, for which there is a strong case. In England, that case has been accepted. There are strong animal welfare considerations to bear in mind. The Highland Wildlife Park, which I have visited several times with my family, has a wide and attractive collection of different animals, including a very aggressive...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism) (10 Jun 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Stuart McMillan has championed the issue for several years, and I will give it due consideration. Recently, I had an excellent exchange with representatives of ports and harbours around the country, and a separate one with representatives of the cruise liner sector, which is another important part of the economy. I assured them that, when it is safe to do so, we will welcome them back to Scotland.

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism Industry Support) (26 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I was very sorry to learn of Specialist Leisure Group entering administration, and our thoughts are with the large number of employees who are directly affected in Scotland and throughout the United Kingdom. The Scottish Government has done a great deal to support tourism businesses in these most difficult times. In particular, we have provided very substantial financial support....

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism Industry Support) (26 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I have had a lengthy discussion with a number of coach operators, including representatives of the trade body, the Confederation of Passenger Transport UK. Most of the coach operators that operate in the tourism sector do so exclusively. Other operators also work for education authorities—local authorities—in providing school transport. As Mr Finnie’s question implies, it is possible...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism Industry Support) (26 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Yes. We have always worked very closely with the STUC. Over the years, I have valued its counsel and involvement in ensuring that work arrangements are fair to employees. This is another example of that. The STUC will be concerned—as I am—that the UK Government has not yet come up with a bespoke scheme to provide assistance for the coach sector, which is so important for the tourism...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism Industry Support) (26 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Mr Rennie has made a very important point. I understand that my colleague Fiona Hyslop will be making a statement later this afternoon that may be of interest to the member. We in the Scottish Government certainly realise that our job to provide a financial bridge through this difficulty is not yet complete. The bridge is under construction; it is not finished. We need to continue to work in...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism Industry Support) (26 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I have been absolutely open from the outset that our job is to provide a financial support mechanism to all legitimate tourism businesses, by which I mean not Airbnbs or second home owners who make a bit of money on the side, but genuine businesses that rely for their main livelihood on tourism and now have no business. I have consistently argued that it is the Government’s business to keep...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Tourism Industry Support) (26 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am not aware of that case. Christine Grahame has drawn it to my attention and, thereby, to the public’s attention. I will ask my officials to look into the matter straight away. It is of concern that, during this period in particular, people will face eviction from their property, but I do not know the individual circumstances of the case in question. I will, of course, undertake to work...

Scottish Parliament: Seafood and Fishing Industry (Support) (7 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: We are providing substantial financial support to the fishing industry. The total package of financial support is just less than £23 million, and it forms three schemes. We are assisting those with vessels of 12m and under and some of those with vessels of over 12m, as well as shellfish processors and others who are facing severe difficulties because of the loss of markets for their produce....

Scottish Parliament: Seafood and Fishing Industry (Support) (7 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I have seen examples of ingenuity and entrepreneurship among individuals who are taking action to sell their produce themselves. Information on direct deliveries is available online from Scotland Food & Drink, and local information is also available. On a wider note, one thing that we might see almost as a legacy of Covid-19 is that, because people are becoming more used to working online,...

Scottish Parliament: Dairy Farmers (Support) (7 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am pleased that that question has been raised. I reassure Rachael Hamilton that we are working extremely closely with NFU Scotland, the sector and others to ensure that we take whatever steps are necessary to assist. We have also been working closely with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and George Eustice. I have had discussions with him, and my officials have had...

Scottish Parliament: Visitor Attractions (Support) (7 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: My colleague Mairi Gougeon has responsibility for certain matters relating to animal health and welfare, but I have responsibility for tourism. I do not think that we will wrangle over the issue. I have certainly been dealing closely with the Association of Scottish Visitor Attractions, and I had a conference call with Gordon Morrison and Susan Morrison fairly recently. I am acutely aware of...

Scottish Parliament: Visitor Attractions (Support) (7 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I entirely accept that zoos and aquaria provide a pleasant, educative and enjoyable visitor experience. Indeed, my family and I visited Edinburgh zoo not so long ago. I therefore agree with Claire Baker’s assertion, which is entirely correct. I also note that they have a responsibility to look after animals or fish and are responsible for their welfare, so regard must be had to that. The...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Resumption of Activity) (7 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: There are two parts to that question. The first relates to a particular business that has two caravan parks in the Highlands. My understanding is that that business has made it absolutely clear that it is not reopening at the current time—I received that information from trading standards officers just this morning. I have not had contact with the business directly but, out of fairness to...

Scottish Parliament: Orkney Economy (Business Support) (7 May 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I would largely agree with Mr McArthur. He is right that Orkney Cheese is an excellent business. I visited it a couple of years back and spoke to some of the farmer members, and I am an enthusiastic consumer of its products. I am in contact with that business with regard to potential financial support for which it may be eligible. I believe that I may have been in contact with it by...


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