Results 41–60 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

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...

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

Fergus Ewing: The fact of the matter is that we still do not know much more about the UK shared prosperity fund than those four words. The fact is that that fund deals with entirely devolved matters and the UK Government is on a power grab, whereby it is seeking somehow to administer those matters directly. Of course, it cannot; it will be entirely reliant on our administrative services to do that. It is...

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

Fergus Ewing: Yes. There is a lot of concern in the whole farming sector and the meat sector, not just the sheep sector. I have also noticed that concerns have been expressed in the public press by AOG Couriers, Marks and Spencer and others. There are concerns that labelling of some products will, in effect, have to be doubled. For small businesses, it would not be productive or cost effective to have to...

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

Fergus Ewing: We have certainly encouraged new methods of marketing food, such as direct marketing and online marketing. Many fishing interests—fishermen and fishing businesses—have been ingenious during lockdown in selling direct to the public, for example. However, I make the point to Mr Ruskell that those efforts, worthy and to be commended as they are, are absolutely insufficient to make up for the...

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

Fergus Ewing: We worked hard over a long period to do our best to prepare for what was to come with Brexit, but the best preparation—a derogation, which we and the industry asked for—was refused. However, in response to Mr McArthur’s question, I note that FSS had set up three hubs by September last year and it worked round the clock to ensure that they were properly serviced and staffed with...

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

Fergus Ewing: Rona Mackay is quite right. Seed potatoes in Scotland are regarded as being of the highest quality in the world. Our provenance is respected and our expertise is admired throughout the world and valued by our trading partners. I have been working with George Eustice to assure equivalence in an article 44 application, which is to be considered at the end of January by the section of the...


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