Results 161–180 of 8600 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Hospitality Businesses) (27 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: As a matter of general principle, employers have an absolute duty to cater for the safety of their staff and their customers. Of course they do—no one could conceivably disagree with that, and everybody must recognise that it is a fundamental duty. Mr Harvie has not mentioned any specific examples. If he has any such examples, I will consider them with colleagues—it is correct that I do...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Hospitality Businesses) (27 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I understand the point that Rhoda Grant is making, which was also made by Mr Fraser. She has accepted that the closure is not required by law; it is a de facto matter, rather than an ex lege matter. Nonetheless, Ms Grant makes a not-unreasonable point. The grants system that we have produced has a closure fund and a hardship fund. The funding must be relatively clear, and I believe that we...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Hospitality Businesses) (27 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Without making a political point, I note that the fact that we do not have clarity about the £700 million that was announced two weeks ago simply means that, from a legal point of view and from the point of view of Kate Forbes, who, as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, is governed by strict rules regarding the disbursement of public money, until such time as there is a proper exchange of...

Scottish Parliament: Ayrshire Tourism Recovery Plan (Digital Technology) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The Scottish tourism recovery task force will publish its recommendations imminently. In the context of those, we will consider what actions are required at national and regional levels. Any actions will build on our £103 million investment through the Ayrshire growth deal and our programme for government commitment to promote Ayrshire as a tourism destination. Through that, we are investing...

Scottish Parliament: Ayrshire Tourism Recovery Plan (Digital Technology) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I agree that digital technology has come to the fore during Covid, perhaps through necessity—as we are using it, right now. It has enabled people who are adept in its use to develop different methods of entertainment, information and education, and of promotion of our tourism economy. I think that such use of technology will play a part in the future, as Mr Coffey advocates.

Scottish Parliament: Ayrshire Tourism Recovery Plan (Digital Technology) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Mr Scott raises an important point. Bed and breakfasts are an important segment of accommodation provision in the tourism sector, and we value their work. In the earlier period of Covid lockdown, we endeavoured to ensure that there was reasonable access to financial support for people with bed and breakfast businesses who are dependent on the business for their livelihoods. That was part of...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (North East Scotland) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government and its agencies continue to support projects to boost tourism in the north-east of Scotland through the Moray growth deal and Aberdeen city region growth deal, through the rural tourism infrastructure fund and, in the case of Lossiemouth east beach footbridge, directly.

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (North East Scotland) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The member is correct to say that the Aberdeen harbour project is a major project. Some years ago, when I was energy minister, I had the pleasure of visiting the harbour, meeting the project sponsors and discussing the exciting project with them. Aberdeen harbour is a trust port that is run by an independent board for the benefit of its stakeholders. The issue does not fall directly within...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (North East Scotland) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The Scottish Government has been substantially supportive of the project in financial terms, and a stalwart supporter of it from the beginning. Shona Robison has been an advocate for the benefits of the project since its inception and has seen it through. An excellent attraction has been delivered for the citizens of Dundee. I think that the V&A has helped to embed further the reputation of...

Scottish Parliament: Crofting (New Entrants) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Last year, there were 458 new entrants into crofting. The Scottish Government has a range of support available to potential new entrants. Our croft house grant and the crofting agricultural grant scheme, which is known as CAGS, remain accessible, and our Farm Advisory Service continues to offer advice and mentoring services to crofters. On 8 July this year, I announced £325,000 of additional...

Scottish Parliament: Crofting (New Entrants) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Yes—and I know that my colleagues Aileen Campbell and Kevin Stewart are extremely active in considering with local authority and other local partners the provision of more housing. In addition to that, in my area, the Scottish Government has approved croft house grant payments of more than £21 million to help to build and improve over 1,000 croft homes. A lthough that is welcome, it does...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Impact on Arran Economy) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I agree that the situation is concerning. We know that Covid-19 continues to have a profound impact on our island communities. We are currently working closely with our partners, including North Ayrshire Council, Taste of Arran and the Arran economic group. I do not underestimate the impacts and I understand that a tailored approach will be necessary. Our £30 million pledge to deliver the...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Impact on Arran Economy) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I absolutely agree that the ferry is essential to Arran. It is a lifeline service and the gateway for everybody who visits the island. It is a marvellous tourism offering and there have been real difficulties over the Covid period. Businesses have been facing constraints during lockdown and beyond. Mr Gibson is absolutely right to say that we need to ensure that the ferry service is reliable,...

Scottish Parliament: Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The £10 million sustainable agriculture capital grant scheme opened for applications on 7 September this year, and the application window is due to run for a period of five weeks, closing on 11 October. The applications will then be assessed and grant award letters will be issued thereafter.

Scottish Parliament: Sustainable Agriculture Capital Grant Scheme (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: Jamie Greene has raised a very important point, which I have pursued rigorously as cabinet secretary alongside my colleagues in the Cabinet and in working with the police and others on despicable crimes that cause enormous difficulty to farmers. By the very nature of those crimes—they sometimes occur under dead of night in rural Scotland—evidence is very difficult to establish in many...

Scottish Parliament: Hospitality Restrictions (Impact on Supply Chain) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: The measures that have been introduced for the hospitality sector have, like those in other sectors, been driven by the need to protect public health and drive down transmission of the virus. However, economic concerns are important, and they have, where possible, been balanced in the decision-making process through the four-harms approach that the Scottish Government has adopted, which takes...

Scottish Parliament: Hospitality Restrictions (Impact on Supply Chain) (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am very pleased to hear that Rachael Hamilton is not resigning. We can therefore continue to work together on tourism interests. I am very happy to assure and inform Rachael Hamilton that I have worked very closely with the Scottish Wholesale Association, for example, to ensure that, in so far as possible, financial assistance has been available to some of its members. As Rachael Hamilton...

Scottish Parliament: Decision Time (7 Oct 2020)

Fergus Ewing: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I would have voted no.

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Agricultural Shows and Fairs) (9 Sep 2020)

Fergus Ewing: There is no doubt that the loss of agricultural and Highland shows and fairs this year has been acutely felt in rural communities, not least given the loss of the social interaction and economic activity that they provide and create. Some show committees have moved their events online, while others have postponed or cancelled them completely. A few have gone ahead with events after...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Agricultural Shows and Fairs) (9 Sep 2020)

Fergus Ewing: I am happy to join the member in welcoming that event, and I pay tribute to the organisers for their imagination. Other virtual events have taken place in Scotland. The Scottish Rural Network has launched a Covid-19 information hub, and the Scottish smallholder festival has moved online for 2020. We all miss shows and events—I have been attending my local events for more decades than I wish...


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