Results 1–20 of 11136 for speaker:Nicola Sturgeon

Scottish Parliament: Block Grant (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: In my experience, people the length and breadth of Scotland are complaining about Tory austerity and Tory cuts to the budget of this Government. Most of the money that Jackson Carlaw claims is extra in the Scottish budget is for the national health service, which we more than pass on to the NHS. [ Interruption .] Jackson Carlaw might want to listen to this. Most of the rest comes from a...

Scottish Parliament: Two-Child Benefits Cap (Mitigation) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: As Richard Leonard knows, the Government does everything that it can to mitigate United Kingdom welfare cuts, and we spend in the region of £100 million every year to do that. The fact that we cannot mitigate every cut is not because of a lack of political will; it is a fact of basic arithmetic. We do not hold the budget for reserved areas of welfare, so every penny of mitigation has to come...

Scottish Parliament: European Union Citizens (Access to Benefits) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: The case that Willie Coffey has raised is shameful. The right to reside test is applied to low-income benefits that are reserved to the UK Government. It is a complex barrier for EU nationals whom the UK Government deems “economically inactive”. The European Commission has described the test as: “direct discrimination based on nationality”. I advise the chamber that we are taking a...

Scottish Parliament: Ferry Services (Gourock to Dunoon) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: The Scottish Government is committed to providing not just decent but good services on all our ferry routes, including Dunoon to Gourock. In my previous ministerial roles, I was closely involved with the Dunoon to Gourock ferry service. I will ask the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity to write to the member specifically on the current situation, and I am sure...

Scottish Parliament: Gemini Rail Services UK (Springburn Site Closure) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I thank Bob Doris for raising the issue. Yes, I will ask the Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Infrastructure and Connectivity to bring together all interested parties in the way that Bob Doris described. The Scottish Government learned of the development only through the media, and I am extremely disappointed that that was the case. Officials met the new owners last week, but no reference was...

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen City Region Deal (Rail Improvements) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: At the risk of keeping the transport secretary very busy, I will ask him to write to the member on the specifics of the evidence behind the 20-minutes issue. On the overall question, we are committed to ensuring continuing improvement for rail passengers in every part of the country. As Derek Mackay made clear in the budget statement yesterday, we are also committed to city region deals—and...

Scottish Parliament: Pilton Community Health Project (Funding) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I thank Andy Wightman for raising the issue. The decision is a local one, although I understand the concern that has been raised about Pilton Community Health Project. As I understand it, the Edinburgh integration joint board will consider the recommendations of its health and social care grants programme steering group on 14 December and will make a decision on future funding of all the...

Scottish Parliament: Amanda Cox (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: My thoughts and sympathies are very much with Amanda Cox’s family at this extremely sad time. It is an absolutely tragic situation. Our thoughts are with all her family, particularly her husband and her little boy, who remains in hospital. NHS Lothian is assisting the police with the investigation into the circumstances of this tragic case. In addition to the police investigation, the board...

Scottish Parliament: Carbon Dynamic (Administration) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I thank Gail Ross for raising the situation. I am aware of the position at Carbon Dynamic—the full name of the company is CLDB Ltd—and I know that this will be an extremely anxious time for the staff who work at the company, their families and the whole community. Obviously, the individuals who are affected by the announcement are our immediate priority and we recognise the important role...

Scottish Parliament: Draft Budget 2019-20 (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I thank Patrick Harvie for raising the issue. The settlement that was outlined by Derek Mackay yesterday delivers a real-terms increase in both revenue and capital funding to local councils. That is before we take account of councils’ own ability to raise revenue through the council tax. Yes, that includes funding that the Scottish Government has made available to increase childcare—£210...

Scottish Parliament: Institute for Statecraft (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I was concerned about the revelations published in the Sunday Mail on Sunday involving alleged actions of the Foreign Office. It is not for me to investigate their veracity or otherwise, but it was certainly, on the face of it, a concerning report, and I hope that there will be a full investigation and full answers to the questions that people will rightly and understandably have. On the...

Scottish Parliament: Road Traffic Accidents (Drink-driving Limit) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: As I recall, when the Parliament decided to lower the drink-driving limit, it did so unanimously. Obviously, that must mean that the Conservatives supported the move, and I give them credit for doing so. However, it cannot reasonably be said that road traffic accidents are increasing because we have cut the drink-driving limit. That makes no sense. I say in all seriousness that, now that we...

Scottish Parliament: Best Start Grant (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I am pleased to say that we are now delivering the best start grant pregnancy and baby payment. By the end of the first day, which was Monday, more than 4,000 claims had been submitted, which was an exceptional response and an important moment for Social Security Scotland. The payment will provide £600 on the birth of a first child, which is £100 more than the United Kingdom system that it...

Scottish Parliament: Mental Health (Teachers) (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: We recognise the pressures and challenges that teachers face, such as those that have been highlighted by the Mental Health Foundation Scotland. That is why we have taken action to reduce teacher workloads, to clarify and simplify the curriculum framework and to remove unnecessary bureaucracy. We also continue to take forward a range of actions to support the mental health of both teachers...

Scottish Parliament: Fuel Poverty (13 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: The national measurement of fuel poverty is based on the annual Scottish house condition survey, so the 2018 rate will not be published until December 2019. The most up-to-date statistics that we have for 2017 show that, since 2013, fuel poverty has reduced by 11 percentage points, from 36 per cent to 25 per cent, which is a reduction of almost 250,000 households. Despite fuel poverty levels...

Scottish Parliament: Business Rates (6 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy and Fair Work will set out the full budget to Parliament next week and our proposals on business rates will be part of that budget. I hope that the following information will be of interest to Jackson Carlaw and other members. The Scottish Government currently offers the most generous package of business rates relief in the United Kingdom. It is...

Scottish Parliament: Additional Support Needs Teachers (6 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I do not have that figure to hand. What I do know, and can tell Richard Leonard, is that in the last two years we have seen increases in the numbers of teachers working in Scotland’s education system. Next week, we will publish this year’s figures for the number of teachers in Scotland’s education system and Richard Leonard will be able to look carefully at them. There are more teachers...

Scottish Parliament: Michelin Factory (Update) (6 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: Derek Mackay convened a very productive third meeting of the Michelin Dundee action group last Friday. Michelin will work in partnership with the Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, Dundee City Council and others to develop the next phase of the company’s presence in Scotland. Our shared aim now is to secure a long-term future for the site and to generate significant employment there....

Scottish Parliament: Edinburgh Fire Station Closure (6 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: We fully support the fire service and we will continue to do so. In the budget for this year, the Scottish Government increased the spending capacity of the fire service by £15.5 million. We will continue to support the funding of the fire service, and we will continue to support it in its efforts to transform the way in which it delivers services. I think that the member is asking me about...

Scottish Parliament: Social Care (Edinburgh) (6 Dec 2018)

Nicola Sturgeon: I expect all recommendations or observations of the Care Inspectorate to be heeded by health boards and indeed by integration joint boards. It is absolutely essential that NHS Lothian does that in relation to older people. The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Sport will have regular discussions with the health board about that. I will ask her to correspond with the member to update her on...


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