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Results 41–60 of 337 for speaker:Ben Macpherson

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Decline in European Tourists) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs meets the United Kingdom culture and tourism minister regularly, when that is possible. Most recently, she had meetings in June and August to discuss a number of issues, including the potentially damaging impact of any Brexit on our tourism industry, in Scotland and in the UK as a whole. Visitors from the European Union are vital...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Decline in European Tourists) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: There is no doubt that continuing Brexit uncertainty poses a threat to Scotland’s tourism industry. Figures for the year to March 2019, which the Office for National Statistics published, showed a 3 per cent decrease in European visits to Scotland and a related fall in expenditure, and a recent study that VisitBritain published earlier this year indicated that 44 per cent of European...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on European Union Tourists) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: As I indicated in my response to Mr Stevenson, European visitors are essential to the success of Scotland’s tourism industry, with EU countries accounting for six of our top 10 overseas markets in 2018. Although overseas visitor numbers have increased in recent years, data for the year to March 2019 suggest that European visitor numbers fell by 3 per cent, compared with the previous year....

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on European Union Tourists) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I mentioned the Scotland is open campaign, and Visit Scotland has produced a guide for EU citizens in six different languages which offers practical advice on travel to Scotland after Brexit . It will help to ensure that potential travellers are not deterred by uncertainty relating to visas and/or other issues. In addition, our new tourism strategy, which was developed in partnership with the...

Scottish Parliament: Culture and Heritage (Engagement by Young People from Disadvantaged Backgrounds) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government and Creative Scotland fund and deliver a wide range of programmes that encourage young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to engage with culture and heritage. Examples include our national youth arts strategy, time to shine, and the youth music initiative. Other examples include our funding for Sistema Scotland, the work with young people from disadvantaged...

Scottish Parliament: Culture and Heritage (Engagement by Young People from Disadvantaged Backgrounds) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: As the cabinet secretary Fiona Hyslop indicated in the chamber during portfolio questions on 12 September and at the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee’s pre-budget scrutiny meeting on 26 September, we have deferred the introduction of the fund as budget constraints continue. We continue to work with partners, including Education Scotland and Creative Scotland, to...

Scottish Parliament: Historic Buildings and Landmarks (Dundee) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The National Trust for Scotland is a charity that is independent of Government and Scottish ministers. Ministers have not held recent discussions with the trust about historic buildings and landmarks in Dundee.

Scottish Parliament: Historic Buildings and Landmarks (Dundee) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Historic Environment Scotland currently provides Dundee Historic Environment Trust with an annual grant of £250,000, which is used for the organisation’s running costs and to award grants to benefit the historic environment in Dundee. Also, as I said, as a non-departmental public body, Historic Environment Scotland operates at arm’s length from the Scottish Government. The...

Scottish Parliament: Historic Buildings and Landmarks (Dundee) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I refer the member to my previous answer about the relationship between Historic Environment Scotland and the Scottish Government, and, in particular, the point about Historic Environment Scotland being an arm’s-length body. As I did with Jenny Marra, I encourage her to contact the organisation directly through the chief executive’s office and to relay full details of the project that she...

Scottish Parliament: Culture and Tourism (Participation by Disabled People and People with Long-term Health Conditions) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Inclusion is central to the artistic purpose of all Scottish Government-funded culture bodies, and they all share a desire to communicate with as large and diverse an audience as possible, running a range of associated activities. The public bodies that are responsible for culture and heritage are, of course, also subject to the Equalities Act 2010, and report on progress against objectives...

Scottish Parliament: Culture and Tourism (Participation by Disabled People and People with Long-term Health Conditions) (9 Oct 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government knows that actions are important in terms of making a difference when it comes to accessibility and the 2010 act and also with regard to ensuring that we are taking forward the disability delivery plan. We need to know that our actions are making a difference, and, where we see that they are not making a difference, we need to do something about that. We will report on...

Scottish Parliament: St Andrew’s Day Events (19 Sep 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Modern Scotland’s sense of national identity is proudly and passionately inclusive, diverse, compassionate, open and outward looking, as is emphasised by the Scottish Government’s we are Scotland campaign. Reflecting those values, the Scottish Government supports a range of initiatives on and around St Andrew’s day—including funding and supporting with partners the Scotland’s winter...

Scottish Parliament: St Andrew’s Day Events (19 Sep 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I commend Tom Arthur and the whole cross-party group on St Andrew’s day, and I thank it for its engagement and its work. I am also delighted to commend the work of All About Barrhead in planning for St Andrew’s day and what it does throughout the year. I thank the whole of that team. To fully harness the significant potential that events can provide, partners across Scotland—local...

Scottish Parliament: Family Migration (17 Sep 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Will the member take an intervention on that point?

Scottish Parliament: Immigration Policy (Universities and Scientific Research) (10 Sep 2019)

Ben Macpherson: I thank all members for their contributions to what I believe is a very important debate. In particular, I congratulate Beatrice Wishart on her very thoughtful speech, which I will refer to again shortly. We live in serious times, and in serious times it is important that we are able to debate important issues. It is shocking that the Westminster Parliament h as been prorogued and, while...

Scottish Parliament: Immigration Policy (Universities and Scientific Research) (10 Sep 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Tory amendment seeks to take out from the motion the statement that “the UK Government’s proposed immigration policies will be deeply damaging to Scotland’s further education, higher education and research sectors”, when all the evidence that we have heard in today’s debate suggests that that will be the case. Therefore, we cannot accept the amendment. In addition, it “calls...

Scottish Parliament: Jarlshof (Coach Parking) (13 Jun 2019)

Ben Macpherson: As the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, explained in a letter to Tavish Scott on 2 May, discussions on the proposed improvements to visitor facilities at Jarlshof remain on-going. Legitimate questions have been raised about best value for money for the public and taxpayers, and ministers await further advice that the position has been addressed. The...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Immigration) (13 Jun 2019)

Ben Macpherson: It is increasingly well known that migration is crucial to Scotland’s future prosperity, and that any reduction would damage our public services, labour market, demographic profile and local communities. The independent report from the expert advisory group on migration and population that was published in February this year stated that the United Kingdom Government’s immigration...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Immigration) (13 Jun 2019)

Ben Macpherson: Absolutely, I do. NFU Scotland is right to be concerned about current and future migration policy. The MAC’s review of the shortage occupation list related to the current system, which covers only graduate roles. Although it was never going to provide all the answers to the sector’s needs, the return of vets to the shortage occupation list is a welcome step. I welcome the acknowledgement...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Impact on Immigration) (13 Jun 2019)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government is working to support delivery of all areas of public service in order to make Scotland as attractive a nation as possible. At the moment, our attractiveness is being damaged by the Brexit process. However, it is interesting that net migration to Scotland from the rest of the UK has, in recent years, been consistently positive—we are attracting more people from the...


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