Friday, 30 April 2010

SNP DEPUTE LEADER CAMPAIGNS WITH JOHN MASON “ELECT A LOCAL CHAMPION”






SNP DEPUTE LEADER CAMPAIGNS WITH JOHN MASON “ELECT A LOCAL CHAMPION”

Saturday 1st May 2010 - 10:30am

Where: Glasgow Fort Shopping Park, Centre Management, Junction 10, M8
Glasgow, G34 9DL

Map: http://bit.ly/b4KNPs


SNP Depute Leader Nicola Sturgeon will join John Mason, the party’s
candidate in Glasgow East today (Saturday) as they take the message to
voters don’t just vote for a politician, elect a local champion.

The two will highlight the SNP’s pledges of jobs and growth, to cut
trident, to protect local services and to deliver a higher pension for our
elderly.

Ms Sturgeon will say;

“For voters in Scotland this election is about who will champion and
protect Scotland’s interests through tough times ahead.

“The last 5 days of this campaign are not about the air war on our TV
stations but about the ground war in constituencies across the country.

“The SNP has activists on the ground across the country who will be taking
our message, that it is local champions from the SNP in Westminster who
will put Scotland first, to doorsteps across the country.

“At the heart of our plans for the next Parliament are boosting jobs and
growth, arguing for an end to trident, fighting against cuts to protect
local services and increasing the pension in line with earnings to give a
£100 million boost to our elderly.

“In the last five days there is a key message to voters in Scotland, don't
just vote for a politician, elect a local champion.

SNP TAKE ON LATEST LABOUR POSTER







SNP TAKE ON LATEST LABOUR POSTER

"MUM, VOTE SNP FOR ME"

The SNP has today released a new viral poster, following the latest Labour
launch this morning.

The poster urges voters to back a better future with the SNP.

Mimicking the crayon writing on Labour's poster this morning, the new SNP
image says:

"Mum, You don't have to vote Labour for Grandad, vote SNP for me"

SNP Glasgow East candidate John Mason said:

"The SNP is the only party offering a real vision for Scotland's future at
this election.

"Instead of voting for the Labour party of the past I hope voters will
look to their and their children's future with a vote for the SNP as the
only real alternative to the tougher and deeper cuts being put forward by
the three London parties.

LABOUR'S PFI PLUGHOLE DRAINS £244 MILLION FROM SCOTTISH EDUCATION BUDGETS





LABOUR'S PFI PLUGHOLE DRAINS £244 MILLION FROM SCOTTISH EDUCATION BUDGETS

New Scottish Government figures have revealed that 5 per cent of Scotland's local authority education budgets are draining down Labour's PFI plughole.

A written answer to Christina McKelvie MSP discloses that PFI revenue costs accounted for 5 per cent of total gross local authority education expenditure in 2008-09, and increase of 1.2 per cent on the previous year. The figure equates to £244 million, an increase of £62 million on 2007-08.

Commenting, SNP MSP Ms McKelvie, a member of Holyrood's Education Committee, said:

"A full 5 per cent of funds that should have been spent on education services in Scotland has drained away down Labour's PFI plughole.

"The huge sum of £244 million that this represents lays bare the dreadful legacy of Labour's PFI obsession, the burden of which is now being borne by Scotland's schools, teachers, parents and pupils. When they were in office, Labour chose to mortgage the financial future of Scotland's councils and the upshot is that, with each passing year, larger and larger sums of money are having to be taken out of Scotland's classrooms in order to pay the PFI bills.

"In my own area, almost £15 million was slashed from the South Lanarkshire education budget alone. Councils across Scotland are obliged to pay for the private profits of the PFI companies before they can even begin to think about buying a single book or employing a single teacher or classroom assistant.

"At a time when all public sector spending in Scotland has been put under enormous pressure by the £800 million of cuts imposed on the Scottish budget by Labour at Westminster, local authorities are having to cope with this additional drain on their resources imposed by Labour in Scotland.

"Only the SNP can be trusted to work to protect spending on frontline services such as education, in the face not only of Labour cuts but of Labour's PFI debt legacy as well."

BALANCED PARLIAMENT NOW MORE LIKELY THAN EVER






BALANCED PARLIAMENT NOW MORE LIKELY THAN EVER

"ICEBERG ELECTION" CAN BE TIPPED IN WALES AND SCOTLAND'S FAVOUR

The TV leaders’ debates have made the likelihood of a balanced parliament
stronger than ever, giving Scotland and Wales the chance to exert more
influence at Westminster than for many years, SNP leader and First
Minister Alex Salmond said today.

At a joint press conference in London with Plaid Cymru leader Ieuan Wyn
Jones, Mr Salmond said the election was a chance for the people of both
nations to help protect themselves from the massive cuts agenda of the
London parties.

Mr Salmond said:

"When we launched our joint platform at the start of this campaign, we
said a balanced parliament was a possibility.

"That possibility then became a probability. And now, if many of the
opinion polls are accurate, it has become all but a certainty.

Ieuan Wyn Jones said:

“If the TV leaders’ debates have confirmed anything, it is that there is
no great appetite from the electorate for any of the London parties to be
given a free hand to do as they please at Westminster.

"In such a climate, the voices of the SNP ands Plaid carry more weight
than ever in a UK context as we head into the last few days of the
campaign."

Alex Salmond said:

"And this could be the most significant Westminster election in a
generation or more for our parties. In a balanced House of Commons, every
single vote will count, and that means we will do everything we can to
exert our influence by protecting Wales and Scotland from the savage cuts
agenda of the London parties.

“The SNP will not enter a coalition with any of the London parties. We
will vote on each matter on an issue by issue basis in the best interests
of Scotland.

"This campaign is the Iceberg Election because of the conspiracy of
silence between Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems on the massive hidden
cuts lurking beneath the surface."

Ieuan Wyn Jones said:

"They talk only about the small tip of that iceberg - the cuts they are
prepared to argue amongst themselves on. While all of them agree about
the huge cuts they would all implement, but are not prepared to talk
about.

"The SNP and Plaid Cymru have been proved 100% right on the cuts issue. We
have been warning of the scale of the cutbacks the London parties are
planning, and the Institute of Fiscal Studies has now backed up our
warning with its devastating critique of Labour, the Tories and the Lib
Dems.

“We say cut the things that don’t matter – like the proposed £100 billion
on new trident nuclear missiles – and protect the things that do matter,
like schools and hospitals.

Alex Salmond said:

"The SNP and Plaid Cymru are the only parties which are being honest with
the electorate in this election.

"And just as we have been vindicated on the cuts issue, we are
increasingly confident we will also be proved right in our prediction of a
balanced parliament.

"That balanced parliament is the best outcome for Scotland and Wales,
because it is the outcome that will protect our nations from those savage
cutbacks. If people in Scotland want to see a balanced parliament they
should vote for SNP local and national champions, and tip the Iceberg
Election decisively in our nation's favour."



The ‘4 Wales, 4 Scotland’ agreement is a four point pledge to secure a
fair deal for Wales and for Scotland.

We are pledging a strong bloc of Plaid and SNP MPs

- To Fight for fair funding for Wales and Scotland

- Protect local services and the most vulnerable from the cuts agendas of
the London parties

- Press for action to help the green economy

- And work to support business growth across Scotland and Wales

These are the 4 priorities which represent the values and the interests of
the people of our nations in this election.

ASK ALEX - ELAINE C SMITH INVITES VOTERS TO "ASK ALEX" TONGIHT






ASK ALEX - ELAINE C SMITH INVITES VOTERS TO "ASK ALEX" TONGIHT

WHEN: 7.30pm FRIDAY 30th APRIL

WHERE: DISCOVERY POINT, DUNDEE http://bit.ly/bFKDFn

Dundee voters will be given the chance to quiz Alex Salmond tonight at a
special hustings hosted by Elaine C Smith.

The two will be joined by SNP Candidates for Dundee West and East Jim
Barrie and Stewart Hosie.

The event will be at Discovery Point on Friday 30 April, starting at 7.30 pm.

Commenting on the event, Elaine C Smith said: “I will be hosting a unique
event in Dundee on Friday [30 April].

”I’ll be bringing the First Minister to Dundee so that you can quiz him
directly on the issues that matter to you. And where the TV stations won’t
let you laugh or clap this will be the audience’s show as much as anyone
else’s."

“This is your chance to question them on the issues that matter most in
your community and in this election."

Thursday, 29 April 2010

SALMOND ON BBC ECONOMY DEBATE





SALMOND ON BBC ECONOMY DEBATE

“ICEBERG DEBATE TRIED TO HIDE LONDON PARTIES' CUTS AGENDA"

Speaking after the BBC election debate on the economy, Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond said:

“Rather than genuine debate, this was more a turgid conspiracy of silence on the big issues of the election, because the three London-based parties all agree on the £250 billion Westminster cuts agenda – cutting ‘tougher and deeper’ than even Margaret Thatcher.

“This was the Iceberg Debate – which tried to hide the vast cuts to public services planned by the Tories, Labour and LibDems.

“SNP local and national champions offer an alternative for Scotland, and hope for the future – protecting our vital public services; cutting the things we neither need nor want such as Trident nuclear weapons, ID cards, and nuclear dumps; and boosting Scotland’s economy with the powers of independence.”

LONDON PRESS CONFERENCE: ALEX SALMOND AND IEUAN WYN JONES





LONDON PRESS CONFERENCE: ALEX SALMOND AND IEUAN WYN JONES

POSITION OF PLAID & SNP IN NEXT WESTMINSTER PARLIAMENT

What: SNP Leader Alex Salmond and Plaid Cymru Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will
hold a joint press conference to outline the SNP and Plaid Cymru's
position in the next Westminster parliament.

When: Friday 30th April 2010 at 12h15

Where: Harvey Goodwin Suite, Church House Conference Centre, Dean's Yard,
Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ

Speaking ahead of the press conference Mr Salmond said:

"At the start of this campaign, when a balanced parliament was a
possibility, the SNP and Plaid Cymru signed the 4Wales, 4Scotland
agreement setting out our priorities.

"Now, a balanced parliament is a probability we are going back to London
to set out our agenda for the forthcoming Westminster parliament."


Map: http://bit.ly/aVU353

SNP WELCOMES LANDMARK HOLYROOD VOTE FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORM




SNP WELCOMES LANDMARK HOLYROOD VOTE FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORM

Tricia Marwick MSP has welcomed today's landmark vote by the Scottish Parliament in favour of replacing the first past the post voting system for Westminster elections with the much fairer single transferable vote (STV). The vote followed a debate on a Green Party motion.

SNP MSP for Central Fife Ms Marwick said:

"This was a very clear endorsement by a significant majority of MSPs of the need for a fairer electroral system at Westminster, one that would finally give voters a real voice. The SNP has long supported STV as by far the fairest and most democratic voting system, and I am delighted that that is the system which has been endorsed today.

"The discredited first past the post system at Westminster has well and truly had its day. The time is long overdue to genuinely empower the electorate and give them the representation they vote for - that is the powerful message that has been sent by the Scottish Parliament today.

"The Labour-Tory cabal at Holyrood joined forces today to vote against democratic reform - as they have now done on 75% of Scottish Parliament votes, and counting. They would happily betray voters in order to protect their own narrow electoral interests and increasingly cosy clique."

LOW PAID WORKERS HAVE BEEN LET DOWN BY LABOUR





LOW PAID WORKERS HAVE BEEN LET DOWN BY LABOUR

The SNP has exposed Scottish Labour's hypocrisy on low pay, following a debate on a Green Party motion in the Scottish Parliament today.

Rob Gibson, SNP MSP for Highland and Islands, who spoke in the debate, said:

"In Parliament today, Labour tried their usual smoke and mirrors attempt to distract from their own culpability on the issue of poverty pay.

"As they well know, the Scottish Government has no locus on private sector pay, which is reserved to Westminster - and which the Labour/Tory/Lib Dem Calman Commission would not devolve to Scotland. The SNP government has taken significant steps to improve public sector pay levels within the powers available to it, but without control over both private sector pay and the tax and benefits system, any Scottish administration is powerless to raise the take-home pay of the lowest paid workers, such as the majority of those in the hotel and restaurant sector.

"The SNP has commended the efforts of, for example, Glasgow City Council to set a minimum living wage of £7 an hour for its staff, but the fact that they have had to do so exposes the inadequacy of the minimum wage set by Labour at Westminster. Had Labour index-linked the minimum wage to earnings from the beginning, the rate would not have fallen so far behind the level that can be decently described as a living wage today.

"The SNP is fully committed to tackling poverty and income inequality and to making work pay. If Labour in Scotland are genuinely committed to the same, they should join with the SNP in demanding that the levers of power to address poverty pay are devolved to the Scottish government as soon as possible. Until they do, they will continue to let Scotland's lowest paid workers down."

ALEX SALMOND SETS OUT ALTERNATIVE VISION FOR SCOTLAND





ALEX SALMOND SETS OUT ALTERNATIVE VISION FOR SCOTLAND

“ICEBERG ELECTION” MAKES CASE FOR FISCAL FREEDOM MORE URGENT THAN EVER

SNP Leader Alex Salmond today set out an alternative vision for Scotland in a keynote speech on the economy.

Joined by the SNP’s economy team of Finance Secretary John Swinney and Treasury Spokesman Stewart Hosie at the Point Hotel in Edinburgh, Mr Salmond put forward the steps Scotland needs to take to ensuring future public spending and to fill the gap left by London cuts.

Mr Salmond was responding to a briefing by the Scottish Government’s Chief Economist earlier this month which estimated a reduction in public spending in Scotland of £25 billion over the next 13 years and setting out the SNP’s position ahead of tonight’s election leaders’ debate on the economy.

1) cut the things that matter least, so we can protect those that matter most.

2) to match our achievements on efficiencies over the past 3 years, and deliver a second phase of 2% annual efficiency savings for the next 3 years

3) higher levels of economic growth and the increased growth that would be generated through fiscal autonomy

Mr Salmond will also set out the additional growth that could come with Independence.

Speaking at the Point Hotel, Mr Salmond said:

“Last week the Scottish Government published a definitive account of future spending. The Office of the Chief Economic Adviser, taking what we know from this year's budget and independent forecasts, highlighted a range of cuts between £22 billion and £35 billion over the next 15 years.

“A cut that in its central assumptions, based on Budget 2010, would see a £25 billion reduction in Scottish spending and a £250 billion cut across Whitehall up to 2022-23.

“And this week, these figures were totally confirmed by the Institute of Fiscal Studies. They told us that the London parties’ proposals would require a level of cuts not seen since the 1970's. Cuts, to borrow Alistair Darling’s phrase, that are 'deeper and tougher' than under Margaret Thatcher.

“I call this the Iceberg Election because the London parties have been determined to hide the full nature of their cuts agenda.

“They have made visible only a fraction of their plans, leaving out billions of pounds of additional cuts. And like an iceberg, it is the enormous bit that remains unseen that poses the greatest risk and will cause the most damage.”

Looking ahead to the debate on the economy tonight, Mr Salmond said:

“Tonight the leaders of the London parties face each other in a debate on the economy. The truth about cuts should be central to that debate.

“It is their opportunity to come clean.

“But throughout this campaign cuts have been their shared secret. Their joint cover-up.

“It is the question they do not want to answer.

“And tonight, who is going to ask the question? Who will cut through the fog of consensus?”

Setting out three clear steps the SNP will take to fill the spending gap, Mr Salmond said:

“We have a £25 billion spending gap – a cut in our budget from London that threatens jobs, recovery and so many of the public service we hold dear.

“The first step in filling that gap is to cut the things that matter least, so we can protect those that matter most.

“Already in this campaign we have listed the many projects we think should face the spending axe first.

“The £100 billion Trident programme and its replacement, the remnants of the ID card system and the deep depository for nuclear waste. We can cut the £100 million House of Lords and the near £10 million Scotland Office.

“Over the next 15 years, the Scottish share of our cuts alternative would see £5 billion cut from these things – the things that don't matter at all.

“I have no doubt Scots would rather see our taxes spent on our hospitals schools and police than on nuclear bombs.

“Over these past three years the Scottish government has set an efficiency target of 2% each year or 6% over the period. Last year we exceeded that target, delivering an additional £300 million for re-investment in the frontline.

“Indeed we have delivered in one year what it has taken the UK two years to match.

“So the second step is to match our achievements on efficiencies over the past 3 years, and deliver a second phase of 2% annual efficiency savings for the next 3 years.

“And the third and crucial element to our plan is higher levels of economic growth.

“The present borrowing gap is the product of lost output in the economy. That is what has sent borrowing soaring to unprecedented levels. Similarly the way to close the gap is to seek a growth strategy which will recover as much as possible of that lost prosperity.

“So alongside a strategy for cuts on things that matter least and realistic efficiency savings, Scotland needs a strategy for growth.

“Earlier this month Professors Hughes Hallett and Scott published a paper setting out a detailed proposal for Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland. At the centre of that paper was the assessment that fiscal autonomy could significantly raise the level of Scotland's growth.

“They suggested that the growth boost could be as much as 2.5 per cent per year, and showed the dramatic effect that this growth could have on the economy and public finances over a five-year period.

“In fact an increase in growth of just 1% per annum would fill the remaining £10 billion spending gap. Fiscal Autonomy would see our spending, not only protected in the short term, but able to return much earlier to real terms growth.

“And that growth would mean, instead of 13 years and £25 billion of cuts, Scotland would see additional revenues of £13 billion - additional investment in jobs and our communities.”

Looking ahead to independence, Mr Salmond added:

“With the full flexibility of independence, with all the economic levers in our own hands, there is much more we can achieve.

“These benefits of independence would allow us to maintain the higher levels of growth delivered first through Fiscal autonomy. Scotland's economy would continue to grow above previous trend levels, delivering a further £11 billion of new resources – money we can re-invest in jobs and our communities, in public services and business growth.

“The SNP was the first party to set out the full scale of the cuts our nation faces in the years ahead.

“And today we are the only party to say how we can address that spending gap – how we can protect Scotland from the cuts threatened by all three London parties.

“To say that we can find an alternative vision to replace the Westminster decade of despair.

“Politics – real politics – depends on real choices.

“Choosing to spend on things that matter and sweeping away things that don’t.

“Choosing to have a sustained and proven strategy of public sector efficiencies rather than a panic driven slash and burn.

“Choosing to gain the levers of economic management to shift the rate of growth in Scotland to lead to a new prosperity.

“Each of these three steps can be brought closer by a strong team of SNP MPs in the House of Commons. The political position is now as redolent with opportunity just as the economic position is one of unprecedented challenge.

“Tonight the London leaders will do all they can to avoid talking about the real cuts they all plan.

“But their secret is out.

“Their plans mean a decade and more of despair.

“But there is another way and that path is one of hope and opportunity.

“With SNP MPs as local and national champions, we can protect Scottish jobs and Scotland's public services.

“And above all free our nation to flourish.”

HYPOCRITE FOULKES ATTACKS SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT SYSTEM THAT GOT HIM ELECTED





HYPOCRITE FOULKES ATTACKS SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT SYSTEM THAT GOT HIM ELECTED

SNP MSP for the Lothians Shirley-Anne Somerville has today (Thursday) called on Labour MSP George Foulkes to resign from the Scottish Parliament after he made an extraordinary speech attacking the Parliament’s PR list system, which got him elected.

In a Green Party debate in the Parliament, Foulkes claimed that the current list system was not “not democracy” and was “ridiculous”. Foulkes also launched an attack on the unelected House of Lords, despite having accepted a peerage and taking his seat.

Ms Somerville said:

“Jaws dropped across the Chamber when Lord Foulkes unleashed his latest bout of hypocrisy. Even by his standards, it was shameless.

"If he believes that the Scottish Parliament's list system is so undemocratic, why was he perfectly happy to take advantage of it to get himself elected? He said that anyone who adopted the PR system used at Holyrood would be "mad" - but that particular system was chosen and imposed on the Parliament by Labour because they thought it would permanently rig Scottish elections in their favour.

"Has Lord Foulkes only just realised that the House of Lords is unelected? It didn't seem to bother him when he accepted a peerage from a Labour government, nor did it seem to bother him when he turned up to the Lords to vote in favour of ID cards and 42 day detention, for example, or on a host of matters that only affected the people of England and Wales.

"If Lord Foulkes believes that his own election to the Scottish Parliament and elevation to the peerage were undemocratic, then it is utterly hypocritical for him to continue in those offices. He should resign from them now. He has just talked himself out of both of his jobs."

LABOUR CANDIDATE TO BE CHALLENGED ON LEAK OF ROYAL PATHS CORRESPONDENCE





LABOUR CANDIDATE TO BE CHALLENGED ON LEAK OF ROYAL PATHS CORRESPONDENCE

HUSTINGS OFFER HIM THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONFIRM OR DENY HIS POSITION

The SNP candidate for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, Cllr Graeme Horne, will tonight challenge the Labour candidate, Tom Greatrex, at a local hustings to “confirm or deny” that he was the person who leaked correspondence to the media in January between the Home Office and the Scottish Government regarding the designation of footpaths in the Cairngorm National Park Authority.

Mr Greatrex was a Special Adviser to Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy at the time, and the Scottish Sun newspaper reported yesterday that: “Whitehall sources outed Tom Greatrex – now standing as Labour candidate in Rutherglen, Glasgow – as the mole after a three-month probe by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell.”

If Mr Greatrex was the leaker, the SNP has said that Labour would have “no choice” but to suspend him as a candidate – in the same way as a Tory candidate in Ayrshire was suspended this week.

The Scottish Sun report followed a Parliamentary Answer published on Monday by Scottish Government External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop which said that it had been, “established conclusively that the source was not a Scottish Government civil servant”.

Cllr Graeme Horne said:

“This is an extremely serious issue, and Mr Greatrex has so far failed to immediately confirm or deny the report that he leaked this correspondence. If he did, Labour have no choice but to suspend him as a parliamentary candidate.

"Tonight's hustings gives him the opportunity to clear the air and 'confirm or deny' his position. That he has not so far leaves him open to suspicion. I am reliably told that he has also failed to respond to local media inquiries about this issue.

“A Home Office Minister, quite rightly, made the point that the police wished as little attention as possible for the paths, and we now have it reported that it was a Special Adviser to Jim Murphy and a Labour Party candidate in Scotland who was responsible for this disgraceful leak.

“This matter is straightforward but urgent. If Tom Greatrex was not responsible, he must deny it. If he was, he must be removed as the Labour Party candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.”

LABOUR FALLING APART ON TRIDENT IS JUST TIP OF ICEBERG




LABOUR FALLING APART ON TRIDENT IS JUST TIP OF ICEBERG

PANIC & INDISCIPLINE INCREASE AS WHEELS COME OF LABOUR’S CAMPAIGN

Commenting on the report in the Herald today that reveals 21 of 59 Labour candidates have stated their opposition to replacing Trident, the SNP’s Westminster leader and defence spokesperson, Angus Robertson, said that it was yet another sign that Labour was falling apart in the heat of the general election campaign as panic and indiscipline break out amongst its candidates.

Commenting Mr Robertson said:

“The SNP is full square behind not only opposing a replacement of Trident but scrapping the present Trident system

“In contrast it was a Labour government which put in place the decision to renew Trident.

“Many of those Labour candidates in Scotland who are now opposing that replacement are only doing so because the Labour campaign is spectacularly falling apart.

“They are in a panic and grasping for any means to get support. However the fact is their government which wants to keep Trident and their government which is trying to lumber Scotland with its replacement.

“What Scotland needs is not yet more Labour politicians lumbering us with the debt from weapons of mass destruction. Scotland needs local and national champions which will consistently stand against the waste and immorality that is Trident.”

SNP CHAMPION SUPPORT FOR SCOTLAND'S COMMUNITIES





SNP CHAMPION SUPPORT FOR SCOTLAND'S COMMUNITIES

Commenting on a visit to Livingston Credit Union today (Thursday) SNP
Finance Secretary, John Swinney MSP, stressed the importance of
responsible lending and protecting the vulnerable as he joined Livingston
candidate Lis Bardell.

The SNP manifesto includes commitments to encourage people back into work
without penalising them, to increase the pension and minimum wage in line
with earnings and to protect attendance allowance.

Commenting Mr Swinney said:

“In the next Parliament we need to protect Scotland’s vulnerable from the
cuts agendas of the London parties.

“SNP candidates like Lis Bardell will put the interests of Scots at the
heart of the next Parliament.

“Only this week we’ve seen families affected by Farepak receive only 15p
per pound for the millions they lost – after the Labour Government failed
to protect their interests.

“In our manifesto the SNP has pledged to protect society’s most
vulnerable. The SNP’s priority is to help Scots weather the economic storm
by cutting the things that matter least so that we can protect the things
that matter most.

“We want to see financial support for pensioners increase in line with
earnings, and real incentives into work rather than benefits plans that
penalise people for getting jobs.

SNP Candidate in Livingston Lis Bardell said

“It is by voting SNP in this election that Scottish people can help
vulnerable people in Scotland during the economic crisis. In a balanced
parliament a strong block of Scottish MPs could champion consumer rights
to protect against inflated interest rates and concentrate on protecting
the things that mean the most to Scottish people.

“The farepak scandal shows how little Labour has really done for people
hit by the financial crisis, and if elected as a local champion for
Livingston I will work to ensure the vulnerable are protected in the next
Parliament."

SIR TOM FARMER BACKS FISCAL AUTONOMY





SIR TOM FARMER BACKS FISCAL AUTONOMY

TYCOON SAYS CASE FOR FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE NOW "OVERWHELMING"

SNP Treasury spokesman Stewart Hosie today (Thu) welcomed Sir Tom Farmer's
backing for full fiscal autonomy. Writing in the Herald today (Thu), Sir
Tom said the case for financial independence for Scotland was now
"overwhelming", and called on other business and civic leaders to get
behind the proposal.

Mr Hosie said:

"Sir Tom's call for Holyrood to be responsible for raising all the money
it spends is very welcome. As one of Scotland's most successful and
respected businessmen, his endorsement carries enormous weight and will
hopefully encourage others to support this commonsense solution to the
country's funding needs.

"The case for full fiscal autonomy has never been more urgent. At a time
when all the London parties are sizing up Scotland's budget for savage
cuts, we need the ability to grow our own economy to spread wealth and
help protect vital public services.

"The time has come for Scotland to take full responsibility for its own
finances."

Link to Herald story:

http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/politics/kwik-fit-boss-calls-for-fiscal-autonomy-1.1023887

LONDON PRESS CONFERENCE: ALEX SALMOND AND IEUAN WYN JONES





LONDON PRESS CONFERENCE: ALEX SALMOND AND IEUAN WYN JONES

POSITION OF PLAID & SNP IN NEXT WESTMINSTER PARLIAMENT

What: SNP Leader Alex Salmond and Plaid Cymru Leader Ieuan Wyn Jones will
hold a joint press conference to outline the SNP and Plaid Cymru's
position in the next Westminster parliament.

When: Friday 30th April 2010 at 12h15

Where: Harvey Goodwin Suite, Church House Conference Centre, Dean's Yard,
Westminster, London SW1P 3NZ

Map: http://bit.ly/aVU353

POLL SHOWS ONLY SCOTLAND IS POSITIVE ABOUT BALANCED PARLIAMENT





POLL SHOWS ONLY SCOTLAND IS POSITIVE ABOUT BALANCED PARLIAMENT

SCOTLAND UNDERSTANDS BENEFITS OF A BALANCED PARLIAMENT

Details of a poll by YouGov shows that Scotland is the only part of the UK which is positive about the prospect of a balanced parliament compared to all other parts of the UK and the UK as a whole.

The figures show that 49% of Scots think a balanced parliament is a good thing compared to 40% who don’t – a 9% lead. This compared to 37% for and 47% against in the UK as a whole – a deficit of -10%.

Commenting the SNP's election co-ordinator Stewart Hosie said:

“These figures show that Scots voters know the potential of a balanced parliament to deliver for their communities.

“This election is moving ever closer in Scotland’s direction and the London party’s panic and confusion simply proves the potential for Scotland to win concessions in a balanced parliament.

“Over the last three years the SNP has successfully passed three budgets with support from different parties, and delivered the beginnings of recovery from a recession that has been shorter in Scotland than in England.

“Parties have worked together to promote and protect apprenticeship places, tax bonuses for small businesses and more police on our streets.

"Scaremongering over a balanced parliament has a hollow ring in Scotland and this poll shows Scots voters want to see the same success at Westminster and know the only way to deliver a balanced parliament for Scotland is with a vote for local and national champions with the SNP.”

ENDS

Notes

The poll details are as follows:

Do you think that if this election produces a hung parliament, this will be...



UK

London

South

Mid / Wales

North

Scotland


A good thing

37

42

32

35

38

49

A bad thing

47

49

49

52

42

40

Not sure

16

10

19

14

20

10


Difference

-10

-7

-17

-17

-4

9


YouGov/Sun Survey Results on a balanced parliament

Sample Size: 852 GB Adults, Fieldwork: 26th April 2010

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

JOHN SWINNEY AND LIS BARDELL MEET STAFF AT THE LIVINGSTON CREDIT UNION






JOHN SWINNEY AND LIS BARDELL MEET STAFF AT THE LIVINGSTON CREDIT UNION

WHEN: 09h30 Thursday 29th April 2010

WHERE: Livingston Credit Union, 57A The Centre, Almondvale South, Livingston

Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth John Swinney will
join the SNP’s candidate for the Livingston constituency Lis Bardell , and
local MSP Angela Constance at Livingston Credit Union to meet with staff
to discuss their work.

HISTORIC RECOGNITION FOR SCOTS LANGUAGE IN CENSUS





HISTORIC RECOGNITION FOR SCOTS LANGUAGE IN CENSUS

Rob Gibson MSP has welcomed today's unanimous passage of the Census Order by the Scottish Parliament, with its historic inclusion of a question for speakers of the Scots tongue.

Mr Gibson, SNP MSP for Highlands and Islands, said:

"The work of many members of the Cross Party Group for Scots over eight years has led to the trial and inclusion of a question on Scots in the Scottish Census, due in March 2011. Alongside English and Scottish Gaelic, Scots speakers will have a chance to answer tick boxes for Q 16 - which can you do? Understand, Speak, Read, Write, or none of these.

"Scots, the tongue of Robert Burns, has dialects that span Shetland, Orkney, Caithness, Moray and all the way through Aberdeenshire and central Scotland to the Borders and far South West. Many Scots don't realise that's what they speak. Between now and the census next year a profile of the local versions of Scots tongue will have to be made very public. We look to the Registrar General to fund this information campaign.

"The SNP welcomes this historic recognition for the Scots tongue by its place in the census. We hope all parties in the Parliament will help to get the question fully answered."

WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT BACKS MINIMUM ALCOHOL PRICING




WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT BACKS MINIMUM ALCOHOL PRICING

Michael Matheson MSP has welcomed a call by the Welsh Assembly Government for the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing to help tackle the harm done by harmful drinking.

The calls were made today by Edwina Hart AM, Minister for Health and Social Services in the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition Welsh administration. Ms Hart has said that if the UK government does not take action to introduce minimum alcohol pricing, she and her colleagues will seek to have the necessary powers devolved to Wales in order that they can do so themselves.

SNP MSP Mr Matheson, a member of the Scottish Parliament's Health Committee, said:
"The coalition in favour of minimum pricing as an effective approach to tackling the worst damage done by alcohol abuse is growing by the day. The Welsh Assembly Government joins a chorus of expert voices in health, public order and the licensed trade who believe that the selling of alcohol at rock-bottom prices is one of the biggest problems facing our society and that we have to take action to stop it now.

"That's why they support the SNP's policy of minimum pricing. It is sensible, pragmatic and evidence-based and it will help to address the most harmful use of alcohol without penalising responsible drinkers.

"It is somewhat ironic that while Edwina Hart and her Labour colleagues in the Welsh Assembly Government are prepared to take radical action to against dirt-cheap drink for the sake of their nation's health, Labour in Scotland continue to cynically put party politics above public health.

"I congratulate Ms Hart and her colleagues in the Welsh Assembly Government on their determination to tackle the damage caused in Wales by the abuse of alcohol. The SNP government shares that determination in Scotland. The SNP's minimum pricing plan will save lives, cut crime and help re-balance Scotland’s damaging relationship with alcohol, and I call again for Scots politicians of all parties to stop playing politics with the nation's health and get behind these proposals."

LEGAL SERVICES BILL OVERWHELMINGLY PASSES FIRST STAGE IN SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT




LEGAL SERVICES BILL
OVERWHELMINGLY PASSES FIRST STAGE IN SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT

The Scottish Government's Legal Services (Scotland) Bill was overwhelmingly supported by MSPs at its first stage in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon. The Bill will enable the establishment of new business models for legal services thus opening up public access to high quality legal services.

Welcoming the Parliament's decision, SNP MSP Nigel Don, a member of Holyrood's Justice Committee, said:
"The SNP Scottish Government has put the principle of user-centred services at the heart of its policy approach. Legal services should be no different and this bill will make the legal services market more open and accessible and provide more choice for the public. People nowadays quite rightly want to be able to access legal services in the same way that they do other services, quickly and easily and in a way that suits their particular needs, and the bill will enable legal service providers in Scotland to respond to that desire.

"The robust new regulatory framework that the bill puts in place will also allow users to have confidence in the quality of the service they are paying for. It's no wonder that the Legal Services Bill is strongly supported by consumer organisations, a fact which I welcome.

"It's a good piece of legislation for the legal profession as well. By removing outdated restrictions on business models, it will allow firms to respond to market changes and grow and compete both in the UK and internationally. The changes are not compulsory: firms will be able to stick with the traditional legal business model if that suits them, but they will no longer be constrained by it.

"The Legal Services Bill has passed its first parliamentary stage today and with the overwhelming support that MSPs have given to the principles behind it, I am hopeful that Scottish consumers will soon be able to benefit from these important changes."

LEADERS' DEBATES - JUDICIAL REVIEW GOES AHEAD





LEADERS' DEBATES - JUDICIAL REVIEW GOES AHEAD

SNP WILL NOW TAKE CASE TO THE PEOPLE

Following the outcome today (Wed) of the SNP's petition at the Court of
Session, where the application for judicial review has proceeded, the
party's Depute leader and Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

"This is not the end of this case. Our application for judicial review of
the BBC's decision to exclude the SNP from this week's leaders' debate has
progressed and will be heard by the court at a later date - and that is
important, to ensure that the TV debates in this election campaign do not
set an undemocratic precedent.

"We were right to bring this case on grounds of basic fairness and
democracy, in terms of trying to ensure that the BBC met its duties of
impartiality. Scottish viewers will now be deprived of an alternative to
the cosy Westminster consensus of the London parties and their shared cuts
agenda.

"We will now take that message directly to the Scottish public in the
remaining days of the campaign. Where we may have been shut out of the air
war we will continue to work hard in the ground war at this election.
Around a million people in Scotland are expected to watch the BBC leaders'
debate - but we will deliver leaflets to just as many people with the
message that only SNP local and national champions will protect the
interests of their communities and Scotland as a whole."

BROWN BETRAY'S LABOUR'S REAL VIEW OF PUBLIC





BROWN BETRAY'S LABOUR'S REAL VIEW OF PUBLIC

Commenting on Gordon Brown's backfiring efforts to meet the public in
Rochdale, SNP campaign coordinator Stewart Hosie said:

"Gordon Brown's efforts to meet the public are backfiring badly.

"While the SNP is campaigning across the country as local and national
champions, Labour are going round the country insulting people.

"Labour voters across the country will be looking at Brown's behaviour and
seriously questioning whether they want a Prime Minister who thinks so
little of the members of the public he meets."

CAMERON'S DESPERATE REMARKS EXPOSE TORY UNPOPULARITY





CAMERON'S DESPERATE REMARKS EXPOSE TORY UNPOPULARITY

Commenting on David Cameron’s desperate remarks about the Tories lack of popularity in Scotland - where he said “the Conservative Party doesn't always do brilliantly in Scotland” - the SNP's election co-ordinator Stewart Hosie said:


“The more SNP MPs are elected next week, the stronger Scotland’s voice will be – working on a case by case, issue by issue basis to promote Scottish interests, and no deal of any kind with either Tweedledum, Tweedledee, or TweedleDem.

“The issue the Tories have dodged throughout this campaign is their plot, along with Labour and the Lib Dems, not just to cut Scotland’s budget but then to impose a ‘Cameron cut’ by slashing Scotland’s budget share.

“The Tories’ anti-Scottish plan is a disastrous prospect – and is proving equally disastrous for their ratings. The ‘Cameron cut’ plot has destroyed the Tory campaign north of the Border.

“George Osborne has now effectively confirmed that the Tories are proposing an extra cut just for Scotland, without the consent of the Scottish Government or people, and without any reference to the revenue raised in Scotland, such as the more than £40 billion of oil revenues flowing to the Treasury over the next few years.

“’More nats mean less cuts’ – protecting our frontline services from the London parties’ cuts agenda by cutting the things we neither need nor want such as Trident, ID cards and nuclear dumps, and charting an alternative constitutional course for Scotland.”

ALEX SALMOND VISITS FALKIRK JOBS SUCCESS STORY






ALEX SALMOND VISITS FALKIRK JOBS SUCCESS STORY

ELECT A LOCAL CHAMPION TO PROTECT SCOTLAND FROM LONDON CUTS

PRESSURE BUILDS ON LONDON MACHINE POLITICIANS TO STOP HIDING THEIR CUTS AGENDA

SNP Leader Alex Salmond today (Wednesday), joined SNP candidates for Falkirk, John McNally and Linlithgow and Falkirk East, Tam Smith on a visit to the HEROtsc call centre in Larbert.
- Hide quoted text -


The call centre which employs 300 people was at threat of closure in April 2009 but HEROtsc, with SNP Government support, secured a new contract with SKY enabling the centre to continue its operations in Falkirk.

But Mr Salmond warned that success stories like HEROstc are threatened by the hidden and shared cuts agenda of the London politicians, underlined by yesterday’s Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) report which criticised Labour, the Tories and the LibDems for failing to come clean on the scale of their proposed cuts.

Mr Salmond said:

“HEROtsc is a fantastic Scottish success story – and their continuing success is testament to the skill and dedication of the workforce. Throughout the downturn, the SNP Government has done everything it could to support jobs in Scotland and HEROtsc is testament to that.

“But economic recovery is threatened by all the London politicians and their attempts to hide their shared cuts agenda.

“The London-based politicians think they can get away with concealing the extent of their cuts agenda from the electorate in this election,. However the information is now out in the public domain – thanks to the SNP Government's report and the IFS study – and Labour, the Tories and LibDems must now come clean.

“On the basis of Treasury growth forecasts, UK cuts over the next 12 years will be £250 billion. And on the basis of slower UK growth – which the latest figures indicate is the case – we are talking about cuts of some £370 billion over the 15 years it will take until spending reaches the 2009/10 levels in real terms.

“The London parties are merely debating the tip of the iceberg on television – they are desperate to hide the scale of UK cuts from the people before 6 May. No wonder they conspired like typical machine politicians to keep the SNP and Plaid Cymru off the airwaves.

“Their position is now untenable, and Labour, the Tories and the LibDems must all be challenged on they will respond, and what exactly they are proposing for our key public services.”

Mr Salmond added:

“The key issue over the next nine days is ensuring that political choices and priorities are changed from the intentions of the London politicians, to ensure that the cuts fall on the things that the people of Scotland neither need nor want – Trident, ID cards, and a nuclear waste dump – and that our public services are protected.

“The London politicians – Tweedledee, Tweedledum and TweedleDem – are all tied into cuts of this scale. And the Tories would even impose an extra ‘Cameron cut’ on Scotland, by forcing through a worse funding formula without the consent of the Scottish Government or people – against the Treasury’s own rules.

“That is why ‘more nats means less cuts’, because only the SNP stand for dumping wasteful spending on Westminster vanity projects, protecting our great public services, and charting a course to Scottish prosperity.”

SNP candidate for Falkirk John McNally added:

“SNP MPs at Westminster will work to bring more control over employment policy back to the Scottish Parliament so we can bring together job centres and skills agencies to make sure local communities get coordinated support.

“This simple move would enhance the existing partnership arrangements, reduce bureaucracy and overlap and mean more time and resources are available to support people into work.”

GREATREX MUST CONFIRM OR DENY LEAKING ROYAL PATHS CORRESPONDENCE - REPORT





GREATREX MUST CONFIRM OR DENY LEAKING ROYAL PATHS CORRESPONDENCE - REPORT

“LABOUR HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO SUSPEND HIM AS CANDIDATE IF HE DID”

The Scottish National Party said that Tom Greatrex, Labour candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, must in light of a media report this morning “immediately confirm or deny” that he was the person who leaked correspondence to the media in January between the Home Office and the Scottish Government regarding the designation of footpaths in the Cairngorm National Park Authority.

If Mr Greatrex was the leaker, the SNP said that Labour would have “no choice” but to suspend him as a candidate – in the same way as a Tory candidate in Ayrshire was suspended yesterday.

Mr Greatrex was a Special Adviser to Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy at the time, and today’s Scottish Sun newspaper reports that: “Whitehall sources outed Tom Greatrex – now standing as Labour candidate in Rutherglen, Glasgow – as the mole after a three-month probe by the Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O’Donnell.”

On Monday, Scottish Government External Affairs Minister Fiona Hyslop published a Parliamentary Answer which said that it had been, “established conclusively that the source was not a Scottish Government civil servant”.

Stewart Hosie, the SNP’s election campaign co-ordinator, said:

“This is an extremely serious issue, and Mr Greatrex must immediately confirm or deny the report that he leaked this correspondence. If he did, Labour have no choice but to suspend him as a parliamentary candidate.

“It was the Home Office Minister who, quite rightly, made the point that the police wished as little attention as possible for the paths, and we now have a report that it was a Special Adviser to Jim Murphy and a Labour Party candidate in Scotland who was responsible for this disgraceful leak.

“The position is a very straightforward and urgent. If Mr Greatrex was not responsible, he must deny it. And if he was, he must be removed as the Labour Party candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.”

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

ALEX SALMOND VISITS FALKIRK SUCCESS STORY




ALEX SALMOND VISITS FALKIRK SUCCESS STORY

ELECT A LOCAL CHAMPION TO PROTECT SCOTTISH JOBS

When: Wednesday 28th April 2010 at 10h00

What: SNP Leader Alex Salmond will join Falkirk candidates John McNally
and Tam Smith on a visit to the HEROtsc call centre in Falkirk.

Commenting, Mr Salmond said:

“HEROtsc is a great Scottish success story – and a major employer with
operations across Scotland.

“Creating and supporting jobs is at the heart of the SNP’s manifesto.
We're working to enable more businesses like HEROtsc to flourish in
Scotland.”

Where: 1 Central Park Avenue, Central Business Park, Larbert, Falkirk, FK5
4RX

Map: http://bit.ly/bl3UEK

BUSINESSES SNAP UP 7,000 APPRENTICES





BUSINESSES SNAP UP 7,000 APPRENTICES

Anne McLaughlin MSP has welcomed an announcement by Skills Minister Keith Brown today that Scottish businesses have already signed up to employ more than 7,000 Modern Apprentices this year.

SNP MSP for Glasgow, Ms McLaughlin said:
"It's extremely encouraging news that 7,000 young people and adults will be able to start work this month as Modern Apprentices. The Scottish Government exceeded its target to provide 20,000 Modern Apprenticeships last year, and from today's announcement it looks like this coming year will be another bumper one for apprentices.

"This is vital investment by the SNP government, which will not only build the skills and knowledge to drive Scotland's future success, but also help to ease the human and social costs of recession. Apprenticeships get young people leaving school and college into work and provide adults who have lost their jobs during the economic downturn with the opportunity to retrain, which is why the SNP has made it a priority to provide more Modern Apprenticeship places in more sectors than ever before."

LONDON MACHINE POLITICIANS SLAMMED FOR HIDING THEIR CUTS AGENDA





LONDON MACHINE POLITICIANS SLAMMED FOR HIDING THEIR CUTS AGENDA

The Scottish National Party seized on the report by the UK’s leading financial think tank – the Institute for Fiscal Studies – which contains a strong attack on the politicians of all three London-based political parties for their failure to come clean about the swingeing public spending cuts they would implement in the next Westminster parliament.

The IFS report said it was “striking how reticent” Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg had been during the campaign on how they planned to tackle the UK’s deficit.

The Scottish National Party’s Treasury Spokesperson Mr Stewart Hosie challenged the London-based politicians to “come clean” and admit the scale of their cuts agenda.

The SNP Government has already published a report last Thursday showing that it will take a period of sustained adjustment lasting up to 12 to 15 years before 2009/10 levels of expenditure are reached once again. Over this period, Scottish expenditure could cumulatively forego between £25 and £35 billion in real terms compared to a situation whereby the 2009/10 peak level of expenditure remained unchanged. The upper end of this scale would be more likely if the UK economic recovery were to be slower than forecast in Budget 2010.

The UK equivalent cuts figures would be between £250 billion on Treasury forecasts and £370 billion on the basis of slower growth.

Mr Hosie said:

“The London-based politicians are trying to conceal the extent of their cuts agenda from the electorate, but the information is now out in the public domain – thanks to the SNP Government report and the IFS study – and Labour, the Tories and LibDems must at last come clean during this campaign.

“On the basis of Treasury growth forecasts, the cumulative UK cuts over the next 12 years would be £250 billion. And on the basis of slower UK growth – which the latest figures indicate is the case – we are talking about cuts of some £370 billion over the 15 years it will take until spending reaches the 2009/10 levels in real terms.

“The London parties are merely debating the tip of the iceberg on television – they are desperate to hide the scale of UK cuts from the people before 6 May. No wonder they ganged up to keep the SNP and Plaid Cymru off the airwaves.

“Their position is now untenable, and the London parties must all be challenged on they will respond, and what exactly they are proposing for our key public services.

“The key issue over the next nine days is ensuring that political choices and priorities are changed from the intentions of the London parties, to ensure that the cuts fall on the things that the people of Scotland neither need nor want – Trident, ID cards, and a nuclear waste dump – and that our public services are protected.

“The London politicians – Tweedledee, Tweedledum and TweedleDem – are all tied into cuts of this scale. And the Tories would even impose an extra ‘Cameron cut’ on Scotland, by forcing through a worse funding formula without the consent of the Scottish Government or people.

“That is why ‘more nats means less cuts’, because only the SNP stand for dumping wasteful spending on Westminster vanity projects, protecting our great public services, and charting a course to Scottish prosperity.”

HOSPITALS SAVED BY THE SNP DELIVER 400,000 TREATMENTS IN THREE YEARS






HOSPITALS SAVED BY THE SNP DELIVER 400,000 TREATMENTS IN THREE YEARS

Patients have received over 400,000 treatments at NHS hospitals and units which were threatened with closure under the previous Scottish administration and subsequently saved by the SNP government.

The figures have been revealed in a written parliamentary answer provided to Christina McKelvie MSP by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon. Since 1997, there have been a total of 405,516 treatments or attendances at Monklands and Ayr Accident and Emergency departments, the cancer units at Royal Aberdeen Children's Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, the Vale of Leven and Inverclyde maternity units, and neurosurgery units in Aberdeen, Tayside and Edinburgh. All of these facilities had the threat of being closed or downgraded hanging over them before the 2007 Scottish elections.

SNP MSP for Central Scotland Ms McKelvie, whose region includes the Monklands A&E unit, said:
"These figures entirely vindicate the Scottish Government's decision to keep these healthcare facilities open and show that the SNP's commitment to keeping healthcare local has really paid off.

"In the past three years, thousands of patients across Scotland have benefited from treatment being kept closer to home. For some patients and families who have been coping with very serious illness, such as paediatric cancer, not having to deal with the additional stress of long journeys and time away from home will have been particularly important.

"In my own area, the Monklands A&E unit has seen almost 190,000 attendances since May 2007. If emergency care at Monklands had gone, all of those patients would have been forced to travel to other A&E departments in the area, which would have struggled to cope with this huge additional demand. Astonishingly, some Labour politicians in this area still argue that Monklands A&E should be shut - what an insult to the people who use the NHS in Lanarkshire.

"When the SNP government was elected, it rejected Labour's cut and shut approach to healthcare and replaced it with record investment and real local services. The SNP will continue to stand up against the cuts consensus of the other parties in order to protect the frontline health services that matter most to the people of Scotland."
Notes: The written Parliamentary answer provided to Christina McKelvie MSP is:

Christina McKelvie (Central Scotland) (SNP): To ask the Scottish Executive how many patients have received care or treatment in each year since May 2007 at (a) Monklands accident and emergency unit, (b) Ayr accident and emergency unit, (c) Aberdeen children’s cancer unit, (d) Edinburgh children’s cancer unit, (e) Vale of Leven maternity unit, (f) Inverclyde maternity unit, (g) Edinburgh neurosurgery unit, (h) Aberdeen neurosurgery unit, (i) Dundee neurosurgery unit and (j) Glasgow neurosurgery unit.


Ms Nicola Sturgeon :

The relevant NHS Boards have provided the activity information requested and this is detailed in the following tables.

(a) Total attendances – Monklands Hospital A&E Unit

Year Total Attendances
May 2007-April 2008 66,472
May 2008-April 2009 66,606
May 2009-Feb 2010* 56,901*
Source: NHS Lanarkshire

*represents 10 months of the year

(b) New Attenders – Ayr Hospital A&E Department

Year New Attenders
2006-07 40,651
2007-08 40,482
2008-09 40,993
2009-10* 38,026*
Source: NHS Ayrshire & Arran

*from April 2009 to February 2010

(c) Medical Oncology Patient Activity – Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital

OUTPATIENTS* 2007 2008 2009 2010
Total no. of appointments attended 393 601 568 135
Total no. of individual patients attended 145 158 170 87
Total no. of new patients attended 145 65 54 17
INPATIENTS
Total no. of admissions 28 55 149 77
Total no. of individual patients admitted
10 22 32 34
Total no. of new patients admitted
10 18 17 6
Source: NHS Grampian

Figures for 2007 are from 1 May 2007

Figures for 2008 and 2009 are from 1 January to 31 December

Figures for 2010 are up to 31 March

Only attended patients have been taken into account

*Medical Oncology Outpatient Clinic also caters to patients with non-malignant heamatological diseases along with cancer

(d) Patient Activity – Royal Hospital for Sick Children Cancer Centre, Edinburgh

Year Patient Treatments
2007-2008 2,013
2008-2009 2,368
April 2009-Feb 2010 (11 months) 1,908
Source: NHS Lothian

The figures provided include all treatments including multiple spells of treatment for the same patient.

(e) Patient Activity (Obstetrics only) - Vale of Leven Hospital Maternity Unit

Year Total Outpatient Attendances Total Inpatient & Daycases
2007 1,770 423
2008 2,591 716
2009 2,460 703
2010 526 189
Source: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Figures are by calendar year

Figures for 2007 are from 1 May to 31 December

Figures for 2010 are from January to March

(f) Patient Activity (Obstetrics only) – Inverclyde Royal Hospital Maternity Unit

Year Total Outpatient Attendances Total Inpatient & Daycases
2007 2,872 671
2008 4,450 1,305
2009 4,570 1,340
2010 1,222 367
Source: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Figures are by calendar year

Figures for 2007 are from 1 May to 31 December

Figures for 2010 are from January to March

(g) Patient Activity – Neurosurgery, Edinburgh

Year Patient Treatments*
2007-2008 2,985
2008-2009 3,451
April 2009-Feb 2010 (11 months) 3,145
Source: NHS Lothian

The figures provided include all treatments including multiple spells of treatment for the same patient.

*combines adult treatment (based at the Western General Hospital) and paediatric treatment (based at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children)

(h) Neurosurgery Patient Activity – Aberdeen Royal Infirmary

OUTPATIENTS 2007 2008 2009 2010
Total no. of appointments attended 1,545 2,518 2,425 503
Total no. of individual patients attended 1,443 2,208 2,101 502
Total no. of new patients attended 1,361 1,654 1,445 273
INPATIENTS
Total no. of admissions 1,110 1,549 1,781 413
Total no. of individual patients admitted
789 1,164 1,209 283
Total no. of new patients admitted
756 1,040 1,060 239
Source: NHS Grampian

Figures for 2007 are from 1 May 2007

Figures for 2008 and 2009 are from 1 January to 31 December

Figures for 2010 are up to 31 March

Only attended patients have been taken into account

(i) Neurosurgery Patient Activity – Tayside

Year Patient Episodes
May to December 2007 739
2008 1,018
2009 1,226
Source: NHS Tayside

(j) Neurosurgery Patient Activity – Glasgow

Year Total Outpatient Attendances Total Inpatient & Daycases
2007 3,774 2,278
2008 6,215 3,521
2009 6,357 3,567
2010 885 494
Source: NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Figures are by calendar year

Figures for 2007 are from 1 May to 31 December

Figures for 2010 are from 1 January to 28 February