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New GDP figures show that Scotland’s economy has grown 0.8% in the first quarter of 2017, four times the UK growth rate for the same quarter.

Production grew by 3.1%, accounting for most of the growth in Scotland, and the services industry grew by 0.3%.

Since 2007, productivity in Scotland – the key driver of economic performance -  has grown by more than 7%. In the UK as a whole productivity growth has been close to zero (0.4%). 

Commenting on the latest GDP figures, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East, said:

We are seeing an improving picture across Scotland – the economy is growing, the number of people in employment is rising and unemployment is at historic lows.

“Falkirk district has lots to be confident about. The SNP Scottish Government’s £6 billion infrastructure plan, £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme and record investment in Modern Apprenticeships and education will continue to support the local economy.

“However Brexit, and being removed from the world’s largest single market, poses the biggest threat to this progress and Scotland’s economy. A blind crusade towards a hard Brexit cliff edge could cost our economy around £11 billion a year by 2030 and result in 80,000 fewer jobs, and the fall in Sterling since the referendum is already pushing up prices and squeezing household incomes. This, accompanied by relentless Tory austerity, means we cannot be complacent.

“The SNP has a plan to grow our economy and we will continue to work hard to support it through difficult times ahead - determined to remain an open, European nation inside the world’s largest single market.”


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SNP MSP Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East, is calling on the UK Government to stop flip-flopping on public sector pay and endorse the SNP’s policy to end the pay cap.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay told the Scottish Parliament last week that the “time was up” for the annual 1% limit on public sector pay.

The SNP Scottish Government is now engaging with trade unions ahead of the next Scottish budget to discuss a future public sector pay policy that recognises both rising living costs and the need for sustainable public finances in order to ensure fairer pay for nurses, teachers and all public sector workers in Falkirk district.

SNP MSP Angus MacDonald, Falkirk East, said:

“The SNP Scottish Government has listened to independent pay recommendations - showing the many nurses, doctors, police officers and thousands more public sector workers across Falkirk district that their incredible service is valued and that they deserve pay that reflects real life circumstances.

“Indeed, showing public sector workers in Falkirk district how much we value their service is ever more pertinent as we face endless Brexit uncertainty that is driving inflation, forcing up living costs and intensifying recruitment problems - risking a Brexit brain drain.

“And with some public sector workers in Falkirk district still subject to UK wide pay policies - the Tories must act and act now to confirm that the pay cap will be scrapped.

“The clear message coming from Scotland to the Tory government is to end austerity, and end it now.”




SNP MSP Angus MacDonald has tabled a motion in Parliament welcoming a total of £3.25 million of funding to five organisations across Scotland, including the joint project between Falkirk Council and Forth Environment Link.

The project will see an active transport hub being created in Falkirk, as well as 20 new charging points for electric cars, which will be powered by an array of 168 solar panels at the Falkirk stadium.

The funding, from the European Regional Development Fund’s (ERDF) Low Carbon Travel and Transport (LCTT) Challenge Fund will also see similar strategies taken forward in Dundee and Aberdeen.

Commenting on the news, Angus MacDonald MSP, Falkirk East, said:

“This is very welcome news, and well worthy of highlighting in Parliament.

“As part of the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform committee, we are looking at how we can encourage transport methods which are environmentally beneficial, and provide sustainable solutions to becoming a low carbon economy. I am pleased to see this funding being awarded to Falkirk Council and the Forth Environment Link in order for these projects to take shape.

“This funding also shows the benefit of having access to vital Funding from Europe, like the ERDF, which has also provided funding for projects to tackle poverty and inequality, boosting our small and medium size enterprises and enabled more work to be done towards realising a circular economy. It is vital that access to this remains in place post-Brexit, and I will certainly be calling on the UK government to pay close attention to this.”

Text of Mr. MacDonald's motion to Parliament:

Motion Number: S5M-06552
Lodged By: Angus MacDonald
Date Lodged: 29/06/2017

Title: European Regional Development Funding Awarded to Scotland

Motion Text:

That the Parliament welcomes the announcement of £3.25million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund’s (ERDF) Low Carbon Travel and Transport (LCTT) Challenge Fund, which was awarded to organisations across Scotland in order to develop active travel and low-carbon transport hubs; notes that Falkirk Council and partners, Forth Environment Link, have been successful in their application to this fund, which will enable an active travel hub in Falkirk town centre and a low-carbon vehicle hub at Falkirk Community Stadium to be created that will incorporate 20 electric vehicle charging bays powered by a 168-bay solar array; recognises the importance of developing low-carbon travel and transport initiatives building sustainable and environmentally beneficial infrastructure, which encourages more people to use low-carbon transport methods; acknowledges what it sees as the significant impact that ERDF has had in Scotland in supporting initiatives to tackle poverty, to boost small- and medium-sized enterprises and develop initiatives to support the circular economy; considers the impact that it considers Brexit will have on sources of funding available to projects designed to support and enhance Scotland’s diverse economy; congratulates Falkirk Council and Forth Environment Link on securing this vital funding, and looks forward to seeing this project come to life.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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