TRASHING THE ASH IN SCOTLAND
27 August 2015
Falkirk East MSP welcomes significant fall in national smoking rates
The Member of the Scottish Parliament for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald, has welcomed recently published figures which show that Scotland’s smoking rate has declined at its fastest level since 1999.
The Scottish Household Survey statistics for 2014 also revealed that there has been a decline of three percentage points in the number of adults who smoke, with the figure dropping down to 20 per cent. Moreover, smoking rates in the most deprived areas of the country decreased from 40 per cent in 2010 to 34 per cent in 2014.
Welcoming the Survey’s report, Holyrood parliamentarian Angus MacDonald commented, “I am encouraged by these figures which show that the Scottish Government is making progress towards its goal of reducing the smoking rate to 5 per cent or less by 2034.”
Mr. MacDonald continued, “The significant decline of smoking within our most deprived areas is also welcome, particularly as the charity Action on Smoking and Health Scotland has indicated that tackling smoking is an effective way of reducing poverty.”
“Not only will people who quit smoking be at a reduced risk of stroke, cancer and heart disease, the decline in smoking rates equates to an extra £50million in the pockets of the poorest 20 per cent of people in our society every year.”
"From an environmental perspective, the figures released the Scottish Household Survey are also tremendous news."
“As an ex-smoker myself, I know first-hand the benefits of giving up smoking: both health-wise and financially speaking. I am therefore delighted that the Scottish Government is on track to create a smoke-free Scotland by 2034. It is vital that we continue to act collectively as a society and encourage one another to finally break the habit - and trash the ash.”
Notes: For further information on how to quit smoking, please visit Can Stop Smoking by clicking on the following link: http://www.canstopsmoking.com/
CLUFF RETHINK ON UCG PLANS
26 August 2015
Angus MacDonald MSP welcomes postponement of Cluff planning application for Underground Coal Gasification
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald has welcomed the announcement from energy giant, Cluff Natural Resources, that they are to postpone their controversial plans to submit a planning application for pilot tests to burn coal under the Firth of Forth.
The company said they were shelving the plans owing to uncertainty over the Scottish Government’s support for the project. Mr. MacDonalds' constituency lies along the shores of the Firth of Forth, between South Alloa and Blackness. He is also an active member of Holyrood's Committee on Rural Affairs, Climate Change and the Environment (RACCE).
Embracing the news of Cluff's planning application postponement, Mr. MacDonald stated, “This is a sensible decision by Algy Cluff and his colleagues."
The MSP for Falkirk East continued, "With so many unanswered questions and serious concerns regarding the environmental impact of underground coal gasification, there should be no dash for gas - either through UCG or through fracking."
"A moratorium on UCG, in addition to the current Scottish Government moratorium on fracking, would allow for a full public health impact study and a full public consultation to be completed. I will continue to call for this in the Scottish Parliament.”