POSITIVE ECONOMIC GROWTH AS SCOTLAND MOVES AHEAD OF UK
SNP MSP Christina McKelvie has praised new figures showing that Scotland’s economy has outperformed the UK’s in the second quarter of this year.
According to official figures, announced by Scotland’s Chief Statistician, the economy in Scotland grew by 0.5% in the second quarter of 2018 while growth in the UK was at 0.4%.
In the first half of this year, Scottish GDP grew by 0.8% - ahead of the UK at 0.6% over the same period, and already higher than the 0.7% growth forecast by the Scottish Fiscal Committee for 2018 as a whole.
The last year has seen the Scottish economy grow by a total of 1.7%, whilst the UK lags behind on 1.3%.
This growth in Scotland comes as concerns increase over the handling of Brexit negotiations, with Brexit potentially costing the Scottish economy £12.7billion a year - the equivalent of £2,300 for every person in the country.
Christina McKelvie MSP said:
“It is extremely encouraging to see that economic growth in Scotland is exceeding expectations – benefitting people in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse and across the country.
“These latest figures show the success of the Scottish Government’s approach, focused on building a strong economy, investing in business and enterprise and supporting the industries of the future.
“This success is welcome, but Brexit poses a real threat to Scottish jobs and household incomes – since the European single market is over eight times bigger than the UK market alone.
“Single market membership is absolutely crucial to protecting the jobs, incomes, and hard-won rights of millions of people across Scotland and the UK. The Tories must urgently commit to staying in the single market.”
Local MSP visits school in Scottish Parliament
Hamilton Grammar pupils were given an audience with their local MSP this week as the school visited the Scottish Parliament for a tour and education session.
As part of the Scottish Parliament’s education programme, Hamilton Grammar visited the parliament, learning more about democracy, devolution and the role of their MSPs.
On hand to greet them for the visit was local constituency MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie.
Christina, who recently marked her 11th year as a Member of the Scottish Parliament, commented:
“The pupils of Hamilton Grammar were an absolute delight and a complete credit to their school.
“As an S1 Group, they are incredibly knowledgeable about the parliament and in the goings on of their local community.
“It’s clear to see all the hard work – which resulted in record breaking exam result success the school achieved - is pulsating throughout all year groups.
“My thanks to the staff and pupils for taking the time to visit the parliament and I look forward to visiting the school in the near future.
Christina McKelvie attends Fairhill fun day
The annual Fairhill fun day kicked off last Saturday as hundreds of revellers descended upon the Fairhill Lifestyles Centre.
Organised through Community Links and the Fairhill Community Group, the fun day included the famous boogie bus, kid’s entertainment, stall holders and Police Scotland.
On hand to enjoy the day was local MSP for Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse, Christina McKelvie.
Commenting, Christina said:
“Fairhill fun day is the annual day of family fun for my constituents.
“The Fairhill Community Group deserve tremendous credit for always excelling themselves in putting the day on.
“I thank them for all their hard work in organising the day and supporting our local community.
“The community spirit within Fairhill is clear to see and I am tremendously proud to represent such a vibrant, positive community as their local MSP.
Hello and welcome to all of you in Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse.
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Back to School, back to costs!
Pupils from across all of South Lanarkshire have been helped out with the price of school uniforms. COSLA confirmed that all 32 local authorities have implemented an increase for school clothing grant.
The £100 minimum grant to all eligible families was put in place for the start of the academic year, relieving the financial pressure for South Lanarkshire families and pupils as they return to school.
Motor Neurone Disease
Some of you already know that I take a close interest in living with Motor Neurone Disease (MND), as my own father did for many years before he died.
In June, just before we went off for the summer holidays, we marked MND Awareness Week.
The Scottish Government has invested £2.5 million annually in the Specialist Nursing and Care Fund since 2015, more than doubling the number of MND specialist nurses across Scotland.
The new Health and Social Care Standards, introduced in April, seek to provide better personal outcomes for everyone and to ensure that the basic human rights we are all entitled to are upheld.
Everyone is entitled to care that meets their needs and upholds their rights.
The Euan MacDonald Centre, at Edinburgh University, https://www.euanmacdonaldcentre.org was started up with funds from Euan - just 29 when he was diagnosed - and his father, Donald. It's a fantastic resource, and I was directly involved with Euan on the building of a voicebank for patients to access, allowing them to pick out a voice sound that is closest to their own natural voice.
The Scottish Government recognise that research is essential for the development of new and effective approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of Motor Neurone Disease – investing in both research capacity and in bringing MND studies to Scotland.
Are you being scammed?
Watch out! What do you know about skimming or fake ATMs? The cleverer technology gets, the cleverer online scammers get to keep up. Phishing, harvesting, identity theft, hacked information such as BA's embarrassment last week. British Airways is facing a possible fine of around £500 million over a data breach that compromised 380,000 card payments after regulators said they were "making inquiries" into the incident.
So I took up the cause at Larkhall Trinity Church last week and invited in experts to explain more.
The ‘Scam Awareness Surgery’ was designed to make sure the citizens of Hamilton, Larkhall and Stonehouse are made more aware of the latest scams and frauds.
Research from Citizens Advice Scotland had shown that over 61% of over 65s have been approached by a scammer. Other schemes include computer repair/ phishing scams and home and identity fraud
Scammers can target anyone, but especially older people and anyone who has a vulnerability that makes them an easier target.
I thought it was important to give you the opportunity to ask questions and find out how best to protect yourselves against this ever more sophisticated form of theft.
Thanks especially to Hamilton Citizens Advice Bureau, Trading Standards and Police Scotland for coming along to give east to understand help and guidance that will make sure people here are more protected and secure whether that's at an ATM or purchasing something online.
I'll be back in a couple of weeks with more news.