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CORONAVIRUS

My staff and I remain available to assist constituents in any way we can.

However, for the time being, we are not undertaking face to face contact.

We are regularly checking voicemails and emails and are receiving physical mail addressed to our office at a staff member's home address.

Contact us at msp@stewartstevenson.scot or phone 01779 470444.

Please do not use social media as a channel to make requests to us as these personal accounts are monitored less frequently.

Understand that the pandemic may mean that we take a little longer to respond than we would normally.

Please DO NOT visit the office as we are all working from home.


2 March 2021

Stevenson Welcomes New Heating Payment to Help People with Bills

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has welcomed a new home heating support fund launched to help people struggling with their energy bills as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The £4million Scottish Government scheme – which will be administered by national advice service Advice Direct Scotland – is designed to prevent households falling into fuel poverty.

The Home Heating Support Fund is open until March 31 and applications can only be made on behalf of individuals by referral partners.

This includes local authorities and third sector organisations, with payments then made directly to energy suppliers on behalf of their customers.

Eligibility is based on households which have been faced with rationing their energy usage, meaning those who are deliberately limiting their energy use so that they can afford to spend money on other goods or services.

In 2019, an estimated 24.6 percent of all households were in fuel poverty - around 613,000 households – and the pandemic has increased financial hardship for many.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I welcome this funding which will help families who have had additional financial costs due to the increased bills from being at home because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“This fund will help to assist in helping support households from the impact of fuel poverty which is a reality for many families just now.

“It is important the Scottish Government is able to support people by tackling inequality and ensuring people are not left making choices between different household costs.”

Commenting, Chief Executive of Advice Direct Scotland Andrew Bartlett said:

“No household should suffer in fuel poverty or have to ration fuel to get by.

“The Covid pandemic has increased financial hardship and many Scots have been left struggling as a result of increased energy costs while working from home or home-schooling.

“We are working hard to administer this new fund from the Scottish Government to ensure that fewer Scots are struggling with their energy bills.

“As well as working closely with partner organisations, our own expert debt advisers can also directly help individuals who have financial worries.”

More information on the Home Heating Support Fund is available here: https://homeheatingadvice.scot/

Stevenson Backs Scot Gov Calls on Green Ports

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has backed a call by the Scottish Government to ensure green ports have access to the same level of set-up of funding as freeports in England.

Trade Minister Ivan McKee has written to the UK Government calling for two green ports to be focused on fair and sustainable economic development to be established in Scotland.

The green port model will adapt the UK government’s freeport proposals, offering a package of tax and customs reliefs.

Earlier this year, proposals were put forward by the Scottish Government to establish green ports which would be more sustainable and require operators and businesses to pay the real living wage, adopt the Scottish Business Pledge and commit to supporting sustainable and inclusive growth in local communities.

Operators and beneficiaries will be required to commit to adopting Fair Work First criteria and contribute to Scotland’s just transition to net zero.
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“I welcome the Scottish Government’s call to the UK Government regarding green ports having access to the same level of seed funding which is being offered to freeports in England.

“It is clear there is support from businesses for green ports and it is important the UK Government supports the development of these ports right across the country and I look forward to the UK Government’s response on this issue.

“The Scottish Government’s proposals to take the freeport model and apply this country’s priorities from a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic is one I wholeheartedly support.

“By diverging from the wider UK proposals, we can use a different freeport model to meet out net zero ambition and a wellbeing economy which upholds the highest standards of environmental protections and fair work practices.”

25 February 2021

Stevenson Backs Calls for Clear Timetable on Alcohol Duty

Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has backed calls for a clear timetable to be set out on alcohol duty.

The issue has been raised repeatedly with the UK Government following a devastating financial year for the industry – due to high US tariffs as a result of Brexit.

It comes after the issue was raised again to the UK government in Westminster by Mr Stevenson’s colleague Brendan O’Hara MP, chair of Westminster’s APPG on Scotch whisky.

The UK’s Scotch whisky export has been reduced by a staggering 22.6% in 2020 – with losses exceeding £500million.
Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“The whisky industry employs 11,000 people in Scotland - with over 7,000 of those from rural areas. This clearly highlights the importance of the industry to Scotland.

“The financial loss that our whisky exports has faced is eye-watering and simply not sustainable. It is of vital importance that the UK government take action immediately.

“Sadly, this is just the latest in a long line of issues that has been created as a result of Brexit. The Tories dragged Scotland out of a major trading bloc - against our will - making our position weaker. It would seem the UK government is wilfully ignoring the fact that industries like the Scottish whisky industry are on their knees.

“Boris Johnson assured us that he would find a solution to this crisis – his government even claimed that it was their ‘top priority’. By failing to act, they have reaffirmed their position that Scotland and its industries aren’t a priority.

“If the Tories are serious about protecting our whisky industry, they must deliver a clear timetable of completion of the review on alcohol duty.”

Stewart Stevenson
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