20 January 2017

Carbon Capture Betrayal Cost Taxpayer £100 Million

Tories "Utterly Misguided" on CCS Decision

The UK Government spent around £100 million on a competition for developing ground-breaking carbon capture and storage technology before scrapping the plans, a report from the National Audit Office has revealed.

The scheme would have seen emissions from heavy industry stored permanently underground, with Peterhead widely expected to win the £1 billion contract, which would have brought 600 jobs to the area. It was scrapped at the eleventh hour by former Chancellor George Osborne – betraying the party’s explicit manifesto promise on the technology.
UK Government Signing Agreement Now Reneged Upon
SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, has said the latest revelations show how little the Tories care about investment in green energy technology and jobs in the North-east.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“These latest revelations from the National Audit Office are extraordinary, and show how that the Tory betrayal of the North East has not just cost jobs but has cost a fortune to deliver nothing.

“Just yesterday, the Scottish Government launched its climate action plan, setting ambitious targets to further reduce our carbon emissions and to tackle climate change. But today we are given yet another reminder that the Tories are happy to put the development of innovative, ground-breaking technologies to waste.

“CCS technology has great potential to play a leading role in tackling climate change, yet the Tories are complicit in stifling investment to develop this technology, as well as showing their complete lack of interest in developing and protecting jobs in the North-East of Scotland.”

Stevenson to Meet with Clydesdale Bank on Closures

Commenting on the announcement by the Clydesdale Bank that it is to close 40 branches nationwide, including those in Buckie, Banff and Fraserburgh, Banffshire & Buchan Coast SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“I will be meeting with Clydesdale Bank senior management along with my MP colleagues to discuss their planned closures.

“Clearly, the way people do their banking is changing, with more and more of it done online and by phone, reducing the amount of footfall in branches.

“However, there is still a significant need for businesses, organisations and individuals to be able to deposit their shop takings, collect change, bank cheques, and also to be able to speak to staff face-to-face.

“If the Clydesdale Bank is effectively giving up on certain larger communities, then I would encourage those communities to support those banks which still have a presence in Buckie, Banff and Fraserburgh to help secure their future.”

17 January 2017

Stevenson Blasts May for Ignoring Fisheries in Brexit Speech

SNP MSP Demands Scottish Government Representation at EU Fisheries Talks

SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson has condemned Theresa May after she failed to clarify the future of fisheries after Brexit in her speech this morning – with the only mention of fishing being an unclear reference to “Spanish fishermen”.

The Tory PM’s speech came ahead of a members’ debate, in which Mr Stevenson will call on the UK government to allow a Scottish Minister to lead UK negotiations over fisheries in the forthcoming Brexit talks. Scottish fishing interests were treated as expendable by the Tories in the 1970s, and Mr Stevenson will demand that the UK government does not let this happen again in the negotiations over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

This morning, Theresa May took time to tell “Spanish fishermen” that they’d be worse off without the UK but provided no detail on what Brexit will mean for Scotland’s fishing industry, which accounts for 85% of the value of the UK fishing industry. The confirmation by the Prime Minister that the UK will leave the single market is damaging, with Scottish fish and seafood exports to the EU totalling £438 million in 2015.

Commenting, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, Stewart Stevenson, said:

“The hard Tory Brexit that Theresa May is set to deliver will be devastating for Scotland, costing 80,000 jobs and hitting our economy by £11.2 billion a year. The fishing industry will feel the impact of this, with loss of single market membership risking the £438 million of Scottish fish and seafood exports to the EU – yet Theresa May had absolutely nothing to say on Scottish fisheries this morning.

“The Prime Minister’s approach is wholly unacceptable. The fact that she only mentioned fishing when telling ‘Spanish fishermen’ that they’d be worse off without a deal between the EU and the UK – which will be sure to raise eyebrows in fishing communities – whilst providing no detail on what fishing in Scotland will look like after her hard Brexit. This just shows that the Tories see our fishing fleets as expendable once again.

“Scotland’s fishing interests in Europe must be properly represented and fully protected, and the only way for that to happen is by allowing a Scottish minister to lead for the UK when negotiations get under way.

“It is not a perfect solution, but it is the best insurance policy. Given that Scottish fisheries account for 85% of the value of the UK fishing industry, it’s the fair and sensible approach.

“The Scottish fishing industry has been treated as expendable by the Tory government in the past – using our resources as a bargaining chip when entering the EEC in the 1970s. We must not allow the Tories to sell us down the river yet again.”
Tel No.

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