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30 November 2015

Tory Posturing on Clean Energy Contrasts with CCS 'Betrayal'

WESTMINSTER PARTIES SHOULD APOLOGISE FOR REFERENDUM CCS THREATS

The UK Government has been accused of rank hypocrisy on green energy, after signing up to a $20 billion fund for clean energy research at the Paris climate talks – just days after cutting a vital £1 billion carbon capture and storage scheme in Scotland.

Just last week, George Osborne announced that he would cut the £1 billion grant which could have created 600 jobs in Peterhead while helping Scotland become a global leader in clean energy technology – despite the funding being promised in the 2015 Tory manifesto.

The Tory decision to pull the funding also stands as another broken promise to people in Scotland during the independence referendum – when Labour, Tory and Lib Dem politicians in the No campaign threatened that the only way to guarantee the funding for the Peterhead project was to vote No.

On February 24th 2014, David Cameron joined his then Energy Secretary Ed Davey, then Scotland Secretary Alistair Carmichael and then Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg in signing up to an agreement on carbon capture storage at Shell HQ in Aberdeen.

Commenting, SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson said:

“While it is of course welcome to see the progress made on clean energy at the Paris climate talks – for the UK Government to posture on clean energy on the world stage just days after cutting a £1 billion project here at home is completely outrageous and hypocrisy of the lowest order.

“The decision to cut this vital project won’t just cost 600 jobs in the North East of Scotland – but is a huge missed opportunity to help Scotland become a global leader on green energy technology and is just the latest example of the failure of the UK Government to support Scotland’s energy industry.

“The Tory betrayal on this vital energy project is also deeply embarrassing for Labour – who sought to claim that the only way to protect the funding was for Scotland to vote No last year. Yet again, Labour and the Lib Dems are paying the price for lining up to do the Tories’ dirty work for them during the referendum.

“One after another, the promises made to Scotland by the Westminster parties during the referendum are falling apart – and it’s time for politicians from Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems to apologise for their bogus promise to people in Scotland.
“The Tory government has swindled Scotland out of £1 billion while posturing as environmentally friendly on the world stage – and people in Scotland won’t be quick to forgive or forget this latest betrayal.”

29 November 2015

Energy Expert: CCS Cancellation a "Kick in the Teeth"

PROMINENT INDUSTRY FIGURE JOINS SNP CRITICISM AS PETERHEAD SCHEME SCRAPPED

Leading energy industry expert Dick Winchester has criticised the Tory government after the Chancellor withdrew a £1 billion grant for long-planned Carbon Capture and Storage scheme in Peterhead. The comments from Mr Winchester, a renowned industry voice who served on Scotland’s Energy Advisory Board, reinforces criticism by senior SNP figures in recent days, including Energy Minister Fergus Ewing MSP and constituency members for Peterhead – Stewart Stevenson MSP and Eilidh Whiteford MP.

The Conservative Party made a manifesto commitment to deliver the £1 billion project ahead of May’s General Election.

The shock announcement in Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, was not communicated in advance to the Scottish Government – as confirmed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in response to a parliamentary question from Stewart Stevenson on Thursday. This is in spite of the project being set to create some 600 jobs in the North East of Scotland and having already reached an advanced planning stage by developer Shell.

Commenting on the decision, Dick Winchester said:

“The successful demonstration of large scale carbon capture technology in Scotland could have been the catalyst to the development of a whole new Scottish industrial sector able to export services and hardware into what is a huge global market. In addition, the medium term potential for the Scottish chemical industry to build a product portfolio from recycled CO2 would have been immense.

“The cancellation of the Peterhead project is therefore not just an immediate kick in the teeth but it removes an opportunity to both grow and broaden out the Scottish economy. That’s really unforgiveable.”

Welcoming the intervention, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“Dick Winchester has significant experience in the global energy sector and his words chime with those of people in the North East and across Scotland who are rightly angry at the Tory chancellor pulling the plug on this crucial investment.

“George Osborne has swindled Scotland out of £1 billion – a fact that will certainly not be forgotten in a hurry by my constituents.

“At the end of the day, this is a huge opportunity missed to create some 600 jobs in the community and to help Scotland make significant strides towards becoming the global leader in innovative technology to cut carbon emissions.

“The UK government is making a name for itself – for all the wrong reasons – in its treatment of Scotland’s energy sector. This week we saw a sneering Chancellor make light of job losses in the North Sea while he continues to do nothing to incentivise exploration and new development in the industry.

“The bonus billion we were promised for Peterhead was, it seems, just a bogus billion from the Tories. And with mounting criticism from senior industry figures, the Chancellor’s position on Scottish energy is an utter disgrace.”

27 November 2015

MSP Commends YouthLink Initiative

Young people from across Scotland have been delivering a National Call to Action to their local MSPs. In a Holyrood manifesto launch with young people at the heart of it, Scotland’s National Youth Work Agency, YouthLink Scotland has called for further investment in the youth work sector as part of the drive to close the educational attainment gap.

Hundreds of young people from youth work projects and organisations across the country have been meeting their local MSPs and MPs and telling their own stories about the benefit of youth work.

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson met with local Sea Scout Kyle Buchan as part of YouthLink’s initiative.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“I commend the work YouthLink are doing in building the process of engagement between young people and their elected representatives across all parties.

“It was a pleasure to meet with Sea Scout Kyle Buchan, who kindly took time out to be part of the YouthLink scheme and meet with myself. The Sea Scouts are a tremendous organisation who do a lot of excellent work with young people, giving them lots of opportunities to do activities and develop skills so I was delighted YouthLink has chosen the Sea Scouts to engage with me.”

Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, Jim Sweeney said:

“Our biggest asset is the young people we work with and I am delighted that so many young people have had the opportunity to deliver their own personal youth work story to their local politicians. We need to, each one of us, do all in our power to make sure youth work is valued and properly funded in every local area as youth work really does change lives.”

Closing the Educational Attainment gap is a key political priority, the youth work sector works with around 380,000 young people each week and has a key and valuable contribution to make, by supporting young people to learn and achieve in non-formal spaces and times.

Youth work needs financial investment. The youth work sector is experiencing a decline in core and project funding, and cycles of short term funding make it difficult to plan and sustain local youth work services. YouthLink Scotland members tell us regularly that politicians and other professionals must place more value on youth work.

The National Call to Action containing 14 ‘Asks’ of Scottish Politicians, also calls for a Nationwide Employer Supported Volunteering Scheme, to help boost volunteer numbers.

Over recent years there has been significant investment in the school estate so our young people can learn in 21st century spaces, the youth work sector are asking for a 3 year capital fund, in order to ensure premises and equipment across Scotland are fit for purpose and enhance informal learning.

Stevenson Shows Support for Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson is supporting international Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 1-7 December; highlighting the impact of living with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis¹, the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). These are unpredictable diseases that affect more than 300,000² people in the UK and as many as 26,000 people in Scotland - a higher incidence rate than anywhere else in the UK.

National patient charity, Crohn’s and Colitis UK, have joined other international groups to raise the awareness and understanding of these complex, life-long and potentially life-threatening conditions. Living with IBD can have a huge impact on every aspect of a person’s life, with serious physical and mental health implications.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said;

“Helping increase understanding as part of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness week is important to me as there will be hundreds of local people in our community who suffer from these hidden, often misunderstood and dreadful conditions. In this special week it’s particularly vital that we try and reach out to more people who may be feeling isolated or coping badly with their health.”

Living with IBD can be daily struggle, some symptoms of the diseases can be embarrassing and that can lead to people suffering without adequate support or feeling isolated. As part of the Awareness Week, Crohn’s and Colitis UK are asking people to share their 7 days of IBD and other activity through digital and social media to highlight what it is like to live with IBD every day. To find out more about the awareness week and all the activities please visit www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/awarenessweek.

26 November 2015

MSP Raises 'Disgraceful' CCS Decision at FMQs

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT NOT CONSULTED ON TORY DECISION

SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast Stewart Stevenson has raised the ‘disgraceful’ decision by the UK Government to pull a £1 billion grant from a vital new carbon capture and storage development project at First Minister’s Questions today.

In response, the First Minister made clear her opposition to the decision – and noted that the UK Government had not consulted with the Scottish Government on the issue, despite the decision directly affecting Scotland.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“It is deeply concerning that the UK Government has backtracked on this crucial investment at the eleventh hour, especially given the upcoming Paris climate talks. Not only will this decision prevent vital investment in the North East and kill off the prospect of 600 jobs, but it will directly hinder our efforts to cut emissions.

“The fact that the Scottish Government was not consulted on this issue despite the clear and direct impact on Scotland is simply unacceptable – and flies in the face of the ‘respect agenda’ which David Cameron promised when he came to office.

“This UK Government’s track record on Scotland’s energy industry is nothing short of appalling – on Longannet, North Sea exploration, support for onshore wind, delays to offshore wind, George Osborne has taken decisions which are directly contradictory to the Scottish national interest. And this is just the latest decision which demonstrates how little the Tories care about Scotland’s energy sector.

“This is a huge missed opportunity to champion new technologies that will cut carbon emissions at the same time as creating jobs in the North East – and the fact that the Tories have put their obsession with austerity ahead of this vital programme shows that they are simply incapable of representing Scotland’s interests.”

25 November 2015

SNP: Tory Backtrack on CCS Stifling Job Creation and Investment

Following the announcement that the UK Government will scrap its £1 billion commercialisation programme for developing carbon capture, the SNP have described the decision as an “enormous disappointment”.

Commenting, SNP spokesperson for Energy and Climate Change Callum McCaig MP said:

“It is extremely disappointing that the UK Government has scrapped vital support for this innovative project which has the potential to be world-leading when it comes to removing carbon emissions from our energy supplies.

“UK energy strategy is now so reliant on gas-fired generation it is inexplicable that the Tories have now backtracked and decided to withdraw their support for the construction of the world’s first full-scale gas carbon capture and storage project proposed for Peterhead Power station.

“The Tories have dealt another blow to Scottish electricity generation and reneged on a manifesto commitment. George Osborne’s obsession with austerity will only succeed in stifling job creation and investment in this burgeoning sector.”

Stewart Stevenson MSP, whose Banffshire and Buchan Coast constituency includes Peterhead, said:

“It is deeply concerning that the UK Government has backtracked on this crucial investment at the eleventh hour, especially given the upcoming Paris climate talks.

“The UK Government’s yo-yoing over whether or not to support this world-leading carbon capture project shows complete disregard for Scotland’s energy sector and will be an enormous disappointment for Peterhead’s local economy.

“The Tories have missed a huge opportunity to champion new technologies that will cut emissions in Scotland and across the UK – and all because they are blinkered by their obsession with austerity.”

Violence Against Women Demeans Men says Stevenson

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, tackled violence against women in a Scottish Parliament debate this week, stating that he wanted a society based on mutual respect and safety for all citizens.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Violence against women does not simply endanger women - it demeans men, who are the primary source of that violence.”

He welcomed Scottish Government action in bringing forward new laws to deal with the issue but acknowledged that gathering evidence of psychological and physical violence was a difficult task for the justice system.

He added:

“The change that will make the greatest difference will come when we find ways to change men’s minds.

“We want to challenge attitudes and beliefs, which is extremely difficult. The psychological phenomenon that is called confirmation bias—the unconscious filtering out of information that is at odds with our established beliefs and learned behaviours—is a substantial barrier to change. If we are to persuade people to change their attitudes and thinking, we need to engage intensively.

“I am an optimist by nature. I think that we might reach the tipping point on the matter in the relatively near future, similar to the one that we reached with drink driving. When I first started drinking, drinking and driving was basically just one of the things that happened—nobody bothered about it that much—but now it is viewed very differently in society. We must get to that position on violence against women.”

20 November 2015

MSP Hails Buckie Cinema Success

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson has hailed last weekend’s cinema showing in Buckie as a great success.

The SNP MSP attended the first showing, which was Hotel Transylvania 2 for younger viewers, with his young god-daughter, who judged it a success.
Darcey Roscoe & Stewart Stevenson MSP at the cinema
The cinema showings are the culmination of a process started when three Modern Studies pupils at Buckie Community High School wrote to Mr Stevenson lobbying for Buckie to have a cinema once again. Stewart took the matter up with Film Mobile Scotland, a company who bring cinema experiences to those communities without their own cinema, and Director Ian Brown stated he would be extremely interested in bringing this service to Buckie, but required the support of the local community to do so.

Mr Stevenson then involved the Buckie Regeneration Group and local councillors Gordon McDonald and Sonya Warren, along with Buckie Community High School Rector Neil Johnston, and the result was last weekend’s offering. The cinema will return on 6 December with the new Bond film ‘Spectre’.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“I think this can be described as a great success, particularly if the reaction of my young viewing companion is anything to go by. Furry monsters seemed to be a great hit with the youngsters who turned out to see the first film in Buckie for decades.

“Next month, the latest James Bond film comes to Buckie and I’m sure that will prove a hit with all ages.

“This has been a real lesson in what community action can achieve and I’m pleased to have played a small part in making it happen. It’s now up to the people of Buckie to support their local cinema.”

Local MSP Supports Pancreatic Cancer Charities at Parliamentary Event

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson attended a parliamentary reception at Holyrood, hosted by Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK, to help spread the word about the disease during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.
Over 700 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer every year in Scotland, and only about five per cent of patients in Scotland live for five years or more after diagnosis. Mr Stevenson learned about these dreadful survival rates, and the urgent need for people to be diagnosed earlier, as well as more funding for research and better treatments, at the event. He also had the chance to meet local patients and their families and representatives from Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK, as well as researchers, surgeons, oncologists, and nurses who support people with the disease.

The event also saw Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK celebrate that for the first time, together with the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office, they will co-fund almost £500,000 of pancreatic cancer research in Scotland. The research will aim to improve existing treatments and investigate new ones, with the hope of ultimately allowing thousands of patients to live for longer.

Pancreatic cancer has the worst survival rate of all the 21 common cancers. One person dies every hour of the disease, and it is predicted that by 2030 pancreatic cancer will overtake breast cancer as the fourth most common cancer killer.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson MSP said:

“It was a pleasure to attend this event organised by Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK, to learn more about the work of the charities and the support and research they fund. Sadly, the survival rate for pancreatic cancer speaks for itself and it is clear that there is a huge amount of work to be done to change that. There are many people within my constituency who have been touched by pancreatic cancer. We need to do more to improve awareness of the disease to help more people be diagnosed earlier. That’s why I’m supporting Pancreatic Cancer Scotland and Pancreatic Cancer UK during Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month this November.”

Dr Ross Carter, founder and trustee of Pancreatic Cancer Scotland said:

“It is fantastic that Stewart Stevenson MSP attended this event. Over 700 people a year in Scotland are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and this number is growing. Raising awareness that can help with earlier diagnosis is extremely important and I am very grateful to Stewart for helping with this.”

Alex Ford, Chief Executive of Pancreatic Cancer UK said:

“We were delighted to welcome Stewart to this important event at Holyrood and we thank him for his support. We hope he will help us spread the word about the disease in the North-east this Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month.

“It’s shocking that the number of people in Scotland living for five years after diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is only around five per cent, and that figure has barely improved in the last 40 years. Yet across the nation, we know so little about the disease – that’s why it’s so important that we all find out more about it. I would urge local people to find out more about the disease and its symptoms today.”

The symptoms of pancreatic cancer include tummy pain, weight loss, yellow skin or eyes or itchy skin and oily floating poo.

For more information about Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month, visit www.pancreaticcancer.org.uk/pcam.

19 November 2015

Stevenson Congratulates Pharmaceutical Award Winners in Macduff

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has congratulated medical workers in Macduff for taking home the silverware at the Scottish Pharmacy Awards 2015.

Ms Sandra Robertson of Lloyds Pharmacy in Macduff and Macduff Medical Practice took the award for Partnership Working at the ceremony earlier this month.

Pharmacy manager Sandra has been running an asthma clinic at the centre for almost eight years. After doing a prescribing course at the medical centre, she researched collaborative working among a range of healthcare professionals before putting it into practice.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I would like to congratulate Pharmacy manager Sandra Robertson and Macduff Medical Practice for their excellent work that has led them to this recognition for working in partnership.

“Medical professionals working together in this way is good for the community and makes for an excellent use of the resources we have available.”

16 November 2015

Stevenson Welcomes First Meeting of National Maths Group

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has welcomed the first meeting of a national group designed to raise the profile of maths and numeracy as an essential life skill today (Monday).

The National Profile Raising Group, chaired by Maureen McKenna, Executive Director of Education in Glasgow, brings together a number of people with a wealth of expertise in the fields of industry, academia and science.

Its remit is to identify key factors that create negative attitudes toward maths and numeracy, assess how attitudes can be changed, and work to make this happen.

Mr Stevenson said:

“Maths can be a subject that creates more fear than inspiration in both young and old - but this does not need to be the case. If we can make mathematics relevant to real life, we can make it a matter of enthusiasm for our kids.

“Maths was a subject that I felt drawn to as a youngster, and when I went to Aberdeen University I graduated with an MA in Mathematics, and a more advanced love of numbers. I am delighted that the Education Secretary Angela Constance has stated that there needs to be a greater public enthusiasm for maths – I couldn’t agree more.”

The National Profile Raising group forms part of Making Maths Count, a Government-led programme with the aim of improving maths and numeracy attainment. The group will publish its recommendations before the end of June 2016.

Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Angela Constance, announced the establishment of the group earlier this year.

She said:

“I wish the group well as they begin their important work. We need to promote greater enthusiasm for and confidence in maths and numeracy across all society, but particularly amongst young people and their parents. This work can help us rise to the challenge of making maths matter more to Scotland.”

Group chairwoman Maureen McKenna added:

“I had no hesitation in agreeing to chair this group. All my working life I have strived to promote mathematics teaching. As I said when the group was launched, we should be proud to love mathematics, so I am looking forward to chairing the group’s work.”

Another group member Heather Reid, meteorologist and education consultant, said:

“Our society is becoming increasingly underpinned by science, technology and engineering, and it is mathematics that provides the essential framework for life-changing advances in all of these fields. All of us should treasure our mathematical literacy and understand the essential role it plays within our lives.”

13 November 2015

Stevenson Opposes Tories' Anti-Worker Legislation

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has voted to oppose the UK Government’s ‘anti-worker’ Trade Union Bill – and raised questions over Labour’s failure to back the devolution of power over industrial relations to Scotland.

A motion condemning the Trade Union Bill was passed in the Scottish Parliament this week with support from Labour MSPs. This happened despite the fact that Labour MPs at Westminster voted against an SNP amendment to the Scotland Bill, devolving responsibility for industrial relations and workers’ rights to Scotland, and chose to leave them under the control of the Tory government.

The Scottish Government has already asked the UK Government to exclude Scotland from the Trade Union Bill in its entirety – and if they are unwilling to do so if the consent of the Scottish Parliament should be sought before the legislation is imposed on Scotland.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I was proud to cast my vote in the Scottish Parliament to stand against the UK Government’s Trade Union Bill – and I was delighted to see Labour MSPs joining with the SNP in opposing this outrageous attack on workers’ rights.

“The Trade Union Bill is nothing less than an attack on the rights of workers across the UK and hampers the rights of devolved administrations, local authorities and other public bodies to determine their own industrial relations. That’s why it’s so vital that Scotland’s voice is not ignored – and why these plans should require consent from the Scottish Parliament before they can be imposed on workers and unions here.

“The SNP proposed plans to devolve powers over industrial relations which would have allowed the Scottish Parliament to take a new and better approach – supporting the work of our unions rather than attacking them. That Labour would rather leave these powers in David Cameron’s hands giving him carte blanche to undermine unions in Scotland is as bewildering as it is wrong – and local Labour politicians will have to answer to workers across Banffshire and Buchan Coast for their decision.

“Trade Unions play a positive and constructive role in our local economy and our society and Trade Unionists and workers across my constituency can be assured that I will continue to do everything I can to fight this anti-worker legislation every step of the way.”

12 November 2015

Stevenson Welcomes Cinema Back to Buckie

Local MSP Stewart Stevenson will this weekend welcome cinema back to the largest town in Banffshire after an absence of many years.
Buckie Cinema pre-war
© Cinema Treasures LLC 2000-2015.
Film Mobile Scotland will be bringing two screenings to Buckie on Sunday, to be followed early next month with the latest Bond movie Spectre.

The cinema showings are the culmination of a process started when three Modern Studies pupils at Buckie Community High School wrote to Mr Stevenson lobbying for Buckie to have a cinema once again. The SNP MSP took the matter up with Film Mobile Scotland, a company who bring cinema experiences to those communities without their own cinema, and director, Ian Brown stated he would be extremely interested in bringing this service to Buckie, but required the support of the local community to do so.

Mr Stevenson then involved the Buckie Regeneration Group and local councillors Gordon McDonald and Sonya Warren, along with Buckie Community High School Rector Neil Johnston, and the result is Sunday’s two-film offering; Hotel Transylvania 2 for younger viewers at 3.00pm, and The Martian with Matt Damon at 6.00pm.

Commenting, Stewart Stevenson said:

“This has been a real community effort in action and all those involved in bringing this project to this stage deserve huge thanks, but none more so that the Buckie High pupils who started the whole thing off by writing to me.

“I’m looking forward immensely to cinema returning to Buckie and I hope that the town will turn out and support this latest enterprise.”

9 November 2015

Stevenson Highlights Rise of Domestic Abuse in the North East

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast, has highlighted the significant increase in domestic abuse incidents reported in Aberdeenshire this year.

At the Scottish Parliament last Thursday, Mr Stevenson asked Justice Secretary Michael Matheson what was being done to address the number of domestic abuse incidents in Aberdeenshire - which have gone up by more than 25 per cent - in comparison with a rise of 2.5 per cent across the rest of the country.

Mr Matheson said that the government was working with the third sector to tackle the issue and was investing over £700,000 in north-east services to support the women and children affected.

He added that the Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm (Scotland) Bill and a planned consultation on the specific offence of domestic abuse would seek to strengthen the law in this area.

But Mr Stevenson added that despite the investment, there was a significant problem regarding the number of domestic abuse convictions – as almost half of incidents reported do not result in anyone being brought to justice.

Mr Matheson said that the Scottish Government were clear that there was no excuse for domestic abuse and that Police Scotland and the Crown Office were also focused on improving the current situation.

Mr Stevenson said:

“I believe there is a lot more work to be done in this area. While I am delighted that more people feel that they can report incidents of domestic abuse - whether they are happening in the present day or are historic - I would like to see the conviction rate rise, so that there is justice for those that suffer in this way.”

3 November 2015

Stevenson Welcomes Increase in Living Wage

Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire & Buchan Coast has welcomed the announcement of an increase in the Living Wage this week, and urged more local businesses to mark Living Wage Week 2015 by signing up as accredited Living Wage employers.

The Living Wage rate, calculated independently by the Living Wage Foundation in partnership with the Poverty Alliance, will increase by 40p to £8.25 per hour.

Already there are 370 firms in Scotland that have become accredited Living Wage employers, and Mr Stevenson has highlighted the benefits to businesses as well as staff in urging more local employers to sign up.

Mr Stevenson said

“Everyone has the right to expect a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work – and so I am delighted to see the increase in the Living Wage which will provide a much-needed boost to the pay-packets of many hard-working people across Banffshire and Buchan Coast.

“Paying the Living Wage isn’t just good for staff - it’s also good for business, with improved productivity, better staff morale and lower absence rates, and the Scottish Government has made excellent progress in promoting fair pay, with 81 per cent of workers in Scotland now receiving at least the Living Wage.

“But there is more work to be done to ensure fair pay for those not yet receiving it – and I’m encouraging all employers in Banffshire and Buchan Coast to consider the benefits of signing up to the Living Wage for their business."

He added:

“The Living Wage is good for workers, good for business and good for Scotland as a whole – and I hope that more employers in my constituency will mark Living Wage week by becoming accredited Living Wage employers and joining the growing numbers of businesses paying their staff a fair wage.”
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