ANGUS MACDONALD MSP BACKS SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT RATES RELIEF

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MEASURES PROVE SNP GOVERNMENT WILL ALWAYS BACK FALKIRK DISTRICT’S BUSINESSES

OVER 4,800 FALKIRK DISTRCT BUSINESSES HELPED BY SNP’s ACTION

SNP MSP for Falkirk East, Angus MacDonald has backed the Scottish Government’s proposals on business rates, after Finance Secretary Derek Mackay announced a wide-ranging relief scheme this afternoon that will offer strong support to businesses across Falkirk district.

Overall, the complete package of Scottish Government relief will ensure that 70% of Falkirk district’s business will see either no change or a decrease in their business rates bill – with more businesses being entitled to support through the small business bonus scheme. The Scottish Government had already taken action to reduce the rates poundage to help businesses who have seen a revaluation.

The relief proposals will provide support for hotels, restaurants, pubs and cafes, which had seen their rates rise the steepest following the 2015 revaluation. Any rises in this sector will be capped at 12.5% - providing substantial support to the growing tourism and hospitality industries in Falkirk district.

Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald said:

“This announcement by the Scottish Government proves once again the SNP’s commitment to local businesses across Falkirk district – with the substantial package of support ensuring that many businesses will not see any rise in the rates that they pay.

“The support for the tourism and hospitality sectors is very welcome – after these industries were left facing substantial hikes in their rates bills. The cap of a 12.5% increase provides excellent support to hotels, pubs, restaurants and cafes throughout Falkirk district.

“The extension to the small business bonus will see over 100,000 firms across Scotland pay no rates whatsoever, which is a strong package of support for local businesses, and comes in addition to other funding offered in the Scottish Government’s budget, including the £500m Scottish Growth Scheme, and action taken to reduce the rates poundage.

“This relief package shows that only the SNP are interested in taking decisive action to support communities and businesses, whilst the Tories chase cheap headlines by carping from the side-lines.

“Overall, 70% of businesses in Falkirk district will see either a decrease or no change in the bills that they pay – helping to protect jobs and support firms in Falkirk district. It is time for the opposition parties to put their political opportunism to one side and to get behind the substantial support that the Scottish Government is proposing.”

GLASGOW 2014 LEGACY HELPS GRASSROOTS SPORT IN FALKIRK DISTRICT FLOURISH

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£770M INVESTMENT IN SCOTLAND HELPING HUBS AND CLUBS THRIVE SINCE 2007

New figures produced for SPICe by sportscotland have shown that grassroots sport in Scotland is benefitting from the SNP Government’s funding programmes and the legacy of the Commonwealth Games – as the number of sports clubs, community sports hubs and participants in the Active Schools Network continue to grow.

Since the Community Sports Hub programme was established in 2010, 157 hubs have become operational across all 32 of Scotland’s local authorities, with 55% of the hubs based in schools, including the Tryst CSC based at Larbert High School.

Over £770 million has been invested by sportscotland and its partners in community sports facilities since the SNP came to power in 2007, including over £96 million in 2015/16 alone.

The positive legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games is clear in the number of Scottish Governing Bodies of sport (SGB) affiliated clubs at 13,491 in 2015-16, up from 9,943 in 2013-14, and the Active Schools Network growing to provide over 6.5 million sport and physical activity sessions in 2015/16 – with over 22,000 people taking part in delivering them, including 19,000 volunteers.

The 2014 Games has also had a positive practical impact after the track and other equipment from the Games have now been installed at the Grangemouth Sports Stadium for the benefit of all who use these state of the art facilities.

Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald (Falkirk East) said:

“These latest figures show yet again that the SNP Government is offering effective and substantial support to grassroots sports in Falkirk district and across the country – encouraging more people of all ages into sport and exercise.

“There is no doubt that the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow have left a positive legacy, with the number of sports clubs ballooning since 2014 – and sportscotland confirming that the total number of sports clubs will be even higher than the 13,491 in their official figures.

“The Community Sports Hub programme has been a roaring success since it was established in 2010/11, and we now have 157 of these across the country, with the majority located in schools. The success of the Community Sports Hub at Larbert High School is testament to the positive vision contained within the original policy. Investment in community sports facilities by sportscotland and its partners is over £770 million in the years since the SNP came to power, and this excludes the investments made by local authorities, sports governing bodies, higher education institutions and others.

“It is this investment in sport and exercise that is encouraging more people to become active, with all the knock-on benefits for both physical and mental health. The Scottish Government will continue to focus on developing grassroots sport in Scotland, as well as continuing to improve equal access, helping to nurture the sports stars of the future and create a healthier, more active society.”

ANGUS MACDONALD MSP VOTES FOR LANDMARK SCOTTISH BUDGET

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LABOUR/TORY/LIBDEM OPPOSITION FAIL TO SUPPORT INVESTMENT IN FALKIRK DISTRICT

Communities across the Falkirk district are set to benefit from greater support as a result of the Scottish Government’s Budget, SNP MSP for Falkirk East has said. This includes the continuation of the electrification on the railways between Falkirk Grahamston, Stirling, Dunblane and Alloa and funding for Forth Valley College.

Labour, Tory and Lib Dem opponents failed to support investment for Falkirk district in the budget – with the three opposition parties voting against the SNP’s proposals to fund local services on Thursday.

Angus MacDonald has condemned the approach taken by the three parties, including Alison Harris MSP, providing opposition for opposition’s sake rather than supporting investment in communities throughout the Falkirk district.

Commenting, SNP MSP Angus MacDonald said:

“This Scottish Government budget provides a strong funding deal for Falkirk district, giving spending commitments in the NHS, education, infrastructure, environment and the economy. For the opposition parties, with the exception of the Greens, to vote against all of this was deeply disappointing and against the best interests of our communities.

“It was disappointing to see Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories be more interested in political point scoring rather than standing up for their local communities across the Falkirk District – but there’s still time for them to drop their opposition and back the Scottish Government’s proposals as the Budget Bill progresses.

“The Falkirk district itself will benefit from a range of direct spending commitments, including an additional £4.5 million for Falkirk Council and funding for Forth Valley College in order for them to continue delivering for our young people.

“Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems should think again before choosing to rob the Falkirk district of these vital services in a narrow-minded campaign designed to achieve nothing more than embarrassing the SNP Scottish Government. This budget is too important for our communities to allow that to happen.”

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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