Gray exposes his ignorance of Norway's oil fund

Commenting on Iain Gray’s blunder at First Minister’s Questions yesterday where he claimed Norway had an oil fund because the oil industry was nationalised the SNP's candidate for Falkirk East, Councillor Angus MacDonald said:

“I was astonished to see the Labour Leader in Scotland display such ignorance over the Norwegian Oil Fund. Iain Gray has exposed his ignorance and arrogance about other countries and Scotland's oil when he makes such ludicrous statements.
“The money for Norway’s oil fund doesn’t come from Statoil – it comes from tax revenues from all the oil companies that work in the Norwegian oil sector. Norway’s oil fund is now worth around £300 billion (equivalent to 1,000 new state of the art Larbert Hospitals)  and simply underlines why – in the face of savage London cuts – it is essential that Scotland similarly benefits from its own resources, with a Scottish oil fund to secure the nation’s wealth for future generations.

"Norway has shown the way, and with massive oil reserves still in the Scottish sectors of the North Sea and the Atlantic it is not too late to create a Scottish Oil Fund for future generations. Currently the Norwegian Oil Fund is using its strong position to buy up government bonds in Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal. It is also buying up large amounts of commercial real estate in the USA and other countries around the world. Norway's oil fund has allowed it to take advantage of the global economic downturn while Scotland wrestles with savage cuts being imposed by the ConDem government in London.

“Iain Gray just makes himself look foolish when he makes such remarks and shows that no one can trust a word he or his party say. He shows he is more interested in talking Scotland down than helping Scotland up.

“He just shows why at the next election voters will have a choice between an experienced SNP Government led by Alex Salmond putting the priorities of the Scottish people first against an inexperienced Labour party who get their facts wrong.”

The Scottish Government's "An Oil Fund for Scotland" can be read here:

Angus MacDonald hits out at unfair charges on elderly and infirm

The SNP's Scottish Parliamentary candidate for Falkirk East, Grangemouth Councillor Angus MacDonald has hit out at new charges for non-residential social care services being introduced by the ruling Tory/Labour administration at Falkirk Council, branding the charges "an attack on the most vulnerable within our society".
The first phase of the raid on the pockets of elderly and infirm residents, which is due to come in to force in November, will net the council a staggering £1.6m a year for services that were free under the previous SNP led Administration.

Branding Labour and Tory Councillors as "heartless" for re-introducing charges for essential social services Councillor Angus MacDonald said:

“What Labour and their Tory co-horts are saying in justification for their new charging regime for such as MECS (Mobile Emergency Care Service) are the same arguments they put forward the last time they wanted people to pay. In 2001 they argued other councils were charging and so Falkirk should as well. The SNP fought Labour on the issue in 2001 and won and we will fight this Labour / Tory attack on the elderly and disabled now.

"These are essential services that save lives and yet Labour and Conservative Councillors are putting obstacles in the way of people who are already living on benefits from receiving these services, thus putting lives at risk. You can not image anyone being asked for a credit card number when they phone 999 and yet that is what this uncaring Labour / Tory coalition are doing in Falkirk Council.”

School building hits record high

SNP administration delivered state-of-the-art schools in Falkirk East

School building has reached a record high with 303 Scottish schools being rebuilt or refurbished in the last three years – more than in the term of any previous Scottish administration - meaning more children than ever are in good or high quality school buildings.
grangemouth high schoolWithin hours of the SNP coming to power at Holyrood in 2007 one of the first actions of the new SNP Government was to 'sign off' the four NPDO (Not for Profit) schools in Falkirk district, which were delivered by the SNP-led administration in Falkirk. The £110 million contract to build new high schools in Grangemouth, Falkirk, Denny and a new St Mungo's was a flagship policy of the previous SNP-led administration. As a result 1000's of children are benefitting from first class state-of-the-art facilities that are returning benefits to the local community, not filling the wallets of city fat-cats through Labour's discredited PFI schemes.

The SNP delivered these NPDO schools despite Labour's belief that the old schools were 'fit for purpose'.

SNP Candidate for Falkirk East, Councillor Angus MacDonald said:

"It was the vision of the SNP-led administration in Falkirk that delivered the four new NPDO high schools in Falkirk district. Had it been up to Labour, pupils would still be getting taught in the old, tired schools that Labour believed were "fit for purpose".

"We know that better school buildings mean more opportunities for our children and better conditions for our teachers. I am particularly pleased that we have broken the pattern of private finance profiting from Scotland’s school buildings.  With more schools built or refurbished in the last three years through traditional capital or non profit finance schemes Labour’s plans to allow the private sector to profit from our school buildings have been firmly put into touch.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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