Mackay Welcomes Fall in Unemployment – YOUTH EMPLOYMENT AT HIGHEST LEVEL FOR TEN YEARS

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has today welcomed new employment statistics which show that that unemployment has continued to fall, with a fall of 13,000 between April and June this year. This compares to an increase across the UK over the same period.

The figures, which cover April to June this year, also show that youth employment has reached its highest level since the same period in 2005, with an increase of 20,000 over the latest quarter, and youth unemployment is at its lowest level since 2008.

Commenting, SNP MSP Derek Mackay said:

“These positive figures are very welcome and come after confirmation that the Scottish economy grew by 0.6 per cent in the first quarter of the year.

“The fall in unemployment of 13,000 is the latest indication that the action taken by this SNP Scottish government to get people into work and grow our economy is working.

“It is also very encouraging that youth employment continues to increase, now reaching a level last seen ten years ago. Getting young people into work, education or training has been a key focus of the SNP in government and this will continue.”

Mackay unveils new Community Noticeboard

Derek Mackay MSP has unveiled a new community noticeboard at his Renfrew constituency office.

The Renfrewshire North & West MSP had the board installed outside his Hairst Street office so constituents can be kept up-to-date with what is happening locally. Groups and organisations in the constituency can promote any community event that have coming up on the board.

Speaking Mr Mackay said:

“It is important to me that everyone knows what is happening locally, whether it be a Gala Day, a community clean up or a charity event.

“This noticeboard now allows locals to easily see what’s on in and around the constituency.

“There is always something happening in the area, and by installing his very visual board I hope I can do my bit in helping bring the community together.

“Any organisation who wishes to have a poster displayed can simply hand one into my office at Hairst Street, Renfrew.”

Mackay Welcomes Yet More Passenger Growth at Glasgow Airport

SNP MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the recently reported passenger growth at Glasgow Airport, which is in his constituency of Renfrewshire North & West.

The Airport recorded its busiest July in seven years after over 956,483 passengers travelled through its doors, an increase of 13.7%. This represented its ninth consecutive month of double digit growth.

The news capped what has been so far a successful 2015 for the Airport, with it being classified by European airport trade body, ACI Europe as one of Europe’s fastest growing airports during the first six months of 2015.

Mr Mackay, the MSP for Glasgow Airport, said:

“It is encouraging to see passenger growing at Glasgow Airport yet again in what has so far been a very successful year for the Airport.

“In a time of economic pressures, maintaining passenger numbers can be a challenge and this new increase in numbers is testament to the hard work of all the Airport staff.

“Glasgow Airport is going from strength to strength which is good news for the whole of Renfrewshire.

“The Airport is a vital part of the local economy and any increase in passenger numbers has a positive knock on effect throughout the area.”

POLL SHOWS FURTHER EVIDENCE OF ‘EXCEPTIONAL’ SNP SUPPORT AFTER 8 YEARS IN GOVERNMENT

The SNP is today welcoming another very encouraging poll showing support for the party remains at an extraordinary level after eight years in government.

Today’s TNS poll reported by the Herald online puts support for the SNP at 62 per cent on the constituency vote – up two per cent compared with the last TNS poll and a full 42 points ahead of Labour.

On the list vote, support for the SNP is up three points to 54 per cent, while Labour are down one on 20 per cent.

Commenting, SNP Business Convener Derek Mackay MSP said:

“This is another exceptional poll showing support for the SNP remains at extraordinary levels after eight years in government – it is also a vote of confidence in our 56 new SNP MPs, who are working hard for Scotland and have already secured Tory climbdowns on issues such as English Votes for English Laws, fox hunting and the Human Rights Act.

“We take absolutely nothing for granted, and will keep working hard every day between now and next year’s Holyrood election to retain the trust of people right across Scotland as we look to build on our record of delivery and success.

“Since coming to office in 2007 we have frozen council tax, protected free higher education, scrapped prescription charges, boosted apprenticeship numbers by almost 60 per cent, protected free personal care, maintained the concessionary travel scheme, increased Scotland’s health budget to record levels, and protected those hardest hit by unfair Tory welfare cuts. All this has been in the face of massive Westminster cuts to our budget.

“If re-elected in 2016, the SNP will build on our strong record and deliver further improvements. We will also continue to use the powers we have to strengthen and grow the Scottish economy – and push the case at Westminster for the further powers we need to create more and better jobs and to tackle poverty and inequality.”

Free Prescriptions Saving People Millions

SNP MSP Derek Mackay has today welcomed new figures which show that people with long-term and mental health conditions are saving millions as a result of the abolition of prescription charges in Scotland.

The figures, obtained through a Parliamentary Question, show that in 2015-16 it is expected that people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will save £2.6 million as a result of the policy and people with cardiovascular conditions will save £4.6 million. In England, people with long-term and mental health conditions face prescription charges of £8.20 per item, following a further increase in April.

The figures also show that people with mental health conditions are saving £4.8 million on prescriptions compared to people with the same conditions south of the border. The Scottish Government announced earlier this year that it would invest £100 million over the next five years as part of its focus on improving mental health services.

Commenting Renfrewshire North & West MSP Mr Mackay said:

“I don’t believe there should be a tax on the sick, that is why I am proud that the SNP Government introduced free prescriptions and, despite cuts by Westminster to the Scottish budget, have worked hard to protect them.

“To effectively tax someone for having asthma or problems with their heart or a mental health condition is unfair and is fundamentally against the founding principles of the NHS.

“If someone is unwell they should be able to focus on managing their condition and improving their health – not worrying if they can afford the medication they need.

“I remain committed to protecting free prescriptions for all in Scotland, and will support the Government in doing so.”

Mackay wishes Renfrew FC Luck for first Game at New Ground

SNP MSP Derek Mackay today wished Renfrew Juniors FC luck ahead of their first game at their new ground tomorrow (Saturday 8th August 2015).

The Renfrewshire North & West MSP popped into the ground on the eve of their first game to wish the staff and volunteers, who were putting the finishing touches to the ground, luck for the game and the season ahead.

The match against Johnstone Burgh kicks off at 2pm at New Western Park.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“There have been a few bumps along the way, but it is great to now see the finishing touches being put to the ground ahead of the first match.

“The committee, fans and volunteers have waited a long time for this day and I am pleased to see their hard work finally pay off.

“Renfrew Juniors FC have expanded their community work and absorbed local youth teams, and the new ground will benefit grass roots local football.

“I wish Renfrew all the best in their new home and the opening match of the season. I hope this will be the start of a very successful period in the club’s history.”

Mackay Welcomes Glasgow Airport Success

SNP MSP Derek Mackay has welcomed the news that Glasgow Airport was one of Europe’s fastest growing airports in its category during the first six months of 2015.

According to European airport trade body, ACI Europe, the Airport which is in Mr Mackay’s Renfrewshire North & West constituency, was the third fastest growing airport in its category during June 2015.

Glasgow enjoyed an increase in passenger numbers of 13.8% during the first half of 2015 compared to the same period last year. Almost four million passengers (3,958,094 passengers) have travelled through its doors during this period. Glasgow was third behind Porto and Milan Bergamo airports.

ACI Europe categorises airports based on passenger numbers with Glasgow Airport falling into group three – airports welcoming between 5 and 10 million passengers.

Mr Mackay, the MSP for Glasgow Airport, said:

“It is fantastic to see passenger numbers continuing to grow at Glasgow Airport.

“In a time of economic pressures, maintaining passenger numbers can be a challenge. Being judged one of Europe’s fastest growing airports is testament to the hard work of all the staff at Glasgow Airport

“Glasgow Airport is going from strength to strength which is good news for Renfrewshire.

“The Airport is a vital part of the local economy and any increase in passenger numbers has a positive knock on effect throughout the area.”

Mackay Welcomes Rise in Police Officers

Derek Mackay MSP has welcomed figures revealed today that show that the number of extra police officers in Scotland continues to exceed the 1,000 target.

The latest quarterly strength statistics show that there were 17,272 police officers on June 30 2015, an increase of 6.4 per cent or 1,038 officers since March 31, 2007.

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay said:

“There is no substitute for bobbies on the beat and that is what this SNP Government has delivered.

“Our commitment to keep over 1,000 extra officers has resulted in recorded crime being at a 40 year low, and violent crime down 52% and crimes of handling an offensive weapon down 62% since 2006/2007.

“This contrasts with the position in England and Wales where officer numbers have fallen by over 15,000 since 2007 and are now at their lowest level in 14 years.

“Making Scotland safer has been a key priority for the SNP, which is why we have delivered over 1,000 additional police officers who have helped drive recorded crime down to its lowest level in 40 years.

“However, the hard work has been done by the officers and support staff within Police Scotland who work hard everyday, doing all that they can to prevent and detect crime and keep the streets of Renfrewshire and Scotland safe. I want to pay tribute to them and thank them for helping to keep our communities safe.”

Mackay encourages 15-17 year olds in Renfrewshire to register to vote

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay is backing a new campaign which aims to encourage all 15-17 year olds who will be eligible to vote for the first time in the Scottish Parliament election scheduled for May 2016 to now register.

The initiative is part of a wider campaign that has been launched nationally across Scotland by the Electoral Commission.

The rules on the voting age in Scotland have now changed meaning that, for the first time 16 and 17 year olds will be eligible to take part in elections to the Scottish Parliament and at local elections in Scotland.

SNP MSP Mackay said:

“Lowering of the voting age in Scotland means that 15-17 year olds can now be included on the electoral register. Not everyone may know about this change which is why I am promoting the Electoral Commission’s campaign to raise awareness and to encourage registration.

“It’s really important that those who will be 16 or 17 by next May don’t miss out on having their say because they didn’t know that they could register to now vote or because they don’t know how to register to vote.

“As well as contacting the Electoral registration office on Glasgow Road in Paisley, constituents in Renfrewshire North & West can also contact my office on 0141 885 2076, if they have any questions or need any help.

“I was proud to vote for the Bill in the Scottish Parliament to allow 16 and 17 year olds to vote in Scottish elections.

“Scotland’s youth proved during last year’s referendum that they are just as politically aware as their peers, and deserve the opportunity to vote for who represents them in Parliament.”

Andy O’Neill, Head of Scotland Office at the Electoral Commission said:

“At the Scottish independence referendum in 2014, we saw that young people are politically engaged and that they want to vote. But to be able to take part in elections, you must be registered. It’s easy to apply to register online now at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote in just a few minutes.”

MACKAY – ‘UNELECTED SECOND CHAMBER NOW MUST GO’

Renfrewshire North & West MSP Derek Mackay has today joined renewed calls for the unelected, undemocratic House of Lords to be scrapped. The move comes on the back of reports that David Cameron is to press ahead with the appointment of around 200 new peers, bringing the total to over 1000.

Commenting, the SNP MSP said:

“Adding 200 more unelected peers to the Lord’s – costing millions of pounds a year – at a time when working families are being hammered with savage cuts to tax credits and are increasingly relying on foodbanks, is shameful.

“Instead, of increasing it’s size to over 1,000 we should be looking at is the abolition whole chamber. To have more unelected, unaccountable Lord’s and Baronenesses than we do democratically elected MPs and MSPs is totally unacceptable.

“This unelected second chamber now must go.”