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The Pagoda Perspective 15 May 2017

15th May 2017

General Election

  • Two recent general election polls show Labour at 32%, the party’s highest rating for six months, and following a draft of its manifesto was leaked to The BBC and several newspapers.
  • Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned levels of poverty will be higher under Theresa May than they were under Thatcher.
  • On the campaign trail Theresa May has promised to keep all workers’ rights currently guaranteed by EU law, put worker representation on company boards and protect pensions.
  • The Survation poll for ITV’s Good Morning Britain found 17% said the NHS was their top priority, ahead of Brexit on 12%, while previous work by the pollster put Brexit on 15% and the NHS on 14%.
  • Ruth Davidson is to make a dramatic U-turn by announcing that the Scottish Conservatives are to support free prescriptions in Scotland, after years of opposition to the SNP policy.
  • SNP MPs will bring forward plans to lower the voting age in all elections to 16 after the General Election.

Independence

  • Ruth Davidson has told Scottish voters she will attempt to keep a second independence referendum off the table for a generation – suggesting another vote could take place in 35 years.

Education

  • Nicola Sturgeon said her SNP government must do better on education after it was revealed less than half of Scotland’s 13 and 14 year olds were performing well in writing.
  • Meanwhile, primary six pupils from across Scotland will take part in a quiz in the Debating Chamber today, testing their knowledge of European history, geography, sport, culture, languages and the European Union.

Economy/Business

  • The latest Bank of Scotland regional purchasing managers’ index (PMI) showed a “tentative upturn” in Scottish private sector growth last month, led by the manufacturing sector. However, the report raised new concerns over inflation and accelerated input cost pressures, leading to “marked rises in charges” for private firms.

Welfare/Health

  • Patients have been warned to use the NHS wisely following a large scale cyber-attack on several NHS organisations in Scotland and England on Friday.
  • Figures obtained by the Sunday Herald revealed that at least 39 homeless people have died in Glasgow in the just 10 months.

Environment

  • Holyrood is to consider its first piece of forestry legislation – with the Scottish Government pledging The Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill will help expand the £1 billion sector and make more effective uses of publicly-owned land.

Media/technology

  • Theresa May has pledged that all Facebook users will have the chance to delete posts they made as a teenager if her party wins the election in June.

Coming up

  • BBC Scotland’s General Election debate will now feature six party leaders after David Coburn was invited on to the programme. The debate will take place on Sunday 21st.