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The Pagoda Perspective

3rd July 2017

GENERAL

  • Business leaders are “fed up” with Nicola Sturgeon’s quest for independence says the chief executive of bottled water firm Highland Spring.
  • For those needing a refresh of activity over the last year, the BBC has compiled a yearly review of parliamentary business at Holyrood.

EDUCATION

  • An independent Scottish Parliament Information Centre report has indicated that education spending in Scotland has slumped by more than £1,000 per pupil in secondary schools.

ECONOMY

  • The Scottish economy is still suffering the effects of a fall in the price of oil and gas, Scotland’s employability minister Jamie Hepburn has said. However, the latest Fraser of Allander figures suggests much – but not all- of the slowdown could be attributed to the oil price.
  • The UK’s growth prospects have been downgraded as a result of Brexit and political uncertainty, indicating that UK economic growth will sink to its lowest levels since the 2008 financial crash.

HEALTH

  • A new HPV (Human Papillomavirus) vaccination programme is now being offered to men who have sex with men in Scotland.

RURAL

  • Scotland’s rural affairs secretary Fergus Ewing has said4% of EU farm payments were made before the midnight deadline, meaning the Scottish Government has avoided potential fines from the European Commission.

ENVIRONMENT

  • A detailed study into how a deposit-return scheme for bottles and cans would work has been commissioned by the Scottish Government.

TOURISM

  • According to the latest Royal Bank of Scotland Business Monitoring report, the weakening pound sterling has provided a boost to Scottish tourism and exports.

TRANSPORT

  • Transport minister Humza Yousaf is to unveil plans for a public sector bid to take over Scotland’s railways in 2025. The move has been welcomed by Scottish Labour and Railfuture Scotland, a group that represents rail passengers.

MEDIA

  • New legislation has now come into force which makes it easier to prosecute ‘revenge porn’ in Scotland, with those convicted of sharing images facing up to five years in prison.

COMING UP

  • Official growth figures will be published on Wednesday, revealing whether Scotland is in recession following shrinking growth in the last quarter of 2016.
  • The Scottish Government will begin publishing all FOI responses online.
  • The Scottish Parliament is now in recess.