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The Pagoda Perspective

14th August 2017

BREXIT/INDEPENDENCE

  • Former First Minister Alex Salmond has said he believes Scotland will vote to be independent within four years as a result of Brexit.

POLITICS

  • The Scottish Liberal Democrats have raised concerns about changes to the way Freedom of Information requests are handled in Scotland.
  • Nearly half of Brits want Theresa May to quit before the next election according to a new opinion poll for the Independent.

HEALTH

  • Ministers are being urged to make Scotland a world leader in fighting “period poverty” by making sanitary products free for those who need them. Scottish Labour’s Monica Lennon has lodged a proposal and consultation for a period poverty bill.

ECONOMY

  • The latest figures from Bank of Scotland’s PMI have found the country’s private sector has grown at its fastest pace in nearly three years.
  • New HMRC figures show that Scottish salmon exports have reached a record value of £346m in the first half of 2017 – up 70% on the same period last year.
  • Footfall on Scotland’s high streets has dropped by 0.4% in July compared to last year – with nearly one in 10 Scottish retail outlets sitting vacant.

EDUCATION

  • SQA results published last week showed the pass rate for Higher exams dipped slightly but the total number of passes remained above 150,000 for a third successive year.
  • Almost one in five parents say bullying is their top concern as children return to Scottish schools this week, according to research by Action for Children Scotland.

ENVIRONMENT & ENERGY

  • Proposals to create a zero-carbon country have been published by Scottish Labour.

TRANSPORT

  • Scotland’s biggest airports recorded their busiest ever month on record in July, with nearly 2.5 million passengers using the country’s two main hubs.
  • More than 340,000 passengers passed through Edinburgh Waverley during the first weekend of the Edinburgh festivals, ScotRail has revealed.

TOURISM

  • The number of passengers arrested for drunken behaviour on flights or at UK airports increased by 50% in the last year, new figures obtained by BBC Panorama reveal.
  • Skye’s MP has urged Highland Council to help the island cope with the influx of summer visitors – claiming recent comments that Skye is “bursting at the seams” could damage the island’s economy.

COMING UP

  • The UK Government is expected to publish key Brexit papers this week, clarifying positions on a range of issues, including Northern Ireland.
  • The first of Scotland’s new baby boxes will be distributed from tomorrow.