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The Pagoda Perspective

9th October 2017

 SNP CONFERENCE

  • Deputy First Minister John Swinney has announced new bursaries of £20,000 for those re-training to become a STEM subject teacher.
  • Independence will not feature on the main SNP conference agenda, as the party responds to the “constitutional fatigue” that affected the SNP’s election result in June.

SCOTTISH LABOUR LEADERSHIP

  • Former Chancellor Alistair Darling has backed Anas Sarwar in the race to become the new leader of Labour in Scotland.

BREXIT

  • The Scottish Government plans to pay any ‘settled status’ fee for EU citizens working in Scotland’s public sector following Brexit, whilst the UK Government has offered such status to EU migrants who have lived in the UK for five years, although a fee may apply.
  • Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that Brexit is a “developing disaster“, despite Theresa May’s prediction that the “doomsayers” will be proved wrong.

POLITICS

  • The latest YouGov survey has predicted that the Scottish Parliament would lose it pro-independence majority if an election were to be held today. The research suggested the SNP would secure 57 seats, down six, and the Greens would secure 4, down two. The poll also predicts the Conservatives would slip back into third place, as it suggests Labour would gain 8 seats.
  • The same YouGov survey has also revealed that almost half of Scots believe the SNP distorted the economics of independence to try to win a Yes result in 2014.
  • Nicola Sturgeon has said Scotland would not follow a Catalan-style approach in future independence campaigns, insisting that the legal framework established for the 2014 referendum should be repeated in any future Scottish vote.

ECONOMY

  • Scotland’s GDP has increased by 0.5% compared to the second quarter of 2016, while the UK’s GDP increased by 1.5% in the same period. The statistics are summarised in the latest SPICe briefing.

TRANSPORT

  • ScotRail Alliance has announced that Jobseekers will be offered up to two free return rail journeys a month to attend job interviews.
  • Written evidence to the Edinburgh Trams inquiry has revealed that an unnecessary decision to opt for longer trams may have significantly increased project costs.

HEALTH

  • More than a third of Scots are unaware of complications from diabetes according to a new research by Diabetes UK.

EDUCATION

  • A survey conducted by the Scottish Association for Mental Health has found that two-thirds of teachers in Scotland have not received adequate training on mental health issues.

COMING UP