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The Pagoda Perspective 30.10.17

30th October 2017

BREXIT

  • In a letter to Theresa May, Nicola Sturgeon has called for “urgent clarity” on transition plans as the UK leaves the EU. 

SCOTTISH LABOUR LEADERSHIP

  • Voting has begun in the Scottish Labour leadership election. Voting will run until midday on 17 November, with the winner announced the following day.
  • The leader of the UK’s largest trade union, Unite, has backed left-wing MSP Richard Leonard to be the new Scottish Labour leader.

POLITICS

  • Scotland’s Health Secretary has responded to reports that women at all levels in Holyrood have experienced harassment. Ms Robison called on those affected to contact parliamentary authorities.
  • The First Minister is to apologise on behalf of the Scottish Government to gay men convicted of now-abolished sexual offences. The move coincides with new legislation giving an automatic pardon to those affected.
  • While the Scottish government has said it “respects and understands” the position of the Catalan government, which has declared independence from Spain, it has not explicitly recognised Catalonia as an independent state.

ECONOMY

  • Nearly half of Scots aged 40 to 64 believe they will not have enough money to retire when they reach state pension age, a survey conducted for Age Scotland has suggested.

HEALTH

  • In its annual report, Audit Scotland has warned that Scotland’s health “is not improving” as the NHS faces “significant challenges”.
  • Health Secretary Shona Robison has confirmed that Scotland’s NHS will continue to miss two key treatment targets for elective surgery and outpatient treatments next year.
  • The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on plans to tackle poor diet and obesity. Proposals include restrictions on the promotion of food and drink high in fat, sugar, and salt. TV chef Jamie Oliver has described the proposals as “trailblazing”.
  • A new Scottish Government funded study has identified a ‘dramatic inequality gap’ in the first three years of primary school between the poorest and richest children experiencing mental health difficulties.

WELFARE

  • A new Scottish Government report highlights the impact of UK Government welfare cuts, detailing the number of disabled people affected by cuts to Employment and Support Allowance, the introduction of Personal Independence Payments and the Bedroom Tax.

COMING UP

  • Holyrood’s Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy will deliver a ministerial statement on Tuesday on the Scottish Greenhouse Emissions Annual Target Reportfor 2015.
  • Edinburgh’s youth homelessness charity, The Rock Trust, will host its 24th annual sleep-out in the capital’s Festival Square on Friday.