Business Rates Won’t Be Reduced

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has reacted with disappointment to news that there will be no review of Business rates before 2017. Scottish Government Finance Secretary John Swinney has refused to amend rates that were set before the global economic slump in 2008. Many small to medium sized enterprises in Mid-Scotland and Fife have suffered as a result of the consumer downturn and despite repeated calls to the Scottish Government for help, little aid has ensued. In October the UK Government made the decision to postpone business rates revaluation in England until 2017, leaving the Scottish Government free to make its own decision. In England businesses have benefitted from transitional relief against rates bills since 2010, however in Scotland no such protection exists.

Aerospace Firm Brings Jobs to Perthshire

Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has welcomed the creation of 30 new jobs at Vector Aerospace, a firm specialising in the maintenance of aircrafts in Perthshire. A Scottish Enterprise grant worth £250,000 will allow the company to invest in a new training programme which will create 30 new jobs.The firm is also developing its Almondbank facility to repair aero engines with 40 new jobs set to be added in the long term.

Scotland Won’t Meet Climate Change Targets

Despite the erection of thousands of wind turbines since the SNP came to power, Scotland is no closer to meeting its carbon emission reduction targets. Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has warned that the Scottish Government is approaching emission reduction targets in the wrong way. According to David Wilson, Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Scottish Government, Scotland is on track to miss virtually all its legally-binding targets to cut climate pollution for the next 15 years. Even if ministers adopt all the measures they have currently proposed to cut carbon emissions, Scotland will still fall eight million tonnes short of the target cut mandated by the Scottish Parliament for 2027 in the Climate Change Act.

Scottish Book Week

 Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Murdo Fraser has welcomed Scotland’s inaugural Book Week, running between the 26th and the 2nd of December.The event will be held by the Scottish Book Trust on behalf of Creative Scotland, and events include an hour of national reading time on the 30th and a pop-up book festival in Glasgow.

First Minister Questions ‘Homecoming 2014’

Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser used his time during First Minister’s Questions to quiz Alex Salmond on the state of preparations for the ‘2014 Homecoming’ event. The Member for Mid-Scotland and Fife also pressed the First Minister on the timing of the event. In 2009, the “Gathering” was central to the success of Homecoming 2009 with thousands of Americans travelling to their ancestral home in Scotland. However, with the cancellation of the “Gathering” in 2014 due to real financial concerns, Murdo Fraser expressed his concern at the timing of 2009’s festivities with American tourists less likely to travel abroad before the 4th of July.

Murdo Fraser Stands up for Business Tourism in Perthshire

Murdo Fraser MSP for Mid-Scotland and Fife used his time during a Scottish Parliament Chamber debate on business tourism to praise the efforts of Perthshire businesses in attracting conferences and other events to the area. In his speech Murdo Fraser MSP outlined the contribution of Perth’s Concert Hall to the Perthshire economy, contributing £1.3 million in 2008 (latest available figures). He also praised the ability of Perthshire as a whole to attract top class events such as the G8 summit in 2005.However he also raised problems with Perthshire’s transport and technology infrastructure that prevent the region from fully benefitting from business tourism.

Tories call on Minster to act on vanishing road markings

   Liz Smith, Scottish Conservative MSP for Mid Scotland & Fife has called on SNP Transport Minister, Keith Brown to take action following a report commissioned by the Road Safety Markings Association which concluded that Scotland’s roads are the worst in the UK.  The report found that 90 per cent of markings on the M90 between J1 and J12a northbound have failed and nine per cent are failing; with the A92 Dunfermline to Kirkcaldy, and A8 and A720 Edinburgh west with more than 80 per cent failed markings.

Wind Farm Applications Exploded with SNP Leadership

 A Freedom of Information request carried out by the Scottish Conservatives has shown a substantial increase in the number of wind farm applications since the SNP came to power in 2007. Before the SNP came to power only 103 wind farm applications were lodged in Perth and Kinross, Clackmannanshire, Stirling and Fife.  Since 2007 applications have increased sevenfold to 796 in Mid-Scotland and Fife.Fife alone increased its number of applications by an unbelievable 1258% from 38 before SNP to 516 since SNP came to power.

SNP massage renewables job figures

  The Scottish Government has admitted exaggerating in parliament the number of Scottish jobs supported by the renewable energy sector. First Minister Alex Salmond told Holyrood on October 25 that there were 18,000 jobs created by industries such as windfarms. However, that has been refuted by Scottish Renewables, which has consistently said only 11,000 jobs are supported. The SNP has now confirmed this is the case after newspaper reports today forced it to admit Alex Salmond’s 18,000 claim – made in an answer at First Minister’s Questions following a question by Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith – was inaccurate. It is the second time in a week that the Scottish Government has confessed giving inaccurate answers to parliament, and adds to what is an emerging trend of retractions following boastful statements.