CAMPAIGNERS are urging a last minute rethink on plans to scrap the Forestry Commission in Scotland. New legislation will see forestry become a government department if it gets the go-ahead tomorrow. But critics have raised concerns about being “pulled too close into the Scottish Government” – as well as key expertise being lost. Loading article content Iain Laidlaw, from the Forestry Commission Trade Unions, said the industry feared being “dragged from pillar to post depending on the latest whim of the latest minister”. He told the BBC: "Ministers last maybe a couple of years if they are lucky. Forestry is a much longer-term business than that." The Forestry Commission currently operates as a non-ministerial government department responsible for forestry in England and Scotland. Efforts to merge it into the Scottish Government have been criticised by MSPs, while civil servants have been accused of handling the changes “very badly … [Read more...] about Last minute rethink urged over forestry plans
Msp business plan
0 Have your say A “historic” overhaul of the income tax system was passed by MSPs last night in a move that will see major differences between rates paid in Scotland and the rest of the UK. The minority SNP government won support from the Greens for a package that will mean Scots workers earning £26,000 or more face a higher tax burden then their counterparts south of the Border. Earners below this level, a majority of workers, will pay slightly less.MSPs voted 67-50 in favour of the new system and are today expected to pass the Scottish Government’s budget for 2018-19, which will be underpinned by the tax plans.Finance Secretary Derek Mackay said the £200 million raised by the tax changes will help fight austerity and provide vital cash for public services. But opponents said the move broke an SNP election pledge not to raise the basic rate of income tax and would hurt rather than spark Scotland’s sluggish economy.Scottish finance leaders said … [Read more...] about Scotland goes it alone on historic day as MSPs back tax shake-up
MSPs are expected to back plans to create a new income tax system for Scotland in a key vote at Holyrood. Finance Secretary Derek Mackay hailed the occasion as a "important day for Scotland's future", with SNP ministers insisting seven out of 10 of taxpayers north of the border will be better off next year under the plans. READ MORE: Holyrood to approve new income tax system for Scotland Both the higher and top rate of income tax will both be increased by 1p from April 1 2018, rising to 41p and 46p respectively. In addition the Scottish Government will levy a new intermediate rate of 21p on income between £24,000 and £43,430. But the increase in the personal allowance - the amount people can earn before they start paying income tax - together with the introduction of a 19p "starter rate" on earnings between £11,850 and £13,850 means that most Scots will pay less in 2018-19 than in 2017-18. READ MORE: Holyrood to approve new income tax system … [Read more...] about New plans for Scottish income tax- what could it mean for your pocket?
MORE meetings about the impact of RBS branch closures are set to take place in the Scottish Borders due to public demand. Local MP John Lamont and Rachael Hamilton MSP have already hosted events in Duns, Hawick and Melrose. After being contacted by a number of constituents who were unable to attend, further meetings will take place in the three remaining towns set to lose their local branch. Residents in Jedburgh, Selkirk and Eyemouth will be given an opportunity to express their views and hear about the campaign to save their branches. The news comes after RBS announced it was withdrawing mobile bank services from a number of communities in the Borders, breaking a promise to protect this service in light of the closure of local branches. John Lamont MP said: “I was surprised with the number of people who turned up to our recent RBS meetings, but since then many more have contacted me to ask for events to take place in the other towns affected by branch closures. … [Read more...] about Further RBS meetings planned in Eyemouth, Jedburgh and Selkirk
0 Have your say The Scottish Government is being urged to abandon plans for a so-called “sport tax” amid fears grassroots facilities like tennis courts and community centres face the axe or massive bills. Labour say vital tax breaks on new developments built by public trusts will effectively end as part of an overhaul of Scotland’s system of business rates which may leave many proposed new developments “unaffordable”. The plans are at the heart of Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s budget which will be passed by MSPs at Holyrood this week. But there are fears it could undermine efforts to improve the nation’s health by pricing people out of physical activity.Labour North east MSP Jenny Marra said: “These proposed changes mean local authorities will struggle to build new sports and cultural facilities – condemning communities across Scotland to crumbling sports centres and run-down libraries.“There are a number of … [Read more...] about Call to scrap ‘sport tax’ plan amid fears for future of grassroots facilities