Lindhurst to back plans to give greater support to local newspaper industry

Lothians MSP Gordon Lindhurst is backing plans that will give greater support to the local newspaper industry to help them survive the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Scottish Conservative and Unionist MSP is set to vote for an amendment put forward by his colleague Murdo Fraser during Emergency Coronavirus Legislation in Parliament this afternoon.

The amendment is designed at giving the newspaper industry the same level of support that the SNP Government have provided to other key industries such as leisure, retail and hospitality.

Mr Lindhurst has highlighted that local newspapers have lost 75 per cent of their advertising revenue and 25 per cent of their circulation cash and further urgent support is required to help them through the unprecedented crisis.

Commenting Gordon Lindhurst MSP said: “Local newspapers are at the heart of our communities across the Lothians and have rightly been recognised as a key industry.

“However, they urgently require further support to help them through the Covid-19 pandemic.

“That is why I hope the SNP Government and other opposition MSP’s will back the amendment put forward by Murdo Fraser, in order to give struggling local newspapers the level of support other key industries have received.

“We need trusted news more than ever in our communities, but that will only continue if they get the direct support they need.”

The wording of the amendment from Murdo Fraser is below:

In schedule 4, page 29, line 13, at end insert—

<Relief to be provided to the newspaper publishing industry

(1)   The Non-Domestic Rates (Coronavirus Reliefs) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 (S.S.I. 2020/101) are amended by this paragraph.

(2)   In schedule 1, after heading “Class 16 Travel agency”, insert—

Class 17 News publishing

Use as premises for the production of newspapers, and related news platforms.”.>