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John Swinney survives vote of no confidence

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The Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, survived a vote of no confidence at Holyrood last night by 65 votes to 57.The Scottish Greens voted with the government to ensure that the fallout from...

Childcare for key workers – guidance now published

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Criteria provided to local authorities to determine local need.Guidance on childcare provision for key workers has been published.Following the decision to close schools and Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) settings, The Scottish Government has...
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John Swinney visits RSE conference

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Photos by Ryan Johnston.

Scotland’s universities offer scholarships to students from India

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Students from India studying in Scotland have access to more than £6million in international scholarships with over £1million ringfenced to specifically attract outstanding Indian students, Universities Scotland has revealed. As a delegation of Scotland’s higher...

CodeClan marks its second anniversary

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Numbers stack up as skills academy hits graduate landmark Deputy First Minister, John Swinney, hailed the impact of digital skills academy CodeClan in supplying new talent to support the country’s burgeoning tech sector.  Mr Swinney paid the compliment as the organisation...

Letter from Scotland

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A cycle ride through the corn and buttercup fields of Fife, the other day, reminded me of the real world, beyond the politics of Brexit and the shenanigans at Westminster.  Here farmers are struggling...

Letter from Scotland

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It’s so good to hear from my wildlife friends that they’ve seen 30 or 40 dolphins in the Firth of Forth in recent days.  They describe, with great excitement, how these large and friendly...

Letter from Scotland

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Down at my local nature reserve, at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, we were rather proud of our family of great crested grebes. It was just the second year we had seen them nesting...

Letter from Scotland

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I’m told that Scotland’s rabbit population is in sharp decline due to a devastating new virus. The James Hutton Institute reckons we are down to our last million.  But on Wednesday the Chancellor George...

Holyrood to consult on Air Passenger Duty

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The Scottish Government has announced that it will now consult on the reform or abolition of Air Passenger Duty. It seems to have been a long time coming, but finally the tax is to...

Letter from Scotland

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Mention the word “referendum” in Scotland and you’d better duck behind the stockade because the empty Irn Bru cans will come flying. But it looks like we are going to get another one, if...

Letter from Scotland

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This week we started pumping gas out of the seabed west of Shetland. It’s a huge and pioneering operation. Four sub-sea wells have been drilled at depths of 600 metres in stormy waters 125...

Letter from Scotland

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The year has begun with rain storms of almost biblical proportions, at least for us in the so-called “temperate” part of the planet. We have endured Storm Frank and Storm Gertrude, and, as I...

Letter from Scotland

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According to the Gospels, it was St Andrew who suggested Jesus might like to feed five thousand people with a wee boy’s lunch of five loaves and two small fishes.  Earlier in the week we...

Future of Green Investment Bank called into question

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The Deputy First Minister says that the future of the Green Investment Bank must be guaranteed, despite plans by the UK Government to privatise it. The UK Government has announced plans to begin the process...

Letter from Scotland

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Summer has finally arrived. For three consecutive days we have been walking around in t-shirts under blue skies and blazing suns.  Temperatures hovered around 22 degrees Celsius in Central Scotland on Thursday and a...

Smith Commission must go far enough

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The Smith Commission has until Sunday to issue its draft legislation to bring more powers north of the border but they will publish the proposals later today. Deputy First Minister John Swinney says the UK...

Letter from Scotland

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We are now well into the Christmas spending spree. It seems to be the only thing which is driving the economy at the moment. The ghastly American tradition of “Black Friday” has come to...

Letter from Scotland

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So, Scotland’s railways are to be run by a state-owned company after all. But the state concerned is not Scottish or even British, but Dutch. The awarding of the ScotRail franchise to Abellio, a...

Letter from Scotland

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On a glorious sunny day this week, on Tuesday, I had the privilege of being in the 19.5 per cent of Scotland which has been designated “wild land.” A climber friend of mine was...

Government announces fund to help young entrepreneurs

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£75,000 to help tomorrow’s young entrepreneurs.Finance Secretary John Swinney today announced the creation of ‘Young Scottish EDGE Fund’ to help support the next generation of businessmen and women turn their ideas into successful businesses.The...

Holyrood calls for more action on Phone hacking

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Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, has responded to Prime Minister David Cameron's statement on phone hacking and related issues, and his announcement of the final terms of reference for the judge-led public inquiry...

Funding for Scottish Councils allows council tax freeze to continue

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The Scottish Parliament today agreed the full allocation of local government funding for 2011-12.It follows confirmation that all 32 councils formally accepted the terms of an agreement between Ministers and the Convention of Scottish...

£1m on offer for local Post Offices

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A £1 million fund for 2011/12 to help local post offices diversify their activities has been launched.The original scheme has seen 49 small post offices around Scotland receiving offers of awards of up to...

Blackrock increase Edinburgh staff

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Finance Secretary John Swinney today welcomed BlackRock's commitment to expanding a number of its investment management support functions in Edinburgh.Once complete, the expansion will have created up to 250 new jobs.BlackRock's expansion has already...

Swinney announces £10m Government Investment in jobs

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Up to 5,000 people will be helped into work in Scotland thanks to a new funding package worth £10 million. Finance Secretary John Swinney said the money would be used to encourage small and medium...

Budget Bill passed at Holyrood

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The Scottish Government claim that Scotland's budget for next year, approved by Parliament today, will deliver the highest ever number of modern apprenticeships in Scotland. In addition to measures to boost economic recovery in the...

Unemployment in Scotland falling

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The Scottish Government's robust action to protect recovery, support jobs and stimulate economic growth is delivering real results for Scotland according to Finance Secretary, John Swinney, today.Mr Swinney was speaking as the latest figures...

Council budget update

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Councillor Phil Wheeler, Convener of the Finance and Resources Committee has given an update on the budget process for Edinburgh:-"The Scottish Government's budget announcement this month confirmed local authorities' proposed total share of...

Scottish Budget

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The Scottish Budget for next year will protect jobs, frontline services and economic recovery, Finance Secretary John Swinney told MSPs in the Scottish Parliament today.Presenting the draft budget for 2011-12, Mr Swinney said that,...

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