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Tory Brexit To Hit Most Vulnerable In Edinburgh

A new report has warned that Brexit will hit the most vulnerable people in Edinburgh – highlighting negative consequences such as the loss of legal rights, employment protections and healthcare rights. The report, commissioned by the Scottish Government, identified 137 potential impacts on those already facing inequality, discrimination, or social exclusion in society. It warns that a “hard” Brexit, along the lines of the deal which is being proposed by Boris Johnson, could lead to a slowdown in the economy with job losses increased, the cost of living and food prices pushed up and reductions in public spending. “The Social and Equality Impacts of Brexit” also warned that Brexit could negati

SNP MSP Backs Proposals For New "Scottish Visa"

SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald has backed proposals for a new Scottish Visa to address the skills gaps in Edinburgh, set to be made worse by Brexit. Under plans announced by the First Minister, migrants who want to live in Scotland could choose to apply for a Scottish Visa - or one of the existing immigration routes offered by the UK Government. All of Scotland's population growth for the next 25 years is projected to come from migration. However, new UK Government immigration controls and the end of free movement after Brexit are expected to exacerbate the risk of skills gaps and labour shortages in Scotland. Without migration, Edinburgh could face a demographic crisis that could hammer public se

Tory Brexit To Hit Most Vulnerable In Edinburgh

A new report has warned that Brexit will hit the most vulnerable people in Edinburgh – highlighting negative consequences such as the loss of legal rights, employment protections and healthcare rights. The report, commissioned by the Scottish Government, identified 137 potential impacts on those already facing inequality, discrimination, or social exclusion in society. It warns that a “hard” Brexit, along the lines of the deal which is being proposed by Boris Johnson, could lead to a slowdown in the economy with job losses increased, the cost of living and food prices pushed up and reductions in public spending. “The Social and Equality Impacts of Brexit” also warned that Brexit could negati

Brexit Poses Threat To Future Of Edinburgh Festivals

SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald raised concerns, in The Scottish Parliament, over the threat that Brexit poses to the future of the Edinburgh Festivals. The Edinburgh Pentlands MSP asked The Scottish Government “what impact the Tory government’s plans to impose further restrictions on EU workers coming to Scotland will have on our internationally acclaimed festivals.” Festival organisers have previously described the visa process for performers who want to appear at Edinburgh arts festivals as “humiliating” and “Kafkaesque. In response to Gordon MacDonald, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop, highlighted that the additional restrictions on people to coming to this country will affect bo

C&B News Article – February 2020

[The below article was submitted for publication as Gordon Macdonald's monthly column in the C&B News. The printed version may differ due to C&B News editorial considerations.] C&B News Article – February 2020 We weren’t even one week back in The Scottish Parliament, and the SNP Government announced that local councils will be given new powers to control the number of short-term lets, such as AirBnB. This news came after concerns had continually been raised about the impact of the level of short term lets on our local communities. Edinburgh, alone, accounts for 31% of short term lets across Scotland. These short-term lets, such as AirBnB, are restricting the number of properties available fo

Opposition Parties Must Rule Out Threat to Uniform Business Rates

Edinburgh Pentlands MSP, Gordon MacDonald, has challenged all Tory, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Edinburgh MSPs to oppose proposals that introduce risks and uncertainties for businesses - after 27 business organisations signed a letter raising concerns over an opposition amendment to the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill. The SNP was the only party which opposed the amendment to the Bill – which would mean that rates would no longer be set nationally and business rates reliefs, including the Small Business Bonus and rates relief for nurseries – would automatically end. If the Small Business Bonus scheme was abolished, some smaller businesses in Edinburgh could face a business rate hik

Tory Erasmus “Sell-Out” To Impact 3,484 Students In Edinburgh

SNP MSP Gordon MacDonald has warned that thousands of university students in Edinburgh could lose out on the opportunity to study abroad – after the UK Tory government pulled support for the Erasmus last week. New figures from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre (SPICe), show that, between 2014/15 and 2017/18, 3,484 students from the city’s higher education institutions studied abroad through the Erasmus+ programme. With Boris Johnson’s Tory government choosing to vote against continued membership of Erasmus+ remaining part of negotiations with the EU, Gordon MacDonald MSP has claimed that the same number of students could now miss out over the next four years if Scotland is blocked

MSP Calls For Better Support To Keep People With Arthritis In Work

Gordon Macdonald MSP joined campaigners to call for support to ensure every person with arthritis who can work has the support they need. The Edinburgh Pentlands MSP met with people living with arthritis at the Scottish Parliament last week and heard first-hand about the impact that pain associated with the condition can have on the ability to remain in employment. Arthritis can make work more difficult, with tasks such as commuting, carrying equipment or even typing becoming challenging. In Scotland, only 60% of working age adults with a musculoskeletal condition like arthritis are in work compared to 80% of people with no health conditions. At the event, healthcare charity, Versus Arthriti

SNP Outline Plan to Regulate Short Term Lets

Gordon Macdonald MSP has backed an announcement from the Scottish Government that local councils will be given new powers to licence and limit the number of short-term lets, such as AirBNB. The number of short-term lets in Scotland has risen dramatically in recent years – Edinburgh, alone, accounts for 31% of short term lets across Scotland - but evidence shows that in many tourist hotspots locals are finding it increasingly hard to find homes to live in. Speaking in Holyrood on Wednesday, Housing Minister Kevin Stewart outlined the SNP’s plans to establish a licensing scheme for short-term lets and a review of the tax paid by the properties – as well handing councils the power to introduce

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