There are few more important issues to Edinburgh right now than housing. We are seeing an ever increasing strain on our housing stock and demand for land from developers grows and grows, while the Tory government implements damaging economic and welfare policies – such as cutting housing benefit and removing it altogether from 18 to 21-year-olds – which drive more people into poverty and make rents increasingly unaffordable.
Decisive action is needed – and that is exactly what the SNP is doing.
Since 2014, we have ensured that nobody in Scotland has to pay the hated Bedroom Tax through our mitigation efforts – and we will work to abolish this as soon as we have the power to do so.
The cost of repaying privately funded public building construction broke the £1billion barrier for the first time last year.
The huge sum covers PFI schemes favoured by the previous Scottish Labour-led administration, including schools and hospitals.
The SNP campaigned against the funding model but Labour said the new system is the same with a different badge.
Total PFI charges rose from £924million in 2012-13 to £1billion in 2016-17.
The number of potential human trafficking victims in the UK increased by 17 per cent last year.
While the vast majority of instances were in England, Scotland saw 150 potential trafficking cases, a 3.4 per cent increase from the previous year. Agencies such as the Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA) fear the actual scale of trafficking is greater than statistics indicate.
Modern slavery is among the most depraved crimes in the world, and one case of trafficking in Scotland is one too many. That is why the Scottish Government has taken forward a robust strategy to eradicate it.
Reports surfaced this past weekend that Theresa May is now “too important” to meet with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and that the First Minister will only be “allowed” to meet with Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell.
This latest action from the Prime Minister and her government is rank with hypocrisy.
How valuable is Scotland to the “precious Union” of our countries if its democratically elected leader is not good enough for the Prime Minister?
How does hiding away from the devolved administrations create strength and stability throughout the United Kingdom?
SNP MSP Ash Denham said: “The people of Niddrie and Craigmillar are sick and tired of being painted solely as neighbourhoods of drugs and crime, and sensationalised articles that make Niddrie look like a real-life ‘Walking Dead’ episode are unfair and do not help.”
Plans for a real living wage would benefit almost half a million Scots, the SNP has said.
The party cited figures from the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre showing that 467,000 people in Scotland earn less than the real living wage, currently set at £8.45 per hour.
The SNP has called on the UK Government to raise its national living wage of £7.50 to the level of the real living wage and extend it to all workers over 18.
The move would mean all workers earning more than £10 an hour by 2022, boosting annual pay by almost £5,000, the party said.
SNP MSP Ash Denham said: “Scotland is leading the way on fair pay with 845 employers now signed up on a voluntary basis to giving their workers a real living wage.
One year has passed since the EU referendum, when the UK voted to leave the European Union – but Scotland voted decisively to Remain.
It’s staggering that a whole year on, and after starting the countdown to leaving by triggering Article 50, the UK government is still floundering hopelessly.
Neighbours plagued by parking on pavements when Hibs play at home are to vote on whether there should be double yellow lines outside their houses.
The residents’ referendum comes after people living in Lochend Gardens – six minutes’ walk from Hibs’ Easter Road ground – said they had had enough of football fans leaving their cars on pavements and grass verges.
They said the cars blocked residents’ gates and would prevent access for emergency vehicles.
The referendum is being organised by Edinburgh Eastern MSP Ash Denham, who has also called a residents’ meeting tonight, which coincides with Hibs playing Raith Rovers at home.
Ash Denham MSP for Edinburgh Eastern will convene a meeting for residents of Lochend Gardens to discuss implementing parking restrictions in the area.
A number of residents have contacted the MSP’s office to tell her about the problems with vehicles in the area when Hibs play home games.
Constituents have said that the extra cars use pavements and green spaces, and that the road becomes restricted. Residents are concerned about access for emergency vehicles.
In one circumstance, an elderly resident fell and hurt her hip due to mud on the pavement from the vehicles which had parked there.