Call for Westminster to transfer the power of tobacco to Holyrood

SNP plans to introduce plain packaging for cigarettes could lead to a rise in counterfeiting – say critics.

The party hopes to introduce plain packaging for all tobacco companies and force them to display bigger health warnings.

But critics and the tobacco lobby have warned that standardised packaging could also have damaging effects.

They say that it could lead to a price war resulting in increased smoking rates thanks to cheap cigarettes and also to a rise in counterfeiting. Continue reading

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Scottish Enterprise spent £100,000 on hiring celebrities

SCOTTISH Enterprise has splashed out more than £100,000 to hire celebrities such as Fred MacAulay, Jackie Bird and Sally Magnusson to attend business events.

The extravagant spending included £23,500 for former Ryder Cup golfer Sam Torrance to give golf tips to potential investors and £12,000 to comedian Fred MacAulay to act as master of ceremonies at two dinners.

The move has been branded “desperate” by David Whitton MSP, Labour’s shadow finance spokesman.

The quango receives a £276 million budget to help boost economic growth in Scotland.

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Scots protest against Westminster financial cuts

MORE than 20,000 people marched through the centre of the Scottish capital to demonstrate against the financial cuts announced in Westminster this week.

The mass of demonstrators, made up of trade unionists, community activists and members of the public assembled on New Market Street, close to the City of Edinburgh Council offices on Saturday.

The Scottish Trades Union Congress marched behind the banner of their campaign ‘There’s a better way’ and voiced their opinion that the £81 billion cuts announced by George Osborne do not favour public sector workers and are not the best course of action for the long-term Scottish and UK economy.

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Scotland’s protest over Westminster cuts

MORE than 20,000 people marched through the centre of the Scottish capital to demonstrate against the financial cuts announced in Westminster this week.

The mass of demonstrators, made up of trade unionists, community activists and members of the public assembled on New Market Street, close to the City of Edinburgh Council offices yesterday (Sat).

The Scottish Trades Union Congress marched behind the banner of their campaign ‘There’s a better way’ and voiced their opinion that the £81 billion cuts announced by George Osborne do not favour public sector workers and are not the best course of action for the long-term Scottish and UK economy.

Scotland protests Westminster cuts

By Clare Carswell

MORE than 20,000 people marched through the centre of the Scottish capital to demonstrate against the financial cuts announced in Westminster this week.

The mass of demonstrators, made up of trade unionists, community activists and members of the public assembled on New Market Street, close to the City of Edinburgh Council offices this morning (Sat).

The Scottish Trades Union Congress marched behind the banner of their campaign ‘There’s a better way’ and voiced their opinion that the £81 billion cuts announced by George Osborne do not favour public sector workers and are not the best course of action for the long-term Scottish and UK economy.

The General Secretary of STUC, Grahame Smith, said: “We need to change policy.  We are on a disastrous course, disastrous for the economy, disastrous for the people of this country.  We need to have change.”

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Russell shrugs off “Minister of Fun” tag over American trips

CULTURAL: Mr Russell (right) is a keen supporter of Scottish tourism

By Michael MacLeod

EDUCATION secretary Mike Russell has been accused of losing focus of the Scottish education system and having “far too much fun” in his job.

The SNP minister was criticised for making transatlantic visits to the likes of whisky events, a golf tour firm and a visit to Apple’s HQ in California.

His travel and engagement diaries were released after a Freedom of Information request by the Scottish Labour party, who said the implementation of the new Curriculum for Excellence should be his priority.

But Mr Russell – who openly blogs online about his globetrotting adventures – defended the visits, most of which came during the USA’s Scotland Week , saying they were to “further Scotland’s interests.”
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Two thirds of Scots want “cruel” snares outlawed

By Michael MacLeod

A WOMAN whose dog was caught in a vicious snare has joined growing calls for Scotland to lead the way in banning the deadly traps.

Jill Flye’s seven year-old English Pointer Monty was “yelping in pain” when he got caught in a trap on a public path.

After helping her distressed pet out of the snare, she said she was even more shocked to find out they were entirely legal in Scotland.

Now she is teaming up with MSPs in a bid to gather support before the issue is debated in the Scottish Parliament later this year.

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