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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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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Election countdown is on as Salmond rallies troops

By Michael MacLeod

ALEX Salmond got up on a soapbox to rally his SNP troops ahead of a frantic last few hours of canvassing today.

He made a tub-thumping speech to activists at the party HQ in Edinburgh while standing on a tiny stage.

The First Minister said Labour were “finished” as a government, urging his party staff to hit as many doors as possible in the final few hours before polls open.

He said: “Only the SNP can protect this country from the London parties, none of whom put Scotland first.

“Labour are finished, while the Tories are arrogantly saying they can rule with no Scots MPs and the Lib Dems are ready to do a deal with David Cameron.”
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Government job scheme under fire

By Cara Sulieman

THE GOVERNMENT has come under fire for only handing out employment funding to TWO Scottish firms.

The job creation fund has splashed £30 million on grants in Scotland but private firms has received just a fraction of that cost – with most going to local authorities.

They have been criticised for handing taxpayers’ money from one section of government to another and not supporting struggling private businesses.

The £1 billion Future Jobs Fund gives employers up to £6,500 to take on a young person aged 18 to 24 for six months.

But of the 10,328 grants handed out in Scotland, just 462 have gone to private businesses.

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Tennent’s backs minimum pricing

By Cara Sulieman

THE Scottish Government yesterday toasted a decision by brewing giants Tennent’s to back plans for minimum pricing on alcohol.

But opposition parties said the glass was remained half empty and called on more to be done to tackle the nation’s drink problem.

Tennent’s said the government’s plans “could be part of the solution” to Scotland’s binge drinking culture.

It comes just a day after figures showing the true extent of Scottish schoolchildren’s relationship with alcohol – with 300 under 16 admitted to hospital with booze-related diseases every year.

The Scottish Government welcomed the move by the Glasgow-based beer makers, saying that Tennent’s had “nothing to fear” over the new proposals.

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