Less than a week to go until voters go to the polls for the third UK general election in just over four years. Yesterday we heard even more promises from Boris Johnson as he aims to pass his Brexit deal and bring a Budget within 100 days if he is (re) elected as PM. The Tory leader says it would include his pledge to raise the National Insurance threshold to £9,500, along with cash for schools and the NHS.
Chancellor Sajid Javid said he did not have a “single doubt” a Conservative government could then agree a trade deal with the EU by the end of 2020. But Labour said the Tories only offer “more of the same failure”. The Lib Dems called the Conservative plans “pure fantasy”, while the SNP warned there were seven days left to “lock” Mr Johnson out of Downing Street.
Introducing the SNP’s general election pledges in an independent Scotland could lead to more austerity, according to an economic research group this week. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) said the SNP’s manifesto set out plans to increase spending while also setting out a list of tax-cutting measures. It said the SNP had not costed these pledges, unlike the other main parties. But it said spending cuts would have to be made elsewhere, or other taxes would have to rise to pay for them.
SNP victories at the general election will bring the “threat of a fresh Scottish independence referendum”, Jo Swinson warned on Thursday night. She claimed the SNP will announce an independence referendum “within days” of the election if they win the most seats in Scotland. The Lib Dem leader called on voters to back her party to avoid indyref2. Ms Swinson was speaking at an Edinburgh rally last night.
Also, this week, the Scottish Government launched a consultation on the draft vision and principles for Housing to 2040 outlined in the 2019-20 Programme for Government. A series of engagement events will coincide with the consultation including a housing exhibition, Present Voices, Future Lives, which has begun touring 12 locations across Scotland. Respondents are encouraged to offer proposals which could increase the affordability, accessibility and energy efficiency of existing and new housing. The consultation will close Friday 28 February.
On Tuesday this week, we held our Perceptive Directors’ Club at our client’s BDP’s impressive offices in Royal Exchange Square. We were privileged to have a talk from Ann Allen, Director of Estates and Commercial Services at the University of Glasgow. Our guests got to hear about all the exciting plans as part of the campus development and it was fantastic to hear how the University of Glasgow’s Estate is evolving under Ann’s leadership.
We were delighted to announce news of the future Edinburgh International Arena on Tuesday for our client Lothian Leisure Development (LLD). LLD, in partnership with Birmingham based NEC Group will deliver a new privately funded 8,000 capacity indoor arena for Scotland’s capital. A site for the arena has been secured at Straiton just outside Edinburgh, with plans to transform the 30-acre site into a vibrant mixed-use leisure and entertainment destination.
And finally … Congratulations to Perceptive client, Brewster Bros who achieved double success at The Herald Family Business Awards 2019 on Wednesday night. Brewster Bros scooped the Business Innovation Award as the recycling plant in Livingston continues to play a huge part in meeting Scotland’s ambition to be a world leader on tackling climate change. Malcolm Livingstone also joined father and son owners, Alex and Scott Brewster on the winners’ rostrum as he picked up the first ever Scottish Family Business Recognition Award for his 35 years’ loyal service to the family business.If you or your organisation would benefit from our political insight and specialist knowledge and contacts at all political levels, please get in touch with Julie Moulsdale on 07734 932578 or firstname.lastname@example.org