This Week at the Scottish Parliament: Delivering progress for the Borders

Scottish Government calls on Westminster to match the Borderlands funding

The Scottish Government urged Westminster to match its £85 million funding for the Borderlands Growth Deal over the next decade.

The growth deal is the first cross-border deal of its kind, bringing together five cross-border local authorities – Dumfries and Galloway Council, Scottish Borders Council, Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, and Northumberland County Council.

Funding will help boost economic development across areas such as digital connectivity, tourism, regeneration and skills.

The UK Government announced on Thursday that they would be contributing £60 million to the Borderlands Growth Deal north of the border.


“Shameful” Labour vote to deny a funding boost for Scotland’s carers

Scottish Labour was criticised for voting against regulations which would increase the Carer’s Allowance by 2.4% in 2019/20.

Labour MSPs were the only party to vote against regulations which see the Carer’s Allowance rise by 2.4% from £64.60 to £66.15 per week.

Last year, the Scottish Government introduced the Carer’s Allowance Supplement – an additional £442 a year to over 77,000 carers, and an investment of over £33 million in Scotland’s carers.

This brought the level of financial support for carers in line with Jobseeker’s Allowance.


“Utter madness” if higher education sector suffers after Brexit

On Thursday, Higher education minister Richard Lochhead led a debate on the potential impact of Brexit on the Scottish Further and Higher Education Sectors.

Richard Lochhead assured the Scottish Parliament that colleges and universities will remain open to EU students after Brexit.

It was also announced that financial support will be available to Scottish students at EU universities to continue their studies in Scotland after Brexit.

This warning comes after Scottish universities demanded urgent changes to the UK Government’s Brexit visa plans, calling them “crass” and a “kick in the teeth” for students studying here.

Last year the Scottish Government extended the guarantee of free tuition for EU students to those starting in the 2019 to 2020 academic year.


New poll shows 19-point lead for SNP at Holyrood

People in Scotland would prefer independence to a ‘No Deal’ Brexit or to Brexit on Theresa May’s terms, a new poll has revealed. 52% to 48% back independence over No Deal and 53% to 47% back Independence over Theresa May’s deal.

According to another poll released this week, the SNP remains the most popular party in Scotland, holding a healthy 19-point lead over nearest rivals.

The Survation poll found that 43% of voters would back the party in a Holyrood election, ahead of the Tories on 24%, and Labour in third place on 22%.

It also revealed that there would still be a pro-independence majority at Holyrood and Westminster at the next elections.