As a lifelong fan of Scottish football I have witnessed first-hand the game’s many ups and downs.
It’s not so long ago that a place at the World Cup finals was almost taken for granted, and our clubs have often done well on the European stage.
Today I led a debate in the Scottish Parliament on delivering a world class education system.
The SNP has made improving our education system a key priority in government. Our approach so far has seen record Higher and Advanced Higher pass rates, with more of our young people going from school into work, training or additional education than at any time on record.
With the Scotland Bill set to devolve some limited tax powers to the Scottish Parliament, a new system of allocating money to Scotland needs to be agreed. The fiscal framework is what will become that new structure, and so getting it right is vitally important.
Here are the five key things you need to know about the fiscal framework:
Seeing first hand the damage done by the floods and severe weather in areas across Scotland in the last few weeks has been heartbreaking. After the wettest December on record, flooding has caused devastation and misery for many people. However, once again, Scotland’s communities have rallied together and shown real strength.
This year the people of Scotland will be asked to make significant decisions about the future of our country.
In May voters will determine the make-up of the Scottish Parliament and the next Scottish Government.
2016 could also bring Scots to the polling booths for a second time to join the rest of the UK in deciding whether the UK should remain a member of the European Union.
I initially became aware of this issue through constituents bringing it to my attention. Many women came forward to tell me that they had not had any notification of changes to their state pension age, and those who had received any information had found it conflicting and constantly changing.
Today sees the SNP’s first national Day of Action of the Scottish Parliament election campaign – as party members across the country kick off the year by taking our positive message directly to people in their communities.
We approach this year’s election in buoyant mood and excited about the opportunity to lead a great, national debate about how we keep Scotland moving forward.
The Scottish Government is encouraging people to continue checking local weather forecasts and travel information as parts of the country continue to be badly affected by recent flooding and bad weather.
Many communities are still clearing up after Storm Frank. However that clear-up has been hampered by further bad weather over the last few days.
One year ago this week the SNP introduced free school meals for all pupils in Primary 1 to 3.