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21/05/14 15:54

Media Briefing – Tuesday 20 May 2014

Post Cabinet Media Briefing by the First Minister’s Official Spokesperson (FMOS) and First Minister’s Special Adviser (FMSA) – Tuesday 20 May 2014

The FMOS and FMSA welcomed journalists to the morning briefing.

FMOS said the Deputy First Minister had updated Cabinet colleagues on her visit to Shawfair, the largest urban expansion project to date in Edinburgh and Midlothian. The £200 million development will create a new residential and commercial quarter with around 4,000 new, quality homes, of which approximately 700 will be affordable, and one million square feet of commercial and retail space. The development will also benefit from the Borders Railway, which is currently under construction.

FMOS said Finance Secretary John Swinney had highlighted the Scottish Parliament debate on the Revenue Scotland and Tax Powers Bill that would take place later that afternoon, and that the Stage One Debate on the general principles of the Bill was an important step forward in establishing Scotland’s first tax collection system in 300 years.

FMOS also said Commonwealth Games Secretary Shona Robison has updated Cabinet on plans for the Commonwealth Games ticketing website to reopen tomorrow. A phased allocation was planned, with tickets for team sports and opening and closing ceremonies the first to become available followed by tickets for other events over the coming days.

When asked, the FMOS said Ms Robison had been given assurances from Ticketmaster of their confidence that they had managed to sort out the technical problems which had affected their website.

FMSA said Finance Secretary John Swinney had updated Cabinet on last week’s announcement regarding membership of the Scottish Fiscal Commission. The independent group has been set up to scrutinise budgets once Parliament had more powers, which would be very important in the event of a vote for independence in the referendum.

FMSA also said that the First Minister was tonight giving a speech to the European Tour Players Awards Ceremony in which he would highlight the huge sporting and economic benefits of Scotland’s position as the undisputed Home of Golf, ahead of this year’s Ryder Cup and Scottish Open.

When asked about the confidence motion tabled in the Scottish Parliament, FMSA said that the Scottish Government will robustly defend the Health Secretary’s position for all the reasons already set out.