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24/09/13 16:35

Media Briefing - Tuesday 24 September 2013

The First Minister’s Official Spokesperson (FMOS) and the First Minister’s Special Adviser (FMSA) welcomed journalists to the post-Cabinet briefing.

The FMOS provided an overview of Cabinet, highlighting that the First Minister dialled in due to his participation in Ryder Cup year to go events at Gleneagles. The First Minister had updated his Cabinet colleagues of the ‘golden legacy’ of the Ryder Cup and the benefits it can bring to Scotland, including sporting developments, infrastructure and tourism. The FMOS said the First Minister had highlighted the improvements being made to Gleneagles train station prior to 2014 as indicative of the wider benefits the tournament will bring.

The Deputy First Minister and Finance Secretary gave an update to Cabinet on the pensions paper and the visit they undertook to meet and discuss its findings with some older people in Glasgow. The FMOS said they reiterated the pledge that all pensions would be paid on time and in full in an independent Scotland. The FMOS confirmed that there was a topical question on this being asked by Gavin Brown MSP which the Deputy First Minister would answer.

The FMSA highlighted a number of statistical papers on health-related topics that were published today.

The FMSA drew attention to a news release out today on the Expert Working Group on Welfare, which was seeking views on policy choices around welfare reform. The evidence seeking session will run from now until Dec 13th to inform the next stage of the Expert Group for Welfare.

When asked whether this consultation was premature considering these reforms would be implemented in 2016 and should be dealt with by the elected Government of the time, the FMAS confirmed that this consultation would inform policy choices going forward in this administration as well as in an Independent Scotland. The FMOS confirmed that the DFM has previously stated that the Group will report back early next year and their findings will feed into work going forward.