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07/10/14 15:23

Media Briefing - Tuesday 7 October 2014

Post cabinet briefing by a Scottish Government Spokeswoman (SGS) and the First Minister’s Special Advisor (FMSA) 7.10.14

The First Minister’s Special Advisor welcomed journalists to the briefing.

At cabinet Finance Secretary John Swinney gave cabinet colleagues an outline of the budget which will be presented to Parliament this week. It will be a budget based around Scottish Government priorities of making Scotland a more prosperous country, reducing inequality and protecting and reinforcing public services. The budget will be presented to Parliament on Thursday and new tax rates will be divulged, the first tax set by the Scottish Parliament for more than 300 years.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill gave a brief update to Cabinet reiterating the Scottish Government’s position on suggestions that the UK Government will establish a new British Bill of Rights including repeal of the Human Rights Act. The Scottish Government has made clear that we oppose any attempt by any future UK Government to repeal the Human Rights Act or withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights on the basis that we believe that they provide significant protections for people and have become a well-established part of our constitutional framework and should remain so.

FMSA confirmed that Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Rosanna Cunningham will be taking a topical question on this subject in Parliament.

SGS drew journalists’ attention to a media invitation to a photo opportunity Mr Swinney will be attending ahead of the budget.

She told journalists the First Minister will be at Edinburgh Castle for this evening for the Braveheart Awards marking acts of bravery or stupendous generosity by people throughout the past year. Recipients include two police officers involved in the response to the Clutha helicopter crash, and an Australian holidaymaker who was on holiday in Scotland when she talked a young girl considering suicide down from the Dean Bridge. The recipient is flying in specially from Australia. The celebration is at Edinburgh Castle and a news release including case studies, and photographs will be made available to media. Police Services and Ambulance Services are also likely to also issue their own releases.

SGS drew journalists attention to a news release issued this morning on motorsport safety, updating on work to improve safety at motorsport venues ahead of the Mull rally this weekend. The final report will be out at the end of the year.

The FMSA advised journalists the deadline for submissions to the Smith Commission is Friday 10th October.