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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:48 pm 
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This is part of what Nicola Sturgeon said in Brussels today when making a speech to European Policy Centre in Brussels :

Quote:
The Scottish Government’s case for independence is therefore a simple one. We believe that the people best able to represent Scotland’s interests, and to make decisions about Scotland’s future, are the people who choose to live and work in Scotland.

I agree with her.

Foxglove and the Pirate OTOH apparently think it better if people who choose to live and work elsewhere make decisions for the citizens of Scotland.

You can read the rest of Nicola's speech HERE

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:01 pm 
What does OTOH stand for please?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:26 pm 
Gosh I had to try to ignore the pleading, grovelling sound I was picking up through that. Oh, and the irony. Scotland wants to come out of one union and join another, but one that takes even greater control of the country's laws, finances and freedom.

Get your facts straight Nick. I don't live 'elsewhere'. I live in the same country as you.

Quote:
The referendum will have been an expensive process, stressing and dividing the population, creating uncertainty for investment and jobs, wasting several years that could have been better spent by Scottish MP's in the Scottish parliament doing their job to make Scotland a better place with the resources and powers they have already had for many, many years. Why aren't they doing that instead of creating a diversion from their poor management of affairs so far? What are their successes to date?


You didn't offer a response to the above. What are the successes achieved with Scotland's devolved powers so far? What stands out as an example of what they might achieve in an independent Scotland? Or will you just blame it on the fact they haven't got full control, therefore they can't do anything?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:33 pm 
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Foxglove wrote:
What does OTOH stand for please?


On the other hand

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
Get your facts straight Nick. I don't live 'elsewhere'. I live in the same country as you.

You don't live in Scotland and you will therefore have no direct say in its constitutional future in the form of a vote.

Get over it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:12 pm 
Quote:
You didn't offer a response to the above. What are the successes achieved with Scotland's devolved powers so far? What stands out as an example of what they might achieve in an independent Scotland? Or will you just blame it on the fact they haven't got full control, therefore they can't do anything?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:50 pm 
I have now waded through this conversation and am now totally depressed.

My position is that I now agree with Pentland Pirate in that we all live in the United Kingdom, that a very small minority are proposing to change it, that the process has become dangerously divisive as witness some of the posts on this thread, it is distracting our local politicians from the real priorities (employment, housing, health, education etc) and that all citizens of the U.K. should have a say in the proposed change.

But, PP, I accept and you need to too, the process is now set in law and a minority within the U.K. now have the power to radically change our country through a referendum open to less than 10% of the citizens of our country.

So be it. PP I recommend you accomodate that sad fact and set about ensuring those members of your Scottish family who have been given the right to vote see things your way.

As for my vote. You see I am just like NickB in that I was born and raised of an English family in England but have, later in life, settled in Seil. So I do have a vote by accident of where I moved to within the U.K.

My instinct has been, in fact, not to vote next year, or to vote Yes if it appears that is what most of those around me desire. I am fairly old and am prepared to bow to the wishes of the younger generations.

However I have become so disappointed by the anger and vitriol addressed towards PP by those who puport to represent Scotland (simply because PP asked sensible questions) that I have now decided that I will vote. Well, I offer my vote to PP who is, rightly perhaps, upset that he is a disenfranchised Scot. He can have mine.

So here you are Pentland Pirate. I will now vote No.

No doubt I will now be the subject of anger and insults from the Yes people.

Well I'm old enough and ugly enough to take it. Pah !

mags
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:13 pm 
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You were always going to vote NO anyway, 'Maggie'

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:16 pm 
Maggie is right..PP has given some lively and interesting debate and I too am surprised at the vitriol aimed at him. I wanted to see both sides in this and then make my mind up which way to go. I have made my choice...also my Scottish father is a 'no', as are all the other members of my family [mixed Scots/English].


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:42 pm 
NickB wrote:
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You were always going to vote NO anyway, 'Maggie'


Are you deliberately trying to be the rudest person on Seil ?
I made it VERY clear in my post that my original instinct was to either not vote or to vote Yes.
In my judgement you may well be a recruiting sergeant for the No campaign because you are representing the Yes side as being made up of rude and sarcastic people who don't want a civilised debate.

mags
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:51 pm 
Maggie, you are nothing less than a beauty! But cast your vote please for all those of us who love our great country, despite all its faults, who care what happens to it and see it's future safer in the hands of those united together, rather than those who would split it apart.

These threads alone have shown how complicated and intertwined our heritage and lives are. They are not something you can easily pull apart and separate and I feel strongly the Yes campaigners are driven too much by emotion and not enough by reason. The sheer absence of plans for an independent Scotland are evidence they have an abundance of imagination but a complete lack of an understanding of the enormity of their task. If they can't make leaps ahead with their devolved powers available in the Scottish Parliament now what hope have they got of getting a whole new nation off the ground?

I fear something else has been overlooked too. For those who would vote Yes, have they considered they might be denying young Scots the chance to be part of a bigger nation? All the signs are that young Scots want to broaden their horizons and for a whole host of reasons have traditionally sought their fortune south of the border (I was one of them). Being able to call the United Kingdom their home gives young Scots more opportunities in life. Young people always want to be part of something bigger. This might be one reason why, surprisingly for the Yes campaign, a higher proportion of young Scots actually want to remain part of the UK, than their older compatriots. If the Yes Campaigners truly believe a future Scotland must be based on greater fairness, then they should be listening more to the young, for whom the future is more relevant, than to the old.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:04 pm 
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Maggie wrote:
Are you deliberately trying to be the rudest person on Seil ?


No, I'll leave that to you :dftt

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:32 pm 
Yes Nick, always got to get the insults in. I was hoping you might answer (third attempt)

Quote:
What has the SNP Government got to show as a success for its government using its devolved powers so far? What stands to demonstrate the potential of what they might achieve in an independent Scotland? What has impressed you so far that now you want more? If nothing, will it be blamed on Westminster as usual because they haven't got full control, therefore they can't do anything?


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:49 pm 
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Pentlandpirate wrote:
What has the SNP Government got to show as a success for its government using its devolved powers so far? What stands to demonstrate the potential of what they might achieve in an independent Scotland? What has impressed you so far that now you want more? If nothing, will it be blamed on Westminster as usual because they haven't got full control, therefore they can't do anything?

Let me see . . .

• frozen Council Tax for four years, saving an average family more than £300.
• slashed or abolished business rates for some 80,000 small firms and local employers, protecting jobs in tough times.
• put 1,000 more police on Scotland’s streets, helping drive crime down to its lowest level for 32 years.
• abolished prescription charges, saving people with long-term illnesses an average of more than £180.
• The National Conversation launched in 2007 revived progress on the constitutional debate in Scotland, and paves the way for an independence referendum in the next parliament.
• restored free higher education by ruling out upfront fees and abolishing the £2,300 graduate endowment - a back door tuition fee.
• delivered a record-breaking 25,000 modern apprenticeships in the year ahead – a two-thirds increase on 2007.
• transformed Scotland into a world leader in green energy, consenting a record 39 new renewable projects since we came to office – more than double the previous administration.
• created the £10 million Saltire Prize for marine energy innovation is establishing Scotland at the forefront of this global renewable technology.
• removed tolls on the Forth and Tay Bridges, saving commuters £184 a year on crossing the Tay, and £207 a year on crossing the Forth.
• kept healthcare local. That means A&E units have been saved, children’s cancer services and neurosurgery units protected, and maternity units kept open.
• provided vital support for the staging of two of the world’s greatest sporting events here in Scotland in 2014 – the Commonwealth games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. This includes the building of a new National Indoor Sports Arena and the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
• started 24,000 social sector homes since coming into office in 2007 – that’s an average of 115 new houses every week.
• helped some of the world’s poorest people by doubling the international development budget and protecting that aid from UK cuts.
• delivered smaller government, including fewer ministers and departments, saving more than £4 million over the parliamentary term.
• provided funding to secure the Dundee V&A museum, the new Bannockburn visitor centre, and the creation of the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Ayrshire.
• provided extra funding for Scotland’s veteran charities, and ensured our ex-service men and women receive priority treatment in the NHS and other services.
• established Creative Scotland as a single, national body for the arts, culture and creative industries.
• protected spending in the NHS with an extra £1.2 billion to health boards over the last four years to safeguard frontline services – and we will continue to protect the health budget.
• abolished hidden waiting lists, and reduced hospital waiting lists to a record low.
• increased the number of nurses, doctors and dentists working in the NHS – and reducing the number of senior managers by a quarter.
• There are 1,000 more cleaners in the health service, including many more at the BGH, helping ensure infection in Scottish hospitals across Scotland is now at an all-time low.
• set up a tough new inspectorate to ensure that our hospitals are clean.
• banned irresponsible alcohol discounts in supermarkets and off licences.
• made sure our older generation is properly cared for by increasing payments for free personal and nursing care for the first time since it was introduced.
• delivered on our ambitious cancer target which means treatment begins within one month of a decision to treat.
• built the £840 million new South Glasgow Hospital without using PFI/PPP.
• cut the risk from cervical cancer for the next generation of young women by providing the HPV vaccine for girls in S2.
• One million more Scots are registered with NHS dentists under the SNP Government.
• delivered a new dental school in Aberdeen (reversing Tory closure of the Edinburgh Dental School in 1986).
• frozen bonuses to NHS consultants.
• made sure more GP practices are open in the evenings and at weekends.
• abolished charges at all NHS-run hospital car parks.
• introduced a Patient Rights Act to provide new statutory rights for all those using the health service.
• given the public a direct say in the NHS by introducing pilot elections in two health boards.
• Worked for a healthier Scotland by raising the legal age for buying tobacco to 18.
• delivered more than 40,000 new heating systems and helped Scots on low incomes to reduce energy costs and keep their homes warm.
• enabled councils to build new homes for the first time in years, providing funding for 3,300 new council houses.
• reformed the Right to Buy in order to protect social housing for rent.
• helped over 5,300 people buy their first home with our shared equity scheme.
• helped 10,000 pensioners and families secure £1.6 million in savings through our benefits health check.
• invested £17 million in the establishment of world class multi-sport facilities at Aberdeen Sports Village, Toryglen Regional Indoor Football Training Centre, and Ravenscraig Sports Centre.
• invested £7.5 million to improve our medal hopes in 2012 and 2014 with World Class facilities for training for our elite and emerging athletes.
• delivered the smallest average primary school class sizes ever, and set a new legal limit of 25 pupils for primary one.
• Since the last election, 330 schools will have been built or refurbished - 80 more than planned by Labour.
• lifted over 130,000 pupils out of crumbling school buildings.
• raised standards in schools by introducing the new Curriculum for Excellence.
• increased funding for college bursaries to a record £89 million, supporting a record 42,000 students.
• expanded free nursery education, benefitting 100,000 children.
• given legal protection to rural schools, preventing unnecessary closure.
• helped less well-off youngsters by continuing the £30-a-week Educational Maintenance Allowance – now scrapped in England.
• introduced tough new qualifications – the Scottish Baccalaureate – in science and languages, challenging the brightest pupils to achieve more.
• helped 250,000 people expand their learning with Individual Learning Accounts to pay for training courses.
• extended free school meals to 55,000 children from lower income families.
• helped home-grown talent perform in Edinburgh with a £6 million Expo Fund for the City’s festivals.
• reformed the unique and successful Children’s Hearing System to make it fit for the future.
• made sure children who need additional support to learn get the help they need with new laws and guidance for all schools.
• More than 2,600 primary children are now able to learn in dedicated Gaelic language classes, up by a fifth since 2007.
• protected more than 15,000 jobs in Scotland during the recession, including by accelerating spending on nearly £350 million of public projects as part of our comprehensive Economic Recovery Plan.
• put Scotland on course to exceed our interim target of 31 per cent of Scotland’s electricity from clean green renewable sources this year. And we’re on track for 80 per cent by 2020.
• The approval given for a desperately needed new Forth Road Bridge will ease congestion, cut journey times, boost business and secure some 3,000 jobs.
• delivered an extra £2.3 billion for jobs and public services by driving up efficiency in government – far exceeding the target of 1.5% efficiency savings.
• established a £10 million national life sciences institute in Dundee.
• funded improvements to major roads across the country including the M8, the M80, the A9, A90 and A96. We’re also completing the M74 - bringing new jobs and helping local regeneration.
• protected Scotland’s pensioners from UK cuts by guaranteeing free bus travel, and extending the scheme to injured veterans.
• successfully completed one of the largest rail projects in Scotland for decades, with the opening of the Airdrie-Bathgate rail line.
• helped tourism and the local economy in the Western Isles through a pilot scheme to reduce ferry fares.
• funded improvements in rail services and journey times from Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
• invested £2.4 billion in improving the nation’s water infrastructure, and published proposals to boost the role of Scottish Water, publicly owned for the public benefit.
• We’re on track to slash the number of quangos by more than a quarter.
• established Public Contracts Scotland, a website that makes it easier than ever for small businesses to access government contacts.
• invested £2 million in small post offices, helping 49 businesses expand and stay open.
• established the Scottish Investment Fund to help grassroots business projects get up and running.
• reformed Scottish Enterprise so that it focuses on growth sectors, growth markets and growth companies – boosting key industries such as renewables, financial services and life sciences.
• We delivered Scotland’s first ever year of Homecoming in 2009, encouraging more than 95,000 visitors to travel to Scotland and exceeding its target by generating £53.7 million in additional tourism revenue.
• Violent crime is down by over a fifth since the SNP came to office, with nearly 3,000 fewer violent offences last year.
• used over £30 million seized from criminal behaviour to invest in community projects for over 300,000 Scottish kids.
• Fear of crime has fallen – and the risk of becoming a victim of crime continues to fall, and is lower than south of the Border.
• Knife crime is down by 30 per cent since this government took office, but we must and will step up efforts to keep driving this figure down.
• delivered faster justice, with three-quarters of cases completed within six months – compared to only two-thirds in 2006/07. And criminals are being locked up for longer, with prison sentences at their longest for a decade.
• put in place new measures to cut the cycle of re-offending with tough community punishment.
• reformed the laws on sexual offences to make it easier to prosecute people for serious sexual attacks.
• increased funding for Victim Support Scotland, and the victim notification scheme is helping people affected by crime.
• tackled Scotland’s drug problem head-on through the national drugs commission, the new national drugs strategy, and 20 per cent more funding to help people recover from addiction.
• provided parents with more information on dangerous paedophiles to protect children in local communities.
• given the go ahead to a new prison for the North East of Scotland, as part of our prison building programme.
• building the Gartcosh crime campus, and have established the Serious and Organised Crime Taskforce.
• provided Citizens Advice Scotland with extra funding to provide advice and support to families facing debt problems.
• reforming the law on Double Jeopardy, to help ensure that the guilty do not escape justice.
• introduced world leading Climate Change legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 42 per cent by the end of the decade.
• secured £1.6 billion of investment for Scotland’s rural economy through the Scottish Rural Development Programme.
• Scotland is clean as well as green - under an SNP Government, recycling is at its highest level ever.
• developed a non-nuclear energy strategy for Scotland, including working with partners to progress the concept of a European Super Grid to export our surplus power.
• promoted Scotland’s top quality produce – sales of Scottish food and drink have increased by 30 per cent since the SNP came to office.
• helped make our communities safer from flooding with investment in flood defences and new measures in the Flooding Act.
• backed consumers with a continued ban on planting GM crops in Scotland.
• developed Conservation Credits, catch quotas and on-board CCTV, working with fishermen to develop and implement fisheries policies right for the 21st century.
• the first administration to introduce a scheme dedicated to encouraging new entrants into farming, worth £10 million.
• delivered the Wildlife and Natural Environment Bill, toughening up wildlife crime measures and protecting Scotland’s environment as one of our greatest assets.
• passed a Crofting Reform Act, tackling absenteeism, neglect and speculation to protect crofting for future generations.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:53 pm 
So...looks like we are doing just fine...why change things? :)


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:05 am 
Foxglove wrote:
So...looks like we are doing just fine...why change things? :)


Yes, well said. Add on some of the Westminster achievents over a the same period and the U.K. looks like a good poltical set up, well worth preserving

1. 2,543 schools are now academies. In May 2010, there were just 203 academies, all of them failing schools required to become "sponsored" academies, and all of them secondary schools.

2. 200 of the country's worst primary schools had been turned into sponsored academies by the end of 2012. By the end of this year 400 of them will have been. In 2011, sponsored academy results improved by 27.7% - compared with 14.2% for state schools in general.

3. 79 free schools are open and a further 102 have been approved to open - mostly in September 2013.

4. There are 220 fewer Quangos than there were in May 2010. Quango spending has been cut by £17 billion. The savings on Quangos abolished altogether is £2.6 billion.

* Within the Department of Communities and Local Government, the Tenants Service Authority, Standards Board, Infrastructure Planning Commission, Regional Assemblies have been scrapped, while the abolition of the Audit Commission is saving £650 million of taxpayers’ money over five years.
* The abolition of Government Offices for the Regions is saving £420 million of taxpayers' money (from 2011 to 2015).
* Other Quangos have had their budgets cut. Under Labour Quango's cost £46 billion annually - the comparable figure (excluding the £2 billion for the Legal Aid Fund in both cases) is now £29.2 billion.

5. The "right to buy" your council flat has been reinvigorated. The discount for council tenants has been boosted to as much as £75,000.

6. The Territorial Army is doubling in size from 15,000 to 30,000.

7. From April, people can earn £9,440 before paying income tax. Under Labour, this personal tax allowance stood at just £6,475. As a result, 24 million taxpayers have seen their income tax cut. Two million of the lowest paid have been taken out of paying tax altogether. Those earning the minimum wage have seen their income tax halved.

8. From April 2013, the 50% top rate of tax will be cut to 45%. HMRC data reveals that in the first year of the 50% tax rate, tax revenues from the rich fell by £7 billion and the number of people declaring incomes over one million pounds fell by a half.

9. Corporation tax has been cut from 28% to 24% and is falling to 21% next year. This is the lowest rate of any major western economy.

10. Those who can work, but refuse to, are ceasing to receive welfare benefits. When invited to take part in a Work Programme there were 150,000 who stopped claiming benefits rather than participate. Of those who have taken part, 200,000 have been placed in jobs. Those who don’t find jobs via the Work Programme will go through a Community Work Programme where they work 30 hours a week for 26 weeks to contribute to their community. For claimants refusing to participate, benefits will be withdrawn for three months for the first offence, six months for the second, and three years for the third.

11. Over 400,000 more people are in work than in 2010. Over one million net new private sector jobs have been created. The unemployment rate is 7.8% down 0.5% on a year ago. This is during a time of rising unemployment in the Eurozone.

12. More children in care are being given the chance of adoption. The number of children in care rose under Labour from 51,490 in 1997 to 64,410 in 2010. The government are reversing the trend by allowing more children to come out of the care system and be adopted, having the opportunity of permanent loving homes. 3,450 children were adopted in 2011-12, an increase of 12% on the previous year. The scandal of children being kept in care in preference to transracial adoption is being outlawed.

13. Elected police and crime commissioners have brought in a new era of accountable policing.

14. Legal aid has been restricted. This is saving the taxpayer £350 million but also reducing unjustified, time wasting litigation, in matters such as health and safety, and welfare and immigration cases.

15. Home Information Packs, a bureaucratic impediment on the housing market, have been dropped.

16. Labour's £4.5 billion ID Cards has been abandoned. This is a clear message that the state should be the servant, not the master of the people.

17. An EU referendum lock gives some protection against further loss of sovereignty.

18. The earnings link has been restored for pensioners.

19. The operational allowance for the armed forces has doubled.

20. A New Enterprise Allowance scheme has helped 8,000 unemployed people set up their own businesses. Those with a viable business plan are helped with loans and mentors. It is being extended further to allow 70,000 dole claimants the chance to become entrepreneurs.

21. The National Citizen Service has been set up in partnership with groups like the Prince's Trust. Teenagers go on outward bound courses, talk to mentors about 'social action projects' in their communities, and then are helped to get on and accomplish those projects. Those taking part have the satisfaction of doing something enjoyable and positive - while participation will be an encouraging line for prospective employers to see on a CV. By next year 100,000 places will be available. The International Citizen Service, which is funded by the Department for International Development, is another new global volunteer programme for young people.

22. The armed forces are being treated decently. The Service Pupil Premium has increased from £250 to £300 per pupil and will be extended to include all pupils whose parents have died in service since 2005. The principles of the Armed Forces Covenant have become law. The Government has quadrupled the council tax discount for forces on operations. The forces are getting the equipment they need for the job: the helicopters, protective kit, and armoured vehicles they have lacked in the past.

23. Immigration has been capped. The Government is making progress in cutting net immigration from the hundreds to the tens of thousands.

24. Freeing Libya. The UK played a key role in the overthrow of the Gaddafi dictatorship. Our military intervention averted a massacre in Benghazi and toppled an international criminal who gave Semtex to the IRA and was responsible for the shooting of a police officer in a London and the bombing of a plane over Lockerbie.

25.The Troubled Families Initiative. Work has started for 120,000 troubled families in England to turn their lives around by 2015. It involves dealing with each family’s problems as a whole and appointing a single key worker to help. Previously, endless over- and underlapping agencies have been involved ineffectively. Councils will be paid by results, as measured by getting children back into school, reducing youth crime and anti-social behaviour, putting adults on a path back to work, and reducing the high costs these families place on the public sector each year.

26. More Big Society volunteering. The number of volunteers helping in their local libraries is up from 17,550 in 2009/10 to 23,397 in 2011/12. In 2010 there were 15,505 Special Constables. In 2011 there were 18,421. As of March 31st 2012 there were 20,343.

27. The Government is encouraging investment in shale gas - which offers tremendous opportunity for a reduction in energy prices.

28. For three years there have been incentives for local authorities to freeze (or cut) Council Tax. This has overwhelmingly been adopted. Where there have been increases these have been modest as no council has wanted to set them above a threshold that would trigger a referendum. (For 2013/14 the threshold will be any increase above 2%.)

29.The power of the state to inspect your dustbin has been abolished.

30. The Royal Mail is being privatised in a way that will increase employee share ownership.

31. The civil service is smaller than at any time since the Second World War. For example, there are plans for the Ministry of Defence to shrink by more than a third - losing 30,000 civil servants.

32. Councils that fail to provide weekly bin collections will face financial penalties. Already the decline in weekly bin collections has been halted. There is now the prospect of it being reversed.

33. In May 2010, over 18,000 people had waited over a year for NHS treatment. Now it is 4,317 people. The number waiting six months is down from 100,979 to 55,335.

34. MRSA infections are down 24.7% in NHS hospitals compared to the level under Labour.

35. Independent economic forecasting has been provided by the Office of Budgetary Responsibility.

36. The Drug and Alcohol Recovery "payment by results" pilot ceases rewarding providers for "inputs" (the numbers entering drug treatment, regardless of what then happens to them). Instead the payment is for outcomes achieved - full recovery, including completing treatment and not returning; reductions in re-offending and improved housing, health and wellbeing.

37.Police pay is rewarding performance. Constables will be able to move to the top of their pay scale quickly, sergeants will get a greater reward for stepping up from constable, and inspectors will be able to reach their rank more quickly.

38. The teaching of history in schools is being revived.

39. Council housing allocations can reward merit - those who work, serve in the armed forces, or make a community contribution can be prioritised.

40. Employee share ownership is being promoted with a voluntary scheme allowing new recruits to wave entitlements such as unfair dismissal / redundancy rights in return for shares.

41. The share of our money taken from us and spent by the state is falling. In the last year of the Labour Government, 2009-10, public expenditure as a percent of GDP was 47.8%. In 2011/12 it was 45.2%. The Office of Budgetary Responsibility projects that it will fall to 39.5% by 2017-18.

42. The New Homes Bonus has provided a local incentive for building property. It has also meant a reduction in the number of empty homes with 38,000 long-term empty properties brought back into use over the past two years.

43. The deficit has fallen by a quarter. The last year of Labour Government, 2009/10, showed borrowing at £159 billion. In 2011/12 £122 billion was borrowed.

44. Trade union membership in 2011 is down 143,000 on the previous year. From 26.6% of employees to 26%.

45. The UK has gone from 89th to 72nd in competitiveness for "burden of government regulation". Under Labour, the UK fell from 4th to 89th in terms of competitiveness for "burden of government regulation." (World Economic Forum, Global Competitiveness.)

46. Emigration from the UK is down.

47. The income of charities rose from £54 billion in 2010 to £56 billion in 2011. The tax burden for charities is being cut. The Small Donations Bill provides a new system of top-up payments similar to Gift Aid for small cash donations to charities. For donations of less than £20, charities will be able to claim back 25p for every £1 collected in the UK, up to a limit of £5,000.

48. There is less red tape for police officers. The time saved on form filling amounts to 4.5 million police hours a year, the equivalent of 2,100 police officers on the streets. An array of box ticking police targets have been scrapped. Police led prosecutions have been extended to cover over half of all cases heard in a magistrate's court - this means less bureaucracy and delay than using the Crown Prosecution Service for straightforward cases.

49. Less red tape for teachers and headteachers.

* The School Admissions Code has been cut from 138 pages to 61.
* Health and Safety guidance to schools has been cut from 150 pages to eight, making school trips easier.
* In total 5,000 pages of guidance to schools have been removed.
* Teachers have more power to exclude disruptive pupils.
* Heads have more power to remove incompetent teachers.

50. Less red tape for farmers. For example, the Agricultural Wages Board which duplicated minimum wage rules has been scrapped.

51. Less red tape for business. For example, increasing the qualifying period for unfair dismissal claims from one year to two years from next April means anyone taking on a new employee can now be confident that they have two years to get the relationship right, rather than just one, before they face being sued for unfair dismissal. For businesses with fewer than ten employees, a moratorium on new domestic regulation for three years has been introduced.

52. Less red tape for everyone. From this month the "one in, one out" rule is changed to "one in, two out." This excludes regulation imposed by the EU. So far 3,000 of the regulations examined will be scrapped or reduced after nominations from the Red Tape Challenge.

* Lots of regulations are individually trivial, but cumulatively burdensome. People wanting to get married or register a civil partnership will be able to do so at any time of the day or night under the Protection of Freedoms Act. Couples were previously restricted to between 8am and 6pm.
* Gambling rules had meant, for example, that it was against the law to employ anyone under 18 in any capacity or in any job on racecourse where betting takes place. Also you couldn't locate a fruit machine in an ‘airside bar’ at a British airport.

53. Reducing rent subsidies for the rich. There are 34,000 households with incomes of over £60,000 living in council houses.

54. In 2010, 312,911 individuals in need of social care chose to have personal budgets. In 2011 it had increased 53% to 429,349. A legal right to a personal budget is being introduced.

55. Tax Transparency. From next year each tax return will show each taxpayer what their money is spent on. For example someone earning £25,000 spends the equivalent of £1,900 of their tax bill on welfare payments.

56. There are 10% fewer crimes each year than under Labour.

57. In December 2011 David Cameron vetoed an EU Treaty which would have meant a further loss of sovereignty.

58. Northern Rock has been privatised. The bank was sold to Virgin Money for £747 million. Under its new branding, new branches are opening, providing more choice. This is a first step to getting the state out of the banking business.

59. 24 Enterprise Zones have been created. These areas offer new businesses lower tax - with no business rates for five years and higher capital allowances as well as less planning bureaucracy.

60. The number of divorces in England and Wales in 2011 was 117,558, a decrease of 1.7% since 2010, when there were 119,589 divorces.

61. Funding for new fixed speed cameras has ceased.

62. The £4 million Big Tree Plant has seen over 239,000 trees planted across the country with £3.4 million of the funding already allocated to 128 groups, who will ultimately be planting more than 813,000 trees.

63. Forcing someone to marry will become a criminal offence in England and Wales.

64. The law of self defence against burglars is being strengthened.

65. The Life in the United Kingdom citizenship test is being revised with sections dealing with claiming benefits and the Human Rights Act being scrapped. Instead there will be questions on Byron, the Duke of Wellington and Shakespeare.

66. 7,000 acres of surplus state-owned land is being sold to provide a 100,000 new homes. It is estimated the sale will raise £10 billion for taxpayers.

67. A greener Government.

* Leading by example, the Government has reduced the carbon footprint from its own buildings by 14% on the level under Labour.
* Compared to 2009/10 figures, in 2011/12 the Government has delivered a 12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, estimated to save the taxpayer £40 million
* A 36% reduction in domestic flights, already exceeding the Government’s target of 20% by 2015
* A 5% reduction in waste, delivering £4.7million savings
* A 24% cut in paper consumption, far exceeding the Government’s target of 10% with all departments reporting a reduction in paper use
* A 3% fall in water consumption, saving the taxpayer £4.2 million
* For example, HM Revenues and Customs (HMRC) encourages customers to complete tax returns online.
* Using text messages for alerts has contributed to a fall in paper use by 30 million sheets in 2011/12, saving £297,000 as well as cutting carbon associated with printing and distribution by 760 tons.
* The Department for Energy and Climate Change has installed a dedicated 16kW chiller for its server room which had previously been cooled by two 60kW chillers, this is on track to save 80 to 90 tons of carbon per year compared to when Ed Miliband was running the Department.

68. Crime mapping has been introduced.

69. Fewer spin doctors. In the Department for Work and Pensions the press office has fallen from 301 staff in 2009-10 to 215 now. When Ed Miliband was Energy and Climate Change Secretary there were 43 DECC spin doctors - now it's 25.

70. Boosting the number of staff-led mutuals running public services to increase innovation, productivity, and customer satisfaction. The number of mutuals is six times higher than under Labour.

71. Social Impact Bonds allow private investment for a beneficial social outcome on a payments by results basis. A scheme in Peterborough Prison to reduce the reoffending rate shows very encouraging initial results. The Coalition is committed to expand these Bonds.

72. Open Government. The data.gov.uk website provides key information on transport, health, education, transport, crime and justice as well as Government spending.

73. Efficiency savings through renegotiating contracts, cutting back on spend on consultants and advertising is saving £8 billion.

74. Squatting has been criminalised.

75. Exports are up dramatically...

* We’re selling tea to China, vodka to Poland and cheese to France.
* There’s a baker in Dunstable selling naan bread to India, and we are selling coffee-makers to Italy.
* A firm in Anglesey is selling canoes to the eskimos.
* The UK now exports more cars than we import for the first time since 1976.
* We have increased our exports to Brazil by 18%, to China by 21%, and to India by 34%.
* We now export more to outside the EU than inside the EU.
* Free trade with developing countries is being promoted which helps make poverty history as well as boosting exports.
* The UK Government has backed free trade via the EU and the WTO and started the African Free Trade initiative.

76. Public sector sickness absence was an average of 9.1 days per employee in 2011, a decrease of 0.5 day from 2010.

77. Greater rigour in school exams. Primary school pupils are no longer able to go into their maths exam with a calculator. GCSEs are ceasing to be based largely on course-work and modules - instead there is a shift to final exams.

78. The Troops to Teachers programme, which aims to increase the number of service leavers making the transition to teaching.

79. The planning system has been simplified. Planning rules have been reduced from over 1,000 pages of often impenetrable jargon into around 50 pages of clearly written guidance.

80. 100 new cadet units are being created based in English state funded schools by 2015 to help teach teamwork, discipline and essential life skills. Currently there are 324 cadet units in state schools across England.

81. The introduction of the Universal Credit will make sure that work really pays, replacing many out-of-work payments with a single, simple payment. It will be withdrawn at a constant rate, so that people know exactly how much better off they will be for every extra hour they work, to ensure that work always pays more than benefits. The poorest will be the biggest gainers.

82. Fairer disability benefits. Under Labour those claiming Disability Living Allowance increased from 2.5 million to 3.2 million. It was possible to get £130-a-week DLA simply by filling out a bit of paper while those with serious disabilities had to cope with complicated 38-page forms to fill in.

83. A £26,000 benefit cap is introduced. They’ll still, however, have more money than many of their neighbours who go out to work every day.

84. A right to bid has been created, giving community organisations a fairer chance to save assets of importance to them, such as their village shop or the last remaining pub in the village, their community centre, children’s centre, or community green spaces.

85. “One-click registration.” From April if you want to start a business there’ll be no more filling in endless forms, giving out the same information over and over again. You’ll be able to get online, set up your business and register for taxes – and see the taxes that you’ve paid and that you owe – all in one place.

86. A requirement for dole claimants to learn English. New rules means Jobcentre Plus advisers can mandate people with poor English skills, which are preventing them from getting into employment, to go on to free specialist English language training courses. If claimants refuse to attend any of the classes recommended to them, they could have their benefits stopped.

87. Expansion of the Teach First programme which takes top graduates and puts them straight in the classroom.

88. Superfast broadband availability increased faster than previously scheduled by easing bureaucratic delay in planning and traffic management.

89. The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were delivered under the budget projected in 2010. The funding was £476 million below the £9.298 billion budget. Under Labour costs grew out of control from the original £3 billion budget.

(It's worth saying that the Games also went pretty well!!!).

90. A growth in credit unions. The Government are allowing credit unions to expand so that they can help one million more people. Credit unions are social enterprises that offer an alternative to loan sharks. The viability of credit unions is being assisted by an increase in the 2% monthly cap on interest rates.

91. Everyone leaving prison and claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance benefits will be immediately referred on Day One to the Government’s Work Programme, where they will receive specialist support to get them into employment as quickly as possible.

92. The Fuel Duty rise, scheduled by the Labour Government, of 3.02 pence per litre on 1 August 2012, was scrapped.

93. The M4 bus lane has been scrapped and the lane returned to all motorists after analysis showed that journey times at peak periods would be reduced for car drivers and hauliers without significantly affecting vehicles currently allowed to use the lane.

94. Spending transparency. For Government departments all payments over £25,000 are published. For local councils all payments over £500. Increasingly lower thresholds are being applied and spending transparency is being extended across the public sector.

95. More electrification of the railways. In 13 years the Labour Government electrified just 10 miles of railway, the new Government is doing so for 850 miles. This will deliver new fleets of cleaner and more environmentally friendly trains and reduce the long-term costs of running the railways.

96. The Youth Contract has boosted apprenticeships to half a million a year, double the number under Labour. There were 279,700 apprenticeship starts in the 2009/10 academic year. In the 2011/12 academic year there were 502,540 apprenticeship starts.

97. Taxpayer funded trade union facility time will be restricted. Full time trade union officials will need special Ministerial approval.

98. 2.5 million people once on sickness benefit are being re-assessed and two thirds preparing or looking for work.

99. There are 124,000 fewer lone parents on inactive benefits than there were in 2010.

100. Traveller sites. Stop Notices will allow councils to issue unlimited fines for those who ignore planning rules and defy the law.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:10 am 
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Posts: 80
Stop winding people up Foxy PP is perfectly able to make an :?: 8) :? :shock: of himself without you pretending to agree with him besides everybody knows that Seil is a Yes hot bed and Maggie and yoursel`????? are the only No`s in the village


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:18 am 
You are very wrong Husker..I know of many people who will vote 'no'. And anyway..I can't speak for Maggie but what gal would not support PP? I mean, look at him...he's gorgeous...bless his little cotton socks... :lol: :stir


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:46 am 
Husker there may be a higher percentage of 'Yes' voters in Seil than in most other parts of Scotland. It means that a bigger proportion in Seil appear to be on the wrong side of the argument. But what do you expect from the people of a quiet backwater who are somewhat removed from the real Scotland? I may look an idiot to you because in my opinion it is wrong to split up the UK, but given that my view is similar to the view of the majority of Scots have you considered you might look an idiot (because you are a Yes voter) to more people than consider me to be one?


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:05 am 
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Posts: 274
While PP goes on and on like a stuck record, Maggie's list shows 100 items, many of which are arguably either retrograde or irrelevant to Scotland. Nick's list is the opposite - relevant and positive for Scotland. Basically the current Westminster government is an unmandated and unmitigated disaster and good enough reason in itself to want to have Scottish politics entirely decided here in Scotland. If life under the changes made already in Edinburgh have not been significant and positive, why is it that Scotland - and indeed Seil - is increasingly receiving new immigrants from England? The priority here is social justice not warmongering, banking fraud, elitism, taxing the poor etc. Bring it on!

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