Sunday, 7 December 2014

Sturgeon Committed to Seeing Aberdeen and North East Thrive


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is today underlining her commitment to the North East as her tour of Scotland reaches Aberdeen.

When her tour concludes today, she will have spoken to over 18,000 people in six different parts of the country – including a booked-out appearance at the 12,000 capacity SSE Hydro in Glasgow. Tickets for the tour were all booked within 24 hours.

As well as this, around 340,000 more people took part in Ms Sturgeon’s first Facebook Q&A as First Minister and the first YouTube Q&A the SNP has ever held.

Ahead of her first visit to Aberdeen since becoming First Minister just over two weeks ago, Ms Sturgeon has outlined investment the Scottish Government has made in the North East. This includes Small Business Bonus support for 2,045 Aberdeen small businesses, investment in improving transport links and savings of around £1,800 for the average Band D home as a result of the Council Tax Freeze.

Speaking ahead of the event, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:

“As First Minister I am determined to lead a government for all of Scotland – and I am delighted to be making my first visit to the North East just over two weeks after becoming leader.

“For me, one of the most positive aspects of the referendum campaign was talking to thousands of people at town hall events across the country. I want to keep that conversation going – and that is why I have pledged to be the most accessible First Minister ever, with regular town hall events and online Q&As.

“As our energy capital, Aberdeen is an absolutely vital part of Scotland’s economy. I want to see Aberdeen and the North East thrive.

“Improving infrastructure is a key part of that. This year’s budget contained further funding for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, and we are also committed to improving the Inverness to Aberdeen railway line. This will see journey times cut to around two hours between the two cities.

“Since 2008, small businesses in Aberdeen have received £25.4m through the SNP Government’s Small Business Bonus scheme. As at September this year, 2,045 small businesses in Aberdeen were receiving support.

“As well as this, the average Band D home in Aberdeen will be around £1,800 better off by 2016 as a result of our council tax freeze. This is in stark contrast to when Labour were in power and council tax increased by 73 per cent.

“And through our social wage with the people of Scotland, families in the North East are benefitting from free prescriptions, free school meals, a commitment to the Living Wage for all public sector workers under Scottish Government pay policy and the roll out of 600 hours of free childcare for all 3, 4 and vulnerable two year olds.

“This important investment in the future of the North East will continue as long as I am First Minister – and the Scottish Government will continue to provide the support needed to enable this to happen.”
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