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Media Briefing - Dec 14, 2011
The Scottish Government Spokesperson welcomed journalists to the briefing and ran through the day's main events and announcements:
- Minister for Community Safety and Legal Affairs Roseanna Cunningham will lead on Stage 3 proceedings of the Offensive Behaviour and Threatening Communications at Football (S) Bill.
Asked for further details about Stage 3, the SGS said that government amendments lodged last week would be discussed. Regarding the timetable, he explained that the Bill would be hopefully be passed today and thereafter would require Royal Assent with a view to its provisions coming into force in early 2012.
- Publication of labour market statistics - The First Minister is calling for an urgent UK-wide jobs summit comprising finance ministers of the Westminster government and three devolved administrations, to agree an immediate programme of job creation. The FM's statement makes it clear that in the face of severe cuts from Westminster, we still have a situation of higher employment in Scotland compared to the UK as a whole, lower economic inactivity and lower unemployment compared to most of the other nations and regions of the UK.
- Publication of Quarterly Public Sector Employment Statistics (Q3 2011)
The Spokesman explained that the increase in private sector employment was greater than the decrease in public sector employment over the same period. Private sector employment is now at its highest share in Scotland since devolution, with overall employment up by nearly 200,000. If you exclude the impact of people who are employed in the public sector financial sector institutions, the public sector now accounts for 22.3 per cent of total employment in Scotland, the lowest since devolution. Sustaining employment is crucial at a time of Westminster public sector cuts.
- Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill to comment on publication of Homicide in Scotland, 2010-11.
Key statistics show that most homicides are carried out indoors and mostly by men. Most people accused of murder were under the influence of alcohol or drugs and in the vast majority of cases, the homicide is carried out by a person known to the victim.
- Minister for Housing and Transport Keith Brown will launch the Fast Track Scotland report by Scottish Partnership Group for High-Speed Rail.
- The Chief Medical Officer Sir Harry Burns will publish his annual report. This will show that action to improve the nation's health is proving effective but obesity, poor diet and excessive alcohol consumption continue to cause unacceptable levels of ill health. The report also highlights positive trends, such as declining mortality rates in Scotland's three biggest killers - cancer, coronary heart disease and stroke. The CMO also welcomes the decline in smoking-related illnesses and the narrowing gap in the incidence between rich and poor.
- Publication of the independent public inquiry into the McKie fingerprint case
- Minister for Local Government and Planning Derek Mackay will undertake an East Lothian Council visit in Haddington.
- Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland's Languages Alasdair Allan will attend the National Parent Forum of Scotland.
Page updated: Wednesday, December 14, 2011