Media Briefing by the First Minister's Official Spokesperson (FMOS) & the First Minister's Special Adviser (FMSA)
The First Minister's Official Spokesperson (FMOS) welcomed journalists to the briefing.
FMOS highlighted that there would be a SGORR meeting this afternoon on the Legionnaires’ disease outbreak and an update would be provided to the media afterwards.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson is announcing an extra £4 million pounds to be given to health boards to improve services and provide new equipment for people who need alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). The funding, over the next three financial years, will help thousands of people across Scotland to be able to benefit from the kinds of equipment which helps Professor Stephen Hawking communicate. AAC equipment enables people with difficulty expressing themselves using speech to communicate. That equipment can range from high tech computer equipment with specialist software, to low tech picture communication books.
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced that a new framework for managing and learning from adverse events in the NHS is to be put in place across Scotland. It follows a the publication of a review of NHS Ayrshire and Arran’s management of adverse events by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS).
Minister for Community Safety Roseanna Cunningham has cautiously welcomed the publication of figures which show a decrease in racist incidents recorded by the police in Scotland in 2010-11. Ms Cunningham has warned against complacency in light of more up-to-date Crown Office prosecution statistics published last month which showed an increase in the number of charges reported to the Procurator Fiscal by the police and other agencies for racism and other forms of hatred in 2011-12.
When asked about the appointment of Scottish Enterprise CEO Lena Wilson to the Board of Intertek, FMOS said it had been signed off by the Scottish Enterprise Board and that further details about the context would be provided to the journalist.
When asked about Finance Secretary’s John Swinney’s speech setting out the Bank of England’s potential role in an independent Scotland, FMSA replied that an independent Scotland operating in the Sterling zone would have the key fiscal powers necessary to grow the economy. He said that there was a clear distinction between fiscal responsibility and monetary policy – which is the responsibility of the Bank of England operating independently from Ministerial direction, and that no UK Governments have control over interest rates.
When asked about the Scottish Government’s view on the future of Rangers Football Club in the light of the proposed CVA being turned down by HMRC, FMSA said the Scottish Government would wish the club to continue in business so that it could meet its obligations to the taxpayer, and in the wider interests of Scotland’s national game.