Let’s develop a little scorecard on where we are with the economic measures in the UK and Scotland to cope with our new pandemic-world.  For corporations, we have 80 per cent of the wages they owe workers affected by Covid-19 covered by government. That’s a significant drop in their costs, overnight. For banks, we have […]

The bailout scorecard

Children in Scotland: ScotGov should not lose focus on childcare

Children in Scotland have warned that the Scottish Government must not lose focus on its childcare commitments, after plans to double the number of free hours of childcare were delayed indefinitely due to the crisis. Children in Scotland CEO Jackie Brock said while the delay was “understandable”, they were concerned that no new service delivery date will make it difficult for childcare providers “to manage families’ expectations at a time of extreme stress”. (Third Force News)

New Scottish benefits delayed

New Scottish benefits set to be introduced this year have been delayed due to The Coronavirus crisis. A replacement for the Personal Independence Payment (PIP) and the introduction of the Child Disability Payment will be delayed, as well as the £10 Scottish Child Payment. (Holyrood)

Scottish Universities stand to lose hundreds of millions

Scottish universities have said they stand to lose hundreds of millions of pounds if foreign students stop coming. Losses for the financial year are approaching £100 million. The universities are also set to be hit by a loss of student rental income, and cultural events not being held in the summer, including this year’s Fringe festival in Edinburgh, which has been cancelled. (The Times)

West Brewery break link with Wetherspoons

  • The Scottish beer firm West Brewery has said it will no longer deliver to Wetherspoons, in protest at its owner Tim Martin’s lamentable attitude towards his employees. Martin said staff could expect pay delays and advising them to get a job at Tesco. West Brewery said that they’ld “rather sweep the streets than do business with people like him”. (The Herald)

Amazon worker contracts Covid-19

  • An Amazon warehouse worker in Fife has contracted Covid-19. The unnamed individual has been placed in quarantine. The company said it was now deep cleaning the warehouse in Dunfermline. (The Herald)

Physicist calls for urgent government research into ionisers

Scottish physicist and engineer Pete Gavin has said urgent government research is needed to see if ionisers could help alleviate the Pandemic by cleansing the air. Negative ions are released into the air which then latch on to positive ions, including viruses. Gavin said study’s have shown ionisers to have 97 per cent efficacy and that if the cleanser works a hospital ward “can be kitted out within two weeks for less than the price of a coffin”. (The National)

There are worrying signs about the UK’s Covid-19 trajectory. The UK’s death toll is now higher than Italy’s was at this stage, and is following the US in accelerating when other countries were by now seeing the rate of increase slowing. ITV Political Editor Robert Peston responded to that fact by stating plainly: “This is […]

The (lack of) testing scandal

GP practices asked to stay open Good Friday and Easter Monday

GP practices are being asked to stay open on Good Friday and Easter Monday if it is “safe to do so”, in an attempt to alleviate pressure on out-of-hour services. The Scottish Government is providing an additional £15 million in support to help ease the pressure on GP services. (Holyrood)

ASN specialist teachers falls by 10% in 8 years

The number of specialist teachers supporting children with Additional Support Needs (ASN) in Scottish schools has fallen by 10 per cent since 2012, new figures have revealed. The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition highlighted new data showing there are 376 fewer ASN specialist teachers than eight years ago, and said this could damage their educational experience. (The Herald)