12 Sep 2013

Scottish MPs say no – London ploughs ahead anyway

Glasgow Shettleston’s MSP John Mason has reacted with anger today (Thursday) following the announcement that the Westminster government has confirmed the sale of shares in Royal Mail.

Commenting from the Scottish Parliament, local MSP John Mason said:

“This is yet another deeply flawed Westminster decision, which threatens to have particularly harmful consequences for Scotland where so many of our communities rely on our existing Royal Mail service

“Given our experience of previous privatisations from London-led Governments, no-one seriously believes that the regulator will provide real protection to consumers on either prices or services.

“Once again we see Scottish MPs voting one way and Westminster enacting the opposite.  We saw it with the bedroom tax which 91% of Scottish MPs voted against and now we’re seeing it with Royal Mail privatisation which 78% of Scottish MPs voted against.  It is therefore my opinion that the only way to ensure that Scotland’s voice really counts is for it to take on the normal powers of independence.

“Royal Mail must be viewed as part of our national infrastructure not just as another business.  Devolution has certainly allowed us to take some of our own decisions, for example not to privatise the NHS like they’re doing south of the border, but only independence will put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.

“Consistently Scotland’s voice has been ignored by London Governments.  It’s time to take these decisions in Scotland, and for Scotland”.



04 Sep 2013

The findings of a new report by the Scottish Parliament’s Information Centre have today backed up analysis by the Scottish Government that a reduction in corporation tax can increase economic growth and boost employment.

Analysis by the Scottish Government has shown that a 3% reduction in Corporation Tax could grow Scotland’s GDP by 1.4% and create an additional 27,000 jobs.

Today’s report from SPICe confirmed that “it is reasonable to suggest that in most plausible scenarios a 3% cut in corporation tax will expand the economy, create jobs and increase investment. Exports would also be expected to rise in absolute terms and as a share of Scotland’s economy.”

The SPICe paper also points out that the Scottish Government’s analysis was based on the 2010 EY Attractiveness Survey and if the 2011 or 2012 surveys had been used in the model instead, the predicted increase in employment would have been even higher.

Commenting, local MSP John Mason, who is also Deputy Convener of the Parliament’s Finance Committee, said:

“Today’s report provides extremely welcome backing to the Scottish Government’s analysis of what we could achieve with powers over Corporation Tax.

“The report from SPICe confirms the robustness of the Scottish Government’s analysis and indeed points out that using more recently published figures would see an even greater predicted impact on jobs and growth.

“Creating 27,000 additional jobs in Scotland would provide a huge shot in the arm to Scotland’s economy and be a major spur to economic growth.

“As an independent nation, taking decisions about Scotland in Scotland we will be able to use the powers over tax and welfare to build a fairer, more prosperous country.

“That is one of the clearest gains that a Yes vote in next year’s referendum will secure for people living in Scotland.”


27 Jun 2013

SNP Member of the Scottish Parliament, John Mason, has today (Thursday) commented on the publication of the Scottish Government’s Marriage and Civil Partnerships (Scotland) Bill.

Mr Mason, who is a member of the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee, which will scrutinise the legislation, welcomed the publication of the bill after much debate and said that attention must turn to ensuring that the relevant legal protections are put in place for those in ministry and public service.

Commenting, John Mason MSP said:

“I think it’s pretty clear from the parliamentary arithmetic that this bill is likely to pass.  However, it is highly unlikely I will vote for the bill.  Potentially I could abstain or vote against the legislation, depending on the evidence that is presented to committee.  A lot of this will hinge on the legal protections that can be given to those in positions like ministers or priests as well as to public and private sector employees, the third sector, and even volunteers.  I am still not sure whether, despite the assurances we have been given, these protections can be guaranteed.  I don’t think any Government would want to see ministers or priests dragged through the courts for upholding their personal beliefs in accordance with their faith and so, throughout the scrutiny of this bill, I will be seeking maximum reassurance on this point.

“There seems to be a minority who favour same sex marriage and a minority who oppose it.  I think the majority of the public probably are not too bothered either way as long as it does not affect them.  So far in the debate there has been a certain amount of animosity but I am hoping that the committee process can be conducted in a calm and civilised way.  I am very hopeful that a fair hearing will be given to witnesses from both sides as well as to the various legal opinions.

“This vote is, of course, a matter of conscience and I hope that regardless of how MSPs vote, this legislation can be debated and voted upon in a way that reflects the diverse pluralistic society which Scotland and this Parliament is keen to promote.”

Wednesday 26 June – Staff Training

24 Jun 2013

Due to staff training, the Glasgow Shettleston Constituency Office will be closed all-day on Wednesday 26th June.  It will re-open on Thursday 27th June at 9am.