John asks about Economic Impact of Clydesdale Bank sale

19 Feb 2016

John Mason: To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has made of the potential economic impact on Scotland of the Clydesdale Bank being floated on the stock market.

Answered by John Swinney (11/02/2016):Clydesdale Bank has an established presence in Scotland, as a bank servicing personal and business customers and as a substantial employer. While no specific economic analysis has been undertaken, we would expect the Clydesdale Bank to continue to have a similar presence in Scotland following the flotation of shares on the stock market.

John seeks clarity on Unpaid Internships

19 Feb 2016

John Mason: To ask the Scottish Government what its policy is on unpaid internships that last longer than one month.

Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (03/02/2016):We believe that fair work is crucial to delivering inclusive growth. The Scottish Government only offers support to external graduate placement programmes that offer good quality, paid internships. All interns on these programmes are paid at least the Scottish living wage for the work they do and these programmes are currently operating on a conversion rate of between 75 and 80 per cent of placements leading to permanent employment.


Question S5W-05858: Tobacco Duty Incomes

28 Jan 2016

To ask the Scottish Government what volumes of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco were sold in Scotland, which together generate the tobacco duty incomes set out in the GERS report, in each of the last five years.

Answered by Derek Mackay (12/01/2017):Information on the volumes of cigarettes or hand-rolling tobacco sold in Scotland is not collected by the Scottish Government, and is not used in estimating tobacco duty in Government Expenditure & Revenue Scotland (GERS), which uses data on household expenditure on tobacco to apportion a share of UK wide revenue from tobacco duty to Scotland.

A review of sales estimates, which includes estimates of the volume of cigarettes sold in Scotland from 2008 to 2013, was published in November 2015 by NHS Health Scotland and is available at the link below:

Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 12/01/2017

John Mason MSP asks about post-study work visa

18 Jan 2016


  • 6. John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston) (SNP):

    To ask the First Minister what discussions the Scottish Government has had with the United Kingdom Government regarding the possible reintroduction of the post-study work visa. (S4F-03177)

  • The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon):

    Since the publication of the Smith commission report, the Government has remained committed to working with our UK counterparts to ensure that a post-study work route is reintroduced in Scotland. That has been raised with the UK Government at a number of meetings at ministerial and official level.

    We are therefore deeply disappointed—and I have to say that I am rather angry—that without any real consultation the Secretary of State for Scotland recently indicated that the UK Government has no intention of reintroducing the post-study work visa for Scotland. I understand that the UK Minister for Security and Immigration intends to meet the cross-party post-study-work steering group and I expect and hope that the United Kingdom Government will take the concerns of the Scottish Government and the united voices of Scottish stakeholders fully on board. I believe that there is consensus in Parliament and out there in Scotland that the post-study work visa should be reintroduced. It is time that the UK Government got on and did it.

  • John Mason:

    I thank the First Minister for that answer. Does she agree that not only do the students themselves benefit from being able to work after their studies but the Scottish economy and Scottish society benefit from having those people living here?

  • The First Minister:

    I whole-heartedly agree with that. If we are going to invest in educating the best and the brightest people from all over the world, surely it makes sense to try to encourage them, once they graduate from university, to make a contribution to our economy—to give something back to economic and social life here in Scotland.

    Of course, we know that people who come to Scotland from all parts of the world make a real and rich contribution to our society, just as Scots who go from here to other parts of the world do there. The UK Government’s actions on this issue are short-sighted and wrong-headed and I urge it to change its mind. If there is any credence whatsoever to what we keep hearing about a respect agenda, the UK Government will recognise the consensus on the issue and do something about it.

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