Article copied from Glasgow Now column
Humza Yousaf, January 29, 2014
The figures from the Office of National Statistics show that there has also been a record increase in the number of women in employment – 62,000 more are now working in comparison to last year.
The youth labour market figures are also strong, as Scotland has a higher youth employment rate than the UK.
The latest figures are good news but many employers continue to face difficult conditions and there is still no room for complacency.
The Scottish Government are committed to further reducing the unemployment and youth unemployment rates and we are already working hard to do so.
Young people in Glasgow have been recognised as facing some of the biggest employment challenges and so our city has benefited from over £3million from the Youth Employment Strategy fund.
The Scottish Government are also committed to providing a place in learning or training to every 16 to 19-year-old not in employment, education or training.
The Government are doing all they can to improve Scotland’s economic health but only with the powers of independence could we secure the greater levels of growth and employment that we need.
We have just come to the end of Debt Awareness Week, organised by the charity Step Change.
Money worries can have a huge effect on individuals as concerns about keeping up with rent or mortgage payments, feeding families or paying heating bills can cause health or relationship problems, which in turn can increase stress.
It is vital people know there is support available and so Step Change launched Debt Awareness Week to get people talking about debt and to get help sooner.
The charity found that 41 per cent of their clients had waited for a year before getting help for debt problems.
Rather than racking up expensive credit card bills, there are more sensible ways to borrow – for example credit unions.
Glasgow has the largest one in Britain, the Glasgow Credit Union, who have 32,000 members. There are other local credit unions around the city.
A credit union can help you with a repayment structure that is individually tailored to each person. Interest rates are clear and will not change after you apply for a loan – providing a genuine alternative to payday lenders.
Help is also at hand at any Citizens Advice Bureau if you are struggling with debt or need advice on benefits.I saw first-hand the excellent work which takes place at the Greater Pollok CAB when I volunteered there for a day and I know that this will also be the case across the whole of Glasgow and Scotland.
Whether you are struggling with debt or falling behind with rent payments, it is really important you know you don’t have to struggle alone. You can talk to Step Change on their freephone number 0800 138 1111, which is also free from mobiles.
The UK Government have claimed there would be a border between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK.
This scare story completely ignores the reality of the Common Travel Area – which the UK is in with Ireland. It means there are no border controls between the two countries but they are able to have different immigration policies.
The Home Office are planning 22 per cent staff cuts to the UK Border Agency, raising questions over whether the UK Government would be able to operate a border between Scotland and the rest of the UK.
Thankfully, polls show the vast majority of people in the rest of the UK would expect their Government to work with an independent Scotland to ensure continued co-operation in the Common Travel Area – dealing another blow to the No campaign.