UNEMPLOYMENT has fallen to a record-low in Scotland. The latest figures show Scottish economic growth is outperforming the rest of the UK.

Levels of unemployment have reached a new low of 3.4 per cent in Scotland. The official statistics show that Scotland’s economy has now grown for eight consecutive quarters. However, Brexit still remains a threat to Scotland’s economy, with research showing that Theresa May’s proposed Brexit deal would lead to a 6 per cent fall in GDP by 2031, costing each person in Scotland £1,600.

With unemployment in Scotland falling, it’s vital that we do all we can to protect our businesses and industry amid Brexit uncertainty.

I was deeply saddened to hear about the recent terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. This attack is nothing other than a mindless act of murder by terrorists.

Last week, I also expressed my dismay at East Lothian Council’s stance over pupils attending climate change demonstrations. In correspondence with the council, I discovered that the council had informed schools that pupils absent due to attending the demonstrations would see their Education Maintenance Allowances (EMAs) ‘impacted detrimentally’. EMA is a weekly payment of £30 paid directly to eligible young people whose families are on low incomes and are continuing in post-compulsory education (i.e. beyond the age of 16) or have left school and are taking part in an Activity Agreement.

In contrast to East Lothian Council, Edinburgh City Council was reported as allowing pupils to attend climate change protests if prior permission had been given. I call on East Lothian Council to reverse this policy and to ensure all EMAs are fully paid for those pupils attending these demonstrations, as these payments are much needed and the council do not want to be seen to be punishing the vulnerable.