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'Bag Monster' supports 5p charge for carrier bags

Campaigners outside the Scottish Parliament invented a 'bag monster' to show support for a plan to introduce a charge of 5p for carrier bags.

Inside, the Environment Secretary Richard Lochhead told a committee Scotland uses 750m bags a year - the equivalent of 12 bags per person each month.

Keep Scotland Beautiful said the 5p charge would tackle Scotland's 'throwaway society'
Bag Monster - but the charge would also apply to paper and biodegradable bags
More carrier bags are used in Scotland than anywhere else in the UK, said campaigners

More on Representing Border on Wednesday 21st May at 2250.


Full Report: Onshore wind farm subsidies to be reduced

Anti wind farm campaigners in Cumbria and Southern Scotland have welcomed the Government's announcement that subsidies to onshore wind farms will be reduced.

They say the change will dramatically cut the number being built in the region.

I**nstead more money is going to be spent subsidising off shore wind farms.

Environmental campaigners like Friends of the Earth say the change merely reflects how wind power has become more affordable, reducing the need for the government incentives.

Samantha Parker reports:

Financial concerns for Dumfries and Galloway

There are concerns about the number of people with money problems in Dumfries and Galloway. A report by the Citizens Advice Bureau says low income households are being penalised by welfare reforms.

The CAB says it's having to specialise in financial advice, as more people struggle with debt and changes to the benefit system. Andy Burn reports.

Vulnerable families face financial crisis

Many vulnerable families across Dumfries & Galloway are facing financial crisis according to the local Citizens Advice Service.

The charity has published a report which it says shows evidence that many low income households are being hit hard by the Government's welfare reforms.

The Charity claims the report reveals:

  • The service dealt with 27,000 cases last year.
  • The most common issue was the benefits system. 46% of all cases were from vulnerable people (higher than the scottish average of 38%)
  • The second biggest issue was debt, more than 500 new clients in the region reported an average debt of £19,000

Dumfries and Galloway CAS Chief Executive Sue Irving says,

"Many people will be shocked by just how many families in Dumfries & Galloway are suffering.

"The Citizens Advice Service offers free, impartial and confidential advice to anyone who needs it. Our trained advisers offer advice on any issue. But the report shows how we are having to specialise in financial advice - whether it's helping people who are in debt, or those who have been caught out by the changes being made to the benefit system.

"It's very worrying that nearly half of all cases we see now are about the benefit system. This rate is higher than the numbers seen by the Scottish CAB service as a whole, which suggests a growing crisis for vulnerable people here in Dumfries & Galloway."

– D&G CAS Chief Executive Sue Irving


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