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To ask the Scottish Government how the proposals in its draft Budget aim to help support the work of credit unions.

Answered by Kate Forbes (09/01/2019):

The 2019-20 Budget proposes to continue targeting support to the credit unions sector – helping to enable affordable loans and savings in our communities, and protecting people from predatory lenders and unmanageable debt.

Specific support over the coming year will continue to be designed in partnership with the sector, building on our national awareness-raising campaign before Christmas and our programme of supporting credit union partnerships with schools across the country.

Current Status: Answered by Kate Forbes on 09/01/2019
West Lothian Credit Union's Prior Communities

That the Parliament congratulates Prior Communities, which is the charity arm of West Lothian Credit Union, on being awarded funding from the Robertson Trust and West Lothian Credit Union; notes that it will use this to continue its excellent financial education programme, which is taking place in 14 schools; recognises the plans to expand this commendable programme and to add to its current 1,300 junior savers; values the provision of  financial education in schools and the promotion of credit unions as ethical lenders, and recognises that Prior Communities is named after the late, and inspiring, parish priest, Father Gerry Prior, who was committed to social justice in Livingston and beyond and who was the driving force in founding the credit union.

Supported by: Jenny Gilruth, Maureen Watt, Kenneth Gibson, Richard Lyle, Stewart Stevenson, Bill Kidd, Jeremy Balfour, Joan McAlpine, David Torrance, Neil Findlay, Fulton MacGregor, Gillian Martin, Stuart McMillan, Gail Ross, Tom Arthur, Clare Adamson

Whitlawburn Community Resource Centre Funding

That the Parliament welcomes the of £33,937 grant that has been given to the Whitlawburn Community Resource Centre by the Scottish Landfill Communities Fund; congratulates the resource centre on its work in the community, including providing services at the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Citizens Advice Bureau and Lanarkshire Credit Union and recycling non-electrical household appliances, which are then supplied to people facing financial hardship, and wishes all involved with best with their hard work for the people of Rutherglen and Cambuslang.

Supported by: Bill Kidd, Stuart McMillan, Kenneth Gibson, David Torrance

International Credit Union Day 2018

That the Parliament recognises that 18 October 2018 marks the World Council of Credit Unions’ 70th annual International Credit Union Day; understands that this year’s theme, "Find Your Platinum Lining", reflects the traditional gift of platinum for 70th anniversaries and acts as a play on the saying that “every cloud has a silver lining”; appreciates that the anniversary offers a chance to look back after 70 years at the lives and communities that have been improved by the unique principles and actions of the movement, and an opportunity to focus on the work still ahead in offering the most fair and ethical alternative to high-cost credit, both in Scotland and worldwide; recognises that, through International Credit Union Day festivities worldwide, credit unions raise awareness through outreach and volunteering in the community, organising contests, charitable fundraisers, and open houses, all with the aim of contributing to the World Council's Vision 2020 goal of adding 50 million new members by the year 2020; appreciates the remarkable growth of credit unions worldwide, as noted in the World Council’s 2017 Statistical Report, with the global movement reaching 260 million members, served by 89,026 credit unions in 117 countries; notes that this is an increase from 2016, when the report included data on 68,882 credit unions from 109 countries with 235 million members; commends the ongoing work to address the three primary challenges before the credit union movement, advocacy, membership growth and disruptive technology, to help promote the benefits of ethical social lending further, and wishes all who work within the credit union sector in Scotland, and across the world, continued success in changing the lives of the many people that they help through their inspirational example.

Supported by: Emma Harper, Bill Kidd, Monica Lennon, Stewart Stevenson, James Kelly, Joan McAlpine, David Torrance, Richard Lyle, Sandra White, Jenny Gilruth, Angela Constance, Kenneth Gibson, John Mason, Fulton MacGregor, Christine Grahame R, Johann Lamont, Tom Arthur, Neil Findlay, John Finnie, Clare Adamson, Gillian Martin, Colin Smyth, Maureen Watt

Congratulating 1st Alliance (Ayrshire) Credit Union on its 200,000th Loan

That the Parliament congratulates the 1st Alliance (Ayrshire) Credit Union on issuing its 200,000th loan in June 2018; understands that the credit union has now issued £15.5 million in loans since it was founded in April 2004, following the merger of Stevenson Credit Union and Kilwinning Credit Union; notes that 1st Alliance serves the whole of Ayrshire, with anyone living or working in the county able to become a member; appreciates that it is a not–for-profit financial co-operative owned and controlled by its members, is managed and staffed by local people and has a strong voluntary element; recognises that 1st Alliance has seen a huge growth in the last financial year, with an increase in loans of 34%, a growth of shares in membership of 16% and a membership growth of 8%, as it continues to grow as a fair and ethical alternative to high-cost lenders in Ayrshire, and wishes all at 1st Alliance the very best for the future.

Supported by: Richard Lyle, Alasdair Allan, Stewart Stevenson, Rona Mackay, Joan McAlpine, Bill Kidd, Jenny Gilruth, Gillian Martin, Fulton MacGregor, Sandra White, Kenneth Gibson, Tom Arthur

Current Status: Fallen on 28/11/2018
Commending ABCUL's Social Media Campaign, Work Not Worry

That the Parliament commends the Association of British Credit Unions Limited (ABCUL) on its social media campaign, Work Not Worry, which ran from 9 July to 3 August 2018; understands that the campaign was designed to raise awareness of the benefits of partnerships with credit unions among employers and to encourage more employers to establish new relationships with their local credit union; notes from research published in 2017 by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development that 26% of working-age adults in the UK have no savings, and that one-in-four workers have lost sleep over financial worries; recognises that a majority of employers say that working with credit unions improves the financial capability of staff and helps to create a more productive and better supported workforce, and applauds the continuing efforts of ABCUL to promote the benefits of credit union membership.

Supported by: Jenny Gilruth, Richard Lyle, Alex Rowley, Joan McAlpine, John Mason, Bill Kidd, Neil Findlay, Stewart Stevenson, Fulton MacGregor, Sandra White, Kenneth Gibson, Tom Arthur, Maureen Watt, Gillian Martin

Current Status: Fallen on 28/11/2018
Pioneer Mutual Credit Union

That the Parliament congratulates Pioneer Mutual Credit Union in Barrhead on its work with ethical loans; recognises that, in 2016-17, loans of £2.4 million were made to members, ensuring that wealth was retained in the community rather than being lost through payday lenders; welcomes the responsible approach to borrowing, which uses a loan calculator and only charges interest on the outstanding balance, rather than the full amount borrowed, and encourages people to join their local credit union and benefit from not-for-profit services that encourage saving what you can and borrowing only what you can afford to repay.

Supported by: Jenny Gilruth, Joan McAlpine, Richard Lyle, Bill Kidd, Ruth Maguire, Stewart Stevenson, Fulton MacGregor, Sandra White, Kenneth Gibson, Maureen Watt, Gillian Martin

Current Status: Fallen on 28/11/2018
40 Years of the Newarthill Credit Union

That the Parliament congratulates the Newarthill Credit Union in the Uddingston and Bellshill constituency on turning 40 years old; recognises that the credit union began from humble beginnings in the back kitchen of the home of the local man, Robert Wilson, and has now grown to have its own purpose-built office in the local area; notes that the work of the credit union could not be possible without the many outstanding volunteers who have given their time to build a wonderful local financial service for nearby communities; understands that the organisation has a truly local ethos, with members from all walks of life; believes that credit unions such as Newarthill play a significant role in communities, and wishes the organisation every success for the future as it continues to deliver important work at the heart of the community.

Supported by: Emma Harper, Fulton MacGregor, Jenny Gilruth, Ruth Maguire, Bill Kidd, Monica Lennon, Clare Haughey, Joan McAlpine, Ash Denham, Alex Neil, Gillian Martin, David Torrance, Neil Findlay, Ben Macpherson, Gil Paterson, Jackie Baillie, Ivan McKee

Current Status: Fallen on 09/05/2018
Recognising Bobby Lees of Newarthill Credit Union

That the Parliament recognises the contribution of Bobby Lees, who is a volunteer at Newarthill Credit Union in the Uddingston and Bellshill constituency; understands that Bobby has volunteered with the credit union since 1977; notes that he is well regarded in Newarthill and its surrounding areas for his diligent work over many years and the help that he has offered to many local people, including many families; believes that volunteers such as Bobby are essential to the running of local financial services in communities right across Scotland; wishes him happiness in the future, and hopes that he continues to volunteer for many years to come.

Supported by: Emma Harper, Fulton MacGregor, David Torrance, Clare Haughey, Ruth Maguire, Bill Kidd, Joan McAlpine, Ash Denham, Stuart McMillan, Gillian Martin, Ben Macpherson, Gil Paterson, Ivan McKee

Current Status: Fallen on 09/05/2018
Appreciation of Rose Reilly of Newarthill Credit Union

That the Parliament celebrates the valued contribution made by Rose Reilly to the Newarthill Credit Union in the Uddingston and Bellshill constituency; notes that Rose has played a key part in the work of the credit union for over 40 years; understands that, having dedicated many decades of her life to volunteering, she has become a well-kent face who is highly regarded by local people, both in Newarthill and nearby; believes that local financial services in communities across Scotland could not deliver the work they do without the selfless volunteering by individuals such as Rose, and wishes her all the very best for the future and many years of continued volunteering.

Supported by: Emma Harper, Fulton MacGregor, David Torrance, Bill Kidd, Rona Mackay, Clare Haughey, Ruth Maguire, Monica Lennon, Joan McAlpine, Gillian Martin, Ash Denham, Ben Macpherson, Gil Paterson, Ivan McKee

Current Status: Fallen on 09/05/2018
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