Last Chance for Public to Have Say on Organ Donation Bill

Dave no colours

Glasgow MSP Anne McTaggart has called on people across the country to give their views on her proposal to introduce a ‘soft opt-out’ system of organ donation in Scotland.

Ms McTaggart made her calls ahead of the closing of the Scottish Parliament’s Health and Sport Committee’s call for evidence on Monday (12th October).
The Committee is seeking the public’s views on Ms McTaggart’s proposal to significantly change the law on organ donation in Scotland.

The Bill proposes to amend the current ‘opt-in’ system of organ donation, whereby those wishing to become a donor are encouraged to add their name to the NHS Organ Donation Register. Ms McTaggart’s proposals would mean that unless an adult had expressed an objection and ‘opted-out’ of the organ donation register, then their organ and tissue could be removed posthumously.

Currently, despite 90% of people supporting organ donation, less than half of Scotland’s population is registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Following the collection and analysis of submissions, the Bill will be scrutinised by both the Finance Committee and the Health and Sport Committee at the Scottish Parliament in the coming months.

Ms McTaggart’s Bill has the support of a host of charities and medical organisations including the British Heart Foundation, the British Medical Association, the Scottish Kidney Federation, and the Scottish Youth Parliament.

Ms McTaggart said: “It’s really important that the public provide their views on a proposal as important as this. Moving to a ‘soft opt-out’ system has the potential so save thousands of lives and will bring about a real cultural shift on how we view organ donation in this country.

“While I have applauded the work the Scottish Government has done in increasing the number of people registered on the organ donation register in Scotland in recent years, the truth is that Scotland is now the worst performing part of the UK in terms of donation rates.

“The recent NHSBT Activity Report for 2014/15 shows that donation rates fell by 3% in Scotland, with 5% less people receiving a transplant.

“For me the bottom line is that our current situation is not working; three people die every single day across the UK in need of a transplant. The available evidence shows that this move would help save these lives and prevent families going through the heartache of losing a loved one. Wales are introducing a ‘soft opt-out’ system in December and other countries around the world have been operating this system for decades.

“It’s about time Scotland did the same.”


NHSBT Organ Donation and Transplantation Activity Report 2014/15
British Medical Association:
“Up to 90% of people support organ donation but less than half of Scotland’s population is registered on the NHS Organ Donor Register.”
Health and Sport Committee call for evidence.

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A Night of Scottish Musicians at Holyrood

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I was pleased to host ‘A Night of Scottish Musicians in Holyrood’ at The Scottish Parliament last night (Wednesday 7th October).

The event aimed to encourage more support from Holyrood for young musicians in Scotland and was held in partnership with UK Music.

There were two fantastic performances from Laura Riganti and the Edinburgh School Rock Ensemble.

It was great to have my Scottish Labour Party colleague Claire Baker MSP at the event and I’d like to wish both acts all the best in the future.

You can find out more about UK Music here

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Anne McTaggart MSP Speaks in Refugee Crisis Debate

“I thank James Dornan for securing the time in the chamber to debate what has become Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the second world war. The whole country is moved by this on-going crisis. People are taking desperate measures to cross the Mediterranean from places such as Syria and Libya, and more than 2,700 lives have been lost so far this year in unsuccessful missions to reach Europe in order to seek asylum or refuge.

“I am proud that residents in my region, Glasgow, are doing what they can to help. Glasgow has the largest population of asylum seekers outside London. Glasgow’s record on providing refuge is the result of the great work of charities and other organisations across the city and of Glasgow City Council.

“As I mentioned in the debate that we had a couple of weeks ago, Glasgow City Council has provided homes to 55 Syrians who have fled the war in their home country. It has also agreed to take in more and outlined its belief that that is the right thing to do. I was delighted to see the success of the Glasgow sees Syria event in George Square, which included drop-off points for food donations from members of the public, and to hear the council’s leader, Frank McAveety, call on the Government to accept more refugees. The University of Glasgow is also to be congratulated on introducing a series of measures to support refugee students, including fee waivers and the extension of its talent scholarship scheme to support refugee undergraduate and postgraduate students.

“However, we need to do more. We need to do more as UK citizens and as European citizens. The European Union was founded on the values of respect for human dignity and the protection of human rights. Therefore, we need to establish an agreement between the European member states and take more positive measures to tackle the crisis of people putting their lives at risk to get to Europe. We also need to address the plight of those who are suffering in Calais and those who are displaced in their own countries.

“Earlier this week, the President of the European Council spoke at the UN General Assembly to give reassurance that Europe is as committed to its values and objectives now as it has ever been. Every one of us needs to ensure that we are committed to those values and objectives as members of the European Union.

“However, the issue is a shared responsibility among all states, as no single country can solve a crisis of this scale. The responsibility to solve the crisis does not lie just with Europe. It is a global crisis that requires a global response. The international community must come together to provide a global response to the on-going refugee crisis, as we cannot turn our backs on people who are seeking refuge from war in their home countries.”

– See more at:

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Anne McTaggart Congratulates Holyrood Rocks Glasgow Heat Winners


Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart has congratulated Single by Sunday, the winners of the Holyrood Rocks Glasgow heat.

Ms McTaggart attended the event which took place on Thursday 2nd October at the St Lukes music and art venue in the Calton area of the city.

Single by Sunday beat off competition from The Static Union and Katie Doyle to win the heat and will now represent Glasgow at the National Final which will take place on 31st October (you can find out more about the event and register for tickets here).

Ms McTaggart said “I was delighted to be able to attend the Glasgow Heat of Holyrood Rocks and I’d like to offer my congratulations to the three fantastic acts who performed, especially Single by Sunday who will now represent the city at the National Final. It’s vitally important that we get more young people involved in the democratic process and in the arts so I’m really pleased with the success of the Holyrood Rocks initiative.”

Holyrood Rocks aims to :

• Encourage every 16 – 25 year old to vote in the upcoming elections.
• Promote young people’s participation across the artistic spectrum.
• Raise awareness of the abundance of career opportunities available in Scotland across the creative industries.
• Emphasise the importance and value that the creative industries brings to Scotland’s economy.
• Promote active citizenship, respect and tolerance amongst young people, irrespective of social, ethnic or economic background.

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Growth of the Hospitality Industry in Glasgow

Motion S4M-14337: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 22/09/2015

That the Parliament congratulates the city of Glasgow on becoming what it understands is the fastest-growing city in Scotland for new bar and restaurant openings in the last 12 months, as well as the fifth quickest riser in the British hospitality industry; considers that the rise in the number of eating and drinking outlets in Glasgow comes as the city is increasingly been favoured by national operators owing to the vibrancy of the eating and drinking scene as well as its status as a destination for business conferences and tourists; believes that demand for restaurants and hotels has been boosted by the emergence of major music and events venues such as the SSE Hydro, which has given a massive fillip to the sector in the Finnieston area, and considers that this recognition will promote and enhance the hospitality industry in Glasgow, boost the local economy and do so for many years to come.

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Anne McTaggart MSP Promotes the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) with Ofgem

Promoting the ECO at Holyrood

Promoting the ECO at Holyrood

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart last week visited the Ofgem stand at the Scottish Parliament to find out more about the Energy Company Obligation (ECO).

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a government scheme to obligate larger suppliers to deliver energy efficiency measures to domestic premises in Britain.

ECO has three obligations:

  1. Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation
    Under the Carbon Emissions Reduction Obligation, obligated suppliers must promote ‘primary measures’, including roof and wall insulation and connections to district heating systems. Other ‘secondary measures’, which improve the insulating properties of a premises can also be installed at the same premises as primary measures.
  2. Carbon Saving Community Obligation
    Under the Carbon Saving Community Obligation, obligated suppliers must promote insulation measures and connections to district heating systems in areas of low income. The CSCO target has a sub-obligation, which requires that at least 15% of a supplier’s CSCO must be achieved by promoting measures to low income and vulnerable households in rural areas or deprived rural areas.
  3. Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation
    Under the Home Heating Cost Reduction Obligation, obligated suppliers must promote measures which improve the ability of low income and vulnerable households (the ‘affordable warmth group’) to heat their homes. This includes actions that result in heating savings, such as the replacement or repair of a boiler.

You can find out more information about the ECO here.

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Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in Holyrood in Aid of Breast Cancer Now

Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Scotland's MSP's Wear it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Anne McTaggart MSP Wears it Pink in support of Breast Cancer Now

Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart MSP has shown her support for women with breast cancer by dressing up in pink and encouraging Glaswegians to take part in Breast Cancer Now’s flagship fundraiser, wear it pink, on Friday 23rd October.

Wear it pink, the UK’s biggest pink fundraiser, calls on supporters across the country to ditch the day-to-day colours and pull on some pink to raise money for Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving breast cancer research.

Anne McTaggart MSP joined fellow parliamentarians in wearing it pink in Holyrood this week to encourage people across Scotland to get involved. Now in its 14th year, wear it pink raises over £2 million each year for world-class research into breast cancer, and this year it is back and bigger, brighter and bolder than ever before.

Anyone can take part, whether in school, at work or at home. All you have to do is wear something pink and donate whatever you can.

Anne McTaggart MSP said:

“Right now breast cancer is at a tipping point. Every year in Scotland around 4,600 women are diagnosed with breast cancer, and sadly nearly 1,000 people still lose their lives to the disease. This is why we all must come together to support Breast Cancer Now’s cutting-edge research, and, in wear it pink, there is a fun and simple way for everyone to get involved.

“Together, we can make a big difference for women with breast cancer, now and in the future; I hope everyone in the local community will join me in wearing it pink on Friday 23 October and show their support for Breast Cancer Now.”

Launched in June 2015 with the ambition of ensuring that no one dies from the disease by 2050, Breast Cancer Now is the UK’s largest breast cancer charity, created by the merger of Breast Cancer Campaign and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

This is a day when we stand out, stand together and stand for something: wear it pink on Friday 23 October to support Breast Cancer Now’s life-saving research.

For more information or to register for wear it pink visit

For more information on Breast Cancer Now’s work, visit or follow them on Twitter or on Facebook.


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