Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 70/2008: Thursday 1 May 2008
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Contents An A B C D E F G H I J

Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Housing—

S3M-1812 David McLetchie: Housing—That the Parliament regrets the failure of the Scottish Government to actively pursue and promote housing stock transfer by local authorities to community-based housing associations and thereby obtain a debt write-off from HM Treasury of over £2 billion; believes that the role of social landlords is best undertaken by housing associations and other not-for-profit, co-operative bodies, and deplores the introduction of any further restrictions on the right to buy.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1812.2 Stewart Maxwell: Housing—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1812) in the name of David McLetchie, leave out from "regrets" to end and insert "respects the democratic right of tenants to determine the ownership of their homes; regrets that HM Treasury will only write off local authority housing debt where local authority housing stock is transferred; believes that housing associations and other not-for-profit, co-operative bodies continue to have the lead role in providing new social housing but welcomes the Scottish Government’s encouragement of local authorities to augment the supply of new social housing as part of their role as landlords, and endorses the Scottish Government’s plans to end the right to buy on new social housing and to review how right to buy applies to the existing stock of social housing."

S3M-1812.3 Johann Lamont: Housing—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1812) in the name of David McLetchie, leave out from "the failure" to end and insert "that, following the parliamentary debate on 20 March 2008, ministers have not yet reported to the Parliament on the future of the £2,000 first-time buyers grant, despite the Parliament agreeing that they should, regrets that ministers have not yet reported to the Parliament on how the Scottish Government plans to respond to the consultation on Firm Foundations which identified serious criticisms of the Scottish Government’s approach to housing; notes the critical role of housing associations and housing co-operatives in delivering affordable homes for rent; condemns the Minister for Communities and Sport for not yet announcing the allocation of Housing Association Grant, and reaffirms its view that the Scottish Government has no coherent housing strategy."

S3M-1812.1 Robert Brown: Housing—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1812) in the name of David McLetchie, leave out from "believes that" to end and insert "recognises that local councils are best placed to assess and meet varied local housing needs and to determine their local housing strategies; believes that the role of community-based housing associations and housing co-operatives is vital to such diverse local strategies which should also include the ability to mould right to buy policy to fit local needs, and calls on the Scottish Government to produce clear figures on its housing plans including the number of affordable rented houses to be built from 2008 to 2011."

followed by Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party Debate: Food Security—

S3M-1803 John Scott: Food Security—That the Parliament expresses its concern at the potential for global food shortages; notes the recent cost increases in many basic food products here in Scotland, with food price inflation now exceeding 6%; further notes that many developing countries are experiencing growing social unrest as a result of food pressures, and calls on the Scottish Government, Her Majesty’s Government, the European Union and other relevant bodies to work closely, and with the appropriate urgency, to seek solutions.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1803.1 Karen Gillon: Food Security—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1803) in the name of John Scott, insert at end "that take account of the growing pressures on agriculture from both climate change and the rush to biofuels".

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment to amendment

S3M-1803.1.1 Robin Harper: Food Security—As an amendment to amendment (S3M-1803.1) in the name of Karen Gillon, insert at end ", as well as the peak in oil production."

S3M-1803.2 Mike Rumbles: Food Security—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1803) in the name of John Scott, insert at end "recognises the role of Scotland’s primary producers in ensuring the long-term capacity and capability of our food supply; and further calls on the Scottish Government to encourage the development of local supply chains through public procurement, address the imbalance in power between the big supermarkets and our food producers, reduce the regulatory burden on farmers, and ensure that our primary producers operate on a level playing field with foreign competitors."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Andy Kerr: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it intends to abolish public private partnerships as a means of funding capital projects. (S3O-3134)

2. Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive how much funding the voluntary sector will receive in the 2008-09 financial year. (S3O-3131)

3. Robert Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what support is available to grandparents and other relatives who bring up children. (S3O-3099)

4. Withdrawn

5. Jackson Carlaw: To ask the Scottish Executive how and when it intends to commence planning appropriate celebrations in Scotland to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty the Queen in 2012. (S3O-3067)

6. Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to monitor the effect on the public of seeking out-of-hours access to public buildings which have been PFI or PPP funded. (S3O-3091)

7. Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish Executive what benefits it considers will accrue by paying for the New Southern General Hospital by traditional procurement methods. (S3O-3088)

8. Iain Gray: To ask the Scottish Executive what action it is taking to support Scotland’s tourism industry. (S3O-3130)

9. Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive what advice was offered by officials on the Clackmannanshire schools’ PPP project, in light of recent freedom of information disclosures on the equivalent Stirling project. (S3O-3074)

10. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will pass on Her Majesty’s Government’s Fuel Duty Rebate to bus operators in Scotland. (S3O-3117)

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Ms Wendy Alexander: To ask the First Minister what engagements he has planned for the rest of the day. (S3F-718)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Secretary of State for Scotland. (S3F-719)

3. Nicol Stephen: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-720)

4. Roseanna Cunningham: To ask the First Minister what action the Scottish Government will take to implement the recommendations of the Sutherland review of free personal care. (S3F-739)

5. Pauline McNeill: To ask the First Minister what steps the Scottish Government will take to resolve the funding situation at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to ensure that Scotland’s reputation for arts and culture remains of international standing. (S3F-726)

6. Jeremy Purvis: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government considers that its target for primary class-size reduction will be delivered during this parliamentary session. (S3F-727)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Health and Wellbeing

1. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made on making efficiency savings in its Health and Wellbeing portfolio. (S3O-3133)

2. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what its targets are for absence rates within the NHS and what efforts it is making to meet them. (S3O-3116)

3. Ted Brocklebank: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to extend the availability of Suboxone in the treatment of drug addicts. (S3O-3065)

4. Not Lodged

5. Liam McArthur: To ask the Scottish Executive what assessment it has made of the performance of NHS24 in meeting the needs of patients in remote and rural areas. (S3O-3102)

6. Bill Wilson: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of recent UK-wide research by the University of the West of Scotland which indicates that, contrary to reality, most students believe that their peers are smokers, thus revealing the potential for social norms interventions to reduce health-damaging behaviours. (S3O-3096)

7. Willie Coffey: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps are being taken to improve centrally available information on the number of patients diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. (S3O-3076)

8. Withdrawn

9. Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive what role local healthcare provision can play in building a healthier Scotland. (S3O-3075)

10. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has any plans to develop managed clinical networks for autism. (S3O-3105)

11. Jamie Stone: To ask the Scottish Executive how it plans to address the length of waiting lists to see dentists in the Highlands. (S3O-3112)

12. Margaret Mitchell: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken to address sickness absence rates in the NHS workforce. (S3O-3066)

13. Irene Oldfather: To ask the Scottish Executive what emphasis it places on improving the quality of care of elderly people in care homes. (S3O-3147)

14. Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it provides to health-based community radio stations. (S3O-3080)

15. Robin Harper: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will fully fund the upgrade of diving facilities at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, as indicated in People Place Passion, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games Candidate City File. (S3O-3097)

16. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive how it will support drug and alcohol misuse services in the north east. (S3O-3115)

17. Jackie Baillie: To ask the Scottish Executive to what extent it is meeting its target for building social rented housing. (S3O-3114)

18. Tom McCabe: To ask the Scottish Executive what progress has been made in implementing the commitments outlined in the Framework for Promotion, Prevention and Care. (S3O-3138)

19. Helen Eadie: To ask the Scottish Executive what specific targets have been set to increase the proportion of national wealth held by the six lowest income deciles. (S3O-3123)

20. Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive how much it has invested in housing in the Linlithgow parliamentary constituency in the last year. (S3O-3145)

2.55 pm Scottish Government Debate: Impact of the UK Budget on Scotland—

S3M-1814 John Swinney: The Impact of the UK Budget on Scotland—That the Parliament is disappointed with some of the decisions taken in the 2008 UK Budget and their damaging impact on the Scottish economy and households; in particular regrets that action was not taken to reverse the 2007 decision to abolish the 10p tax rate; notes with concern the increase in the small companies’ rate of corporation tax; believes that the blanket approach taken in setting alcohol duty is too simplistic and does not address the wider social and health issues around alcohol; regrets that the measures aimed at tackling fuel poverty are insufficient, and further regrets the lack of appropriate measures to moderate the impact of rising fuel prices.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-1814.1 Derek Brownlee: The Impact of the UK Budget on Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1814) in the name of John Swinney, insert at end " notes with concern the decision to abolish Capital Gains Tax taper relief, and believes that the increase in spirits duty will needlessly damage the Scotch Whisky industry."

S3M-1814.2 Liam McArthur: The Impact of the UK Budget on Scotland—As an amendment to motion (S3M-1814) in the name of John Swinney, after "10p tax rate", insert "deplores the continued failure of the UK Government to provide an adequate package of measures to help families affected by the falling housing market and the absence of sufficient budget provision for the alleviation of child poverty".

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions—

S3M-1820 Bruce Crawford on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Committee Membership—That the Parliament agrees that—

Charlie Gordon be appointed to replace Claire Baker as a member of the Audit Committee;

Richard Baker be appointed to replace Michael McMahon as a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee;

Patricia Ferguson be appointed to replace John Park as a member of the European and External Relations Committee; and

Jackie Baillie be appointed to replace Richard Baker as a member of the Subordinate Legislation Committee.

S3M-1821 Bruce Crawford on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Substitution on Committees—That the Parliament agrees that—

Claire Baker be appointed to replace Richard Baker as the Scottish Labour Party substitute on the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee;

John Park be appointed to replace Claire Baker as the Scottish Labour Party substitute on the Equal Opportunities Committee; and

Richard Baker be appointed to replace John Park as the Scottish Labour Party substitute on the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee.

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-1710 Elaine Smith: Remember the Dead, Fight for the Living—That the Parliament recognises the importance of International Workers Memorial Day (IWMD) held on 28 April each year; considers that the official slogan "remember the dead, fight for the living" is particularly apposite and helps to ensure that all those who have died as a result of work are not forgotten whilst at the same time encourages renewed efforts to ensure that such tragedies are not repeated; welcomes events around Scotland to commemorate this important day and, in particular, the unveiling of the North Lanarkshire Workers Memorial at Summerlee Heritage Park in Coatbridge; encourages relevant authorities to fly official flags on public buildings at half mast; hopes that all workplaces will observe a one-minute silence at 12 noon on 28 April 2008; commends the STUC and the trade unions for their work in building trade union organisation and campaigning for stricter enforcement with higher penalties for breaches of health and safety laws to help in the struggle for safer workplaces, and supports the call for recognition of IWMD as a national day of remembrance for those who have been killed, injured, or made ill by their work.

Contents An A B C D E F G H I J