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EO/S3/08/R2

2nd Report, 2008 (Session 3)

Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities: Review of Progress

Contents  

Remit and membership
Report
Introduction
Progress on recommendations    

Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities                         
Review of progress
Follow-up work by the Equal Opportunities Committee
Issues for other committees

Conclusions

ANNEXE A: EXTRACT FROM MINUTES

ANNEXE B: ORAL EVIDENCE AND ASSOCIATED WRITTEN EVIDENCE

The Committee took oral evidence from the witnesses listed below on the dates shown.  Some of these witnesses provided written evidence in advance of the meeting in question; some also provided supplementary written evidence afterwards.  This oral and associated written evidence can be found in the electronic links below.

18 December 2007 (9th Meeting, Session 3 (2007))

Oral Evidence

Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport

Supplementary Written Evidence

Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport (973KB pdf)

26 February 2008 (3rd Meeting, Session 3 (2008))

Oral Evidence

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning

Supplementary Written Evidence

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning (142KB pdf)

11 March 2008 (4th Meeting, Session 3 (2008))

Written Evidence

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (118KB pdf)

Oral Evidence

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth

Supplementary Written Evidence

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (1, 594KB pdf)

Other Written Evidence Received from the Scottish Government

Linda Fabiani MSP, Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture (70KB pdf)

ANNEXE C: OTHER WRITTEN EVIDENCE

Before taking evidence from the Scottish Government, the Committee wrote to relevant organisations asking how they intended to implement the recommendations that apply to their work. The responses that were received can be found in the electronic links below.

Association of Scotland’s Colleges (57KB pdf)
Ayr College (113KB pdf)
Banff and Buchan College of Further Education (178KB pdf)
Careers Scotland (216KB pdf)
Central College of Commerce  (59KB pdf)
Cinema Exhibitors Association (45KB pdf)
Clydebank College (68KB pdf)
Cumbernauld College (119KB pdf)
Dundee College (122KB pdf)
Edinburgh College of Art (48KB pdf)
Edinburgh’s Telford College (197KB pdf)
Elmwood College (220KB pdf)
Federation of Small Businesses Scotland (76KB pdf)
First Group (139KB pdf)
Forth Valley College (167KB pdf)
Glasgow College of Nautical Studies (122KB pdf)
Glasgow Metropolitan College (144KB pdf)
Glasgow School of Art (64KB pdf)
Heriot-Watt University (211KB pdf)
Highlands and Islands Enterprise (75KB pdf)
Historic Scotland (55KB pdf)
Jewel and Esk Valley College (111KB pdf)
John Wheatley College (95KB pdf)
Learning and Teaching Scotland (50KB pdf)
Lothian Buses PLC (79KB pdf)
Moray College (60KB pdf)
Motherwell College (215KB pdf)
National Express Group PLC (72KB pdf)
North Glasgow College (101KB pdf)
Northlink Ferries (100KB pdf)
OCPAS (100KB pdf)
Reid Kerr College (180KB pdf)
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (49KB pdf)
Scottish Accessible Information Forum (76KB pdf)
Scottish Agricultural College (101KB pdf)
Scottish Disability Equality Forum (92KB pdf)
Scottish Enterprise (145KB pdf)
Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council (151KB pdf)
Scottish Qualifications Authority (111KB pdf)
Scottish Retail Consortium (52KB pdf)
sportscotland (125KB pdf)
Stagecoach Group (49KB pdf)
Stevenson College (59KB pdf)
Stow College (151KB pdf)
Strathclyde Passenger Transport (168KB pdf)
Student Awards Agency for Scotland (96KB pdf)
Transport Scotland (156KB pdf)
Universities Scotland (184KB pdf)
University of Abertay (119KB pdf)
University of Dundee (41KB pdf)
University of Glasgow (49KB pdf)
University of Paisley (69KB pdf)
University of Stirling (52KB pdf)
University of Strathclyde (56KB pdf)
VisitScotland (148KB pdf)
West Lothian College (62KB pdf)

Remit and membership

Remit:

The remit of the Equal Opportunities Committee is to consider and report on matters relating to equal opportunities and upon the observance of equal opportunities within the parliament.

(Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament, Rule 6.9)

Membership:

Richard Baker
Marlyn Glen
Bill Kidd
Margaret Mitchell (Convener)
Hugh O'Donnell
Elaine Smith (Deputy Convener)
Sandra White
Bill Wilson

Committee Clerking Team:

Clerk to the Committee
Terry Shevlin

Assistant Clerk
Roy McMahon

Support Manager
Sam Currie

Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities: Review of Progress

The Committee reports to the Parliament as follows—

introduction

1. At its meeting on 11 September 2007, the Committee agreed to monitor the Scottish Government's implementation of the recommendations in the session two Equal Opportunities Committee’s disability inquiry report, Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities (“the report”).  Specifically, the Committee agreed to take further oral evidence from the relevant cabinet secretaries and ministers in the new Scottish Government on the recommendations which fall within their respective portfolios1.

2. In order to inform this process, the Committee wrote to various organisations named in the report to ask how they intended to implement any recommendations of relevance to them and to invite them to provide any information that would assist the Committee in scrutinising the Scottish Government.  The Committee received 56 written submissions from these organisations.

3. The Committee subsequently took oral evidence from Stewart Maxwell, the Minister for Communities and Sport, on 18 December 2007; from Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, on 26 February 2008; and from John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, on 11 March 2008.

4. In addition, the Committee received written evidence from Linda Fabiani, the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, on the recommendations within her portfolio, and from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in relation to specific recommendations on physical access.  Supplementary written evidence was also received from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and the Minister for Communities and Sport.

5. The Committee would like to thank all those who provided written and oral evidence.

progress on recommendations

Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities

6. The former Equal Opportunities Committee launched its disability inquiry on 22 June 2004 and published its report on 28 November 2006.  The report is available on the Scottish Parliament’s website.  

7. Originally, the former Equal Opportunities Committee agreed to consider the barriers faced by disabled people in accessing work, further and higher education, and leisure.  It became clear during the course of the inquiry that there were other cross-cutting issues – attitudes towards disabled people, transport, information and physical access – which also merited consideration.  These issues were also therefore included in the report.

8. In undertaking its inquiry, the former Equal Opportunities Committee considered a very large amount of evidence and tried to ensure that the views of disabled people were taken into account at all times.  For example, eight consultation events were held across Scotland so that the Committee could hear from as many disabled peopleas possible, while members heard evidence at 17 formal committee meetings.

Review of progress

9. The Committee considers that Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities is one of the most in-depth and comprehensive reports produced by a committee of the Scottish Parliament, in terms of the issues covered, the range of recommendations made and the breadth of evidence that informed its findings.

10. While the previous Scottish Executive provided a very detailed response to the report, the Committee was very keen to establish the new Scottish Government’s position, in order to ensure that it is actually implementing the recommendations for which it has primary responsibility.  While it is relatively unusual for committees to follow up reports in this manner, the Committee considers that this kind of working is necessary to hold the Scottish Government to account and to ensure that such an important report is not simply overlooked. 

11. Having said that, the Committee does not provide in this update a detailed commentary on the progress that has been made on every one of the 156 recommendations in the report.  In questioning Scottish Ministers, the Committee recognised that many of the recommendations were complex, may require longer-term solutions and were not always directed at the Scottish Government.

12. The Committee also recognised that trying to provide an in-depth update on every recommendation could have meant having to re-run parts of the inquiry, which would not have been practical given our other commitments.

13. The Committee is clear that its proper role at this point is to maintain momentum, by holding the Scottish Government to account on the progress that it has made and by encouraging other interested parties, including other committees of the Scottish Parliament, to do the same. 

14. Therefore, this report provides a broad update on how the Committee considers that the Scottish Government has performed in implementing those recommendations for which it is responsible.

15. From the outset, the Committee would like to make clear that it is broadly content with the progress that is being made by the Scottish Government.  The Committee also highlights the fact that there were no occasions during the follow-up review when a Scottish Government minister rejected any recommendation made by the former Equal Opportunities Committee.  Members appreciate the genuine commitment being shown by the Scottish Government to removing barriers and creating opportunities for disabled people.

The Committee’s approach

16. There are two ways in which the Committee aims to ensure that the progress that has been made so far is not lost.  First, paragraphs 19-31 highlight certain key issues on which the Committee will seek further updates from the Scottish Government, once sufficient time has elapsed to allow its policy to develop and be implemented.  Within these paragraphs the Committee also highlights specific, short-term issues where it requests immediate clarification and clear timetables from the Scottish Government.

17. Second, paragraphs 32-44 highlight issues that the Committee will refer to other committees of the Parliament.  As the report covered such a diverse range of topics, the Committee believes that the involvement of other committees, which have relevant subject expertise, is a crucial means of ensuring that specific issues are given the further consideration they merit.  This will help to establish a ‘joined-up’ approach to holding the Scottish Government to account.

18. To help readers of this review of progress, references to the relevant recommendations in the former Equal Opportunities Committee’s report have been provided.

Follow-up work by the Equal Opportunities Committee

Framework for supported employment in Scotland

19. One of the most detailed set of recommendations in the report concerns the issue of a framework for supported employment (recommendations 24 – 35).  In relation to these recommendations, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning stated:

“We worked with the Scottish Union for Supported Employment to develop a blueprint for supported employment. We recognised that quality standards are an important component of that and we are working with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities on how to proceed.”2

20. The cabinet secretary has since confirmed to the Committee that a Supported Employment Task Group has been established, to help develop the supported employment framework.

21. Members are pleased to note that progress has been made on this key issue.  The Committee understands that the first meeting of the Task Group will take place on 16 June and the Committee’s disability reporter has agreed to sit on that group and report back accordingly.

Independent Living Agenda

22. The report recommended that the Scottish Executive (as the Scottish Government was then known) take action on independent living as a matter of urgency (recommendation 4).

23. In oral evidence, the Minister for Communities and Sport stated that the Scottish Government strongly supported progressing independent living for disabled people in Scotland and that he intended to make a relevant announcement in January 20083.  Members note with regret that, to date, this announcement has not been made.

24. Therefore, the Committee calls on the minister to make an announcement on independent living as soon as possible.  Once he has done so, the Committee will consider whether there is any further action that it wishes to take.

Attitudes – disability equality training

25. The former Equal Opportunities Committee commissioned research into the provision of disability equality training and made a set of detailed recommendations about the provision of such training (recommendation 94).

26. The Minister for Communities and Sport explained that a group of disability-led organisations had been established in August 2007 to develop thinking on disability equality training, and that further work on the development of standards and accreditation for such training was to be carried out by a wider group of organisations in 20084.

27. The Committee highlights the fact that, halfway through 2008, it is not aware of any such work having been carried out.  The Committee therefore requests a report from the minister on the progress that has been made to date.  Members will then be able to decide whether to carry out any further scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s activity in this area.

Attitudes – campaign to tackle negative attitudes

28. The report contains detailed recommendations (recommendations 95, 96, 97) for a long-term, strategic campaign aimed at tackling negative attitudes towards disabled people, for which the Scottish Executive would set long-term objectives, and provide funding and co-ordination.

29. In evidence, the Minister for Communities and Sport stated:

“The principle that I want to establish is that it is best for Government to work in partnership with existing organisations, which undertake many campaigns on their own. … I want to explore how we can best assist and work alongside them in doing that, instead of having a separate Government campaign.” 5

30. Members request further detail from the minister on the organisations that he has now contacted in relation to such campaigns and any progress that has been made.  The Committee will then be able to determine whether the minister’s approach – which differs from the Committee’s recommendation – is having the desired effect.

Access to information

31. There are three other areas, all of which come under the broad heading of ‘access to information’, where members are concerned that relevant timetables are met.  The Committee therefore requests further information from the minister on any progress that has been made on the following issues:

  • In relation to recommendation 130, on the provision of transcription services, the minister said that an implementation group was finalising a national strategy which would be consulted on in early 20086.  The Committee believes that the results of this consultation should now be available and requests an immediate update from the Scottish Government.

  • In relation to recommendation 131, evidence was provided that the BSL and Linguistic Access Working Group was about to finalise its strategic road map, which would help the Scottish Government and other organisations to improve performance on linguistic access7The Committee looks forward to receiving an update from the Scottish Government on the progress that the working group has made.

  • The minister said that there would be no progress on recommendation 139, concerning good practice in the provision of accessible information across Scotland, until a decision had been made on grant funding for the Scottish Accessible Information Forum8The Committee believes that such an important decision should have been made by now and requires confirmation of this from the Scottish Government.

Issues for other committees

32. As noted, various issues arose during the Committee’s review of progress that the Committee believes could be followed-up by other committees.  Many of these issues relate to ongoing work – studies, reviews, etc – that is being carried out by or for the Scottish Government.  Committees could, in the first instance, request to be kept informed by the Scottish Government of when this work has been completed and then decide whether there is more in-depth action that they could take. 

33. In referring issues to other committees, the Committee has noted the appropriate recommendation in the former Equal Opportunities Committee’s report and provided a link to any relevant evidence provided by the Scottish Government.

34. While the Committee appreciates that it is for other committees to determine their own workload, the Equal Opportunities Committee believes that highlighting specific issues to them will help to ensure co-ordinated scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s approach to disability issues, which is consistent with the Scottish Parliament’s commitment to mainstreaming equal opportunities.

35. The Committee would like to highlight the fact that recommendation 128 in the report – which invited the Scottish Executive to review the resourcing of the Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland (MACS) – was superseded during the course of this review of progress.

36. Representatives of disability groups contacted the Committee in April, to highlight their concerns about the proposed amalgamation of MACS with the Public Transport Users' Committee.  At the time of writing this review of progress, the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee was the Scottish Parliament Committee that was to consider the subordinate legislation that relates to this amalgamation.

37. The Equal Opportunities Committee agreed to write to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth in order to raise with him the concerns that had been raised by disability groups about the proposed amalgamation of MACS.  The Committee then forwarded the cabinet secretary’s response to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee, so that it would be better informed when it came to consider the relevant subordinate legislation. 

38. The Equal Opportunities Committee believes that this approach is a good example of ensuring that disability issues are not simply seen as our responsibility but can be incorporated, as appropriate, into the work of other parliamentary committees.

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee

39. The Committee highlights the following issues, which were raised with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, to the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee:

  • Concerns were expressed in the report that some students were being required to pay for assessments to confirm impairments which had already been accepted by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (recommendation 51).  A sub-group of the disabled student stakeholder group has been set up to examine the issue and to make recommendations to the Scottish Government9This is an area of particular concern to the Equal Opportunities Committee.

  • The Scottish Government is carrying out a review of the Disabled Students Allowance for higher education students as a result of feedback from a disabled stakeholders group10 (recommendation 57).

  • In relation to partnership working between the further and higher education sector, the Scottish Funding Council has commissioned Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Education to review school-college partnerships to make recommendations for improvement and practice11 (recommendations 42 and 43).

  • In relation to the availability of residential training, the Scottish Funding Council has commissioned the BRITE initiative to undertake a mapping study to examine whether further education provision is required, particularly for young people with complex needs12 (recommendation 13).

  • The BRITE mapping exercise is also relevant to recommendation 64, which was concerned with ensuring that barriers, such as those presented by “pretendy” courses, are removed13.

  • An evaluation of cultural pathfinder projects – which focus on the needs of different parts of society, including disabled people, who are known to be under-represented in terms of cultural participation – is being undertaken, with a report expected in 2008 (recommendation 76) 14.

Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee

40. The Committee highlights the following issues, which were raised with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee:

  • The cabinet secretary said that he would reserve his position on whether the need for Regional Transport Partnerships to provide equality impact assessments should be enshrined in legislation (recommendation 106) until the Scottish Government could evaluate their performance.  He also said that if the performance was felt to be poor, the Scottish Government could create a statutory duty15.

  • The cabinet secretary said that demand-responsive transport was an issue for local government but that the Scottish Government would continue to support it through dialogue with local authorities (recommendation 119)16.  

  • A major review of the Scottish Government’s concessionary travel scheme is planned for the current financial year (recommendation 121)17 

  • There is a 10-year programme underway on the accessibility of Scotland’s railway stations (recommendations 109-10)18 

Local Government and Communities Committee

41. The Committee highlights the following issue, which was raised with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, to the Local Government and Communities Committee:

  • The report recommended that all planning applications for, at the very least, public buildings be required to be accompanied by an access statement outlining how access will be maximised for disabled people.  The Scottish Government has published proposals for those planning applications which would be required to be accompanied by a design and / or access statement plus the form and content of any such statement.  A formal public consultation in this area was scheduled to close in early April 2008 (recommendation 142)19.

Health and Sport Committee

42. The Committee highlights the following issue, which was raised with the Minister for Communities and Sport, to the Health and Sport Committee:

  • The report suggested that targets for disabled people’s participation in sport should be reviewed in the future, with a view to making them comparable with those set for non-disabled people (recommendation 80).  The Minister pointed out that as participation rates for all adults in Scotland had shown a decline between 2001 and 2006, the current targets were a very real challenge20This Committee asks that the Health and Sport Committee consider this issue as part of its Pathways into Sport inquiry.

Health and Sport Committee and the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee

43. The Committee highlights the following issue, which was raised with the Minister for Communities and Sport, to the Health and Sport Committee and the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee:

  • The Minister agreed that the Scottish Government would commission research into the different types of funding available to sport and cultural organisations, with a view to identifying how to make it sustainable in order to ensure equal service provision for disabled people (recommendation 86)21The Committee asks that the Health and Sport Committee and the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee consider the research findings, when published, as part of their scrutiny of the Scottish Government’s 2009-10 Draft Budget.

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee

44. The Committee highlights the following issue, which was raised with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, to the Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee:

  • Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) is planning joint activity with the Highland employer coalition to promote the employability of disabled people.  HIE and Scottish Enterprise are both involved in the equality matters in business project.  The Scottish Government will evaluate the work that has been undertaken to assess its effectiveness and determine what difference it has made in helping to address the challenges that individuals face (recommendation 15)22.

Conclusions

45. In this short review of progress, the Committee has made clear its ongoing commitment to removing barriers and creating opportunities for disabled people.  The Committee hopes that this update will enable all those who participated in the former Equal Opportunities Committee’s inquiry to see the progress that has been made and what remains to be done.

46. The Committee notes the progress that the Scottish Government is making in implementing those recommendations for which it has responsibility and welcomes the consensual approach that has developed between the Committee and the Scottish Government. 

47. The Committee has highlighted issues where there is still work to be done by the Scottish Government and members look forward to receiving specific updates on progress and timetables in due course. 

48. The Committee also recognises that the input of other committees of the Parliament will be vital in ensuring that the report is implemented in full.  The Equal Opportunities Committee invites them to consider how they can play a role in supporting its work and ensuring that there is more co-ordinated scrutiny of the Scottish Government.

ANNEXE A: EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES OF THE EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES COMMITTEE

9th Meeting, 2007 (Session 3), Tuesday 18 December 2007

Disability inquiry: The Committee took evidence on the recommendations made in the report Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities, published by the Equal Opportunities Committee in session 2 of the Parliament, from—

Stewart Maxwell MSP, Minister for Communities and Sport, Yvonne Strachan, Head of the Equality Unit and Hilary Third, Team Leader, Equality Unit, Scottish Government.

3rd Meeting, 2008 (Session 3), Tuesday 26 February 2008

Disability inquiry: The Committee took evidence on the recommendations made in the report Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities, published by the Equal Opportunities Committee in session 2 of the Parliament, from—

Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning, Victoria Beattie, Senior Policy Executive, Residency & Supplementary Student Support Team, Liz Catterson, Learning Disabilities Co-ordinator and Joseph Dowd, Development Manager, Workforce Plus Team, Scottish Government.

4th Meeting, 2008 (Session 3), Tuesday 11 March 2008

Disability inquiry: The Committee took evidence on the recommendations made in the report Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities, published by the Equal Opportunities Committee in session 2 of the Parliament, from—

John Swinney MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth.

5thMeeting, 2008 (Session 3),  Tuesday 25 March 2008

Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to consider in private at its next meeting the evidence it has taken on the recommendations made in the report Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities.

6th Meeting, 2008 (Session 3), Tuesday 22 April 2008

Disability inquiry (in private): The Committee considered a paper on the evidence it has taken on the recommendations made in the report Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities.

8thMeeting, 2008 (Session 3), Tuesday 20 May 2008

Decision on taking business in private: The Committee agreed to consider in private at future meetings a draft report on the evidence it has taken in relation to the report Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities, published by the Equal Opportunities Committee in session 2 of the Parliament.

9th Meeting, 2008 (Session 3), Tuesday 3 June 200

Disability inquiry (in private): The Committee agreed a draft report on the evidence it has taken in relation to the report Removing Barriers and Creating Opportunities, published by the Equal Opportunities Committee in Session 2 of the Parliament.


Footnotes:

1The report contains 156 recommendations.  While most of these are directed at the Scottish Government, others are directed at universities, transport providers, the media, etc.

2Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 26 February 2008, Col 289.

3Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 18 December 2007, Cols 188-9.

4Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 18 December 2007, Cols 196-197.

5Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 18 December 2007, Col 198.

6Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 18 December 2007, Col 199.

7Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 18 December 2007, Col 200.

8Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 18 December 2007, Col 206.

9Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 26 February 2008, Col 313.

10Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 26 February 2008, Col 288.

11Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 26 February 2008, Col 306.

12Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 26 February 2008, Cols 294-5.

13Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 26 February 2008, Col 317.

14Scottish Government. Letter from the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture to the Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee dated 5 March 2008.

15Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 11 March 2008, Col 358.

16Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 11 March 2008, Col 363.

17Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 11 March 2008, Col 363.

18Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 11 March 2008, Col 360.

19Scottish Government. Letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth to the Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee dated 4 March 2008.

20Scottish Government. Letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth to the Convener of the Equal Opportunities Committee dated 4 March 2008.

21Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 18 December 2007, Col 196.

22Scottish Parliament Equal Opportunities Committee. Official Report, 11 March 2008, Col 348.