Back to the Scottish Parliament Business Bulletin No. 153/2008: Thursday 30 October 2008
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Section A – Today’s Business

Meeting of the Parliament

9.15 am Parliamentary Bureau Motions

followed by Scottish Liberal Democrats Debate: A Helping Hand with the Rising Cost of Living—

S3M-2780 Jeremy Purvis: A Helping Hand with the Rising Cost of Living—That the Parliament notes with grave concern the rise in the cost of living and the impact of the credit crunch on families, individuals and small businesses in Scotland; believes that the Scottish Government should use the substantial levers at its disposal to give practical help; disagrees with the policy stated in the Draft Budget 2009-10 that "the Scottish Government will not use the existing tax varying powers in 2009-10", and believes that all parties should work to secure a 2p reduction in the basic rate of Scottish income tax, which would deliver more than £300 per year into the pay packet of the average Scottish earner and a significant fiscal stimulus to the economy.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendment

S3M-2780.1 John Swinney: A Helping Hand with the Rising Cost of Living—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2780) in the name of Jeremy Purvis, leave out from first "believes" to end and insert "agrees that the Scottish Government should use all of the levers at its disposal to give practical help; calls on the Liberal Democrats to set out in detail the £800 million of cuts to public services that they would make to fund their proposal on income tax and believes that until these cuts are identified and are open to scrutiny the Liberal Democrats and their proposal have no credibility, and further believes that, as part of the forthcoming budget process, the Liberal Democrats should bring forward detailed proposals of where they believe cuts should be made."

followed by Scottish Liberal Democrats Debate: The Importance of HBOS to the Scottish Economy and Jobs—

S3M-2779 Tavish Scott: The Importance of HBOS to the Scottish Economy and Jobs—That the Parliament gives a general welcome to the measures taken by the UK and other governments to tackle the current banking crisis; considers, however, that the recapitalisation plans announced by HM Treasury in October 2008 have fundamentally changed the landscape under which competition rules were waived to enable a merger between Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS); further considers that inconsistent statements have come from the UK Treasury about whether or not the banks would independently have access to the recapitalisation funds; believes that this ambiguity is not serving anyone’s interests in the present environment; further believes that losing HBOS corporate headquarters and jobs in Edinburgh would seriously jeopardise the city’s position as a financial centre; sees no reason why HBOS should not be able to access UK Treasury recapitalisation and, therefore, liquidity funding on the same independent basis as other major banks, and, with this in mind, considers it a very real possibility that an independent HBOS solution could be found that may well be in the best interests of shareholders, employees, customers and the Scottish economy at large.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-2779.1 Derek Brownlee: The Importance of HBOS to the Scottish Economy and Jobs—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2779) in the name of Tavish Scott, leave out from first "considers" to end and insert "reaffirms the importance of the financial sector to the Scottish economy; notes that the boards of both Lloyds TSB and Halifax Bank of Scotland remain in favour of the merger and that shareholders will soon have the opportunity to vote on the proposal, and believes that decisions on the future of individual institutions should be made by shareholders, not politicians."

S3M-2779.2 Patrick Harvie: The Importance of HBOS to the Scottish Economy and Jobs—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2779) in the name of Tavish Scott, leave out from "gives" to end and insert "recognises the need for short-term action by the United Kingdom and other governments to tackle the current banking crisis; rejects, however, any effort simply to refloat the failed model of deregulated financial services, which has been supported by Labour and Conservative UK governments and by Labour/Liberal Democrat and SNP administrations in Scotland; calls on the UK and Scottish governments to commit to a future for the financial services sector that is based on sustainability and self-reliance rather than the impossible objective of limitless economic growth fuelled by reckless lending and excessive leverage, and, in the short term, demands that an element of democratic control be exercised over the lending and investment activity of banks that have been bailed out by taxpayers’ money to ensure that economic, social and environmental sustainability are prioritised through that activity."

11.40 am General Question Time—

1. Pauline McNeill: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with student organisations regarding alcohol policy and binge drinking in particular. (S3O-4619)

2. Duncan McNeil: To ask the Scottish Executive what efforts are being made to shorten police response times to non-emergency calls. (S3O-4618)

3. Jamie McGrigor: To ask the Scottish Executive, in light of further job losses at Scotland’s largest Harris Tweed mill, Kenneth Mackenzie, and the potential impact on home weavers in the islands, what action the Scottish Government can take to save this old-established industry for the Western Isles. (S3O-4585)

4. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish Executive when it will next meet representatives from Transport Scotland. (S3O-4576)

5. Hugh O’Donnell: To ask the Scottish Executive when it expects Scottish Enterprise to complete and publish details of any reviews of major projects that it is carrying out. (S3O-4665)

6. Margo MacDonald: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is satisfied that the requirements of core policing are not compromised by the practice of private hire of police personnel. (S3O-4574)

7. Derek Brownlee: To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions it has had with HM Treasury. (S3O-4581)

8. Jamie Hepburn: To ask the Scottish Executive what benefits it believes may be derived from the phasing out of private cleaning and catering contracts in the NHS. (S3O-4645)

9. Mary Mulligan: To ask the Scottish Executive what measures are being taken to help homeowners facing repossession. (S3O-4621)

10. Joe FitzPatrick: To ask the Scottish Executive how many additional households in Tayside will be eligible under the new qualifying criteria for the central heating programme. (S3O-4641)

12 noon First Minister’s Question Time—

1. Johann Lamont: To ask the First Minister what engagements he has planned for the rest of the day. (S3F-1115)

2. Annabel Goldie: To ask the First Minister when he will next meet the Prime Minister. (S3F-1116)

3. Tavish Scott: To ask the First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the Cabinet. (S3F-1117)

4. Ian McKee: To ask the First Minister what effect the global financial downturn will have on major capital investment projects in Scotland. (S3F-1121)

5. Rhoda Grant: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government will guarantee that any costs associated with its plans for direct elections to NHS boards will not impact on frontline patient care. (S3F-1132)

6. Alison McInnes: To ask the First Minister what progress the Scottish Government is making in developing its plans for a local income tax. (S3F-1140)

2.15 pm Themed Question Time—

Europe, External Affairs and Culture

1. Ian McKee: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it is taking to encourage sustainable development in Malawi. (S3O-4649)

2. Hugh Henry: To ask the Scottish Executive what action is being taken to support Scottish traditional arts and the Scots language. (S3O-4606)

3. Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of the importance of piping to Scotland’s economy. (S3O-4651)

4. Charlie Gordon: To ask the Scottish Executive how it is changing its policy and spending programme priorities in relation to the European Union in response to the economic impact of the global financial crisis. (S3O-4604)

5. Not Lodged

6. Murdo Fraser: To ask the Scottish Executive what criteria are applied by Scottish Screen when awarding grant assistance to feature film projects. (S3O-4588)

7. Nanette Milne: To ask the Scottish Executive whether there are plans to include Scottish programmes produced in English on BBC Alba, as highlighted in the final report of the Scottish Broadcasting Commission. (S3O-4584)

8. Bill Aitken: To ask the Scottish Executive what steps it will take to implement the recommendations contained in the Scoping and Mapping Intangible Cultural Heritage in Scotland report. (S3O-4587)

9. Des McNulty: To ask the Scottish Executive what efforts are being made to identify and quantify any risk to the national companies arising from withdrawal of commercial sponsorship for productions as a result of upheaval in the financial sector. (S3O-4620)

10. Aileen Campbell: To ask the Scottish Executive what can be done to ensure the long-term future of the world heritage site at New Lanark and what role it sees the site playing in (a) Homecoming Scotland 2009, (b) the Curriculum for Excellence and (c) cultural tourism. (S3O-4636)

Education and Lifelong Learning

1. Richard Baker: To ask the Scottish Executive what negotiations it has had with Aberdeen City Council on teacher numbers. (S3O-4593)

2. Keith Brown: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is aware of any economies arising from co-operation between local authorities in the provision of school meals. (S3O-4635)

3. John Park: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it is giving to people who wish to retrain. (S3O-4624)

4. Ken Macintosh: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it will renegotiate the concordat with local government to provide sufficient funding to fulfil its commitment to provide free school meals for all P1 to P3 pupils. (S3O-4616)

5. Mr Frank McAveety: To ask the Scottish Executive what additional resources it will provide to Glasgow City Council to support schools that have a substantial number of pupils who do not have English as a first language. (S3O-4613)

6. Not Lodged

7. Mike Pringle: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it is still committed to matching the previous administration’s school building programme brick for brick. (S3O-4666)

8. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it has had with City of Edinburgh Council regarding investment in school infrastructure. (S3O-4595)

9. Gil Paterson: To ask the Scottish Executive what support it provides for further education colleges in the West of Scotland. (S3O-4653)

10. Karen Whitefield: To ask the Scottish Executive what financial support it provides to organisations that promote the interests of children and young people. (S3O-4630)

2.55 pm Ministerial Statement: Teacher Employment Working Group Report

followed by Scottish Government Debate: Non-Native Invasive Species—

S3M-2777 Richard Lochhead: Non-Native Invasive Species—That the Parliament welcomes the Invasive Non-Native Species Framework Strategy for Great Britain; notes that this is one of the first comprehensive strategies on invasive non-native species to be developed in Europe; further welcomes the Scottish Government’s commitment to work in partnership with governments and organisations across these islands to implement the strategy, and acknowledges that continued efforts are required by all partners to progress the key actions of the strategy.

The Presiding Officer has selected the following amendments

S3M-2777.2 Elaine Murray: Non-Native Invasive Species—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2777) in the name of Richard Lochhead, insert at end "and asks the Scottish Government to review existing legislation and report back to the Parliament on whether it considers that current legislation requires to be strengthened to ensure that the issue of non-native species is addressed more effectively."

S3M-2777.1 Jim Hume: Non-Native Invasive Species—As an amendment to motion (S3M-2777) in the name of Richard Lochhead, insert at end "recognises that prevention and early intervention are vital in protecting native species, habitats and ecosystems, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to work with local organisations with a remit for the protection of Scotland’s natural environment to find ways to expedite the timeous implementation of measures at a local level and to report back to the Parliament with the findings."

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members’ Business:

Debate on the subject of—

S3M-2655 Kenneth Gibson: Become Lupus Aware—That the Parliament notes that October 2008 is Lupus Awareness Month, with members and supporters holding a Lunch4Lupus and other events across the country to raise awareness of this condition; recognises that around 5,000 people in Scotland and over five million people worldwide, of whom around 90% are women, have lupus; further recognises that, while lupus can be mild, it may also be disabling and sometimes fatal, has no known cure and causes many different symptoms, including joint and muscle pain, fatigue, depression and kidney, heart, lung and brain symptoms, as well as recurrent miscarriages; acknowledges that there is an urgent need to increase awareness in Scotland of the debilitating impact of lupus and the difficulty that can arise in gaining a diagnosis, given that it mimics a number of other diseases; supports Lupus UK and other organisations across the world in calling for increases in funding for medical research on lupus and targeted education programmes for health professionals; believes a review of the provision of specialist services in the NHS for those with the condition to be of pressing concern, and regrets the lack of a national clinical centre for excellence in Scotland like that of the St Thomas Lupus Trust in London.

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