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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Vol. 3, No. 11 Session 1

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 21 June 2001

 

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Scotland’s Place in the World: Mr John Swinney moved S1M-2030—That the Parliament welcomes the political declaration by the governments of Bavaria, Catalonia, North Rhine-Westphalia, Salzburg, Scotland, Wallonia and Flanders on the future of the European Union, signed by the First Minister on 28 May 2001; calls upon the Scottish Executive to ensure that any future European or other international agreements signed by the First Minister are carried out with greater transparency and involvement of the Parliament, and recognises that such initiatives are important steps towards Scotland becoming an independent country in the European Union, engaging fully in the community of nations.

The Minister for Education, Europe and External Affairs moved amendment S1M-2030.2 to motion S1M-2030—

Leave out from "calls upon" to end and insert—

"recognises that such initiatives play a part in Scotland enjoying profile and influence in Europe and the rest of the world as a dynamic country within the United Kingdom, and firmly rejects the view that Scotland can only achieve international prominence by separating itself from the United Kingdom."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 52, Abstentions 0).

Ben Wallace moved amendment S1M-2030.1 to motion S1M-2030—

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"expresses its concern at the signing by the First Minister of the political declaration by the constitutional regions of Bavaria, Catalonia, North Rhine-Westphalia, Salzburg, Scotland, Wallonia and Flanders without prior consultation with or intimation to the Parliament; notes that the content of the declaration contradicts Her Majesty’s Government’s policy and undermines the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, and further affirms that Scotland’s position is best represented within the union that is the United Kingdom, which brings economic, social and cultural benefits to the people."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 18, Against 102, Abstentions 0).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 69, Against 50, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the political declaration by the governments of Bavaria, Catalonia, North Rhine-Westphalia, Salzburg, Scotland, Wallonia and Flanders on the future of the European Union, signed by the First Minister on 28 May 2001; recognises that such initiatives play a part in Scotland enjoying profile and influence in Europe and the rest of the world as a dynamic country within the United Kingdom, and firmly rejects the view that Scotland can only achieve international prominence by separating itself from the United Kingdom.

2. Central Heating for Elderly People: Fiona Hyslop moved S1M-2023—That the Parliament notes the introduction of a national central heating installation programme announced by the Scottish Executive on 19 September 2000; welcomes the principle of the programme, but expresses regret that the original amount of money announced to be invested in the programme was exaggerated, that those living in public housing in proposed stock transfer areas have been barred from participation, that the definition of eligibility to take part has been drawn too tightly and that those with old, ineffective, broken or partial heating systems have been excluded; believes that the Scottish Executive should come forward with an accurate appraisal of the investment available for the programme and new eligibility criteria which expand the range of people able to participate, and further believes that the programme should include those living in the public sector in proposed stock transfer areas and those with old, ineffective, broken or partial heating systems.

The Minister for Social Justice moved amendment S1M-2023.2 to motion S1M-2023—

Leave out "notes" to end and insert—

"commends the Scottish Executive for its commitment to ensuring that all elderly households and all households in the social rented sector in Scotland have central heating by April 2005, one year earlier than anticipated, for the proposed extension of the scheme currently under consideration, for the investment it has already made through the Warm Deal in providing insulation to 80,000 homes occupied by vulnerable households, for the provisions within the Housing (Scotland) Bill which extend the scope of the improvement grant system to include energy efficiency measures, for the provisions within the Housing (Scotland) Bill which require Scottish Ministers and local authorities to set out what they will do to address fuel poverty and for the investment in local authority and housing association property to improve housing quality."

Bill Aitken moved amendment S1M-2023.1 to motion S1M-2023—

Leave out from "that those living" to end.

After debate, amendment S1M-2023.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 52, Abstentions 1). As a result, amendment S1M-2023.1 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division For 67, Against 23, Abstentions 30).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament commends the Scottish Executive for its commitment to ensuring that all elderly households and all households in the social rented sector in Scotland have central heating by April 2005, one year earlier than anticipated, for the proposed extension of the scheme currently under consideration, for the investment it has already made through the Warm Deal in providing insulation to 80,000 homes occupied by vulnerable households, for the provisions within the Housing (Scotland) Bill which extend the scope of the improvement grant system to include energy efficiency measures, for the provisions within the Housing (Scotland) Bill which require Scottish Ministers and local authorities to set out what they will do to address fuel poverty and for the investment in local authority and housing association property to improve housing quality.

3. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Finance and Local Government made a statement on Modernising Government: Non-Departmental Public Bodies.

4. Business Motion: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2026—That the Parliament agrees:

(a) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 27 June 2001

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Ministerial Statement

followed by Executive Debate on Serious Violent and Sexual Offenders

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S1M-1740 Michael Matheson: Lung Disease in Scotland

Thursday 28 June 2001

9.30 am Stage 1 Debate on the Protection from Abuse (Scotland) Bill

followed by Finance Committee Debate on the 2002/2003 Budget Process

followed by Ministerial Statement

followed by Business Motion

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3.30 pm Executive Debate on the New Opportunities Fund

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business - debate on the subject of S1M-1970 Annabel Goldie: Endometriosis

and (b) that the Justice 1 Committee reports to the Justice 2 Committee by 25 June 2001 on the Gaming Act (Variation of Fees) (No.2) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/23.

The motion was agreed to.

5. Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister and other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

6. Holyrood Project: Des McNulty, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S1M-2012—That the Parliament notes the terms of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body’s (SPCB) report of 13 June 2001; notes that £60 million of the construction costs for the new Parliament building has been committed to date and that a further £57 million (at 1998 prices) remains to be let; further notes that building industry inflation is currently estimated to be adding at least 16% to the costs of packages remaining to be let and that under the construction management contract there are additional and not fully quantifiable risks to which the project may be exposed between now and completion; directs the SPCB, through the Holyrood Progress Group, to work with the design and project teams to complete the project without compromising quality, while managing risks rigorously, and requires the SPCB, on a quarterly basis, to provide information to the Parliament’s Finance Committee on the progress of the project in respect of inflation and materialisation of risk in order to inform the committee’s consideration of the annual Budget Bill.

Michael Russell moved amendment S1M-2012.3 to motion S1M-2012—

After "rigorously" insert –

"calls on the Scottish Executive to work with the SPCB to agree a financial plan for the completion of the project which has no adverse implications for revenue expenditure on public services in Scotland and which recognises that the project must be funded through normal procedures for major capital works, for example through borrowing at government rates; further demands that the Scottish Executive appoint a minister to attend the progress group in order to engage the Executive fully in the project and its financing; notes that the financial and other problems of the project now being tackled by the progress group are a result of deeply flawed decisions made by Westminster politicians prior to the establishment of the Parliament and by repeated misinformation thereafter from New Labour and the Scottish Executive on the likely costs of the project,"

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 33, Against 84, Abstentions 3).

David McLetchie moved amendment S1M-2012.1 to motion S1M-2012—

Leave out from "without" to end and insert—

"within the previously approved cost ceiling of £195 million, and to this end calls on the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body in conjunction with the Scottish Executive to consider alternative methods of funding elements of the project through partnership with the private sector which will achieve that cost target and avoid cuts in other budgets."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 19, Against 100, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 75, Against 33, Abstentions 10).

7. Members Allowances, Equipment and Furniture Schemes: Des McNulty, on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, moved S1M-2034 —That the Parliament

(a)

  1. directs the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (the SPCB) to provide information technology and other office equipment in accordance with the Equipment and Furniture Scheme annexed hereto as Annex One;
  2. determines that the said Equipment and Furniture Scheme shall come into effect from the first date when a member takes the oath or affirmation after the next ordinary or as the case may be, extraordinary, general election, except in relation to a new member returned prior to the next general election under section 9 or 10 of the Scotland Act 1998, when the Scheme shall come into effect for that member on the date when such member takes the oath or affirmation;

(b)

  1. confers functions upon the SPCB to pay allowances in each financial year to members in accordance with the Members' Allowances Scheme annexed hereto as Annex Two and confers other functions upon the SPCB as specified in that said Scheme;
  2. determines that the said Members' Allowances Scheme shall come into effect on 1 July 2001;
  3. directs the SPCB to pay on and after the date the said Scheme comes into effect until 31 March 2002, the rates and amounts of allowances for the whole of that financial year, under deduction of such amounts paid to or claimed by members in respect of the period commencing on 1 April 2001 to the day preceding the date of this Scheme coming into effect;
  4. directs the SPCB to make such other deductions or adjustments in respect of employers' National Insurance and pension contributions between the current Scheme and the said new Scheme as the SPCB considers equitable;

(c) rescinds:

  1. the Resolution of the Parliament of 16 March 2000 agreeing the Equipment and Furniture Scheme, on the first date when a member takes the oath or affirmation after the next ordinary or as the case may be, extraordinary general election as provided for in a(ii) above;
  2. the Resolution of the Parliament of 16 March 2000 agreeing the current Members' Allowances Scheme on the date specified in b(ii) above.

 

ANNEX ONE

This is the Equipment and Furniture Scheme referred to in the foregoing motion.

"The Equipment and Furniture Scheme

  1. Provision of Information Technology and other Office Equipment, and Office Furniture

  1. The Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body ("the SPCB") shall provide information technology and other office equipment, and office furniture for an office, within the constituency/region from which a member was returned.
  2. Such information technology and other office equipment and office furniture is provided for the use of a member for the purpose of carrying out his or her Parliamentary duties and

  1. a member may select during a Parliamentary session the equipment and furniture concerned but only from a list of items specified by the SPCB and subject to not exceeding the maximum number permitted for each item on that list;
  2. the member shall be responsible for the protection and security of such equipment and furniture and the SPCB may, if it has reasonable grounds to believe that any such equipment or furniture is being misused, require the return of the equipment or furniture;
  3. the replacement of any item referred to in (a) shall be permitted where the SPCB is satisfied that it is necessary.

(3) Where, arising from an election or the filling of a regional vacancy in terms of section 10 of the Scotland Act 1998, equipment becomes available, it shall be utilised by a new member and sub-paragraph (2)(a) would only apply where, in the opinion of the SPCB, additional or replacement items are required.

(4) Where a member is re-elected the equipment and furniture utilised by the member in the previous session shall continue to be utilised by the member and sub-paragraph (2)(a) shall only apply where, in the opinion of the SPCB additional or replacement items are required.

2. Provision of Office Supplies

(1) The SPCB shall provide office supplies and postage stamps or postage paid envelopes to a member for the purpose of carrying out his or her Parliamentary duties.

(2) Where such office supplies are provided for the use of a member for the purpose stated in sub-paragraph (1) the member may select the supplies concerned but only from a list of items specified by the SPCB.

3. Publication

The SPCB shall publish for each financial year information on this Scheme in such form as the SPCB may determine.

4. Parliamentary Duties

For the purposes of this Scheme, "Parliamentary duties" shall have the same meaning as in rule 8 of Part A of the Members' Allowances Scheme."

 

ANNEX TWO

This is the Members' Allowances Scheme referred to in the foregoing motion.

"Members' Allowances Scheme

The following Parts A, B and C together with the Annexes attached shall be the Members' Allowances Scheme ("Scheme")—

Part A - General Rules in relation to the Scheme

The following general rules shall, unless the context otherwise requires, govern the Scheme—

Rule 1 - Interpretation

In this Scheme—

"parliamentary complex" means the place where the Parliament or any of its committees or sub-committees meets from time to time;

"remuneration of employees" includes gross salaries, employers' National Insurance contributions and employers' pension contributions;

"main residence" means the property in which the member is resident for council tax purposes under section 75 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992;

"member" means a member of the Scottish Parliament;

"other residence" means any residence which the member owns or leases other than his or her main residence;

"staff" means an employee or employees of a member and/or a person or persons on a contract with an agency and/or on a contract for services;

"motor vehicle allowance" means the maximum rate set for local government under section 46 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 and shall apply to all motor vehicles irrespective of engine size or annual mileage;

"motor cycle mileage allowance" means the maximum rate set for employees of the Scottish Administration;

"pedal cycle allowance" means the level of the maximum tax free allowance set by the Inland Revenue;

"travelling expenses" means—

(a) the actual cost of any travel ticket purchased or fare paid in making a journey, or part of a journey, by public transport;

(b) where such a journey, or any part of such a journey, is made by means of a motor vehicle, motor cycle or pedal cycle, owned or wholly maintained by the member, such amount per mile travelled on the journey, or that part of the journey, by means of that motor vehicle, motor cycle or pedal cycle as is determined by the motor vehicle, motor cycle or, as the case may be, pedal cycle, mileage allowance;

(c) in exceptional circumstances, with the approval of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body ("the SPCB"), the actual cost of car hire and associated petrol costs; and

(d) tolls and car parking charges;

"public transport" means any service or services provided to the public at large for the carriage of passengers by road, rail, air or sea but includes travel by taxi service only where the use of such a service is required for reasons of urgency or where it is not reasonably practicable for the member to use other forms of public transport.

and any reference to a Part is a reference to the Part so lettered in this Scheme and any reference to an Annex is a reference to the Annex so lettered in this Scheme.

Rule 2 - Verifiable Expenditure

(1) The SPCB may, on an application for the purpose made to it by a member in accordance with this Scheme, make payments to that member by way of allowances for the reimbursement of expenses incurred by that member.

(2) Subject to paragraph (3) of this rule, allowances for which a member is eligible shall be paid by the SPCB only upon the production to the SPCB of evidence of relevant expenditure in the form of invoices or receipts and, in respect of a taxi fare exceeding £10 per journey, written justification for the use of a taxi shall be required and it shall be for the SPCB to determine whether it is satisfied with the justification offered and whether payment should be made.

(3) Supporting invoices and receipts are not required:

(a) for payment of the motor vehicle, motor cycle, or, as the case may be pedal cycle mileage allowance; or

(b) for the reimbursement of travelling expenses where the actual cost of any travel ticket purchased or fare paid in making a journey, or part of a journey, by public transport or tolls and car parking charges is £10 or less.

(4) Paragraph 3 of this rule does not apply to taxi fares and car parking charges, other than parking meter charges.

(5) The SPCB shall provide forms for the purposes of administering the Scheme which members shall complete and sign in order to claim the relevant allowance.

Rule 3 - The Allowances Code

The proper use of allowances payable under this Scheme shall be governed by the Allowances Code at Annex A.

Rule 4 - Publication

The SPCB shall publish information on allowances under this scheme for each financial year in such form as the SPCB may determine.

Rule 5 - Enforcement

(1) The SPCB shall be responsible for supervising members' adherence to the Scheme.

(2) Where eligibility for any of the allowances in this Scheme is in dispute, and cannot otherwise be resolved, the matter shall be referred to the SPCB for determination.

(3) Any member may make a complaint to the SPCB about another member where he or she has reason to believe that allowances under this Scheme have not been expended in accordance with the Scheme (hereinafter referred to as an improper use of allowances), and where such a complaint is made, the SPCB shall normally hear that complaint within one month.

(4) Where the SPCB has reason to believe that a member has made an improper use of allowances or where the SPCB has received a complaint under sub-paragraph (3), the SPCB may, after raising the matter with the Business Manager of the relevant political party, initiate investigations into the matter.

(5) Where the SPCB has reason to believe that a member has made excessive or unreasonable use, in the opinion of the SPCB, of taxis the SPCB is empowered to:

  1. refuse to pay to that member any further taxi fares; and
  2. set a financial limit on future taxi fares for that member; and
  3. set a financial limit for taxi fares which shall apply to all members;

and to take such other action as the SPCB deems appropriate.

(6) Where the SPCB has initiated investigations in accordance with paragraph (4) and finds that a member has made an improper use of allowances, the SPCB may report to the Standards Committee with its recommendation; and such a recommendation may propose the removal of all or part of the member's allowances.

Rule 6 - Virement

A member shall not vire amounts between one allowance and another allowance.

Rule 7 - Uprating

(1) Subject to paragraphs (2), (3) and (4) of this rule, the SPCB shall uprate allowances in Part B and the notional amount referred to in paragraph 1(a) of Part B on 1 April each year from the year 2002 onwards, having regard to such indices as the SPCB considers appropriate. The amounts of the uprated Members' Support Allowance (paragraph 1(1)) and Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance (paragraph 4(2)) shall be rounded up to the nearest £100 at each uprating.

(2) The SPCB shall, unless the Parliament does not agree, uprate the motor vehicle allowance in line with the maximum rate in respect of vehicles over 1199cc set for local government under section 46 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, and the uprating will become effective and payable at the same time as it does for local government.

(3) The SPCB shall uprate the motorcycle mileage allowance at the same time as and in accordance with the corresponding allowance set for staff of the Scottish Administration.

(4) The SPCB shall uprate the pedal cycle mileage allowance at the same time as and in accordance with the maximum tax-free allowance set by the Inland Revenue.

Rule 8 - Parliamentary Duties

(1) All of the allowances referred to in this Scheme are to be used only for the purpose of members carrying out their Parliamentary duties.

(2) In this Scheme, "Parliamentary duties" means the undertaking of any task or function which a member could reasonably be expected to carry out in his or her capacity as a member of the Parliament including:

(a) attending a meeting of the Parliament;

(b) attending a meeting of a committee or sub-committee of the Parliament of which the member is a member or which the member is required to attend because of being in charge of a Bill or other matter under consideration by the committee or sub-committee or for any other valid reason relating only to the business of the committee or sub-committee;

(c) undertaking research or administrative functions which relate directly to the business of the Parliament;

(d) attending meetings for the purpose of representing electors or explaining the application of policy including attending meetings for the purpose of seeing a constituent or constituents;

(e) attending Parliamentary party group meetings in Edinburgh or such other place in Scotland as may be approved in advance by the SPCB;

(f) attending a meeting, ceremony or official function which relates directly to, or in connection with, the business of the Parliament;

(g) attending an international conference which relates directly to, or in connection with, the business of the Parliament with the prior approval of the SPCB.

but does not include a member's activities which are wholly in relation to that member's role as a Party spokesperson or representative.

Rule 9 - Equality

All members shall be treated equally irrespective of whether they have been returned as constituency members or as regional members, subject to paragraph 1 of Part B.

Rule 10 - Allowances: general

(1) Where a member has claimed an allowance from any other source or had expenses reimbursed from any other source, the member shall not be eligible to claim the same allowance or reimbursement of expenses (as the case may be) under this Scheme.

(2) Where a person becomes eligible for an allowance part way through the financial year, then the amount of any allowance payable under this Scheme shall be apportioned on a pro rata basis.

(3) Where a person ceases to be a member part way through the financial year, the SPCB shall decide whether or not any allowance shall be apportioned on a pro rata basis.

Part B - Allowances

1. Members' Support Allowance

(1) A Member shall be eligible for an allowance of up to £49,300 for each financial year ("the maximum Member's Support Allowance") for the purposes set out in sub-paragraph (2) and subject to the conditions as appropriate set out in sub-paragraphs (3) to (13).

(2) The purposes of this allowance are to enable a member: -

    1. to engage as an employee (whether full-time or part-time, temporary or permanent) or through an agency or on a contract for services, personnel to assist the member in carrying out his or her Parliamentary duties. The allowance shall include employers’ costs other than employers’ National Insurance contributions and employers’ pension contributions which are provided for under paragraph 2;
    2. to establish and run an office, within the constituency/region from which the member was returned;
    3. to meet with constituents either on a one-to-one basis or as a group;
    4. subject to sub-paragraph (16), to meet his or her travelling expenses and overnight expenses relating to travel commencing within Scotland to destinations within the UK (but outside Scotland) and return incurred whilst undertaking Parliamentary duties;
    5. to pay fees of attending a seminar/conference which relates to the member carrying out his or her Parliamentary duties;
    6. to meet travelling expenses, overnight expenses, and fees of attending a seminar/conference incurred by a member's staff or volunteers who are assisting the member in his or her Parliamentary duties, which costs are not otherwise covered by paragraph 7;
    7. to pay staff and volunteer training costs;
    8. where any member pays an employee a "one-off" bonus payment, to meet any employers’ National Insurance contributions which arise;
    9. subject to sub-paragraphs (16) and (17) to meet travelling expenses and overnight expenses relating to travel to Brussels/Strasbourg for meetings with members of the European Parliament and/or representatives of European Union institutions, as part of his or her Parliamentary duties.

(3) An employee of a member shall be employed on the terms and conditions determined by the SPCB from time to time.

(4) A member may employ his or her employee on conditions which are more favourable to the employee, provided that this does not entail the member exceeding the amount of this allowance.

(5) Staff and volunteers of a member shall be bound by the Allowances Code at Annex A.

(6) Whilst the remuneration of employees shall be the responsibility of the member the SPCB shall provide: -

    1. payroll services for members’ employees; and
    2. arrangement for employers’ pension contributions to be paid to an employee’s choice of pension scheme,

and members shall provide the SPCB with details about their employees to enable the SPCB to provide such services and make such arrangements.

(7) A member may pool his or her allowance with another member or other members in order to employ employees who are shared between or amongst them, provided that: -

    1. the employee remains employed by a single member; and
    2. the members concerned give written notice to the SPCB.

(8) Where a member establishes an office under sub-paragraph (2)(b) the allowance shall be used for the following: -

    1. lease of a property or rental of premises;
    2. the provision of utilities;
    3. the purchase or lease of office furniture or equipment or the purchase of stationery;
    4. the member or his or her staff using telecommunications, IT and photocopying equipment at a location other than the member’s Parliamentary office base; and
    5. other purposes ancillary to those specified in (a) to (d) above.

(9) Where in a particular region more than one regional member is returned from a registered political party’s regional list the notional amount in this allowance for establishing and running an office in each financial year shall be £12,000 and the maximum Members' Support Allowance for regional members concerned shall be computed as follows:

    1. there shall be added together the notional amount of £12,000 per financial year in respect of one such regional member and 30% of that amount in respect of each of the other such regional members;
    2. the resulting total sum shall be divided by the number of such regional members; and
    3. that amount shall be deducted from the notional amount and the difference (if any) shall be deducted from the maximum amount in sub-paragraph 1 above. The sum thereby produced shall be the limit of Members' Support Allowance for which a regional member shall be eligible.

(10) Subject to sub-paragraph (11) below, where sub paragraph (9) applies, whatever amount of the allowance is used for establishing and running an office shall be used to enable the regional members concerned: -

    1. to run only one office in a particular region; and
    2. to meet constituents on a one-to-one basis or as a group;

and accordingly some or all of the regional members concerned may pool all or part of their allowances under this paragraph in order to run such an office provided the members concerned give written notice to the SPCB.

(11) Where sub-paragraph (9) applies in relation to a region mentioned in Section C of Annex C (Eligibility for exceptional needs allowance: The largest regions), the SPCB:

    1. may determine after inquiry that the regional members concerned may run one additional office because that is necessary for the regional members concerned to carry out their Parliamentary duties effectively; and
    2. in those circumstances may increase the amount of this allowance to which each of the regional members concerned is entitled by such a sum as the SPCB may determine but the total of such increases shall not exceed 100% of the notional amount of £12,000 referred to in sub-paragraph (9) above, and under no circumstances shall any increase under this provision result in the maximum Members’ Support Allowance specified in sub-paragraph (1) above being exceeded.

(12) Where the SPCB has made a determination under sub-paragraph (11) the regional members concerned may pool their allowances under this paragraph with any other member or members for that region provided that all members concerned first notify the SPCB.

(13) A constituency member may locate his or her Parliamentary office base in a constituency other than the one from which the member was returned provided that the location has prior approval of the member returned from that other constituency and the SPCB is notified immediately.

(14) An amount of £12,000 for each constituency member and the amount computed in accordance with sub-paragraph (9) above for regional members per financial year for the establishment and running of an office are notional but the actual amount to be spent shall be for each member to determine subject to the limit of his or her Members' Support Allowance.

(15) Where local office costs are higher than in other parts of Scotland due to the state of the local economy, a member may refer the matter to the SPCB for its determination as to whether the member should be eligible for an allowance greater than the maximum Members’ Support Allowance mentioned in sub-paragraph (1) but any increase shall be not greater than 10% of the notional amount of £12,000 per financial year.

(16) The rates applicable to travelling and overnight expenses referred to in sub-paragraph (2)(d) and (f) above shall not exceed those specified in paragraphs 3 and 6 below.

(17) A member who intends to travel to Brussels/Strasbourg in accordance with sub-paragraph (2)(i) above shall be required to give the SPCB a minimum of 14 days advance notice thereof unless there are exceptional circumstances, in the opinion of the SPCB, which would justify a lesser period of notice.

2. Support Fund - Employees and Contingencies

  1. There shall be a Support Fund, maintained, administered and subject to qualifying conditions determined by the SPCB, from which shall be disbursed the following:

  1. the National Insurance contributions incurred by a member as an employer under this Scheme;
  2. pension contributions by a member as an employer under this Scheme but subject to a maximum of 10% of gross basic annual salary except in the case of existing employees in post as at 1 March 2001 where the actual contributions, if in excess of 10%, will be paid;
  3. the salary and employment costs including pension contribution to limits set in sub-paragraph (b) above in respect of the employment of an employee of a member to cover for sickness absence or maternity leave of an employee of that member but subject to the following:

    1. that the salary payable to the temporary employee does not exceed, pro-rata, the salary payable to the absent employee;
    2. that the requirements of paragraph 1 (3), (5) and (6) are met;

  1. the cost of telephone line provision, up to a standard and price specified by the SPCB from time to time, in the constituency or regional office of a member;
  2. the cost, up to maximum to be set by the SPCB from time to time, for each financial year, of advertising, (which includes the production of posters and leaflets) a member's availability, at specified times and places, for consultation in relation to enquiries and problems of the public in the constituency or region of the member;
  3. the cost of such other items of a kind which reflect good employment or workplace practices and facilities for members and employees of members as may be determined, and with such conditions as may be specified, by the SPCB from time to time.

3. Members' Travel Allowance

(1) A member shall be eligible for the reimbursement of travelling expenses, at the rates or level specified, necessarily incurred by that member within Scotland in performing his or her Parliamentary duties.

(2) Subject to the provisions of paragraph 1(2)(i) any travel outside the UK shall be eligible for reimbursement only where the travel concerned has been authorised in advance by the SPCB.

(3) Reimbursement will not be made of the cost of travel between the Parliamentary complex and accommodation rented or bought under paragraph 4(3)(b) where the accommodation is outside the City of Edinburgh.

(4) Where a member has spent or has commitments to spend his or her Members' Support Allowance and the member can establish to the satisfaction of the SPCB that there are very exceptional circumstances and there is a definite need which would justify an additional payment from this allowance for travel outside Scotland but within the UK as set out in paragraph 1(2)(d), or travel to Brussels/Strasbourg as set out in paragraph 1(2)(i), application may be made to the SPCB for its determination.

4. Edinburgh Accommodation Allowance

(1) Where a member's main residence lies within a constituency mentioned in Group One of Annex B, he or she shall not be eligible for any allowance under this paragraph.

(2) Where a member's main residence lies within a constituency mentioned in Group Two of Annex B, the member shall be eligible for an overnight expenses allowance of up to £82.08 per night for each night that he or she requires to stay overnight for Parliamentary duties in Edinburgh.

(3) Where a member's main residence lies within a constituency mentioned in Group Three of Annex B, the member shall be eligible for a total allowance of £9,234 for each financial year comprising either—

(a) an allowance of up to £82.08 per night for each night that he or she requires to stay overnight for Parliamentary duties in Edinburgh; or

(b) subject to sub-paragraph (4), an allowance in order to cover the costs of those items mentioned in sub-paragraph (5) below, where such costs are a necessary consequence of having to stay overnight for Parliamentary duties in Edinburgh.

(4) Where the member claims an allowance under sub-paragraph (3)(b) part way through the financial year, then the amount of the allowance payable under that paragraph shall be apportioned on a pro rata basis.

(5) The costs referred to in sub-paragraph (3) relate only to the provision and use as residential accommodation of a property located within a constituency mentioned in Group One of Annex B and are—

(a) the rent payable for the lease of the property;

(b) the interest on the capital required to purchase the property;

(c) the conveyancing fees and outlays, and the surveyors' fees, incurred in the purchase of the property;

(d) council tax;

(e) factoring charges;

(f) the provision of utilities;

(g) building and contents insurance;

(h) TV Licence;

(i) reasonable removal costs; and

(j) reasonable costs of securing the property such as:

    1. the provision of door/window locks;
    2. the installation and maintenance of an intruder alarm;
    3. the installation and maintenance of external security lighting;

but not major capital items such as security cameras nor the hiring of security guards.

(6) Where a member's main residence falls within Group Two of Annex B and the member believes that there are exceptional circumstances applying to him or her, that member may apply in writing to the SPCB setting out those circumstances, requesting that the SPCB treat that member's residence as being in Group Three of Annex B and it shall be a matter within the sole discretion of the SPCB whether to grant such a request.

5. Exceptional Needs Allowance

(1) This paragraph applies to members returned from those constituencies or regions which are set out in Annex C.

(2) A member shall be eligible to claim an exceptional needs allowance of up to £82.08 per night where it is unreasonable for the member to return to his or her main or other residence before or after undertaking Parliamentary duties within the member's constituency or region.

6. Overnight Expenses Allowance

(1) Subject to sub-paragraphs (4) and (5), a member shall be eligible for an overnight expenses allowance where he or she requires for the purpose of carrying out his or her Parliamentary duties to spend a night away from his or her main or other residence.

(2) The amount of the overnight expenses allowance shall be—

(a) up to £82.08 per night; or

(b) up to £102.60 per night in Greater London; or

(c) in respect of a stay outside the United Kingdom an amount determined by the SPCB.

(3) Subject to the provisions of paragraph 1(2)(i) any claim for overnight expenses in connection with a stay outside the UK shall be eligible for reimbursement only where the stay concerned has been authorised in advance by the SPCB.

(4) A member is not eligible for an allowance under this paragraph in connection with Parliamentary duties in Edinburgh.

(5) A member is not eligible for an allowance under this paragraph in connection with Parliamentary duties within his or her constituency or region.

(6) Where a member has spent or has commitments to spend his or her Members' Support Allowance and the member can establish to the satisfaction of the SPCB that there are very exceptional circumstances which would justify an additional payment from this allowance for overnight expenses outside Scotland but within the UK as set out in paragraph 1(2)(d), or overnight expenses in Brussels/Strasbourg as set out in paragraph 1(2)(i) application may be made to the SPCB for its determination.

7. Employee Travel Allowance

(1) This paragraph applies only to employees paid through the SPCB payroll service.

(2) Each member is eligible for an allowance in respect of the travelling expenses incurred by his or her employees on journeys:

  1. between the constituency or region from which the member was returned, or the main residence of the employee, and the Parliamentary complex; or
  2. within that constituency or region undertaken in support of the member in undertaking his or her Parliamentary duties; or
  3. a combination of (a) and (b).

(3) A journey shall be the sum of all such travel completed within one day.

(4) The maximum number of journeys in relation to which reimbursement may be claimed under this allowance in each financial year shall be equivalent to twice the number of weeks that the Parliament meets in that year, not including weeks when only committees of the Parliament meet.

(5) The SPCB shall keep a record of each member's entitlement to an allowance under this paragraph and its use to date.

(6) Daily commuting journeys by an employee to and from his or her normal place of work do not qualify for payment under this allowance.

8. Family Travel Allowance

(1) Each member is eligible for an allowance in respect of the travelling expenses of 12 single journeys for each financial year between his or her constituency, region or main residence and Edinburgh for each member of his or her immediate family.

(2) In this paragraph, "immediate family" means—

(a) the member's spouse or another nominated person; and

(b) any child under the age of 18; and

for the purposes of this paragraph "child" includes any step child, adopted child, foster child or any other child living with that member as part of his or her family.

(3) The SPCB shall keep a record of each member's entitlement to an allowance under this paragraph and its use to date.

(4) In order to qualify for the family travel allowance, a member must register with the SPCB who are his or her immediate family eligible to take part in the Scheme.

9. Disability Allowances

(1) This and the following sub-paragraph apply to any member whose ability to undertake his or her role as a member is impaired by reason of disability.

(2) The SPCB may award an allowance up to a maximum of £10,260 per session to a member for him or her to use in any way which the SPCB decides is helpful to the member in undertaking his or her work.

(3) Any member may apply to the SPCB for an allowance to meet costs the member may incur in:

  1. making reasonable adjustments to his or her local office to accommodate a member's employee who has a disability and/or facilitating access for disabled members of the public;
  2. providing equipment and/or parking spaces for disabled persons;
  3. facilitating meetings for disabled persons by hiring (on an occasional basis) alternative office and meeting premises; and
  4. contracting sign language interpreters for meetings with members of the public;

and the SPCB may determine, from time to time, such other services which qualify for consideration for payment from this allowance.

10. Winding Up Allowance

(1) Where a member ceases to serve as a member of the Parliament, he or she shall be eligible for a winding up allowance.

(2) The amount of the winding up allowance shall be the equivalent of one third of the Members' Support Allowance payable in any one financial year to which the member would otherwise have been entitled.

 

ANNEX A

ALLOWANCES CODE

A Offices

(1) Each member will normally have one Parliamentary office base within the area from which he or she was returned that will be his or her registered local address for correspondence.

(2) Parliamentary offices may be acquired in association with political party premises, but must be a clearly definable office space. Party political material is not permitted to be externally displayed in areas occupied by the Parliamentary office.

(3) Parliamentary offices should be suitable for public access.

(4) Each member will be able to use offices/locations, other than his or her main base, within the area for which he or she was returned for surgery purposes.

B Activities

(1) Premises, or the relevant part of premises, acquired as Parliamentary offices shall be used only for parliamentary activities, and not for party business.

(2) During the hours that they are employed by a member under his or her Members’ Support Allowance, a member's employees may not undertake any significant party political activity.

(3) A member will be responsible to the SPCB for his or her own activities and for the activities of his or her staff.

(4) Premises, or the relevant part of premises, acquired as Parliamentary offices shall not be used as a base for canvassing or election campaigning, or any party activity related to elections.

(5) Parliamentary stationery and office equipment must not be used for party purposes.

C Responsibilities

(1) A member has a duty to ensure that he or she utilises the allowances to which he or she is eligible for the purpose for which they were intended. This includes any allowances for which he or she is eligible, but which are utilised by staff or immediate family of the member. A member has the responsibility of ensuring that his or her staff and volunteers adhere to the terms of this Code.

(2) A member has a duty to ensure that he or she adheres to the terms of this code in spirit and in practice.

 

ANNEX B

ELIGIBILITY FOR EDINBURGH ACCOMMODATION ALLOWANCES

Group One

Edinburgh West

Edinburgh Pentlands

Edinburgh Central

Edinburgh North & Leith

Edinburgh South

Edinburgh East & Musselburgh

Linlithgow

Livingston

Midlothian

Group Two

East Lothian

North East Fife

Central Fife

Kirkcaldy

Dunfermline East

Dunfermline West

Ochil

Falkirk East

Falkirk West

Cumbernauld & Kilsyth

Airdrie & Shotts

Coatbridge & Chryston

Hamilton North & Bellshill

Motherwell & Wishaw

Hamilton South

Glasgow Anniesland

Glasgow Baillieston

Glasgow Cathcart

Glasgow Govan

Glasgow Kelvin

Glasgow Maryhill

Glasgow Pollok

Glasgow Rutherglen

Glasgow Shettleston

Glasgow Springburn

Strathkelvin & Bearsden

Paisley North

Paisley South

Stirling

Perth

Dundee East

Dundee West

Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale

Group Three

Aberdeen Central

Aberdeen North

Aberdeen South

Aberdeenshire West & Kincardine

Angus

Argyll and Bute

Ayr

Banff & Buchan

Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross

Carrick, Cumnock & Doon Valley

Clydesdale

Clydebank & Milngavie

Cunninghame North

Cunninghame South

Dumbarton

Dumfries

East Kilbride

Eastwood

Galloway and Upper Nithsdale

Gordon

Greenock & Inverclyde

Inverness East Nairn & Lochaber

Kilmarnock & Loudoun

Moray

North Tayside

Orkney

Renfrewshire West

Ross, Skye & Inverness West

Roxburgh & Berwickshire

Shetland

Western Isles

 

ANNEX C

ELIGIBILITY FOR EXCEPTIONAL NEEDS ALLOWANCE

A: Constituencies of over 250,000 hectares

Argyll & Bute

Caithness, Sutherland & Easter Ross

Galloway & Upper Nithsdale

Inverness East, Nairn & Lochaber

North Tayside

Ross, Skye and Inverness West

Roxburgh & Berwickshire

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine

Western Isles

B: Constituencies which contain significant island communities

Orkney

Shetland

Cunninghame North

C: The largest regions

Highlands & Islands

North East Scotland

South of Scotland

Mid Scotland and Fife."

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Approval of SSIs: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2027—That the Parliament agrees that the following instruments be approved—

the draft Scotland Act 1998 (Transfer of Functions to Scottish Ministers etc.) (No.2) Order 2001; and

the draft Consumer Protection Act 1987 (Product Liability) (Modification) (Scotland) Order 2001.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Approval of SSIs: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-2028—That the Parliament agrees that the draft Graduate Endowment (Scotland) Regulations 2001 be approved.

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 67, Against 53, Abstentions 0).

10. Decision Time: Decision were taken on items 1, 2, 6, 7, 8 and 9 as noted above.

11. Young Carers: The Parliament debated S1M-1959 in the name of Donald Gorrie—That the Parliament congratulates the young carers who, at their recent conference in Linlithgow, formed a National Young Carers Forum; pays tribute to the huge contribution to family life made by young carers; welcomes the support given by some local authorities to local young carers’ groups, and urges the Scottish Executive and local authorities to give a high priority to bringing together national and local staff and resources in education, social work and health to provide joined up services to ease the burden on these young people, who are often the only person holding their family together.

The meeting closed at 5.42 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

21 June 2001

 

Appendix

(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

 

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instrument was laid in draft before the Parliament on 21 June 2001 for approval by resolution

The International Criminal Court (Immunities and Privileges) Order 2001

laid under the International Criminal Court Act 2001

Negative Instruments

The following instrument were laid before the Parliament on 21 June 2001 for approval by resolution—

The Protection of Wrecks (Designation) (Scotland) Order 2001 (SSI 2001/242)

laid under the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973

The Import and Export Restriction (Foot-and-Mouth Disease) (Scotland) (No.2) Amendment Regulations 2001 (SSI 2001/243)

laid under the European Communities Act 1972

Other Documents

The following document were laid before the Parliament on 21 June 2001 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Parole Board for Scotland Annual Report for 2000 (SE/2001/99)

laid under the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1989 and the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993

Contingent Liability (SE/2001/68): Amendment to Table of Clinical Trials of Blood Products Produced by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service Protein Fractionation Centre (SE/2001/127)

Scottish Qualifications Authority: Accounts 1999-2000 (SE/2001/130)

laid under the Education (Scotland) Act 1996 and the Law Reform and Miscellaneous Provisions (Scotland) Act 1990

Scottish Transport Group Pension Fund Surplus: Indemnities to be Granted by Scottish Ministers to the Trustees of the Scottish Transport Group Pension Funds (SE/2001/131)

 

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 21 June 2001—

Transport and the Environment Committee, 9th Report 2001: Report On Inquiry into Water and the Water Industry (SP Paper 362)

Subordinate Legislation Committee 28th Report 2001: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 367)

 


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