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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 4 No 47 Session 1

Thursday 30 January 2003

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30am.

1. Transforming Public Finance for Social Justice, Regeneration and the Environment: Robin Harper moved S1M-3818—That the Parliament notes recent studies by the Scottish Executive and is interested in building on them by considering and investigating the contribution that land value taxation could make to the cultural, economic, environmental and democratic renaissance of Scotland.

David Davidson moved amendment S1M-3818.1 to motion S1M-3818—

Leave out from "is" to end and insert—

"considers land value tax to be a punitive form of taxation which takes no account of existing taxation, profit or income streams and requires payment in respect of land regardless of an absence of income."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 13, Against 93, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 35, Against 13, Abstentions 59).

2. Abolition of the Council Tax: Tommy Sheridan moved S1M-3809—That the Parliament believes that the council tax is a fundamentally unfair and regressive tax; believes in social justice and the redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor; therefore agrees to abolish the council tax and replace it with the Scottish Service Tax which is based on an individual’s income and is inherently fairer, more efficient and redistributive; notes that this tax would raise more revenue than the council tax and that it would remove the burden of paying for local government jobs and services from the shoulders of low-paid workers and pensioners and place it firmly on the shoulders of the well-paid and the wealthy, and believes that the introduction of this tax should be complemented by the return of the right for local authorities to raise and retain their business rates and a thorough investigation of land value and speculation taxes to supplement local authority revenue.

The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Services moved amendment S1M-3809.1 to motion S1M-3809—

Leave out from first "believes" to end and insert—

"notes that the Local Government Committee, in its 6th Report 2002, Report on Inquiry into Local Government Finance, published in March last year, saw no merit in the Scottish service tax as outlined in evidence to it."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 104, Against 4, Abstentions 1).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 105, Against 3, Abstentions 1).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved— That the Parliament notes that the Local Government Committee, in its 6th Report 2002, Report on Inquiry into Local Government Finance, published in March last year, saw no merit in the Scottish service tax as outlined in evidence to it.

3. Support for the February 15 Anti-War on Iraq Demonstration in Glasgow: Tommy Sheridan moved S1M-3811—That the Parliament notes the organisations that support the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War that include the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Scottish UNISON, Scottish UCATT, Fire Brigades Union, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Scottish Quakers, Iona Community, Trident Ploughshares, Faslane Peace Camp, Church and Nation Committee Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Christian Aid, Scottish United Nations Association, Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Islamic Society of Britain, UK Islamic Mission, Muslim Association of Britain, Glasgow Refugee Action Group, Chhokar Family Campaign, Scottish Green Party, Labour Party Campaign for Socialism, Labour Campaign for Justice Not War, Scottish Socialist Party, Communist Party of Britain, Communist Party of Scotland, Democratic Left Scotland, Globalise Resistance, Socialist Labour Party, Campaign to Welcome Refugees, Scottish Centre for Non-Violence and Finance Workers Broad Left; agrees to support the demonstration on 15 February 2003 in Glasgow called by the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War against attacking Iraq, and believes that waging world-wide war against poverty and injustice would deliver a more stable, peaceful and just world than a war waged on Iraq with the resultant loss of innocent Iraqi citizens' lives.

The Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Business moved amendment S1M-3811.2 to motion S1M-3811—

Leave out from "agrees" to end and insert—

"further notes the demonstration on 15 February 2003 in Glasgow called by the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War against attacking Iraq, and endorses the right to express opinion in peaceful protest."

Phil Gallie moved amendment S1M-3811.1 to motion S1M-3811—

Leave out from "agrees" to end.

After debate, amendment S1M-3811.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 33, Abstentions 14). As a result amendment S1M-3811.1was
pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 105, Against 4, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved— That the Parliament notes the organisations that support the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War that include the Scottish Trades Union Congress, Scottish UNISON, Scottish UCATT, Fire Brigades Union, Scottish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, the Scottish Quakers, Iona Community, Trident Ploughshares, Faslane Peace Camp, Church and Nation Committee Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic Justice and Peace Commission, Christian Aid, Scottish United Nations Association, Campaign for Palestinian Rights, Scottish Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Islamic Society of Britain, UK Islamic Mission, Muslim Association of Britain, Glasgow Refugee Action Group, Chhokar Family Campaign, Scottish Green Party, Labour Party Campaign for Socialism, Labour Campaign for Justice Not War, Scottish Socialist Party, Communist Party of Britain, Communist Party of Scotland, Democratic Left Scotland, Globalise Resistance, Socialist Labour Party, Campaign to Welcome Refugees, Scottish Centre for Non-Violence and Finance Workers Broad Left; further notes the demonstration on 15 February 2003 in Glasgow called by the Scottish Coalition for Justice Not War against attacking Iraq, and endorses the right to express opinion in peaceful protest.

4. Regeneration of the Clyde: The Parliament debated S1M-3753 in the name of Gordon Jackson—That the Parliament recognises the importance to Scotland of efforts to regenerate the Clyde; considers that the Scottish Executive and Scottish Enterprise should establish and resource a development framework for the Clyde which encourages joined-up thinking and action; further considers that the respective councils, enterprise companies, regeneration agencies and private developers should work co-operatively in reclaiming derelict land, ensuring adequate flood protection and improving the transport infrastructure, and believes that ministers should make the regeneration of the Clyde one of the top economic, environmental and social justice priorities for Scotland.

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

6. Budget (Scotland) Bill – Stage 1: The Minister for Finance and Public Services moved S1M-3785—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill.

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body’s nomination for the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner: Mr Duncan Neil, on behalf of the Scottish Parliament Corporate Body, moved S1M-3799—That the Parliament agrees with the recommendation of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body under Rule 3A.1.2 of Standing Orders that Dr James Dyer should be appointed as Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner under section 1(2) of the Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Act 2002 with effect from 1 April 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament: Tricia Marwick, on behalf of the Standards Committee, moved S1M-3786—That the Parliament agrees to amend the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament in the manner indicated in Annex A of the Standards Committee’s 12th Report 2002, The Scottish Parliamentary Standards Commissioner Act 2002: Consequential Changes to the Code of Conduct, with effect from 30 January 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Designation of Lead Committee: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S1M-3815—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the draft Child Support Appeals (Jurisdiction of Courts) (Scotland) Order 2003.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Designation of Lead Committee: motion S1M-3816 was not moved.

11. Designation of Lead Committee: Euan Robson, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau moved S1M-3817—That the Parliament agrees that the Justice 2 Committee be designated as lead committee in consideration of the Police and Police (Special Constables) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/21).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 11 as noted above.

13. British Cattle Movement Service: The Parliament debated S1M-3766 in the name of Murdo Fraser—That the Parliament notes the widespread concern amongst the Scottish farming community in relation to the operation of the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) and, in particular, the volume of administrative errors and the delays by the BCMS in dealing with correspondence; further notes that, as a result, the operation of the service has contributed to financial hardship in the farming sector at a time when farming incomes are already at desperately low levels, and considers that the Scottish Executive's Environment and Rural Affairs Department should institute an amnesty for all farmers that have been alleged by the BCMS not to have accurately and timeously supplied cattle record information and make representations to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that a thorough review of the operation of the BCMS should be instituted with a view to eradicating the difficulties that have been identified.

The meeting closed at 5.51 pm.

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

30 January 2003

Appendix

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instruments were laid in draft before the Parliament on 30 January 2003 for approval by resolution—

The Budget (Scotland) Act 2002 Amendment Order 2003

laid under the Budget (Scotland) Act 2003

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Surveillance – Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2003—

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Covert Human Intelligence Sources – Code of Practice) (Scotland) Order 2003—

laid under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000

The General Commissioners of Income Tax (Costs) (Scotland) Regulations 2003

laid under the Taxes Management Act 1970

The Members of the Parole Board (Removal Tribunal) Regulations 2003

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

The Civil Legal Aid (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2003—

The Advice and Assistance (Financial Conditions) (Scotland) Regulations 2003—

The Advice and Assistance (Assistance by Way of Representation) (Scotland) Regulations 2003—

laid under the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 30 January 2003 and are subject to annulment—

The Civil Legal Aid (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/49)

laid under the Legal Aid (Scotland) Act 1986

The Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Prescription of Offices, Ranks and Positions) (Scotland) Amendment (No.2) Order 2003 (SSI 2003/50)

laid under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000

The Action Programme for Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Scotland) Regulations 2003 (SSI 2003/51)

laid under the European Communities Act 1972

The Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (Grants) (Scotland) Scheme 2003 (SSI 2003/52)

laid under the Agriculture Act 1970

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 30 January 2003 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure

Scotland’s Budget Documents 2002-03 Spring Budget Revision: Budget (Scotland) No.3) Act for the year ending 31 March 2003 (SE/2003/13)

Committee Reports

The following Reports were published on 30 January 2003—

Audit Committee, 2nd Report 2003: How Government Works in Scotland (SP Paper 753)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 8th Report 2003: Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 758)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 9th Report 2003: Delegated Powers Scrutiny: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill (SP Paper 759)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 10th Report 2003: Conference Report: "Smart Tape": Fostering Regulatory Innovation in the 21st Century, Toronto 25 - 27 September 2002 (SP Paper 760)

Local Government Committee, 4th Report 2003: Report on Inquiry into Allotments (SP Paper 761)


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