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MINUTES OF PROCEEDINGS

Meeting of the Parliament

Vol 4 No 63 Session 1

Thursday 27 March 2003

 
 

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

The meeting opened at 9.30 am.

1. Closing the Opportunity Gap for Older People: The Minister for Social Justice moved S1M-4064—That the Parliament welcomes the Scottish Executive’s commitment to close the opportunity gap for Scotland’s older people by building first-class public services and developing initiatives in health, transport and other priority areas, which will support older people in living healthy, active and independent lives.

Mr Kenneth Gibson moved amendment S1M-4064.2 to motion S1M-4064—/p>

Leave out from "welcomes" to end and insert—

"notes that life expectancy in Scotland is among the lowest in the developed world; further notes that Scottish Executive health targets entrench age inequalities; accepts that ageism is a reality in modern Scotland and must be countered; is aware that 25% of Scottish pensioners live in poverty; acknowledges that more coherence to the concessionary fare scheme is required; seeks more flexibility in delivering the central heating programme; desires that the postcode lottery of free personal care places be ended; recognises that older people have a vital part to play in our democracy; is concerned at continuing reductions in the value of the state pension in real and relative terms; demands that the closure of final salary scheme pensions be addressed to prevent future generations of older people being left with low incomes, financial insecurity and dependent on means-tested benefits, and believes that to address the needs of older people in Scotland the Parliament needs the full powers of an independent sovereign state."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 28, Against 85, Abstentions 3).

Mr Keith Harding moved amendment S1M-4064.1 to motion S1M-4064—

Leave out from "by" to end and insert—

"but notes that its policies are not working, care homes are having to close due to a funding crisis, waiting lists and times are rising, more older people feel insecure in their homes and there is an insufficient level of provision of appropriate housing for older people and considers that, if the Chancellor was to abolish his punitive stealth tax on pension funds in the forthcoming budget, the opportunity gap for older people would be greatly reduced."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 46, Against 69, Abstentions 3).

The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 86, Against 0, Abstentions 32).

2. Great North Partnership and Social Inclusion Partnerships: The Parliament debated S1M-4020 in the name of Elaine Thomson—That the Parliament commends the work done by the Great Northern Partnership (GNP) in Aberdeen; notes that the GNP plays an important role in improving quality of life and extending opportunities for those living there, especially the community of Middlefield, and further commends social inclusion partnerships across Scotland for empowering local communities.

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

4. Motion of Thanks to the Presiding Officer: The First Minister moved S1M-4063—That the Parliament expresses its gratitude to Sir David Steel for his service to the Parliament and recognises the important and historic role he has carried out as its first Presiding Officer.

After debate, the motion was agreed to.

5. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on item 1 as noted above.

The meeting closed at 4.08 pm.

 

P E Grice

Clerk of the Parliament

27 March 2003

Appendix

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

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 27 March 2003 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Borders College: Annual Report of the Board of Management and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2002 (SE/2003/27)—

Elmwood College: Annual Report of the Board of Management and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2002 (SE/2003/37)—

Inverness College: Annual Report of the Board of Management and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2002 (SE/2003/44)—

James Watt College: Annual Report of the Board of Management and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2002 (SE/2003/45)—

John Wheatley College: Annual Report of the Board of Management and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2002 (SE/2003/47)—

Kilmarnock College: Annual Report of the Board of Management and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2002 (SE/2003/48)—

Lauder College: Annual Report of the Board of Management and Accounts for the year ended 31 July 2002 (SE/2003/50)—

laid under the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Modernising Scotland’s Social Housing: A Consultation Paper (SE/2003/63)

Scottish Law Commission Thirty-Seventh Annual Report 2002 (SE/2003/70)

laid under the Law Commissions Act 1965

National Library of Scotland Accounts 1999-2000 (SE/2003/77)

laid under the National Library of Scotland Act 1925 as amended by the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985

National Lottery Distribution Fund Account 2001-02 (SE/2003/78)

laid under the National Lottery etc. Act 1993

Reconvictions of Offenders Discharged from Custody or Given Custodial Sentences in 1997L Statistical Bulletin (SE/2003/84)

laid under the Police (Scotland) Act 1967 as amended by the Police and Magistrates’ Courts Act 1994


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