|Back to the Scottish Parliament||Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 46 Session 2|
Meeting of the Parliament
Thursday 12 January 2005
Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.
The meeting opened at 9.15 am.
1. Local Government Finance: Mr John Swinney moved S2M-3795—That the Parliament notes the widespread concern over the inadequacy of the local government finance settlement for 2006-07 and 2007-08; notes the recommendations of the Finance Committee that the Scottish Executive should reconsider the settlement; welcomes the moves to make government more efficient but calls for this process to be applied equitably across national and local government and conducted with greater rigour; calls on the Executive to restore the £58.5 million in efficiency savings to local government baselines and to make available to local authorities £34.7 million from the pre-Budget report consequentials on condition that this is used to deliver a real-terms freeze in council tax, and recognises that these are short-term improvements to the unfair council tax that will only be resolved when the system is abolished and replaced by a local income tax based on the ability to pay.
The Deputy Minister for Finance and Public Service Reform and Parliamentary Business (George Lyon) moved amendment S2M-3795.4 to motion S2M-3795—
Leave out from “widespread concern” to end and insert—
David Davidson moved amendment S2M-3795.3 to motion S2M-3795—
Leave out from “, and recognises” to end and insert—
Mark Ballard moved amendment S2M-3795.1 to motion S2M-3795—
Leave out from “local income tax” to end and insert—
Tommy Sheridan moved amendment S2M-3795.5 to motion S2M-3795—
Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—
After debate, amendment S2M-3795.4 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 56, Abstentions 0). As a result, amendments S2M-3795.3, S2M-3795.1 and S2M-3795.5 were pre-empted.
The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 56, Abstentions 0).
Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes the record levels of finance provided to local government by the Scottish Executive which mean that by 2007-08 core funding will have increased by over £3 billion or 55% compared with 1999-2000; welcomes the report from the Local Government Improvement Service which confirms that councils are on course to achieve at least £122 million in efficiency savings in 2005-06; notes that the Executive has given a commitment to consider some further additional resources for 2007-08 subject to local government delivering on their efficiency targets and that the Executive is engaged in an ongoing discussion with local government about the financial pressures councils are facing and the steps local government can take to maintain downward pressure on council tax, and looks forward to the report of the independent committee on local government taxation, which is due later this year.
2. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.
3. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Mr Jack McConnell).
4. Election of Member to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body: The following members were nominated as candidates for appointment to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body—
The result was—
Mr Kenny MacAskill was duly elected as a member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
5. Skills and Training for a Modern Scotland: The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning (Allan Wilson) moved S2M-3806—That the Parliament agrees that developing the current and future workforce of Scotland is key to ending poverty and sustaining economic growth; recognises the very good progress that is being made in reducing unemployment through investment in skills and training, and welcomes the Scottish Executive’s intention to work with the United Kingdom Government, employers and employer organisations, universities, colleges, training organisations and other public agencies to drive forward opportunities for workforce development to strengthen the economy and improve the employability and skills of individuals across Scotland, in particular those furthest from employment and those in lower paid, low skilled jobs.
Jim Mather moved amendment S2M-3806.1 to motion S2M-3806—
Leave out from “; recognises” to end and insert—
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 34, Against 81, Abstentions 6).
Murdo Fraser moved amendment S2M-3806.2 to motion S2M-3806—
Leave out from “recognises” to end and insert—
After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 47, Against 72, Abstentions 0).
The motion was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 75, Against 22, Abstentions 23).
6. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 5 as noted above.
7. The Tayside Project: The Parliament debated S2M-3558 in the name of Shona Robison—That the Parliament commends Marie Curie Cancer Care for joining forces with NHS Tayside, Dundee City Council, Perth and Kinross and Angus Councils and the Scottish Ambulance Service to deliver the first Scottish project of the Delivering Choice Programme in Tayside, which aims to look at the problems in palliative care provision in the region before developing a strategy to deliver the best possible palliative care and end-of-life care for patients in the area, allowing them to be cared for in the place of their choice; notes that Tayside has specific problems in this area, with 75% of the admissions to the cancer centre in Ninewells Hospital being for palliative care, and that over the three-year project issues like this will be tackled, and believes that the findings of the project should be utilised in other areas of Scotland to inform palliative care policy so that everyone in Scotland can benefit from this ground-breaking project.
P E Grice
Not Subject to any Parliamentary Procedure
The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 12 January 2006 and is not subject to any Parliamentary procedure
The following report was published on 12 January 2006