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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 1 March 2007

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Dealing with Illegal Money Lenders: The Deputy Minister for Communities (Des McNulty) moved S2M-5669—That the Parliament condemns the activities of illegal money lenders who prey on and exploit vulnerable individuals and communities; welcomes the Scottish Executive’s determination to work in partnership with the UK Government to tackle illegal lending through enforcement and by developing new approaches, such as the successful illegal money lending task force pilots, and supports the Executive’s activity to help affected individuals by increasing affordable credit from credit unions, by improving the availability of money advice, through citizens’ advice, local authority trading standards departments and other organisations which provide invaluable help to those with unmanageable debt, and by extending financial education in schools and in other settings such as the workplace and the community.

Mr Kenny MacAskill moved amendment S2M-5669.1 to motion S2M-5669—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“notes the significant debt problem in Scotland, a problem that is more serious than in the rest of the United Kingdom; recognises that a main cause of Scotland’s debt crisis is the irresponsible actions of legal money lenders; believes that the causes as well as the consequences of unmanageable debt must be addressed; regrets that current consumer legislation at Westminster is inadequate in protecting vulnerable groups from predatory lending; calls for the Parliament to have appropriate powers to deal with Scotland’s distinct debt problem, and further calls for the removal of dwelling homes from the land attachment method of debt recovery, thereby ending the draconian situation of a person’s home being at risk over a small amount of debt.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 36, Against 76, Abstentions 0).

Margaret Mitchell moved amendment S2M-5669.2 to motion S2M-5669—

Insert at end—

“recognises that an increase in the number of police walking our streets would encourage and give people more confidence to report the activities of illegal money lenders in local communities, and believes that tackling personal debt and financial exclusion is an issue of social responsibility.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 96, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then agreed to (DT).

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. Themed Question Time: Questions on Justice and Law Officers and on Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning, were answered by Scottish Law Officers and by Scottish Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

5. Business Motion: Margaret Curran, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S2M-5666—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, each time limit being calculated from when the Stage begins and excluding any periods when other business is under consideration or when a meeting of the Parliament is suspended (other than a suspension following the first division in the Stage being called) or otherwise not in progress:

Groups 1 and 2: 35 minutes
Groups 3 and 4: 1 hour 5 minutes
Groups 5, 6 and 7: 1 hour 20 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

6. Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

Amendment 13 was agreed to without division.

The following amendments were disagreed to (by division)—

14 (For 32, Against 70, Abstentions 0)
1A (For 43, Against 59, Abstentions 0)
1 (For 43, Against 57, Abstentions 0)
15 (For 43, Against 59, Abstentions 0)
2 (For 11, Against 80, Abstentions 0)
12 (For 36, Against 65, Abstentions 0)
4 (For 26, Against 73, Abstentions 0)
5 (For 26, Against 74, Abstentions 0)
6 (For 33, Against 68, Abstentions 0)
7 (For 10, Against 91, Abstentions 0)
8 (For 4, Against 95, Abstentions 0)
3 (For 13, Against 87, Abstentions 1)

The following amendments were not moved: 10, 11 and 9.

The Presiding Officer extended the time-limits under Rules 9.8.4A(c) and 9.8.4A(a).

7. Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Minister for Environment and Rural Development (Ross Finnie) moved S2M-5630—That the Parliament agrees that the Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 7 as noted above.

10. Tysabri for People with MS: The Parliament debated S2M-5305 in the name of Tricia Marwick—That the Parliament deplores the decision by the Scottish Medicines Consortium not to recommend that Tysabri be prescribed to people with multiple sclerosis (MS); notes that, for a small number of those with the most aggressive form of relapsing-remitting MS for whom existing treatments do not work, Tysabri represents the only treatment available; believes that Tysabri has the potential to alleviate suffering for MS patients in Fife and across Scotland; notes that Tysabri is prescribed in Germany, Ireland and the United States of America but not in Scotland, which has the highest rate of MS in the world, and considers that NHS boards in Scotland should prescribe Tysabri which had been described by Dr Gavin Giovannoni, of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, as the most significant advance in MS treatment for nearly a decade.

The meeting closed at 5.50 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
1 March 2007

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 1 March 2007 and are subject to annulment—

The Supervised Attendance Order (Prescribed Courts) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/120)

laid under section 235(5) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995

The Divorce etc. (Pensions) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/122)

laid under section 10(9) of the Family Law (Scotland) Act 1985

The Town and Country Planning (Prescribed Date) (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/123)

laid under section 275(3) of the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997

The Valuation Appeal Committee (Electronic Communications) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/124)

laid under section 9(3) of the Electronic Communications Act 2000

The Football Banning Orders (Regulated Football Matches) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/125)

laid under section 103(3) of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006

The Conservation of Seals (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/126)

laid under section 14(1) of the Conservation of Seals Act 1970

The Sea Fishing (Enforcement of Community Quota and Third Country Fishing Measures) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/127)

laid under section 30(4) of the Fisheries Act 1981

The Licensing (Appointed Day and Transitional Provisions) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/128)

laid under section 146(4) of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005

The Testing of Arrested Persons for Class A Drugs (Prescribed Area) (Scotland) Order 2007 (SSI 2007/131)

laid under section 20B(3) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 (Inserted by section 84 of the Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2006)

The Parental Involvement in Headteacher and Deputy Headteacher Appointments (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/132)

laid under section 22 of the Scottish Schools (Parental Involvement) Act 2006

The Marketing of Vegetable Plant Material Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/133)

laid under paragraph 2(2) of Schedule 2 to the European Communities Act 1972

The Police (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2007 (SSI 2007/134)

laid under section 26(10) of the Police (Scotland) Act 1967

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 1 March 2007—

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 16th Report, 2007 (Session 2): Aquaculture and Fisheries (Scotland) Bill as amended at Stage 2 (SP Paper 755)

Standards and Public Appointments Committee, 1st Report 2007 (Session 2): Complaint against Brian Monteith MSP (SP Paper 756)

Justice 2 Committee, 4th Report, 2007 (Session 2): Report on Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 759)