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Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

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Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 13 November 2008

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Energy Efficiency: Sarah Boyack moved S3M-2864—That the Parliament recognises the significant role that energy efficiency and microgeneration measures could have in reducing energy costs for householders and businesses, in achieving urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% by 2050 and contributing to the eradication of fuel poverty by 2016; notes that research carried out by the Energy Savings Trust suggests that widespread installation of microgeneration could provide 30 to 40% of our electricity needs by 2050 but that current investment in energy efficiency and microgeneration measures is insufficient to achieve these goals, and calls on the Scottish Government to take steps, as set out in the Energy Efficiency and Microgeneration Bill proposals, such as fiscal incentives for householders and businesses, to improve the energy efficiency of new and existing housing stock and ensure that microgeneration technologies become widely available and used.

Robin Harper moved amendment S3M-2864.1 to motion S3M-2864—

leave out from "to improve" to end and insert—

"to ensure that microgeneration technologies become widely available and used and to consider other energy efficiency measures for new and existing housing stock to tackle fuel poverty, climate change and security of energy supply; notes the evidence given by Friends of the Earth Scotland to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee suggesting that an additional £100 million per annum would be a welcome change to the draft budget for 2009-10, and calls on the Scottish Government to consider a comprehensive and fully funded Scotland-wide scheme on this scale to provide energy audits, insulation provision and financial support for micro-renewables where appropriate."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 91, Against 15, Abstentions 14).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 90, Against 15, Abstentions 14).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament recognises the significant role that energy efficiency and microgeneration measures could have in reducing energy costs for householders and businesses, in achieving urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of at least 80% by 2050 and contributing to the eradication of fuel poverty by 2016; notes that research carried out by the Energy Savings Trust suggests that widespread installation of microgeneration could provide 30 to 40% of our electricity needs by 2050 but that current investment in energy efficiency and microgeneration measures is insufficient to achieve these goals; calls on the Scottish Government to take steps, as set out in the Energy Efficiency and Microgeneration Bill proposals, such as fiscal incentives for householders and businesses, to ensure that microgeneration technologies become widely available and used and to consider other energy efficiency measures for new and existing housing stock to tackle fuel poverty, climate change and security of energy supply; notes the evidence given by Friends of the Earth Scotland to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee suggesting that an additional £100 million per annum would be a welcome change to the draft budget for 2009-10, and calls on the Scottish Government to consider a comprehensive and fully funded Scotland-wide scheme on this scale to provide energy audits, insulation provision and financial support for micro-renewables where appropriate.

2. Health Funding: Cathy Jamieson moved S3M-2863—That the Parliament condemns the emerging cuts to frontline services in Scotland’s health service as a direct result of the SNP’s budget settlement, which provides the NHS with its lowest spending increase since devolution; notes with concern that NHS boards across Scotland are facing extreme financial pressure as evidenced by the comments of NHS Highland that it needs to find savings that "would mean consideration of issues that were previously thought to be scary or untouchable"; further notes that NHS Shetland is reviewing the number of nurses, cancer care services and mental health funding to generate budget savings and that the Director of Finance and Planning at NHS Forth Valley has reported that the size of the savings required "will impact on direct patient services and on staffing levels", and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to take urgent action to ensure that NHS boards receive sufficient funding in order that they are not forced to consider cuts to frontline services.

Nicola Sturgeon moved amendment S3M-2863.1 to motion S3M-2863—

leave out from "condemns" to end and insert—

"notes that the Scottish Government’s spending plans are set against the background of the 2007 spending review settlement from the UK Treasury that represents the lowest increase for Scotland since devolution; recognises that the NHS has received a fair share of the financial settlement and that the Scottish Government is increasing spending on health in Scotland; further recognises that in this context it is right that the NHS should strive to make sure that resources are spent as efficiently as possible; commends the NHS’s record in achieving efficiency savings linked to good quality care; welcomes the Scottish Government’s decision to continue the practice whereby all efficiency savings generated by the NHS will be retained by the NHS for local reinvestment in frontline services, and condemns the Labour Party, which instituted efficiency savings while in government but has irresponsibly attacked them in opposition."

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 42, Abstentions 14).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 65, Against 41, Abstentions 14).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament notes that the Scottish Government’s spending plans are set against the background of the 2007 spending review settlement from the UK Treasury that represents the lowest increase for Scotland since devolution; recognises that the NHS has received a fair share of the financial settlement and that the Scottish Government is increasing spending on health in Scotland; further recognises that in this context it is right that the NHS should strive to make sure that resources are spent as efficiently as possible; commends the NHS’s record in achieving efficiency savings linked to good quality care; welcomes the Scottish Government’s decision to continue the practice whereby all efficiency savings generated by the NHS will be retained by the NHS for local reinvestment in frontline services, and condemns the Labour Party, which instituted efficiency savings while in government but has irresponsibly attacked them in opposition.

3. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

4. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

5. Themed Question Time: Questions on Rural Affairs and the Environment, and Justice and Law Officers were answered by Cabinet Secretaries, Ministers and Scottish Law Officers.

6. Scottish Futures Trust: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) moved S3M-2862—That the Parliament agrees that modern infrastructure is essential to economic well-being and excellent public services in Scotland; notes actions to invest in public infrastructure set out in the Scottish Government’s £35 billion Infrastructure Investment Plan; notes efforts to promote collaboration among public authorities and agencies in planning and developing capital projects to maximise value for money; believes that identifying and managing risk effectively through the capital project life cycle and providing a range of approaches to structuring and financing infrastructure investment are important objectives to be pursued; notes the steps being taken by the Scottish Government to develop the non-profit distributing model for capital schemes to achieve an appropriate balance of risk and reward; believes that the establishment of the Scottish Futures Trust, with its role of maximising value for money by facilitating and encouraging effective and efficient investment in public infrastructure schemes, is in the public interest, and calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that the Scottish Futures Trust makes a full contribution to these objectives.

David Whitton moved amendment S3M-2862.3 to motion S3M-2862—

leave out from "notes actions" to end and insert—

"believes that the Scottish Government has failed to deliver a workable method of funding for public infrastructure projects, a view supported by, among others, the building industry, the financial services community and the trades unions; considers that this damaging hiatus is costing jobs and harming the Scottish economy, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to bring an end to its Scottish Futures Trust proposals immediately."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 56, Against 64, Abstentions 0).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S3M-2862.1 to motion S3M-2862—

leave out from "notes the steps" to "public interest".

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 56, Abstentions 0).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-2862.2 to motion S3M-2862—

leave out from "agrees" to end and insert—

"considers that the proposed Scottish Futures Trust is nothing more than a £22.95 million quango that will duplicate existing functions of government and therefore believes that the Scottish Government’s Scottish Futures Trust should not proceed."

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 56, Against 64, Abstentions 0).

After debate, the motion as amended was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 64, Against 56, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament agrees that modern infrastructure is essential to economic well-being and excellent public services in Scotland; notes actions to invest in public infrastructure set out in the Scottish Government’s £35 billion Infrastructure Investment Plan; notes efforts to promote collaboration among public authorities and agencies in planning and developing capital projects to maximise value for money; believes that identifying and managing risk effectively through the capital project life cycle and providing a range of approaches to structuring and financing infrastructure investment are important objectives to be pursued, and calls on the Scottish Government to ensure that the Scottish Futures Trust makes a full contribution to these objectives.

7. Energy Bill - UK Legislation: The Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism (Jim Mather) moved S3M-2843—That the Parliament agrees that the relevant provisions of the UK Energy Bill in Part 2 (Electricity from Renewable Sources – the Renewables Obligation), introduced in the House of Commons on 10 January 2008 and that the relevant amendments to Part 5 (Miscellaneous Provisions – Renewable Heat Incentives), tabled by Her Majesty’s Government on 29 October 2008, should, insofar as they relate to matters within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament or alter the executive competence of the Scottish Ministers, be considered by the UK Parliament.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

8. Establishment of Committee: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2870—That the Parliament agrees to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows—

Name of Committee: Review of SPCB-supported Bodies;

Remit: To consider and report on whether alterations should be made to the terms and conditions of the office-holders and the structure of the bodies supported by the SPCB; to consider how any proposals for future arrangements should be taken forward, including by way of a Committee Bill, and to make recommendations accordingly;

Duration: Until the Parliament has concluded consideration of the committee’s report;

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish Labour Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party;

Membership: Jackson Carlaw, Ross Finnie, Joe FitzPatrick, Trish Godman, Jamie Hepburn, Johann Lamont.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

9. Establishment of Committee: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2871—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) to establish a committee of the Parliament as follows—

Name of Committee: Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Bill Committee;

Remit: To consider the Scottish Parliamentary Pensions Bill at Stage 2;

Duration: Until the Bill is passed, or falls or is otherwise no longer in progress;

Convenership: The Convener will be a member of the Scottish National Party and the Deputy Convener will be a member of the Scottish Labour Party;

Membership: Bill Aitken, Keith Brown, Nicol Stephen, David Stewart;

and

(b) that "4" be substituted for "5" in Rule 6.3.2 of Standing Orders for the purpose of the membership of the committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Committee Membership: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2879—That the Parliament agrees that—

Keith Brown be appointed to replace Gil Paterson as a member of the European and External Relations Committee;

Gil Paterson be appointed to replace Keith Brown and Aileen Campbell be appointed to replace Christina McKelvie as members of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee;

Bob Doris be appointed to replace Gil Paterson as a member of the Subordinate Legislation Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Committee Membership: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2880—That the Parliament agrees that—

Nanette Milne be appointed to replace Jamie McGrigor as a member of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12. Substitution on Committees: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2881—That the Parliament agrees that—

Gil Paterson be appointed to replace Keith Brown as the Scottish National Party substitute on the European and External Relations Committee;

Christina McKelvie be appointed to replace Bob Doris as the Scottish National Party substitute on the Public Petitions Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

13. Substitution on Committees: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-2882—That the Parliament agrees that

Jamie McGrigor be appointed to replace John Scott as the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party substitute on the Public Petitions Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

14. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 as noted above.

15. Paisley Festival Company/Voices in Paisley 2008: The Parliament debated S3M-2657 in the name of Wendy Alexander—That the Parliament congratulates the continued success of the Paisley Festival Company and the Voices in Paisley 2008 choral programme between 24 October and 8 November 2008; notes that the Paisley Festival Company is a recognised Scottish charity committed to increasing the accessibility and impact on the local community through a wide variety of magnificent music and choral events from classical through to folk and jazz, and notes the company’s aims to establish Paisley and its environs as a nationally-recognised centre for all types of choral activity and deserving of the title Scotland's Choir Town.

The meeting closed at 5.37 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
13 November 2008

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

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 13 November 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Non-Domestic Rating (Rural Areas and Rateable Value Limits) (Scotland) Amendment Order 2009 Amendment Order 2008 (SSI 2008/371)

laid under section 8 of the Local Government and Rating Act 1997

The European Communities (Service of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/372)

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

Other Documents

The following document was laid before the Parliament on 13 November 2008 and is not subject to any parliamentary procedure

Fisheries Research Services Report and Accounts 2007-08 (SG/2008/206)

laid under section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000