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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 3, No. 68 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 22 April 2010

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-6172—That the Parliament agrees that, during Stage 3 of the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill, debate on groups of amendments shall, subject to Rule 9.8.4A, be brought to a conclusion by the time limit indicated, that 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 to 3: 20 minutes.

The motion was agreed to.

2. The Economy: Andy Kerr moved S3M-6174—That the Parliament notes the recent comments from the Scottish Chambers of Commerce that construction remains in difficulties and that the apparent fall in volume of public sector contracts is of particular concern; notes further its call for the Scottish Futures Trust to rapidly expand its delivery of capital infrastructure projects throughout Scotland and regrets that the Scottish Government’s failure to ensure a steady stream of capital infrastructure works has led to the loss of nearly 30,000 jobs in the Scottish construction industry and a massive downturn in the order books of suppliers such as the structural steel industry; welcomes additional funding for housing in the UK budget; notes that 720 construction apprentices have lost their jobs as a result of the downturn in the industry, and calls on the Scottish Government to provide every young person with the right to quality training, including advanced apprenticeship or technician level training for those who are qualified.

Leave out from first “and” to end and insert—

“; notes that growth is returning to the Scottish economy but that the recovery is still fragile and significant challenges remain as Scotland seeks to consolidate recovery, and calls for the Scottish Government to work with all sectors in Scotland to further build on recovery from Labour’s recession.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 44, Against 64, Abstentions 1).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S3M-6174.2 to motion S3M-6174—

Leave out from first “and” to end and insert—

 “; notes that an increase in the rate of VAT for new homes would significantly compound these difficulties, as would further increases in national insurance contributions; asks the Scottish Government to make representations to the UK Government to try to prevent such tax rises, and calls on the Scottish Government to take action on the economy within its own powers by ruling out the transfer of business rates to local authorities, which would significantly increase bills in many parts of the country, including Aberdeenshire, the Borders, East Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute and Fife among many others, and by considering the scope within existing revenue projections to extend business rate relief for small and rural businesses.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 15, Against 49, Abstentions 45).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-6174.1 to motion S3M-6174—

Leave out from “welcomes” to end and insert—

“regrets that the UK GDP fell by 4.6% and the Scottish GDP by 4.8% over 2009; further regrets that unemployment in Scotland continues to rise at a faster rate than in the rest of the UK, and notes that the UK economy grew twice as fast as the Scottish economy during the fourth quarter of 2009.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 14, Against 93, Abstentions 1).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 34, Against 61, Abstentions 14).

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 Europe, External Affairs and Culture, and on Education and Lifelong Learning were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

6. Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill – Stage 3: The Bill was considered at Stage 3.

The following amendments were agreed to without division: 2 and 3.

Amendment 1 was agreed to (by division: For 57, Against 42, Abstentions 0).

The Deputy Presiding Officer extended the time limit under Rule 9.8.4A(a).

7. Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill: Christine Grahame moved S3M-6147—That the Parliament agrees that the Control of Dogs (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

8. Ministerial Statement: The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney) made a statement and answered questions on the Volcanic Ash Cloud.

9. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 2 and 7 as noted above.

10. Veterans in the Criminal Justice System: The Parliament debated S3M-6024 in the name of Angela Constance—That the Parliament notes with concern the recent survey and anecdotal evidence that suggests that a large number of veterans become involved in the criminal justice system; recognises that trauma, mental health problems and substance abuse related to combat can often be a root cause of veterans offending; believes that, while no person is above the law and some veteran crimes cannot be linked to their experiences in the forces, prison is not the best place to deal with such deep-seated personal issues; considers that the men and women from across Scotland, including Livingston, who serve in the armed services make great sacrifices on Scotland’s behalf and that more assistance should be available for veterans who are at risk of offending or who become involved in the criminal justice system, and believes that, as a first step, a thorough study should be carried out to gain an accurate estimate of the number of veterans in prison, on probation or serving community sentences in Scotland.

The meeting closed at 5.52 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
22 April 2010

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 22 April 2010 for approval by resolution—

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Automatic Listing) (Specified Criteria) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/draft)—

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Modification of Regulated Work with Adults) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/draft)—

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Modification of Regulated Work with Children) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/draft)—

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Relevant Offences) (Modification) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/draft)

laid under section 100(4) of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Negative Instruments

The following instrument was laid before the Parliament on 22 April 2010 and is subject to annulment

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Prescribed Services) (Protected Adults) Regulations 2010 (SSI 2010/161)

laid under section 100(3) of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 22 April 2010 and are not subject to any Parliamentary procedure—

Forth Valley College Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/72)—

Jewel & Esk College Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31st July 2009 (SG/2010/73)—

John Wheatley College Annual Report & Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/74)—

Kilmarnock College Board of Management Report and Financial Statements for the year ended 31 July 2009 (SG/2010/75)—

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