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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 4, No. 48 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 20 January 2011

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1.Protecting Public Services: Patrick Harvie moved S3M-7735—That the Parliament calls on ministers to open discussions in good faith with their UK counterparts regarding the prompt re-establishment of the democratically endorsed Scottish variable rate of income tax; believes that the UK Government's cuts agenda is ideologically driven, economically illiterate and will have a disproportionate impact on poorer people both in Scotland and in the rest of the UK; rejects the Scottish Government's decision simply to hand on these cuts to Scottish public services, with housing, energy efficiency and public transport particularly at threat; believes that the terms of the proposed council tax freeze reduce local authorities' ability to make their own democratic decisions and look at alternatives to cutting vital local services, and urges the Scottish Government to revise the draft budget to reduce these cuts by incorporating progressive ways to raise revenue at a local level within the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament to ensure that wealthier people pay more and poorer people pay less, including options such as land value tax, a hotel bed tax and reducing exemptions to the uniform business rate.

John Swinney moved amendment S3M-7735.2 to motion S3M-7735—

Leave out from “ministers” to end and insert—

“all parties in the Parliament to work together to deliver a balanced budget that will safeguard services and strengthen economic growth for Scotland.”

Michael McMahon moved amendment S3M-7735.4 to motion S3M-7735—

Leave out from first "; believes" to end and insert—

“in order to ensure that the appropriate mechanism is in place for the introduction of tax-raising powers recommended by the Calman Commission on Scottish Devolution and contained in the Scotland Bill currently before the UK Parliament and believes that the Scottish Government’s continued underfunding of the council tax freeze has directly led to cuts in vital local services”.

After debate, amendment S3M-7735.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 43, Abstentions 0). As a result amendment S3M-7735.4 was pre-empted.

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S3M-7735.3 to motion S3M-7735—

Leave out from “calls” to end and insert—

“believes that ensuring a strong economy is the best way to protect public services and create jobs and rejects calls to increase devolved taxes, for example by ending the council tax freeze or introducing a new non-domestic rate supplement for retailers.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 16, Against 100, Abstentions 0).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-7735.1 to motion S3M-7735—

Leave out from "calls" to end and insert—

“notes that, as a result of Labour’s financial mismanagement, the UK Government inherited the largest structural deficit in Europe, which has left it paying debt interest equivalent to the cost of building one primary school a day in Scotland; recognises that there are no easy choices in the current economic climate but that the UK Government is lifting 90,000 people in Scotland on low incomes out of paying income tax altogether and has restored the pensions link with earnings to the benefit of one million Scottish pensioners; further recognises that spending on frontline public services in Scotland will be reduced by less than in England, Wales or Northern Ireland; regrets that the Scottish Government has still not published detailed spending plans beyond 2011-12 and believes that, by introducing a surprise new tax on business and failing to tackle high pay in the public sector, the Scottish Government is not making the right choices to boost Scotland’s economic recovery and support frontline public services, but welcomes the fact that the Scottish Government has abandoned its ambitions to emulate the Republic of Ireland, where the Green Party has recently voted in support of the harshest austerity budget on record.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 31, Against 86, Abstentions 0).

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 74, Against 43, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament calls on all parties in the Parliament to work together to deliver a balanced budget that will safeguard services and strengthen economic growth for Scotland.

2. Opportunities for Young People: Robin Harper moved S3M-7737—That the Parliament commends the work of Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus in founding, in 1976, the Grameen Bank, which provides microfinance for people living in poverty in Bangladesh; recognises that, since its beginnings in Bangladesh, there are now Grameen-type programmes tackling poverty across 38 countries around the world and that Grameen America is now branching out to many new locations in New York, Nebraska, Washington DC and California; believes that there is an opportunity to tackle the growing problem of unemployment among 16 to 19-year-olds with the establishment of a microcredit scheme for young people in Scotland; notes that this scheme could offer loans for small business ventures to young people who are not in education, employment or training and be supported by an entrepreneurial mentoring scheme; further believes that such a scheme would build on the contribution made by Scotland’s social enterprise sector and draw on Scotland’s long history of entrepreneurial achievement, and calls on the Scottish Government to explore ways to establish a Scottish youth microcredit scheme.

Jim Mather moved amendment S3M-7737.1 to motion S3M-7737—

Insert at end—

“building on the excellent work by the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust in providing microfinance for business start-ups to 18 to 25-year-olds, the work of Glasgow Caledonian University in establishing a partnership with the Grameen Bank to develop the Grameen Caledonian Creative Lab and a Grameen Bank in Scotland and other organisations making a proactive effort and their own contributions in common cause.”

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

David Whitton moved amendment S3M-7737.2 to motion S3M-7737—

Insert at end—

“by discussing this idea with the Scottish League of Credit Unions and the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust”.

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

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to (DT).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament commends the work of Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus in founding, in 1976, the Grameen Bank, which provides microfinance for people living in poverty in Bangladesh; recognises that, since its beginnings in Bangladesh, there are now Grameen-type programmes tackling poverty across 38 countries around the world and that Grameen America is now branching out to many new locations in New York, Nebraska, Washington DC and California; believes that there is an opportunity to tackle the growing problem of unemployment among 16 to 19-year-olds with the establishment of a microcredit scheme for young people in Scotland; notes that this scheme could offer loans for small business ventures to young people who are not in education, employment or training and be supported by an entrepreneurial mentoring scheme; further believes that such a scheme would build on the contribution made by Scotland’s social enterprise sector and draw on Scotland’s long history of entrepreneurial achievement, and calls on the Scottish Government to explore ways to establish a Scottish youth microcredit scheme building on the excellent work by the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust in providing microfinance for business start-ups to 18 to 25-year-olds, the work of Glasgow Caledonian University in establishing a partnership with the Grameen Bank to develop the Grameen Caledonian Creative Lab and a Grameen Bank in Scotland and other organisations making a proactive effort and their own contributions in common cause by discussing this idea with the Scottish League of Credit Unions and the Prince’s Scottish Youth Business Trust.

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. Historic Environment Amendment (Scotland) Bill: The Minister for Culture and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop) moved S3M-7710—That the Parliament agrees that the Historic Environment Amendment (Scotland) Bill be passed.

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

7. The Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and other subordinate legislation Standing Order rule changes: Gil Paterson moved S3M-7733—That the Parliament notes the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 3rd Report 2010 (Session 3),The Interpretation and Legislative Reform (Scotland) Act 2010 and other subordinate legislation Standing Order rule changes (SP Paper 465), and agrees that changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 6 April 2011.

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

8. Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 and Code of Conduct: Gil Paterson moved—

S3M-7724 Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006—That the Parliament, considering that it is expedient to make certain modifications to the Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (asp 12), in exercise of the powers conferred by paragraph 10(1) of that Schedule—

  • makes the modifications to that Schedule that are contained in the Annexe to this resolution; and
  • provides that those modifications shall come into force on the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed.

ANNEXE

modifications to the Schedule to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006

Remuneration

1 (1) In the heading to paragraph 2 (Remuneration) of the Schedule, after “Remuneration” insert “and Related undertaking”.

(2) Paragraph 2 is amended as follows.

(3) At the beginning of that paragraph, insert—

“(A1) Where the circumstances are as described in sub-paragraph (1) or (1A).”

(4) In sub-paragraph (1)(f), delete the words “or any other work”.

(5) After sub-paragraph (1), insert

“(1A) Where a member is, or was—

(a) a director in a related undertaking; or

(b) a partner in a firm,

but does, or did, not receive remuneration by virtue of being such a director or partner.”

(6) In sub-paragraph (2), insert after “corporation” the words “or of Convener, deputy Convener or member of a Committee of the Parliament”.

(7) After sub-paragraph (2), insert—

“(3) Sub-paragraph (1) does not apply where the remuneration received from a person on a single, or on more than one, occasion during the current parliamentary session consists solely of expenses unless those expenses amount, or amount in aggregate, to more than the specified limit.

(4) The exception in sub-paragraph (3) applies even although the remuneration received from that person on another occasion, or on other occasions, during that session does not consist solely of expenses.

(5) In this paragraph—

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;

“a related undertaking” is a parent or subsidiary undertaking of an undertaking of which the member is a director and receives remuneration as a director as mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(d); and

“specified limit” means 1% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.”

Related undertaking, Election Expenses and Sponsorship

2 Paragraphs 3 (Related Undertaking), 4 (Election expenses) and 5 (Sponsorship) of the Schedule are deleted.

Gifts

3 (1) Paragraph 6 (Gifts) of the Schedule is amended as follows.

(2) In sub-paragraph (1), delete sub-paragraph (a) and the words “(b) that gift meets” and insert—

“(a) in the case where the gift was received from a person on a single occasion, the value of that gift, at the date on which it was received, exceeds the specified limit; or

(b) in the case where gifts were received from that person on more than one occasion during the current parliamentary session, the aggregate value of those gifts, at the dates on which they were received, exceeds the specified limit and, in either case,

(c) that gift or those gifts meet”

(3) In sub-paragraph (2),

(a) after “to” insert “(a)”;

(b) delete “(a)” (where it occurs for the second time) and insert “(i)”;

(c) delete “(b)” and insert “(ii)”; and

(d) after “the case may be” delete the full stop and insert—

“;

(b) any support (of any kind) provided by the services of a volunteer which are provided in that volunteer’s own time and free of charge; or

(c) a donation (of any kind) which is intended by the donor to be used for the purpose of meeting

(i) any campaign expenditure incurred in connection with the member’s campaign for election to a party office;

(ii) the election expenses of the member in relation to the election at which that member was returned as a member of the Scottish Parliament; or

(iii) the election expenses of the member in relation to any UK parliamentary election at which that member stands as a candidate,

but this exemption ceases to apply if the donation is not used for its intended purpose by the expiry of the 35th day after the election result is declared.”

(4) In sub-paragraph (3),

(a) delete “sub-paragraph (1)” and insert “this paragraph—

“candidate” has the same meaning as in section 118A, as read with section 90ZA(5) of the Representation of the People Act 1983;

“campaign expenditure” includes expenditure incurred, whether before or after the member’s candidacy for election to the party office is announced or after the date on which the result of that election is declared, which can reasonably be described as being for the purposes of that campaign;”

and

(b) in the end of the definition of “controlling interest” delete the fullstop and insert—

“;

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;

“election expenses”, in relation to a member, has the same meaning for the purposes of

(i) sub-paragraph (2)(c) (ii) as “election expenses” has in relation to a candidate in the order under section 12 of the 1998 Act which is in force for the purposes of the election at which the member was returned; and

(ii) sub-paragraph (2)(c)(iii) as “election expenses” has in section 90ZA of the Representation of the People Act 1983;

“party office” means an office in a registered political party with which that member is connected;

“registered political party” means a political party registered under Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 20006 and a member is “connected with” a registered political party if the member was returned at the election after contesting it as a candidate (whether for return as a constituency member or as a regional member) of that party; and

“specified limit” means 1% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.”

Heritable Property

4 (1) Paragraph 8 (Heritable property) of the Schedule is amended as follows.

(2) In sub-paragraph (2)(a), delete the words “50 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10)” and insert “the specified limit”.

(3) Delete sub-paragraph (2)(b) and insert—

“(b) any income is received from the heritable property during the twelve months prior to the relevant date.”

(4) In sub-paragraph (3)(a), delete “his or her own” and insert “ the member’s”.

(5) After sub-paragraph (7) insert—

“ (8) In this paragraph—

“current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned; and

“specified limit” means 50% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.”

Interest in shares

5 (1) Paragraph 9 (Interest in shares) of the Schedule is amended as follows.

(2) In sub-paragraph (2)(b), delete the words “50 per cent of a member’s salary on that date (rounded down to the nearest £10)” and insert “the specified limit”.

(3) In sub-paragraph (3), delete “apply”.

(4) In sub-paragraph (3)(a), delete “his or her own name” and insert “ the name of the member (or relevant person)”.

(5) In sub-paragraph (8),

(a) insert after “paragraph”—

““current parliamentary session” means the parliamentary session which begins immediately after, or in which, the member is returned;”

(b) delete the words “(a)” and “and (b)”; and

(c) at the end of that sub-paragraph, delete the full stop and insert— ” ;

“specified limit” means 50% of a member’s salary (rounded down to the nearest £10) at the beginning of the current parliamentary session.”

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

S3M-7725 - Determinations to the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006: —That the Parliament, in exercise of the powers conferred by sections 4(1) and 4(2) of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (asp 12)—

  • makes the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2011 as set out in Annexe E of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee's 9th Report 2010 (Session 3), MSPs’ Registrable Interests: Proposed Changes to the Code of Conduct with effect from the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed;

  • revokes the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Form and Content of Written Statement) Determination 2007 with effect from the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed; and

  • revokes the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Act 2006 (Gross Income from Heritable Property) Determination 2007 with effect from the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed.

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

S3M-7726 - Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament:—That the Parliament agrees to amend the Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament by replacing Volumes 1 and 2 with Volumes 1 and 2 as set out in Annexe D of the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee's 9th Report 2010 (Session 3), MSPs’ Registrable Interests: Proposed Changes to the Code of Conduct, with effect from the date after the date of the first dissolution of the Parliament following the date on which this resolution is passed.

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

9. Minor changes to Standing Orders: Gil Paterson moved S3M-7734—That the Parliament notes the Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee’s 10th Report 2010 (Session 3), Minor changes to Standing Orders (SP Paper 552), and agrees that changes to Standing Orders set out in Annexe A to the report be made with effect from 1 April 2011.

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

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

11. Dual the A9 Timetable: The Parliament debated S3M-7532 in the name of Murdo Fraser —That the Parliament understands that the A9 trunk road has the highest fatality rate of any road in Scotland and that the majority of accidents occur on single carriageway stretches; sadly notes that 2010 had seen 11 deaths on the Perth to Inverness section by 1 December; acknowledges that the A9 between these points continually switches between single and dual carriageway, which, it considers, can cause driver confusion and lead to accidents; believes that upgrading the A9 between Perth and Inverness to dual carriageway in its entirety would reduce the accident and fatality rates and in addition would help ease congestion and bring an economic boost to Mid Scotland and Fife and the Highlands, and accordingly would welcome a full and detailed timetable for such improvements.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
20 January 2011

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

Subordinate Legislation

Affirmative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 20 January 2011 for approval by resolution—

The M8 (Baillieston to Newhouse) Special Road Scheme 2011 (SSI 2011/10)

The A8 Trunk Road (Baillieston to Newhouse) Order 2011 (SSI 2011/11)

The A725 Trunk Road (Baillieston to Newhouse) Order 2011 (SSI 2011/12)

laid under sections 143A(1)(c) and 143(3) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984

Negative Instruments

The following negative instrument was laid before the Parliament on 20 January 2011 and is subject to annulment

The Waverley Railway (Scotland) Act 2006 (Extension of Time for Land Acquisitions) Order 2011 (SSI 2011/14)

laid under section 28(1) of the Waverley Railway (Scotland) Act 2006

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 20 January 2011––

Finance Committee, 2nd Report, 2011 (Session 3): Report on Scotland’s Spending Plans and Draft Budget 2011-12 (SP Paper 564)

Rural Affairs and Environment Committee, 1st Report, 2011 (Session 3): Stage 1 Report on Reservoirs (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 567

1983 c. 1

1983 c. 1