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Journal of Parliamentary Proceedings Sessions 1 & 2

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No. 65 Thursday 30 March 2000

The meeting opened at 9.30 am .

1. Scottish Service Tax: Tommy Sheridan moved S1M-700—That the Parliament supports the principle of progressive taxation on social, economic and moral grounds and, in pursuit of a redistributive and progressive system of local taxation, agrees to refer the Scottish Service Tax proposal to the Local Government Committee for inclusion in any further review it may conduct into local government finance.

The Deputy Minister for Enterprise and Lifelong Learning moved amendment S1M-700.2 to motion S1M-700—

Leave out from “and, in” to end and insert—

“and welcomes the Scottish Executive's commitment in Partnership for Scotland to keep under review wider issues of local government finance and notes that these matters fall within the remit of the Local Government Committee.”

Andrew Wilson moved amendment S1M-700.1 to motion S1M-700—

Leave out from “on social” to end and insert—

“and calls for an independent review of local government finance to take account of this principle along with the need to support adequately local government services and local democratic accountability.”

After debate, amendment S1M-700.2 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 30, Abstentions 0). As a result, amendment S1M-700.1 was pre-empted.

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 77, Against 0, Abstentions 32).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament supports the principle of progressive taxation on social, economic and moral and welcomes the Scottish Executive's commitment in Partnership for Scotland to keep under review wider issues of local government finance and notes that these matters fall within the remit of the Local Government Committee.

2. Housing Energy Efficiency: Robin Harper moved S1M-707—That the Parliament calls upon the Scottish Executive to draw up and issue new guidelines to improve housing energy efficiency in both the public and private rented sectors and in the privately owned sector which include requirements that (a) at point of sale owners are entitled, as part of the Scottish Executive's proposed “Seller's Survey”, to have access to a home energy profile based on National Home Energy Rating (NHER) specifications, (b) NHER energy audits are carried out on change of occupation in both the public and private rented sectors and (c) the guidance on the Tolerable Standard is amended to include a minimum level of provision for affordable heating within a property; commends local authorities on innovative initiatives such as the Edinburgh Rewarm project and asks the Executive to revise its Home Energy Conservation Act (HECA) 1995 guidance to require local authorities to appoint a dedicated HECA officer to co-ordinate all domestic energy initiatives in each locality, and urges the Scottish Executive to acknowledge its responsibilities under Climate Change Protocols and its own commitment to end fuel poverty by 2007 by identifying new targets and funds required to meet these targets and by setting up a fuel poverty advisory group, chaired by a newly appointed home energy efficiency champion, to prepare recommendations on the elimination of fuel poverty by 2007 and co-ordinate policy and funding in the domestic sector.

The Deputy Minister for Local Government moved amendment S1M-707.1 to motion S1M-707—

Leave out from “calls upon” to end and insert—

“commends the Scottish Executive for its Healthy Homes Initiative as pledged in the Partnership for Scotland and A Programme for Government ; commends the Warm Deal; welcomes the investment in improving Scotland's housing; welcomes the Scottish Executive's agreement in principle to the introduction of sellers' surveys, including an energy efficiency assessment; notes favourably the proposals for reforming the Improvement Grant system and amending building regulations to require higher standards of energy efficiency and recognises that these initiatives show the Scottish Executive's firm commitment to tackling fuel poverty and its effects and meeting climate change objectives.”

After debate, amendment S1M-707.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 60, Against 33, Abstentions 19).

The motion as amended was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 62, Against 28, Abstentions 20).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament commends the Scottish Executive for its Healthy Homes Initiative as pledged in the Partnership for Scotland and A Programme for Government ; commends the Warm Deal; welcomes the investment in improving Scotland's housing; welcomes the Scottish Executive's agreement in principle to the introduction of sellers' surveys, including an energy efficiency assessment; notes favourably the proposals for reforming the Improvement Grant system and amending building regulations to require higher standards of energy efficiency, and recognises that these initiatives show the Scottish Executive's firm commitment to tackling fuel poverty and its effects and meeting climate change objectives.

3. Business Motion: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-713—That the Parliament agrees—

(a) the following revision to the Business Motion approved on 23 March 2000 —

Thursday 30 March 2000

after “Business Motion” insert—

followed by Ministerial Statement on Spending Allocations 2000 – 2001

followed by Motion on publication of Me ntal Welfare Commission Report, followed by a decision”

and, after “First Minister's Question Time” delete all and insert—

“3.30 pm Ministerial Statement on Mental Welfare Commission Report

4.00 pm Executive Debate on Public Appointments

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-488 Cathy Jamieson: Health and Safety at Work in Scotland ”

and (b) the following programme of business—

Wednesday 5 April 2000

2.30 pm Time for Reflection

followed by Ministerial Statement

followed by SPCB Debate on the Holyrood Project

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.30 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-643 Lord James Douglas-Hamilton: A701

Thursday 6 April 2000

9.30 am Non-Executive Business – Scottish National Party

followed by Business Motion

2.30 pm Question Time

3.10 pm First Minister's Question Time

3.30 pm Debate on a motion for UK legislation on the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Bill

4.15 pm Ministerial Statement

followed by Parliamentary Bureau Motions

5.00 pm Decision Time

followed by Members' Business – debate on the subject of S1M-418 Kenneth Gibson: Suicide

The motion was agreed to.

4. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Finance made a statement on spending allocations 2000-01.

5. Mental Welfare Commission Report of the Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Noel Ruddle : The Minister for Health and Community Care moved S1M-705—That the Parliament notes that the Scottish Ministers intend to lay the Me ntal Welfare Commission for Scotland Report of the Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Noel Ruddle before the Parliament and orders the Clerk to publish the Report.

The motion was agreed to.

6. Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister and other Ministers and junior Scottish Ministers.

7. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Health and Community Care made a statement on the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland Report of the Inquiry into the Care and Treatment of Noel Ruddle .

8. Public Appointments: The Minister for Finance moved S1M-706—That the Parliament notes the consultation paper Modernising the Public Appointments System in Scotland and urges individuals and organisations to contribute views and ideas during the consultation period.

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

9. Rule 2.3.1: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-708—That the Parliament agrees that between 1 May 2000 and 7 January 2001 (inclusive) the office of the Clerk will be open on all days except: Saturdays and Sundays, 1 May, 26 May, 29 May, 1 December, 22 December (pm), 25 December, 26 December, 1 January 2001 and 2 January 2001.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

10. Designation of Lead Committee: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-709—That the Parliament agrees the following designation of lead committee—

the Transport and the Environment Committee to consider the Scotland Act 1998 (Agency Arrangements) (Specification) Order 2000 (SI 2000/745).

The motion was agreed to (DT).

11. Designation of Lead Committee: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-710—That the Parliament agrees that the Rural Affairs Committee be the lead committee in the consideration of the National Parks (Scotland) Bill and that the Bill should also be considered by the Transport and the Environment Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

12. Membership of Committee: Mr Tom McCabe, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S1M-711—That the Parliament agrees that John Scott be appointed to the Public Petitions Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

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

14. Standing Commission on Health and Safety at Work in Scotland: The Parliament debated S1M-488 in the name of Cathy Jamieson—That the Parliament is concerned that a recent report by Glasgow University claims that, relative to Britain as a whole, there is a greater risk of workplace fatalities and injuries in Scotland, fewer prosecutions in Scotland arising from fatalities at work, a lower rate of successful prosecutions where such cases are raised and a lower average level of fines in successful prosecution arising from fatalities and injuries at work, and believes that a Standing Commission should be convened by the Parliament, as provided for in the Report of the Consultative Steering Group, to investigate standards of health and safety at work in Scotland, to consider how these can be improved and to review the effectiveness of the regulatory and judicial authorities in relation to occupational health and safety.

The meeting closed at 5.37 pm.

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