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Minutes of Proceedings Vol. 4, No. 30 Session 3

Meeting of the Parliament

Thursday 4 November 2010

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Managing Scotland’s Finances: Andy Kerr moved S3M-7330—That the Parliament notes that, despite the Scottish Government having the highest ever Scottish budget and £1.5 billion in reserves when it came to power, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth’s wrong choices, which include the waste of money on the discredited Scottish Futures Trust, the cancellation of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link, the cutting of key economic budgets such as enterprise, regeneration and tourism and the dramatic rise in rates for some businesses, have contributed to Scotland’s unemployment rate rising above that of the United Kingdom; considers that the loss of more than 40,000 construction workers, almost 3,000 teachers, 1,000 classroom assistants, 1,500 nurses and 2,500 other NHS posts represents real people carrying out real services; notes that the number of young Scots who are not in work or education or training programmes has increased from 31,000 to 36,000 in the last year; condemns the UK Government for cutting back on support for young people when it is most needed; warns that the mistakes of the Thatcher years are being repeated, and calls on members to do everything in their power to prevent another generation of young people from being denied the opportunity of work or training.

John Swinney moved amendment S3M-7330.3 to motion S3M-7330—

Leave out from second “that” to end and insert—

“the dire condition of the United Kingdom’s finances due to years of Labour economic mismanagement; regrets the impact of the UK Comprehensive Spending Review that takes £1.3 billion out of the Scottish budget, including £800 million from the capital budget; regrets that UK Government cuts go too far and too fast, jeopardising the Scottish economy and putting jobs at risk, and calls for the Scottish Parliament to be given full financial responsibility as the best means of ensuring that Scotland can build sustainable economic recovery.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 45, Against 72, Abstentions 0).

Derek Brownlee moved amendment S3M-7330.1 to motion S3M-7330—

Leave out from “despite” to end and insert—

“the previous UK administration presided over a deficit in each year from 2001, seven years before the longest and deepest recession in British history and the banking crisis and nine years into a 16-year-long period of sustained economic growth, until its ejection from office in 2010; notes that the previous UK administration intended to continue running deficits for a further seven years if it were re-elected; regrets the failure of the Labour Party to acknowledge any responsibility for the state of the UK public finances and the impact that the fiscal mismanagement of the Blair/Brown years has had on the devolved budget, and calls on all parties in the Parliament to ensure that the Scottish budget for future years protects the vulnerable from the consequences of Labour’s legacy of overspending and debt.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 30, Against 87, Abstentions 0).

Jeremy Purvis moved amendment S3M-7330.2 to motion S3M-7330—

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

“believes that, in order for local authorities, NHS boards, universities, colleges and the wider public sector to plan services most effectively, the Scottish Government should publish a spending review for the period 2011-12 to 2014-15 in addition to its one-year budget proposals for 2011-12.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 32, Against 85, Abstentions 0).

The motion was then disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 38, Against 79, Abstentions 0).

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

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

4. Themed Question Time: Questions on Health and Wellbeing were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

5. Historic (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill: The Minister for Culture and External Affairs (Fiona Hyslop) moved S3M-7295—That the Parliament agrees to the general principles of the Historic Environment (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill.

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

6. Committee Membership: Bruce Crawford, on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau, moved S3M-7335—That the Parliament agrees that—

Bill Kidd be appointed to replace Jamie Hepburn as a member of the European and External Relations Committee;

Jamie Hepburn be appointed to replace Bill Kidd as a member of the Equal Opportunities Committee;

Jamie Hepburn be appointed to replace Bill Kidd as a member of the Public Audit Committee.

The motion was agreed to (DT).

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1, 5 and 6 as noted above.

8. Investing in the Future of Scotland’s Peatlands: The Parliament debated S3M-6931 in the name of Rob Gibson—That the Parliament welcomes the launch of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme and Commission of Inquiry on Peatlands with funding from the Peter De Haan Charitable Trust and believes that IUCN UK’s decision to base this prestigious programme in Scotland is recognition of the global significance of Scotland’s peatlands and underlines that Scotland leads the world in peatland restoration expertise; considers that, while scientific understanding of peatlands is developing rapidly, the knowledge base is strong enough to recognise that peatlands deliver multiple benefits for biodiversity, water and climate and that the example of the Flow Country of Caithness and Sutherland shows how peatlands can deliver significant economic benefits to local communities through encouraging visitors to these beautiful and fragile landscapes; believes that the land use strategy required by the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides an opportunity for peatland restoration to be championed at the heart of government, and further believes that action taken now could prevent massive future costs arising from the breakdown of peatland ecosystems and that target-based peatland restoration offers an important opportunity to help meet Scotland’s climate change targets.

The meeting closed at 5.46 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
4 November 2010

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

New Bills introduced or reprinted on 3 November 2010

Housing (Scotland) Bill—The Bill was reprinted as passed (SP Bill 36B) (Executive Bill).

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 4 November 2010 and are subject to annulment—

The National Health Service (General Opthalmic Services and General Dental Services) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2010 (SSI2010/378)

laid under section 105 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978

The Scottish Social Services Council (Appointments, Procedure and Access to the Register) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2010 (SSI 2010/379)

laid under section 78(1) of the Regulation of Care (Scotland) Act 2001

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Power to Refer) (Information Held by Public Bodies etc.) Order 2010 (SSI 2010/380)—

The Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (Prescribed Purposes for Consideration of Suitability) Regulations 2010 (SSI 2010/381)—

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

The Police Act 1997 (Alteration of the Meaning of Suitability Information relating to Children and Protected Adults) (Scotland) (No. 2) Order 2010 (SSI2010/382)

laid under section 113CC(2) of the Police Act 1997

The Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) (Registration) (Scotland) Regulations 2010 (SSI 2010/383)

laid under section 125(4) of the Police Act 1997

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 4 November 2010—

Health and Sport Committee, 9th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Stage 1 Report on the Patient Rights (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 512)

Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee, 10th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Subordinate legislation (SP Paper 513)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 55th Report, 2010 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SPPaper 514)

For further information on accessing committee reports, please contact either the relevant clerk or webpage (see end of Bulletin for contact details or access the general committee webpage ).