Alex Salmond MSP

Welcome to Alex Salmond MSP's biography pages

Alex Salmond MSP

Here you can find out about your MSPs' political activities and how to get in touch with them.

  • Member for: Aberdeenshire East
  • Region: North East Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Alex is a member of the following Committees:

Alex is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by The First Minister

Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister (Alex Salmond)

Engagements to take forward the Government’s programme for Scotland.

As this is my first parliamentary opportunity to do so, I would like to pay tribute to Johann Lamont following her stepping down as leader of the Labour Party at the weekend.

I have always found Johann Lamont to be a spirited opponent in the Scottish Parliament, strongly dedicated to her party but in particular to championing key issues such as the eradication of child poverty and providing support for carers. I have absolutely no doubt that she will continue to play an active role in Scottish public life and I wish her well for the future. [Applause.]



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

We should start by looking at the Audit Scotland report, and at where it identified substantial progress

“in a number of areas, including improving outcomes for people with cancer or heart disease and reducing healthcare-associated infections.”

It continues:

“Patient satisfaction with hospital inpatient services has ... increased since 2012 ... Waiting time targets have reduced over the past ten years and the length of time that people wait has decreased considerably ... Between 2003 and 2012, the death rate for all forms of heart disease fell by 38 per cent”,

and on the report goes to identify where the national health service has made substantial progress.

Of course it is true that Audit Scotland, quite rightly, draws attention to the fact that despite the success of our NHS in terms of managing its finances—success that has not been replicated elsewhere in either England or Wales—the Scottish national health service faces challenges for the future. How could it be otherwise in the current situation?

Perhaps Jackie Baillie should have paid close attention to page 32 of the Audit Scotland report, which states:

“Reductions in spending at a UK level will affect the level of funding available in Scotland. The Scottish Government will need to plan for health spending within an overall reducing budget.”

The very heart of the financial challenge facing our national health service is the retrenchment and austerity at the United Kingdom level and the financial pressures that that imposes on our national health service in Scotland.



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

Every statement that I read out earlier to Jackie Baillie was from the Audit Scotland report. For that matter, I can quote Caroline Gardner from Audit Scotland, who said in a very reasonable and considered interview on Radio Scotland this morning:

“I think it’s important to say that the times that the patients are waiting on average now are much shorter than they have been in the past ... The Government has managed to protect the”

national health service

“budget, certainly the revenue budget, in real terms up until the current budget period.”

We know, of course, what happened in the current budget period. To pass on the consequentials from Westminster, the national health service would have required an additional £202 million in its revenue budget. I agree that Mr Swinney did not do that—he put forward £288 million. That means that, in the current year, we are exceeding in terms of passing on the consequentials.

All the facts that I have stated are from the Audit Scotland report, and that guarantee of an increase in real-terms funding for the national health service has helped it withstand the financial pressures that are undoubtedly there. No such guarantee was in place from the Labour Party in 2007, and no such guarantee was in place from Iain Gray in the run-up to the 2007 election.

Jackie Baillie should really try to consider this. Yes, there are, of course, pressures on our national health service. How could it be otherwise? We are in the maw of financial control from Westminster. How much greater would the pressures have been if we had had the disaster of a continuation of a Labour Administration in Scotland? We might even have had a national health service in Scotland facing the same almighty pressures that are prevalent in Wales under Labour control.



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

NHS staff have increased by 6.9 per cent. That is an increase of 8,818 between September 2006 and June 2014. As we pledged to do, the Scottish National Party has protected the national health service revenue budget in real terms and has added to that this year.

Yes, of course there are pressures on our national health service. How could it be otherwise, given that we are imprisoned in UK Government austerity? However, with regard to being in denial, I point out that I quoted exactly from the Audit Scotland report about the financial pressures that are bearing down on the health service.

That was exactly the argument that took place in the referendum campaign. I took a screengrab of a picture on the BBC website that showed Jackie Baillie against a background of signs saying “SNP NHS LIES”. The caption under the picture reads:

“MSP Baillie denies Labour disunity—A Holyrood politician denies there are rifts between Labour MSPs and MPs and insists they are ‘joined at the hip’”.

Any politician with the gall to make that argument cannot be trusted on the Labour Party or, indeed, the finances of the national health service.



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

I thought that Ruth Davidson would have known that the Deputy First Minister will appear before a parliamentary committee on the 12th of next month to talk about exactly this issue. That is an important consideration.

I do not understand Ruth Davidson’s attitude. If there had not been a private market failure, and we had not been unable to secure a private sector bid, the airport would have closed, thousands of people would have been out of work and the highly successful aerospace industry around Prestwick would have been placed in substantial jeopardy.

I had a conversation with Howard Davies, the Tory appointee who is considering whether to spend £40 billion, £50 billion or £60 billion on another runway for Heathrow or Gatwick, or on building Boris’s airport somewhere in the River Thames. I put it to him that if the UK Government were to reduce air passenger duty for the north of England or give the Scottish Parliament the power to do something about it in order to increase competition for direct international flights, that would immediately relieve some of the pressure on the London airports. Howard Davies looked at me and said that that would be a distortion of competition. Unfortunately, Ruth Davidson and her party live in a world where spending £40 billion, £50 billion or £60 billion on infrastructure in the south of England is not a distortion of competition, but allowing airports such as Prestwick to survive and prosper by having a competitive rate of air passenger duty somehow is. That is the topsy-turvy world of London bias that the Conservative Party has imposed on Scotland. [Applause.]



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

I will, today, secure from Scottish Water a further update on its efforts to secure the water supply in Murdo Fraser’s area. I will communicate that update to him as quickly as possible.



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

Government officials yesterday met Paul Holleran from the National Union of Journalists in the context of meeting the Scottish Trades Union Congress and media-based trade unions on possible submissions to the Smith commission. That provided us with the opportunity to discuss the redundancies at Johnston Press.

Each and every one of us, as public servants, has a substantial interest in there being a vibrant and successful written press. We hope that the redundancies that have been announced can be mitigated, and we hope and believe that those talented journalists will find secure employment elsewhere, if that is not possible.

On the position of the Scottish press and the pressure that it is under, I hope that the owners and titles understand that there is only so far a journalistic complement can be reduced while maintaining quality and the ability of journalists to reflect Scotland’s vibrant political life.



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

The Scottish Government will implement the PACE initiative as quickly as possible. I assure Christian McKelvie that I am happy and willing to arrange a meeting with the relevant minister to discuss how her constituency can be protected from that unfortunate development.



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

The member raises an important point. I had a meeting yesterday that touched on that exact issue. Perhaps I can arrange a meeting with the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, so that the member can develop the point and see what the plans and the vision are for the national health service to get back on track in reducing the number of children with mental health problems admitted to general wards.



Meeting of the Parliament 30 October 2014 : 30 October 2014
The First Minister

Happily, I do not have to leave a note. My successor is sitting alongside me, and her compassion, interest in and commitment to the national health service are well known and well established.

The member has raised a serious issue, and it should be taken and developed in that fashion. I will arrange the meeting that I have discussed so that it can be pursued in all its detail to ensure that there is an adequate reply that satisfies Alison McInnes on the future direction of that highly important matter.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11332.2 Jenny Marra: Supported Business—As an amendment to motion S4M-11332 in the name of Fergu
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11332.1 Gavin Brown: Supported Business—As an amendment to motion S4M-11332 in the name of Fergu
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11332 Fergus Ewing: Supported Business—That the Parliament recognises the economic and social va
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11304.3 Michael Russell: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to mo
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11304 Liz Smith: Addressing the Attainment Gap in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament believes
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
>> Show more
YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Alex Salmond
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10843: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09773: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09774: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Parliamentary Bureau, Date Lodged: 22/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08707: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08559: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08407: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07721: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06450: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/05/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-05981: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/03/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-04011: Alex Salmond, Aberdeenshire East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/09/2012 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S1W-15120: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/04/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-14237: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/03/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-14124: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/03/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-14125: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/03/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1O-03120: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/03/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-13760: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-13761: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/02/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-13483: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-13698: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/02/2001 Show Full Question >>
Question S1W-13069: Alex Salmond, Banff and Buchan, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/02/2001 Show Full Question >>

Further information

Email our Public Information Service for more information.