Mark McDonald MSP

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Parliamentary Activities

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Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Mark McDonald

On small business Saturday, I visited the Byron Bakery in my constituency. The owners, Ally and Fiona Rait, took over the business in 2008 and have benefited every year from the small business bonus scheme. They were keen to emphasise the strong support that it has provided for their business. Will the cabinet secretary confirm that the Byron Bakery and other small businesses in Aberdeen will continue to benefit from the small business bonus not only in this parliamentary session but, if the Scottish National Party is re-elected, in the next?



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
4. Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government to what extent small businesses in Aberdeen have benefited from the small business bonus scheme. (S4O-03824)



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mark McDonald

One way in which we can reduce welfare spend is to improve the quality of work and the quality of pay, which allows for a reduction in in-work benefits. The Smith commission talks about the ability to top up benefits and to create new ones. However, there is an absolute link between tax and welfare in that we have to fund things.

Professor Heald spoke about the atrophying of the tax powers that were given when the Parliament was established. Do the witnesses have concerns that, given that the substantial tax that we will have control of is income tax, we will lack the flexibility to provide funding for additional benefits and top-ups, so the power to do that will be one that we have but we do not use in a meaningful way?



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)

My question touches on David Bell’s comments on adjustments and relates to the current experience around the land and buildings transaction tax.

The finance secretary recently outlined his proposals for the LBTT rates. At the time, he said that he did not know for sure at that stage that they would prove to be revenue neutral, because the block grant adjustments had not yet been made clear. With only a couple of months to go until the budget has to be set, I understand that that remains unclear. The concern is that, if that kind of approach plays out for other devolved taxes, we might find ourselves in a very troubling position when it comes to trying to set rates. We might set rates before we know what the likely adjustments will be, and find out later that the adjustments are not what we anticipated, and so we would have to make a recalculation and adjustment and face all the knock-on consequences that that could have for wider Scotland.

I am interested in your views on that and how we can overcome it.



Meeting of the Parliament 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)

At a recent meeting of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, I asked the Deputy First Minister about the use of local authority reserves to invest in preventative spend and transformation of services. Given that commentary after the autumn statement warns of colossal cuts to come as part of the continued austerity agenda, does the cabinet secretary agree that local authorities that are holding substantial reserves, such as Aberdeen City Council, which has £116 million in cash reserves, should use them in such a fashion?



Meeting of the Parliament 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Mark McDonald

At the Local Government and Regeneration Committee recently, the Deputy First Minister indicated frustration with the approach that pension funds have taken to opportunities to support capital projects that would secure a return on investment, present a more ethical investment than tobacco, for example, and support local employment. Does the cabinet secretary have any plans to approach pension fund administrators, particularly in the public sector, about opportunities to support capital projects in their areas?



Meeting of the Parliament 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
6. Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions it has had with pension fund administrators regarding investment opportunities to support capital infrastructure projects. (S4O-03816)



Finance Committee 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Mark McDonald

The assignment of VAT relates to the first 10p or 10 per cent. At the moment, VAT is at 20 per cent so, in effect, half of the VAT that is raised in Scotland will be assigned. The question arises whether there would be potential for VAT to be lowered substantially in a particular sector. A number of sectors have, in the past, called for VAT to be reduced to 5 per cent in certain areas to stimulate economic activity. That would obviously have a consequential impact on the assigned revenues without the Scottish Government necessarily having an input into the policy decisions that lie behind it.

We are at risk of creating the Isobel d’Inverno fair play clause but, if we are talking about fair play and more intergovernmental working, and if we take into account Malcolm Chisholm’s point about worst-case scenarios, does that need to be ironed out for those potential future decisions and the impact that they could have?



Finance Committee 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Mark McDonald

Okay.



Finance Committee 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Mark McDonald

I have a question on the issue of behavioural response and the point that the LBTT rates were announced in advance. This may not be the area in which you have expertise or information, but have you noticed any indication of a behavioural response, given the advance warning, compared with the lack of warning in the stamp duty changes south of the border?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11901.3 Neil Findlay: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
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NoDefeated

S4M-11901.1 Mary Scanlon: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
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NoDefeated

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
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YesCarried

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
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YesCarried

Amendment 6 moved by Dr Richard Simpson on motion S4M-11826 Maureen Watt: Food (Scotland) Bill—That
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825.3 Claire Baker: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825.2 Jamie McGrigor: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825.1 Tavish Scott: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825 Richard Lochhead: End of Year Fish Negotiations—That the Parliament welcomes the successfu
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YesCarried

S4M-11763.3 Margaret Burgess: Private Sector Rent Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-11763 in the
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YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Mark McDonald
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11902: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11795: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11710: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11698: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11697: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11487: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11422: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11298: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11184: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11183: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Mark McDonald
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23719: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23720: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23717: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03824: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23521: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23523: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23522: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23524: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03816: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23396: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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