Mark McDonald MSP

Welcome to Mark McDonald MSP's biography pages

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches lodged by Mark McDonald

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP) I have been looking through the 2014 benchmarking overview report. I recall that, when we discussed the issue previously—I was a substitute on the committee at the time—I asked a question about what was being measured and the balance between input measurement and outcome measurement. Input measureme...

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald I remember from my time in Aberdeen City Council that there were statutory performance indicators and key performance indicators, as well as ad hoc measurements that councillors would request. To what extent do you analyse or get feedback from councils on the things that their members look for them ...

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald How often do you review the indicators that are put before council members? I know that some are statutory, but there are others that councils choose to place before members.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald On the issue of when reviews take place, what about the statutory performance indicators? I am aware that councils have taken some measurements for a very long time; some of those will be relevant, while some of them might have become less so. Are there some things that we are continuing to measure ...

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald I asked the previous panel about an issue that I focused on at the very start of the process: the measurement of inputs versus the measurement of outcomes. I get the feeling that we are still a little too keen on measuring inputs when the policy agenda has been more about the delivery of outcomes.
Local Government and Regeneration Committee 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald Councillor Green mentioned drilling down into council-wide data to get local data. Is that local data made available to elected members and community bodies such as parent councils, so that they can see the data that is relevant to the individual school or schools in their communities? I am seeing l...

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald One of the traps that we fall into all too often—it is a slight bugbear of mine—concerns the distinction between attainment and achievement, because academic attainment is not always the encapsulation of the child’s experience through the school process. Obviously, it is difficult to capture that wi...

Meeting of the Parliament 20 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP) I must begin with an apology, Presiding Officer, because I will not be able to stay for the remainder of the debate. I have to leave at the end of my speech.

First of all, I find it unfortunate that the members’ business system has been used to shoehorn in this debate. Let us be clear tha...

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 13 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Mark McDonald (Aberdeen Donside) (SNP) On that point, have you analysed the training that is being offered and the training that is taken up by councillors in each local authority? Are there areas or councils where the uptake is particularly good or bad, or is the picture similar across the board?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 13 August 2014 : Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Mark McDonald I want to move away from that issue to ask about how we follow the public pound. I am sure that The Press and Journal is at the very top of all your reading lists, but you will not have necessarily seen today’s edition, which reports that the chair of the Aberdeen International Youth Festival has re...
Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-10843.1.2 Ruth Davidson: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-10843.1 in the name
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-10843.1.1 Willie Rennie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-10843.1 in the name
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-10843.1 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-10843 in the name of Alex
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-10843 Alex Salmond: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament agrees that Scotland is one of the wea
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-10829.3 Jenny Marra: Increasing Opportunities for Women—As an amendment to motion S4M-10829 in t
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NoDefeated

S4M-10829.2 Mary Scanlon: Increasing Opportunities for Women—As an amendment to motion S4M-10829 in
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NoDefeated

S4M-10829.1 Alison McInnes: Increasing Opportunities for Women—As an amendment to motion S4M-10829 i
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-10829 Angela Constance: Increasing Opportunities for Women—That the Parliament welcomes the grow
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YesCarried

S4M-10777.4 Jackie Baillie: Welfare—As an amendment to motion S4M-10777 in the name of Nicola Sturge
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-10777.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare—As an amendment to motion S4M-01777 in the name of Nicola Sturge
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Mark McDonald
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10851: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10786: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10775: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10762: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10605: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10534: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10517: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10512: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 30/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10495: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10360: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Mark McDonald
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03500: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03466: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21891: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/06/2014 Show Full Question >>

Scottish Government actions, following the business rates consultation with progress summary

Scottish Government business rates consultation outcomes

Progress summary

  1. We will write, in 2013, to every business in Scotland based in a property that me be entitled to the Small Business Bonus scheme to highlight that they may benefit.

In November 2013 Minister for Energy Enterprise and Tourism Fergus Ewing wrote to every business in Scotland that may be entitled, but was not claiming.

  1. We will work with stakeholders to ensure there is a more consistent approach across Scotland.

On-going, a working group has been set up with Scottish Government officials, council officials and COSLA to produce non-statutory guidance to rates reliefs.

  1. We will review rates relief application processes to ensure they are simple, transparent and streamlined.

On-going.

  1. We will undertake a review of the recent changes to empty property relief in 2015.

To be carried out in 2015.

  1. All rates reliefs will be kept under regular review to ensure that benefit is directed where it is most needed.

On-going. Actions already taken include the expansion of Fresh Start relief to include higher rateable value properties and previously empty hotels, restaurants and pubs and the expansion of the Small Business Bonus Scheme to include an estimated additional 4,000 properties, both came into force in April 2014. In addition, payday lenders will no longer be entitled to rates relief in Scotland from April 2014.

  1. All current exemptions provided, including to some key sectors such as agriculture, will be retained.

All current exemptions have been

retained.

  1. The Scottish Government will create a power to allow local councils to respond better to local need and create their own localised relief schemes.

The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill was laid before Parliament on 11 June 2014. This includes a power to allow councils to create their own localized business rates relief schemes. There is no equivalent power to levy supplements.

  1. We will continue the Small Business Bonus Scheme until 2016 and consider which relief thresholds can be established on a longer term basis ahead of the 2017 review.

Legislation was laid and came into force on 1 April 2014 to allow for the SBBS to run for 2 years (for lifetime of current Scottish Parliament).

  1. The way all current reliefs are funded will be maintained.

Funding of all current reliefs has been

maintained

  1. The way that relief to different sectors is recorded will be maintained.

Recording of relief to different sectors

has been maintained.

  1. The Scottish Government will consult on transitional relief ahead of the next revaluation in 2017.

Consultation planned to take place

closer to 2017 revaluation date.

  1. New rateable values will be made available to ratepayers as far in advance of the 2017 revaluation as possible.

Work on-going, officials working jointly with the Scottish Assessors.

  1. A separate review of the appeals system will begin in 2014, concluding in time for the next revaluation in 2017.

Currently engaging with stakeholders to help inform the review.

  1. We will work jointly with others to ensure businesses have access to clear, concise information about valuations, rateable values, rates bills and reliefs.

New business portal website and rates bill calculator launched in 2013.

Where there are further opportunities identified to provide clear, concise information on business rates, these will be considered.

  1. We will take all possible measures to prevent tax avoidance and ensure rates are paid.

On-going.

  1. Where possible, loopholes and avoidance tactics will be closed.

On-going.

  1. Powers for debt recovery will be strengthened and streamlined.

On-going.

  1. The current property based tax system will be retained.

No change to current property based

tax.

  1. The Scottish Government confirms that the next rates revaluation will take effect on 1 April 2017.

The next rates revaluation will take

effect on 1 April 2017.

  1. The national poundage will continue to be set at the same level as in England. There will be no new local poundage supplements.

Confirmed in setting the 2014-15 poundage. A 2% poundage cap (with poundage set at 47.1p) confirmed for 2014-15.


Current Status: Answered by Derek Mackay on 25/06/2014
Question S4O-03375: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03300: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21016: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21019: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21017: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21018: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-20871: Mark McDonald, Aberdeen Donside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/04/2014 Show Full Question >>

Further information

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