Adam Ingram MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Adam Ingram (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)

I ask Mr Macdonald why Labour has come to this so late in the day. He might recall that, two years ago, the coal industry suffered a major crisis, with two of its main companies going bust. Why was there no resilience fund for the coalfield communities that I represent?



Meeting of the Parliament 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Adam Ingram (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)

As I have been made redundant twice in my career, I can vouch for the authenticity of the introduction to the PACE guide that is issued to people who face that prospect, which states:

“Redundancy can be one of the most challenging and stressful things you’ll ever face. And you’ll understandably feel daunted and unsure of what to do next”.

Thankfully, nowadays, PACE is there to help with all the support and advice needed to move on and out of that crisis.

As an Ayrshire MSP, I can vouch for the effectiveness of the PACE response to the all-too-frequent calls on its services. Some of them involve large-scale job losses, such as those at Johnnie Walker’s bottling plant, which were especially painful for my colleague Willie Coffey and his Kilmarnock constituency. The notice that was given at that plant and the long lead-in time allowed PACE advisers to reduce the final redundancy figure to just over 10 per cent of those who were initially expected to be seeking work.

More difficult issues have arisen when companies have wilfully failed to engage in the PACE process or entered suddenly into administration. I will highlight two cases that illustrate problems that need to be addressed, perhaps through better company regulation.

The first case relates to the collapse and liquidation of two major companies operating in the opencast mining sector, Scottish Coal and ATH Resources, neither of which was willing to engage with PACE at the appropriate time. That inevitably resulted in more than 700 workers nationwide and 311 in East Ayrshire alone being left with neither work nor any immediate sense of support from the public sector. To his great credit, the minister acted swiftly and set up the coal industry task force to rescue the industry’s viability, and East Ayrshire Council set up a local response team, which significantly enhanced the public sector response.

The effectiveness of the PACE partners’ response is best illustrated by a survey a year after the event of those who were made redundant, which showed that only 13 per cent of the workforce were still unemployed and looking for a job. That was despite the fact that Scottish Coal had failed to train and certificate levels of competence in its workforce, which would have allowed employees to secure equivalent jobs outwith the company.

The second and truly scandalous case is that of USC in Dundonald, in my constituency, which I raised at First Minister’s question time a little over two weeks ago. That establishment is part of the Sports Direct group of companies, which is owned by billionaire Mike Ashley and is the UK’s biggest sporting goods retailer. The facility was summarily closed without warning or notice to its workforce on 7 January. Even before employees knew that was happening, a fleet of Sports Direct trucks had arrived at the warehouse to remove its stock. I say to Lewis Macdonald that there was no chance there for early intervention.

That blatant breach of statutory duty was further compounded by management’s refusal to allow PACE to access the site. Despite repeated attempts by the Scottish Government and the minister, Sports Direct ignored offers of help for USC workers, and access was not granted until administrators were on site a week later.

That is deplorable behaviour and it should not escape severe legal sanction, but it probably will, given the weakness of UK employment law. A loyal workforce of 88 people has been treated with contempt by an extremely wealthy employer who appears content to wash his hands of any responsibility to pay redundancy pay or even wages due. That truly is the unacceptable face of capitalism and it makes a mockery of our industrial relations system.

As the minister highlighted, the Scottish Trades Union Congress is one of the PACE partners, and I was pleased to attend a meeting organised by it for the USC workforce with Thompsons Solicitors, which specialises in employment law. The aim of the meeting was to inform people of their rights under the law to seek compensation for USC’s failure to consult on redundancy by way of protective awards through an employment tribunal. Even if that process is successful, it can take six months to a year to complete, and it clearly does not deal with the immediate financial crisis that many of the redundant workers face. That area of employment law needs to be strengthened.

There is an unanswerable case for the powers over employment law to be devolved to the Scottish Parliament to bring about a much-needed enhancement of workers’ rights. Exploitative employers such as Mike Ashley require to be held to account for their actions.

16:31  

European and External Relations Committee 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Adam Ingram (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)

I am slightly concerned about that answer, because I would have thought that the Commission should be driving towards the 2020 vision, which envisages things such as full employment, and that the work programme ought to be engineered to deliver that. That seems to me to be the logical way to go about things.

The other aspect that I want to query is how joined up the work programme is. Improving energy security and creating jobs and growth are eminently linkable. You laid out the €315 billion-worth investment programme—it is a big sum of money, which could be focused on Europe-wide strategic energy initiatives. That would create jobs. Is that part of the big picture? Is that what we are aiming to do over the next few years?

11:15  

European and External Relations Committee 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Adam Ingram

The other aspect to joining up various initiatives is delivering a strategic direction. Let us take energy security as an example. Scotland is important to Europe given the North Sea and our renewable resources. I would expect that Europe would be looking to invest money in Scotland. With the North Sea oil fields, we have all the infrastructure that we need for a demonstration carbon capture and storage project, and investment could also be made in wave and tidal power. However, the feedback that we are getting is that the Scottish Government is being limited in the investment that it can make in the new technologies because of European state aid rules.

Can we expect over the next few years a different approach to the development of renewables technologies and the ability of the Scottish and United Kingdom Governments and others to invest in future technology that will deliver clean energy?



European and External Relations Committee 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Adam Ingram

In terms of—



European and External Relations Committee 22 January 2015 : Thursday, January 22, 2015
Adam Ingram

Is there a bit of pork barrel politics involved in delivering what I was talking about? Does every member state have to get a piece of the action, or is there recognition of the strategic importance of renewables technologies for the whole of Europe so that an individual member state does not need to push the boat out on the issue because it will gather support more widely?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Adam Ingram (Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley) (SNP)

Good morning, minister. How does the work of the Homes for Scotland private rented sector champion, Gerry Moore, link in with policy development in the sector?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Adam Ingram

You spoke about overcoming barriers. Is there any prospect of the Scottish Government making some financial investment in the private sector to encourage further investment?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Adam Ingram

So some of the financial transactions moneys might be available for that kind of thing.



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Adam Ingram

You mentioned letting agent registration and the new private rented sector tribunal. Can you update us on your plans for implementing those measures, which were provided for in the 2014 act?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12095.2 Alex Johnstone: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12095.1 Willie Rennie: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12095 Alex Neil: Tackling Inequalities—That the Parliament agrees that a strong, sustainable eco
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

Selection of John Pentland MSP for appointment to the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body.
Not VotedCarried

S4M-12060.2 Hugh Henry: Commending the People who Keep Scotland Safe in Emergencies—As an amendment
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12045.3 Shona Robison: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-12045 in the name of Rich
>> Show more
YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Adam Ingram
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12086: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08021: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/10/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07968: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/10/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07673: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07050: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06879: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-06837: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-04875: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2012 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-04226: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/09/2012 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-02413: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/03/2012 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Adam Ingram
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03964: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24009: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03915: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03853: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03843: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03760: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03576: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22534: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22533: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22535: Adam Ingram, Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/09/2014 Show Full Question >>

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