Alex Salmond MSP

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Alex Salmond MSP

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  • 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 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister (Alex Salmond)

It is appropriate to mark that we have all been saddened by news of the death of Angus Macleod, one of Scotland’s most experienced political journalists. He will be missed by members across the chamber and by his colleagues in the press corps, and our condolences go to his family and friends at this sad time.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

No. It was by some distance the best-value bid for running Scotland’s railways. It offers a substantial number of advantages, and Scotland will see the benefits over the franchise period.

Of course, it is not just members of the Government who assessed the bids and have been impressed by Abellio’s bid. Jenny Marra, the North East Scotland MSP, said:

“I was impressed they had taken the trouble to meet me. They had done their research and had recognised we were running this campaign and they were the only franchisee who had got in touch about our campaign. That gives me encouragement.”

In terms of the proper assessment of the bids and the widespread support and encouragement that Abellio seems to have managed to generate, I think that we can look forward to improved terms for Scotland’s railways and, in particular, improved terms and conditions for the staff working on Scotland’s railways.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

The new trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow and the completion of the Edinburgh to Glasgow improvement programme are actually rather important for the commuters who go between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The refurbishment of the trains and rolling stock is vital for commuters across Scotland.

In terms of value for money, I point out what we can expect from the new contract. We can expect faster services between all our cities, with journey-time savings of up to 12 minutes between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and Inverness. We can expect proper high-speed diesel trains between the central belt and Inverness and Aberdeen, linking all our seven cities, with free wi-fi, increased comforts, galley and all-seat catering and more luggage space. We can expect new electric trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow, which Johann Lamont does not seem to think are very important but which I think are absolutely vital. We can expect new trains in the central belt, new stations across Scotland and more capacity on our trains, with a 20 to 24 per cent increase in seats on peak-time services, which is particularly vital.

Those are the characteristics that decided the bid and the franchise in Abellio’s favour, but I must say that I am impressed by the offer and the commitment to ensure that the living wage is paid to all rail staff. As Johann Lamont knows, this Government introduced the living wage in the public sector in Scotland, so to have a commitment to extend the living wage not just to direct railway staff but to subcontractors such as cleaners and catering staff is a substantial enhancement of delivery in Scotland. In terms of customer satisfaction and usage, and in terms of treating the staff on our railways with respect, that to me is a considerable advance.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

Here is a little bit of history. The Labour Party had the opportunity, when in government and looking at the railway legislation, to give the Parliament the power to introduce public sector bids from this country for the railways, but it refused to do so. Throughout the term of office of this Government, the Scottish Government has consistently requested that that power be transferred to this Parliament so that we can effect it.

However, in the current situation—and if we are to believe the vow, which requires the guarantee of a mass petition of the people of Scotland for its delivery—the transfer of that power, which is now supported by the Labour Party, although it did nothing about it in government, but is opposed by its friends and colleagues from the better together alliance in the Conservative Party, would take at least five or six years to be brought into legislative operation. Over that period, the ScotRail franchise would have to be extended, along with the profits for that franchise that some Labour members have been complaining about in recent times.

Johann Lamont’s position seems to be that we should hope that the powers will be transferred, despite the fact that her friends and colleagues in the Conservative Party do not agree with that, and that, in the meantime—for the next five or six years—we should extend the current franchise, with all its inadequacies, as opposed to getting better terms and conditions for the railway staff of Scotland and better services for the people of Scotland. If this is the relaunch of the Labour Party, I think that it is going to reach the end of the tracks very soon indeed. [Applause.]



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

It would not be a few months; it would take five years to bring the powers from Westminster to Scotland and put them into operation to conduct a new franchise process.

Johann Lamont would have to persuade her Conservative friends, colleagues and allies in the better together campaign to support her. I do not know whether she ever said during the better together campaign, “Can we not unite Conservative and Labour in transferring power over the railways to Scotland?” We want that power to transfer. Keith Brown has written three times to the United Kingdom Government asking for that power to be transferred—[Interruption.]



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

During the long years of Labour Government, the power did not get transferred. It is so dramatically important that Johann Lamont did not even mention it in her relaunch speech last night.

In addition to the improved terms and conditions for the staff, which I think are so important in terms of the solidarity of this country, we have got from the contract improved terms and conditions for the railway passengers of Scotland, as I have laid out in very considerable terms. That improved and enhanced railway service seems to be a good deal. It is a better deal than waiting and hoping that Johann Lamont’s friends and allies in the Conservative Party are suddenly going to have a transformation and agree with us that that power should come to Scotland so that we can have not-for-profit or public sector bids from Scotland as well as public sector bids from the Netherlands.

In the meantime, we will get on with the job of running Scotland’s railways, expanding passenger numbers, enhancing services, reducing fares and ensuring that the staff of our railways have a better future under the new contract.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister (Alex Salmond)

No plans, near future.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

Our commitment has always been to resource spending. That was the commitment in our manifesto, and every single penny of consequentials has been devoted to the national health service in Scotland. That is why, in spite of the 7.2 per cent real-terms Westminster cut, we have ensured that NHS Scotland revenue will increase by 4.2 per cent in real terms over the period 2009-10 to 2015-16. That is a very considerable achievement in the face of the draconian cutbacks from Westminster.



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

Actually, it is Ruth Davidson who has it wrong. [Interruption.]



Meeting of the Parliament 09 October 2014 : Thursday, October 09, 2014
The First Minister

This is from the 2011 SNP manifesto, on page 14:

“We recognise that if we want to have a first-class health service in Scotland the resources need to be there. That is why we have guaranteed that the revenue budget of the Scottish NHS will be protected in real terms.”

We have never expressed it in anything other than the resource budget. The mistake that the IFS made was to include resource and capital, which is not the commitment that we gave.

There is a very simple reason for that. The capital budget has been slashed by Westminster. Therefore, we have devised a new mechanism—the non-profit distribution mechanism—to ensure that we can continue to invest in the infrastructure of the NHS in Scotland. We now find out that the IFS forgot to include NPD spending in its analysis, which is quite important, given that the amount, through the hub and NPD, will be £380 million in the next financial year alone.

Now that it has been explained to Ruth Davidson that the mistake that the IFS made was not to include NPD spending, I am sure that she is reassured that, unlike south of the border, the NHS in Scotland is in safe hands. Why do we know that it is not in safe hands south of the border? In

“The NHS timebomb letter: ‘NHS and social care services are at breaking point. It cannot go on’”

we see that every area of the NHS in England is writing to the Prime Minister, pointing out the consequences of Tory policies: not just the extraordinary pressure on health service budgets, which we have in Scotland as well; but, as they put it, the “top-down reorganisation” that has dismayed staff and fragmented the health service in England.

That is why the NHS is safe in public hands in Scotland—there is a commitment to expenditure and a commitment, above all, to an NHS that is safe in public hands in Scotland.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

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

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

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

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

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

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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YesCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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Not VotedDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
NoDefeated

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 >>

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