Anne McTaggart MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Anne McTaggart

The Local Government and Regeneration Committee recommended that the commission examine other ways in which local government can raise funds. This is not just about the council tax. Will that be on the menu for the commission?



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Anne McTaggart

It sounds like a Green Party moment, asking me to rattle off figures off the top of my head. Yes, we want to see an increase and some restructuring, but I apologise for not having the figures off the top of my head.

Tough and unpopular decisions have to be made—like the ones that Bruce Crawford was implying. Budgets need to be stretched to breaking point, and that is unsustainable. We must now find a way to move forward. We must agree that local government should be properly funded and that vital public services must be protected. Therefore, I welcome the cross-party commission that is charged with finding an alternative to the council tax. I am glad that the work that was done by the Local Government and Regeneration Committee is being taken forward in that way.

The committee sought evidence from other European countries and it immediately became apparent to me that, across Europe, local government is changing to meet the new demands and priorities of its citizens. I believe that local government in our country must change, too. The Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, which is currently before the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, gives us an opportunity to bring about some of that change, but communities will not be empowered if the money is not available to back up the bill’s provisions and support them.

Presiding Officer, I see that you are rolling your pen, so I will come to a conclusion.

I welcome the commission and will follow its progress extremely carefully. I also welcome the acknowledgement of the work that was done by the Local Government and Regeneration Committee to establish the commission. However, we must be open and honest about the challenges that lie ahead, including what funding will be needed in the future. Given the pressures that our councils face, I hope that we can begin to move forward and find an alternative to the council tax that is fairer and more progressive and meets the needs of local government. I also hope that we can have an honest and open discussion about the challenges that local government faces and the need to properly fund our vital public services.

15:53  

Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Anne McTaggart

Okay, but quickly.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Anne McTaggart

I am not sure that that is going to be on the menu for the commission, but it has to be addressed.

It is clear to me that local government in Scotland is not being properly funded and that vital public services are suffering as a consequence. We must be honest about the pressures that our councils face.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

As a former member of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, I am pleased to speak in this debate and to support my colleague Alex Rowley’s amendment, which recognises the work of the committee and its call for the establishment of a cross-party commission on finding an alternative to the council tax.

I will speak later about my time on the committee, when we developed what was to become the committee’s eighth report in 2014, which examined flexibility and autonomy in local government, and we took part in the European fact-finding sessions, which shaped many of our conclusions.

First, however, I want to speak about my experience as an elected member in local government. In particular, I want to highlight the important work that is being done by local government and the vital services that it provides to some of our most vulnerable and deprived citizens. Through services such as social work and social care, local government is on the front line, tackling inequality and poverty and caring for our elderly and disabled citizens. It is local government that carries the responsibility for educating our children; it is local government that is often tasked with helping those who cannot access employment to gain the skills that they need to do so; and it is local government that houses those who have nowhere else to reside. I would argue that local government is the most important tier of government and is certainly the most visible to our citizens.

In Glasgow, which I represent, it is the city council that has led the fight to tackle poverty and inequality by working within our most disadvantaged communities to increase skills and get people back into work, and it is Glasgow City Council that has led the way in introducing a living wage across the city to protect our lowest-paid workers. Yet, despite the importance of local government and the vital work that is carried out by local authorities such as Glasgow City Council, councils across Scotland have seen austerity plus passed down by this Scottish Government. For example, Glasgow has lost £370 million in total since the SNP Government came to power. The Scottish Government’s own figures show that, if Glasgow City Council got the same share of the local government budget as it got under the Labour Administration, it would have an extra £96 million in its funding for this year alone.



Meeting of the Parliament 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

Will the minister give an update on progress with the funding and development of one of the national infrastructure projects—the metropolitan Glasgow strategic drainage system?



European and External Relations Committee 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
Anne McTaggart

Thank you.



European and External Relations Committee 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
Anne McTaggart

Welcome, Lord Livingston. I have a wee quick question about something on which we have found it difficult to get clarity. It concerns the lack of awareness across the Scottish business community of the TTIP negotiations. What work has the UK Government undertaken to raise awareness of TTIP among the business community in Scotland and the UK?



European and External Relations Committee 19 February 2015 : Thursday, February 19, 2015
Anne McTaggart (Glasgow) (Lab)

I welcome the witnesses and thank them for their presentations. How do you measure some of the good work that has been happening? Can you give us some examples of how you measure the effectiveness of the international engagement work that your Governments do and the less tangible aspects, such as cultural diplomacy?



Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Anne McTaggart

I am pleased to hear that. The figures would be for both A and E and delayed discharges. They would help us to foresee future crises and allow people to observe the performance of their local hospitals.

There are serious problems in Scotland’s health service and a lot of secrecy about important statistics. Behind each of those statistics, vulnerable patients and their families are suffering. That is why the Government needs to take urgent action right now, as there is no time to waste.

16:00  
Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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YesCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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YesCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
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YesCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-12395.2 Patrick Harvie: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in t
>> Show more
AbstainDefeated

S4M-12395 Murdo Fraser: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—That the Parliament notes with concern the l
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NoCarried

S4M-12385.3 Alasdair Allan: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to motion S4M-12385 i
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NoCarried

S4M-12382.3 Mary Fee: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion S4
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YesDefeated

S4M-12382.1 Gavin Brown: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion
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YesDefeated

S4M-12382.2 Willie Rennie: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to moti
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NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Anne McTaggart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12414: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12350: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12305: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12257: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12180: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12087: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12071: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12058: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12047: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12037: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Anne McTaggart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24513: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24514: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24512: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24340: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24139: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 22/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03880: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23700: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23701: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23604: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23603: Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Question >>

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