Christine Grahame MSP

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Christine Grahame MSP

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  • Member for: Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale
  • Region: South Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Christine is a member of the following Committees:

Christine is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Member of the Conveners Group

Search for other Speeches made by The Convener

Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 Business until 15:14 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Christine Grahame

Privacy is not absolute. There is a duty on the citizen to meet their tax obligations, so they will be required to surrender some privacy, as we already do for income tax and national insurance, to enable the state to function.



Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 Business until 15:14 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Christine Grahame

I do not think that it is news to any member that members of the public do not know that they have a CHI number and do not know about the central register. That is a fact of life. People do not know that when they go online Tesco can ask them whether they want their favourite groceries and it will come up with everything that they buy every week. People hold data all over the place that we are unaware of.

I understand that the crux of the matter is the centralisation of the information that is currently held by health boards. Another issue is security in holding that information. The argument about security is a reasonable one to make, but I do not have such a problem with centralisation. Some years ago, I got a letter from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs that said that my tax was to go up because I was getting the state pension. I had not even applied for it, but the Department for Work and Pensions had been in touch with HMRC. Many Government agencies know what we are up to. There is now no need to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency whether you have insurance—it can tell because it is in touch with the insurers. Such interlocking arrangements are already in place.

At issue is whether the data that is collected is necessary, whether it is secure and whether, in the internet age, it enables individuals and the state or the Government to function properly.



Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 Business until 15:14 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP)

This should be a very thoughtful debate rather than a party-political one, but I am afraid that Liz Smith’s contribution drifted into that area.

I ask myself whether the data is necessary, what its purpose is, whether the proposals are sufficiently limited, whether the data is secure, and whether the proposals will command public support. I welcome the consultation that has just . I understand why the Liberal Democrats decided to have a debate on the matter, but it is early doors—there is some way to go. I notice that the Government’s view is not set in stone. I was a wee bit surprised to discover that as many as 120 organisations might have access to the data, but I expect that that may evolve.

This is new territory. I do not think that many members of the public understand that there is an NHS central register; they do not know about it. I did not know that National Records of Scotland is the public body that maintains and owns it. At the moment, only about 30 per cent of the population are on the register. I note the fact—which I think is significant—that it does not hold anyone’s records; it holds names, addresses and dates of birth so that records can be properly moved about.

I think that we all accept that we need a robust and fair database that can be brought up to date for the purposes of gathering income tax in Scotland. The collection of data is necessary, but whether we are using the right source might be open to argument. At the moment, local authorities and health boards use the NHS central register, but that arrangement is subject to individual agreement, so it is not a complete picture that is provided.

As has been mentioned, every one of us has a community health index number. Although many people do not know that, it is something that provides a link to the individual.



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The Convener

The final negative instrument is the Scottish Administration (Offices) Order 2015 (SI 2015/200), which specifies that the clerk and deputy clerk to the sheriff appeal court are offices in the Scottish Administration that are not ministerial offices for the purposes of the Scotland Act 1998. These are new offices and those in them are to be office-holders in the Scottish Administration in the same way as the existing posts of sheriff clerk and sheriff clerk deputy are such offices. The DPLR Committee agreed not to draw the attention of Parliament to the instrument. Are members content to make no recommendation in relation to the instrument?

Members indicated agreement.

12:32 Meeting continued in private until 12:34.  

Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The Convener

The second negative instrument is the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service (Procedure for Appointment of Members) Regulations 2015 (SSI 2015/53), which sets out the procedure for the selection and nomination for appointment of members of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service. Again, the DPLR Committee agreed not to draw the attention of the Parliament to the instrument. Are members content with it?

Members indicated agreement.



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The Convener

Yes. Is it agreed, therefore, that we make no recommendation on the instrument, apart from that observation?

Members indicated agreement.



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The Convener

I share your concerns. The retirement age, as I understand it, is 60—apart from the interim measures. In certain professions, it could be physically difficult for people to fulfil the requirements of their job up to that age, notwithstanding the fact that some of us who are approaching 60 are still able to do it. I knew that that would make members smile.

Apart from that, are there any other comments on the instrument?



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The Convener

Agenda item 4 is subordinate legislation. We have three negative instruments to consider. The first is the Firefighters’ Pension Scheme (Scotland) Regulations 2015 (SSI 2015/19), which provides for a reformed pension scheme for firefighters in Scotland. The Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee agreed not to draw the attention of the Parliament to the instrument. Do members have any comments?



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The Convener

The committee has known that for a long time, so we are happy with that, because it was a practical issue that we had come across. I thank the cabinet secretary for his evidence.



Justice Committee 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
The Convener

We are all happy with that.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12495 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-12491.2 John Swinney: Privacy and the State—As an amendment to motion S4M-12491 in the name of W
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YesCarried

S4M-12491.1 Richard Simpson: Privacy and the State—As an amendment to motion S4M-12491 in the name o
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NoDefeated

S4M-12491 Willie Rennie: Privacy and the State—That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s c
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YesCarried

S4M-12492.2 Jamie Hepburn: Mental Health—As an amendment to motion S4M-12492 in the name of Jim Hume
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YesCarried

S4M-12492 Jim Hume: Mental Health—That the Parliament notes that one in four people will experience
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YesCarried

Amendment 2 moved by Ken Macintosh on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 3 moved by Ken Macintosh on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 4 moved by Ken Macintosh on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 5 moved by Ken Macintosh on motion S4M-12485 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Funds (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Christine Grahame
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12145: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12089: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12026: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11892: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11695: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Justice Committee, Date Lodged: 25/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11666: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11431: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11416: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11415: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11049: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Christine Grahame
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24649: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04092: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02617: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24350: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24349: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24348: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02480: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23404: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23405: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23127: Christine Grahame, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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