Clare Adamson MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Clare Adamson

The minister might be aware of the recent article in The Scotsman entitled “Poverty is a child protection issue”, by Harry Stevenson, president of Social Work Scotland, in which he posed the questions:

“Can you imagine the despair of parents who are fully aware of being unable to meet the basic needs of their children? Can you imagine the impact of the indignity of living in long-term poverty? And most importantly, can you imagine the impact on children’s confidence and self-worth?”

Given those comments and the growing evidence about welfare reform policies, what message would the minister send to the UK parties that voted for continued austerity in the UK budget?



Meeting of the Parliament 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
Clare Adamson

The report gives further evidence that some of the most vulnerable members of our society are losing out—and that is before we include the impact of the harsher sanctions regime, which we already know is increasing the impact on the incomes of lone parents and disabled people.

Does the minister agree that, given the scale of the income lost through benefit cuts, the UK Government must urgently investigate claims of Department for Work and Pensions-imposed pressure on staff to apply benefit sanctions, which are clearly impacting on the incomes of the most vulnerable in Scotland?



Meeting of the Parliament 03 March 2015 : Tuesday, March 03, 2015
3. Clare Adamson (Central Scotland) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the findings of the research commissioned by the Welfare Reform Committee, which suggests that parents and disabled people are being hit hardest by the United Kingdom Government’s welfare reforms. (S4T-00959)



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Clare Adamson

Would Cara Hilton be happy to go to her constituents as a Fife councillor and suggest to them that, just to stand still, they would have to have an increase of at least 3.4 per cent and, to generate any money from the council tax, they would face 8 or 9 per cent increases, which were the norm before the council tax freeze came in?



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Clare Adamson

I welcome the fact that Mr Rowley mentioned “Effective Democracy: Reconnecting with Communities”. It is an excellent document that sets out how we should proceed and work together. We cannot take individual decisions about financing; we must think about our whole communities, about empowering communities and about democracy as a whole. The document says:

“Making Scotland a fairer, healthier and wealthier place will not be achieved without a democracy in which people can see how decisions are made, and where communities are active participants in that process.”

I think that the commission will take us a long way towards reaching that goal for our constituents.

15:47  

Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Clare Adamson

No, I am not going to take another intervention; I am struggling for time.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Clare Adamson

As I said, the council tax is not a fair tax. It has never been a fair tax. The freeze has put a stop to the horrendous increases, a lot of which were done by Labour-controlled councils. As the minister pointed out when he responded to Mr Brown, the increase in the tax band does not even represent the doubling in value. The council tax is unfair. That is why we should come together and get behind the commission in its work as it tries to come up with a system that is truly fair. However, I do not think that the council tax freeze was wrong, by any stretch of the imagination, and I do not think that the Scottish people would have tholed the increases that have been talked about—up to 80 per cent, over time.

No other tax—



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Clare Adamson (Central Scotland) (SNP)

I am very pleased that the work of the commission on local tax reform is under way and that the commission has already had its first meeting. Indeed, I was delighted to see the commission’s make-up, and I particularly welcome the fact that one of the members is Angela O’Hagan, who is research fellow at the institute for society and social justice research and convener of the Scottish women’s budget group. Women have sometimes been let down by local government—we need think only of the equal pay issues across Scotland at the moment—and I welcome the fact that a woman with a strong academic voice is on the commission. I also welcome the involvement of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy Scotland and, indeed, my colleague on the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, Alex Rowley, who has considerable local government experience and who as shadow minister for local government and community empowerment will bring much to his role on the commission.

I agree with Alex Rowley that it is a matter of regret that the Conservatives have decided not to be part of the commission. I believe that this is an opportunity for the Parliament to try to reach some consensus, given all the recent work that has been done on local democracy in the Parliament and by colleagues in the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities. The Conservative Party will be missing out in that respect. That said, my experience as a member of the Welfare Reform Committee is that even when faced with overwhelming evidence that austerity budgets and welfare reforms are causing problems, are having a detrimental effect on people and have led to increased use of food banks, the Conservatives at Westminster simply do not acknowledge the detrimental effect on the most vulnerable in our society. That leads me to think that they might not be much missed by the commission. I really think that the people who are involved will come up with some good menus and propositions for what might be possible.

Picking up on Alex Rowley’s comments, I really hope that we can find consensus and work together on this matter, but I have to say that some of the language about the relationship with local government does not help. No council in Scotland—not one—was prevented from raising the council tax; councils had that option but, had they taken it, they would have had to explain to their constituents why they wanted to increase it. Even with the funding from the Scottish Government, they would have had to go forward with the average 3.5 or 3.6 per cent increase just to stand still, and then they would have had to explain to their constituents why the tax was being increased again to raise any additional meaningful sums of money. We would have been looking again at the horrendous prospect of a situation such as that in Aberdeen, where, as Mr Stewart pointed out, council tax increased by more than 80 per cent.

That would have meant something very specific for the local authority on which I served as a councillor—North Lanarkshire—and for my constituents now, and I hope that the minister and the commission will take on board the geographic and demographic pressures in different areas in Scotland and ensure that whatever replaces this system reflects and is fair to the people in the area. In North Lanarkshire, for example, 82 per cent of the population live in band D or below houses, and more than 50 per cent live in houses at band B or below. Moreover, in a recent house price survey, my home town of Wishaw in North Lanarkshire had one of the lowest rises in house property values in the whole of the United Kingdom.

The experience of people in North Lanarkshire, on the whole, cannot be compared with that of those in Aberdeen, Edinburgh or other places where house prices and land values have increased to a great extent. From my point of view, any increase in the council tax would have been so detrimental to ordinary hard-working people that we could never have contemplated it. I am glad that the Scottish Government asked for the council tax freeze.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Clare Adamson

My only concern is about ambiguity. Under alcohol licensing, someone cannot sell alcohol unless they have an occasional licence or a full licence. If premises knew that they had to have a sexual entertainment licence, that would provide more clarity, but I would be happy to hear your thoughts on that as the bill progresses.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Clare Adamson

It is proposed that a venue that has been used for such entertainment on no more than four occasions would be exempt from the requirement for a licence. What is the justification for that? Given that there is quite a lot of opposition to the provision, could an alternative, like the occasional licence for alcohol, be considered? Are you considering tightening up that aspect following the evidence on the bill?

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 Clare Adamson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12535: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/03/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12479: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12309: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/02/2015 R Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12253: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12245: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/02/2015 R Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11841: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11760: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11644: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11526.1: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11572: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Clare Adamson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-04106: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/03/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00959: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/03/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24694: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24663: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24542: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04010: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24259: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24231: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03988: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00877: Clare Adamson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Question >>

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