Fergus Ewing MSP

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Fergus Ewing MSP

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  • Member for: Inverness and Nairn
  • Region: Highlands and Islands
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Fergus is a member of the following Committees:

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

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Fergus Ewing

Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fergus Ewing

Yes, I do. It is essential that the UK Government listen to Scotland’s needs and that it act accordingly. Stuart McMillan, who has championed this issue in the Scottish Parliament, quite rightly highlights the fact that the cruise market in Scotland has grown exponentially, as I have seen in places such as Greenock, where it is now an important part of the local economy and sustains a great many jobs. There is huge potential.

Although security issues are, of course, important, we believe that the approach that has been adopted is gold plated and over the top. We greatly regret that despite our reasoned approach in this matter, the UK Government is not willing properly to engage with the Scottish Government to find a better, more practical and successful solution.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism (Fergus Ewing)

The UK Government introduced, without consultation, face-to-document passport checks of cruise liner passengers. The Scottish Government remains concerned about the damaging effect that that is having on the cruise industry across the UK.

The matter of passport checks of cruise liner passengers was first raised with the Scottish Government at the convention of the Highlands and Islands in October 2012. Since then, despite the fact that the Scottish Government has made five separate requests to meet UK ministers to discuss the issue, we have not been successful.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fergus Ewing

We will publish appropriate statistical information in due course. However, although publication of statistical information is important, it is not as important as getting the right measures for the industry. I can tell members that the industry faces enormous challenges at the moment. Until such time as the ground rules for the basis of new investment are established, it will not be reasonable to expect that billions of dollars will be invested in new fields, new developments and extensions. That is why the most important message—which I think I am getting across loud and clear—is that the measures that the United Kingdom Government promised a couple of weeks ago must be delivered no later than March. That is imperative. I hope that that approach will be shared across all parties.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fergus Ewing

I agreed with much of that, until the last sub-clause. On what Scottish Enterprise is doing, I have here the report on decommissioning that Jenny Marra asked about, which was published in October.

On Monday, in the course of numerous meetings in Aberdeen I met Scottish Enterprise staff, as I always do. I can tell members that Scottish Enterprise has an excellent team that is delivering a wide range of support to the industry, and that that support is hugely valued and has enormously helped small and medium-sized enterprises in particular to achieve their potential, to grow enormously and to take on large numbers of staff, often providing goods and services that are exported throughout the world.

Of course, on the skills front we have also provided more resources to enable our colleges and universities—of which Aberdeen offers some of the finest in the world—to give young people the skills, training and qualifications that they need to play a part in what is an excellent industry. I think that we share the same aspirations, if not always the same conclusions, in this matter.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism (Fergus Ewing)

We in the Scottish Government are supporting the industry through a wide variety of measures within the devolved functions. However, the industry requires more support from Westminster on reserved functions.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fergus Ewing

We continue to trial project bank accounts, and I am delighted that Gordon MacDonald takes a close interest in the topic.

Project bank accounts deliver two main benefits. First, small businesses in the contract chain for major works get paid for the work directly and on time, and they do not have to wait several months while money sits in the account of someone higher up the chain.

Secondly, as those of us who, like me, are slightly longer in the tooth than we would wish and who remember the Lilley debacle will know, the risk is that small companies that are lower down the chain may face insolvency as a result of problems higher up the chain.

Project bank accounts are designed to tackle both those well-known and identified problems. I am delighted that the Scottish Government is piloting project bank accounts and trying them out. We will most certainly come back to Parliament to debate the issue, in which the member takes such a close interest, very soon.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
The Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism (Fergus Ewing)

Small and medium-sized businesses based in Scotland form the backbone of our national construction capacity. Project bank accounts should reduce the amount of time that it takes for vital cash to reach them, and should provide confidence for firms that rely on work from public sector projects by reducing their exposure to credit and improving their overall cash-flow position.

Project bank account trial projects are on-going and will be evaluated in due course.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fergus Ewing

I always had a soft spot for JR.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fergus Ewing

In that long and somewhat tortuous question, I was asked to get involved in an academic inquiry of some sort. Frankly, I do not have time for that, as we are too busy working with the oil industry to help it here and now. We have delivered more than 100 additional account-managed services to 100 small and medium-sized enterprises, and have provided more than £6 million for energy skills. We have, unlike the United Kingdom Government, set up a £10 million innovation fund, and we have increased the number of Scottish Development International staff all over world.

Most seriously of all, what the industry needs right now are the details on the budget measures that were promised. From my meetings with operators and my discussions with trade unions and academics in the past few weeks, it is absolutely clear—and beyond political debate—that what is required for more investment and confidence in the industry is the implementation of the vague promises that were delivered in the autumn statement. Most especially, the investment allowance is required and must be put in place by March in the budget. That, rather than rerunning the referendum as Jackie Baillie seems to want to do, is the absolute priority for everyone.



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Fergus Ewing

I agree with Alex Johnstone that it is important to do everything that we can, irrespective of which party we are in, to encourage confidence in the excellent oil and gas industry, which is, in many ways, the best in the world. The industry faces considerable pressures at the moment because of high costs and low oil prices. However, many predict that the oil price will recover, and the horizon may not, therefore, be too far away.

I had meetings in Aberdeen on Monday. I also met trade union representatives here yesterday—they represented many decades of experience of working in the North Sea. Until the tax changes that George Osborne and Danny Alexander promised a couple of weeks ago are delivered, there will be no new or further investment in the industry because it does not have the detail. It is essential, therefore, that the promised new measures—especially the new investment allowance—are brought forward in the budget in March. Any later than that, and there will be extremely serious repercussions.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11901.3 Neil Findlay: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
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NoDefeated

S4M-11901.1 Mary Scanlon: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
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NoDefeated

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
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Not VotedCarried

Amendment 6 moved by Dr Richard Simpson on motion S4M-11826 Maureen Watt: Food (Scotland) Bill—That
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825.3 Claire Baker: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825.2 Jamie McGrigor: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825.1 Tavish Scott: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
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NoDefeated

S4M-11825 Richard Lochhead: End of Year Fish Negotiations—That the Parliament welcomes the successfu
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YesCarried

S4M-11763.3 Margaret Burgess: Private Sector Rent Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-11763 in the
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YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Fergus Ewing
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11878: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11756: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11680: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11664: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11511: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11510: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Parliamentary Bureau, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11332: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11071: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11070: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11069: Fergus Ewing, Inverness and Nairn, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 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 S3W-06602: Fergus Ewing, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S3O-06602: Fergus Ewing, Glasgow Anniesland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/11/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-00002: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/05/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-00001: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/05/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S3W-00000: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/05/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32673: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32686: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32674: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32675: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32676: Fergus Ewing, Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/03/2007 Show Full Question >>

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