Jackie Baillie MSP

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Jackie Baillie MSP

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  • Member for: Dumbarton
  • Region: West Scotland
  • Party: Scottish Labour

Jackie is a member of the following Committees:

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

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Jackie Baillie

Meeting of the Parliament 28 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton) (Lab)

I give the minister another chance to provide clarity on the Government’s position. Will he give a yes or no response on two elements of Labour’s triple-lock system? First, does he agree that there will be no fracking in Scotland until we learn lessons from the rest of the United Kingdom? I did not hear an answer when Lewis Macdonald asked that question. Secondly, given that he said in his statement that the moratorium is not indefinite, will he agree to local referenda when applications are submitted? Will he deny communities a voice on issues that affect their areas?



Meeting of the Parliament 27 January 2015 : Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton) (Lab)

I thank the Deputy First Minister for an advance copy of his statement and I welcome the publication of the command paper, which heralds the biggest transfer of powers to this Parliament since devolution.

Labour has said that we will deliver the home rule (Scotland) bill in the first 100 days of a Labour Government. It will provide extensive new powers over tax, jobs and welfare, and it will form the basis of a modern home rule for Scotland at the same time as protecting the bonus that we receive from the Barnett formula.

I note the Scottish Government’s response to the requirement for consultation with the UK Government about changes to universal credit. I genuinely do not believe that that amounts to a right of veto; it relates to practical issues such as timing. I am sure that we all agree that the sensible thing to do in the interests of ensuring smooth transition is for both Governments to talk to each other. It was wrong to suggest that there is any other intent behind that.

As I understand it, Mr Swinney’s comments about the employment programme do not reflect the discussions that took place in the Smith commission. Clause 22 will give the Scottish Parliament full powers over that area. It will mean that all of the work programme will be devolved, in addition to other, smaller employability programmes.

We agree that job-creating powers are important. The work programme is important in that regard. It has not worked very effectively, so I welcome the opportunity to reform it. However, Labour wants that to be devolved now. Labour would equally reform the work programme, but we would devolve it to local authorities, which are best placed to tackle the challenge of jobs. Will the cabinet secretary join Labour in calling for the urgent devolution of the work programme and in turn commit to devolving it to local authorities?

Finally, will the Deputy First Minister provide us with a timetable for getting the fiscal framework that he spoke about in place?



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton) (Lab)

I think that this is the first time that a woman has occupied the post of shadow finance secretary or finance secretary for any party since the Parliament’s inception. [Applause.] If you hang around for long enough, it all comes to you in the end.

It is a privilege and a challenge to be asked to do this job. I am sure that John Swinney agrees that nothing is more important than the stewardship of the nation’s finances, to ensure that we have the money to spend on our priorities.

Growing the economy, encouraging aspiration, tackling inequality and delivering social justice are all at the centre of our positive vision for Scotland. I want us to be ambitious for the country and for our people.

In that regard, I want people to have trust in their Parliament and their Government when we make financial and economic projections, irrespective of our parties, because we need to be serious about how we do that. Labour is proposing that we establish a Scottish office for budget responsibility—an independent watchdog that would scrutinise the budget and have oversight of economic and fiscal projections. That is more important than ever. Budget debates used to be all about how we would spend the money that the UK Government allocated; now and in future we will have the power to raise a substantial proportion ourselves. We will have new powers over taxation, welfare and job creation. We will have to balance the books, rather than concern ourselves only with one half of the balance sheet.

With that additional responsibility comes the need for better scrutiny, transparency and forecasting. The Finance Committee thinks so, respected economists think so, and the Smith commission thinks so.

I say with the greatest respect to the cabinet secretary that the Scottish Fiscal Commission is a pale imitation of what is required. I have enormous regard for the people who serve on the commission, but the truth is that they are not independent of Government. Two members are on the Government’s Council of Economic Advisers. It is not possible to both scrutinise and advise Government without there being a clear conflict of interest. The commission’s remit is limited, the resources that are available to it amount to £20,000 and, although the cabinet secretary will tell us not to worry because the commission will evolve and be put on a statutory footing, there is no evidence of that and no bill in the legislative programme to do it.

What we want for Scotland is a powerful Scottish OBR, which draws from experience around the world. We should have no fear of transparency and scrutiny. The matter is urgent, because we need to build capacity in Scotland for an OBR that can provide an effective scrutiny mechanism from day 1.

The Scottish Government produced three oil and gas bulletins prior to the referendum. One bulletin was published with the heading “Oil Analysis shows boom years ahead” and suggested that the price could exceed $150 a barrel. The white paper on independence suggested $113 a barrel. The oil price is now consistently below $50 a barrel.

That is the biggest threat to jobs in Scotland since Ravenscraig, and the loss of revenue would take £6 billion a year out of our finances—the equivalent of every doctor and nurse in our national health service. The Scottish Government did not see the threat coming. We need to be confident that what the Government is predicting is as accurate as it can be.



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie

I will give way in a second.

A Scottish OBR is a modest measure, which will not cost a lot of money, but it is such a critically important bit of the infrastructure that we need to set it up now.

Labour thinks that we need to establish a resilience fund of at least £10 million in light of the crisis in North Sea oil and gas. That is not an oil fund, as some people would have members believe, but an emergency fund, to help areas that are affected by significant job loss.

I have been astonished by the Scottish National Party’s glacial pace in reacting to the economic storm that is being caused by the falling oil price.



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie

SNP members are not glacial in getting up now. [Interruption.]



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie

I say genuinely to SNP members that everyone in the chamber owes it to the oil workers and their families across Scotland to strain every sinew to provide help.

I will make a couple of observations on land and buildings transaction tax. It is the first Scottish tax in 308 years, so this is a moment of record. Let me echo John Swinney’s surprise for slightly different reasons. Having announced his intentions at the tail end of last year to make the tax fair and progressive, it took him just 100 days to change his mind. That must be the fastest U-turn in history. I feel for the SNP members of the Finance Committee who voted against the Tory proposal only to find now that the cabinet secretary had aligned himself with the Tories. That is, of course, something that they have been very comfortable doing in successive budgets since 2007.



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie

I am very happy to look at the detail of John Swinney’s proposal, which was, in fairness, outlined in his speech today. [Interruption.]



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie

We will support anything that helps home owners and, indeed, the house building industry, so we will examine the detail of what John Swinney said today.

I do not remember the cabinet secretary mentioning this, but he used to tell us that local government got an increasing share of funding. He does not do so any more because it is not true. In 2010-11, local government received 38 per cent of the Scottish Government budget; I understand that the figure now is 32 per cent, which is 6 percentage points less. If local government were to achieve the same share, it would be in line for an extra £1.8 billion. Every single local authority in Scotland has had a real-terms cut. [Interruption.]



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie

There are now 40,000 fewer public sector workers. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation tells us that local government spending in Scotland will have fallen by 24 per cent in real terms by 2015. That is the funding for our schools and social care. In Edinburgh, the council needs to make £67 million in cuts over the next three years and cuts of £22 million in the next year alone. It is talking about cutting 1,200 jobs. In Glasgow, the figure is a staggering £29 million from the budget in one year alone. In Dundee, the council needs to make cuts of £30 million in the next three years, and it is talking about closing schools and cutting spending on textbooks. It is not alone; it is the same for East Renfrewshire Council, West Dunbartonshire Council and Renfrewshire Council. Such unpalatable decisions are affecting all local authorities, whatever their political complexion. This is, after all, about our children. Are we giving them the best start in life when we limit their opportunities in education?



Meeting of the Parliament 21 January 2015 : Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Jackie Baillie

No.

Are we taking care of our older people when they are forced to cancel community alarms because they cannot afford to pay for them? [Interruption.]

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12160.2 Michael Matheson: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Kez
>> Show more
AbstainCarried

S4M-12160.3 Margaret Mitchell: Women Offenders—As an amendment to motion S4M-12160 in the name of Ke
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12160 Kezia Dugdale: Women Offenders—That the Parliament welcomes the decision of the Scottish G
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12154.1 Lewis Macdonald: Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) – Supporting Indivi
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12120.1 Jenny Marra: 2020 Vision, the Strategic Forward Direction of the NHS—As an amendment to
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-12101 John Swinney: Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill—That the Parliament agrees to the general prin
>> Show more
AbstainCarried

S4M-12095.4 Ken Macintosh: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-12095.2 Alex Johnstone: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095.1 Willie Rennie: Tackling Inequalities—As an amendment to motion S4M-12095 in the name of
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12095 Alex Neil: Tackling Inequalities—That the Parliament agrees that a strong, sustainable eco
>> Show more
YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Jackie Baillie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12185: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12122: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12111: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 20/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11993.3: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11959: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11941: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11911: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11854: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11813: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11743: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Jackie Baillie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24175: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24178: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24176: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24177: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24030: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24028: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24029: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24021: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 14/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24022: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 14/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02525: Jackie Baillie, Dumbarton, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>