James Kelly MSP

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Search for other Speeches made by 7. James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

On a point of order, Presiding Officer. During the exchanges between Kezia Dugdale and the First Minister at First Minister’s question time today, the First Minister said:

“We are spending more on colleges today than Labour ever did throughout its entire time in office.”

That is an inaccurate statement. In 2006-07, the spending on colleges was £598 million, which is £23 million more than the current college budget, which is £575 million. The First Minister has, therefore, misled Parliament, and I seek your advice, Presiding Officer, on how the record can be corrected.



Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
James Kelly

Perhaps Ms McKelvie could remind us who allocates the budget—which has suffered such swingeing cuts since 2007—to South Lanarkshire Council?



Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
James Kelly

I lament the fact that the SNP Government cut the housing budget by 29 per cent. That contributed to one of the biggest crises in social housing since the second world war.

There is no doubt that the impact of the Tory cuts since 2010, which have left families £1,600 worse off, have not helped the crisis that our communities face. I recently met staff of the local citizens advice bureau, and they can tell you that, as a result of the welfare cuts, they are getting many more referrals.

The issues in this debate must be how we move things forward and what we can do in practical terms. Obviously, the general election focuses on that. As part of the way forward, Labour is proposing a mansion tax to raise £3 billion, which we would use to promote economic growth. We are also proposing the introduction of a 50p tax rate to redistribute wealth in the economy and to help those who need it most.

From the Scottish Government, we would like to see more action on zero-hours contracts, tax avoidance and the living wage—all areas in which, regrettably, the Scottish Government voted down stronger amendments to the Procurement Reform (Scotland) Bill.

As we heard from Mr Swinney, the way forward from the SNP perspective is full fiscal autonomy. There is no doubt that—in the words of Arthur Montford—that would be a “disaster for Scotland”. To lose the Barnett consequentials of £4 billion would have a disastrous impact. Members should look at the publication this morning of the Audit Scotland report that shows how council budgets have been cut by 8.5 per cent in real terms. The impact of losing the Barnett formula would be to take another £1 billion out of council budgets.

Councils are faced with the prospect of cutting back on care packages and closing libraries. There are schools in my constituency that are not able to print out the homework and ask people to print it out at home. How can people print out the homework at home when some of them do not even have a computer printer? That is the reality of what is happening.

On the economy, we need a proper analysis first and foremost, not just a glossy document from the SNP, and then we need solutions that will work—measures that will make a difference, such as the living wage. We need to commit to those in the coming period so that we can make a difference for Scotland.

15:31  

Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

There is no doubt that debates on the economy are always important, because the economy drives so much that is vital in our communities to making a difference to people’s lives. From that point of view, I looked closely at the document that the SNP Government published on Tuesday for some clues to the road map for the journey that the Scottish Government is going to take us on. We often hear people in these debates talking about the creation of a fairer and more equal Scotland. That is something that a lot of people agree on, but when I examine the detail of the document, I am left puzzled as to how it will be created.

There is talk in the document about the Scottish salmon getting accorded the label rouge in France and about the number of heritage sites that we have. These things are all very welcome, but I ask myself, what does that mean to constituents in my area? When I look round my area, at Cambuslang and at some of its areas of social deprivation, and I look at the document with all its glossy pictures and graphs, I ask myself: what is the Scottish Government doing to tackle social deprivation in Cambuslang?

As you journey from Bridgeton to Bearsden, life expectancy decreases. I ask myself: what in this document will tackle health inequalities? I look at attainment levels in education and the struggle that working-class kids continue to have to get to university. The fact that the SNP Government has cut more than 130,000 college places makes that an even greater hurdle. I look at the housing situation, with 150,000 people on social housing waiting lists, and I look at people in my constituency staying in overcrowded accommodation—something that blights their economic opportunity—and I ask myself: what is the SNP doing to tackle this crisis?



Meeting of the Parliament 05 March 2015 : Thursday, March 05, 2015
James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

I am delighted to participate in this members’ business debate, and I congratulate George Adam, my co-convener of the cross-party group on fair trade, on bringing the debate to the chamber.

There can be no doubt that, if the measure of success in what one seeks to achieve in life, as in politics, is making a difference, fair trade can be designated a tangible success. From the impact of fair trade on farmers, producers and workers in the countries that produce fair trade products, it is clear that fair trade has made a real difference and has really grown since the concept first took off.

The test for us in Scotland is to measure the difference that we have made in encouraging fair trade with such countries. The Scottish Fair Trade Forum has been the driver for much of our success. The forum was initiated in January 2007, and I pay tribute to those, including my colleague Patricia Ferguson, who were involved in the initial discussions.

The forum’s director, Martin Rhodes, carries out work to educate people about fair trade and launches successful campaigns, and it is clear that the forum has made a difference. Part of that has involved working closely with the cross-party group on fair trade, which George Adam mentioned. He and Patricia Ferguson mentioned the Bala football campaign, which was the focus of recent discussion at the cross-party group. I hope that that discussion helped to raise the campaign’s profile. Patricia Ferguson gave an example of how the campaign has been marketed and supported by Glasgow City Council.

At the cross-party group, we have had a number of challenging discussions on, for example, trademarks, which David Torrance mentioned. Getting trademarks for fair trade established and accrediting people to use them is a big issue. I remember a very interesting discussion at the cross-party group when we were challenged on whether all that is being handled properly.

As Annabel Goldie said, the test in Scotland is how we can make a difference in our local areas. Like other members, I pay tribute to those who have made a difference in local communities. I am delighted to say that Rutherglen and Cambuslang have been accredited with fair trade status, which is down to the work of the local fair trade group and the churches and schools that participate in it.

I highlight in particular the work of Stonelaw high school, which has one of the most successful fair trade groups in the country. It started with a £100 grant and has raised more than £180,000 from fair trade products. I pay tribute to Isabel Gilchrist, the teacher who has been with the group since the start. The group has been recognised twice in the past year with community and national awards. Its selling of more than £180,000-worth of fair trade goods shows the difference that promoting fair trade locally can make and how the work that local people do links to helping farmers, producers and workers in the countries that participate in the schemes.

Again, I congratulate George Adam on bringing the motion to the chamber and give great credit to all the groups in my constituency and throughout Scotland that work tirelessly on behalf of fair trade.

13:02  

Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
James Kelly

Will the minister take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
James Kelly

Will the minister take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 04 March 2015 : Wednesday, March 04, 2015
James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

I oppose the Government business motion on the basis that the Government has refused a request from the Scottish Labour Party for a statement on the future of Prestwick airport. I am aware and supportive of the importance of Prestwick airport not only to Ayrshire but to the wider Scottish economy. However, it is a duty of Parliament to hold the Government to account for its actions on Prestwick. The Audit Scotland report that was published last week noted that the costs from the public purse have doubled to £40 million from the previously stated figure of £21 million. Audit Scotland also called for clear and robust plans to be spelled out.

It is against that background that Labour has asked for a parliamentary statement. Given the scale of the issue, it is staggering that the only Government-initiated statement to the full chamber has been on 8 October 2013, from the then Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure, Investment and Cities, Nicola Sturgeon, to indicate that negotiations were under way to take the airport into public ownership. It is completely unacceptable that, in a year and a half, we have not had a minister come of the Government’s own accord to make a statement and be accountable to Parliament on this important issue.

In light of the Audit Scotland report, there continue to be questions about the on-going costs involved, the projected passenger numbers and the business plan. That is why we need a statement. It is simply not good enough for the Government to adopt the attitude that it cannot be bothered to come and speak to us. The Government needs to take Parliament seriously. The workforce at Prestwick deserves answers and the public deserve answers, and the Parliament is a platform for those answers. That is why the Labour Party will continue to call for a statement on Prestwick’s future and will oppose the business motion.

17:03  

Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
James Kelly

Will the cabinet secretary examine how capital grant funding commitments could bridge spending review periods? That would allow match funding to be introduced in projects such as the University of the West of Scotland’s Lanarkshire campus in Hamilton. If progress could be made on that project, it would bring undoubted benefits, not only to the area itself, but also to the Lanarkshire economy and the wider Scottish economy.



Meeting of the Parliament 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
7. James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government how it allocates money from the budget to capital grant funding for projects. (S4O-04007)

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12521.2 Jackie Baillie: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendme
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YesDefeated

S4M-12521.1 Gavin Brown: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendment
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12521.3 Willie Rennie: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—As an amendmen
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12521 John Swinney: Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland’s Economy—That the Parliame
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NoCarried

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

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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NoCarried

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

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

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

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

Search for other Motions lodged by James Kelly
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12470: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11755: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11535: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11534: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11401: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11398: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11325.1: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11282: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11054: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10897: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 29/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by James Kelly
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24754: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/03/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04007: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03883: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 05/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23532: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23533: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23498: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23496: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23497: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03781: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4F-02363: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Question >>