James Kelly MSP

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Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by 1. James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

Meeting of the Parliament 18 December 2014 : Thursday, December 18, 2014
James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

On behalf of Scottish Labour, I join the First Minister in supporting the motion and welcoming Fiona McLeod to her position as a junior Scottish minister.

As Nicola Sturgeon said, this is a unique arrangement, but there is no doubt that it is the correct one. In taking it forward, the Scottish Government is showing leadership on the issue. It not only gives Aileen Campbell the appropriate time to be with her family at this crucial time in their lives, but ensures that another minister is in place to deal with the important issues in the brief.

On behalf of Scottish Labour, I wish Aileen Campbell all the best as she goes off on maternity leave. It is important that she has the time to spend with her husband Fraser and her son Angus. We hope that everything goes well, and we wish her well.

There is no doubt that there are important issues for Fiona McLeod to address in moving into the portfolio, albeit temporarily. They include access to education, pushing up attainment and improving literacy levels.

One thing that Fiona McLeod mentions frequently when she speaks in the Parliament is her experience as a librarian. From my family and my daughters, I see that reading books—either paper books or books on Kindle—improves young people’s vocabulary and their educational opportunities. I am sure that, in her time in the role, Fiona McLeod will bring to bear her experience as a librarian and her knowledge of the importance of supporting books and reading.

Fiona McLeod is a great supporter of the cross-party group on fair trade. We both serve on that group, and at a recent meeting we were involved in the promotion of fair trade footballs. We had some high jinks with the footballs and some good photographs were taken. I only hope that, when she takes up her position in her ministerial office, she does not try any keepy-uppy with the footballs. That might upset the staff and the civil servants.

On behalf of Scottish Labour, I welcome the unique decision that the Scottish Government has taken. I wish Aileen Campbell and her family all the best in the period ahead, and I welcome Fiona McLeod to her position and wish her all the best of good luck.

14:37  

Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
James Kelly

I am sorry, but I am in my last minute.

In addition to that, only yesterday statistics were published that show that nearly 1 million households are now in fuel poverty. Again, that is completely unacceptable in today’s Scotland and I am sure that no one in this chamber finds it acceptable.

The Smith agreement powers give us the opportunity to raise the top rate of tax to 50p and to introduce new benefits that could help in addressing access to education, health inequality issues and fuel poverty issues. That is what the debate should be about. People in Scotland are looking for us to move on. They are looking for leadership from this chamber and it is incumbent on all of us—including the SNP Government—to provide that leadership, to provide the ideas and to make a real difference, now that the constitutional debate has been resolved.

15:33  

Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
James Kelly

No. I am short of time.

One of the aspects that that study concentrated on was the living wage. SNP members have voted five times against extension of the living wage to public contracts. As well as examining the powers that are coming down the line, they should examine the powers that they currently have in order to make a difference to health inequalities.

Another issue that could be examined and developed is access to education. The SNP is always telling us about how we have free education in Scotland, but the reality on the ground is that someone who stays in Morningside has an eight in 10 chance of getting to university while someone in the poorer areas of Glasgow has only a one in 10 chance of doing so. Access to free education is very limited in some parts of our country. We should be looking to use the new powers to take the issues forward.



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
James Kelly

This debate gives us an opportunity to examine some of the issues that exist in Scotland and how we can use the powers to make a difference. For example, yesterday the Scottish public health observatory published a study into health inequalities in Scotland. It noted that the average life expectancy of a male in Drumchapel is 73 years, while three miles away in Bearsden it is 10 years more, at 83 years. Nobody in this chamber would find that acceptable. The study demonstrated that although changes in health policy will have an impact on that, the biggest impact will be through changes in tax and welfare—which are handed down by the Smith commission.



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
James Kelly

Mr Swinney and the SNP need to remember that we are elected to Parliament as politicians to represent our constituents and work on their behalf. When have the opportunity of substantially enhanced powers, it is incumbent on us to make those powers work and to make a difference.



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
James Kelly

I will tell you.



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

There can be no doubt that, compared with the set of powers that were devolved to the Scottish Parliament when it first sat in 1999, the Smith agreement sets out a much more substantial step forward on tax and welfare. The set of powers presents opportunities for us to make a difference in relation to the issues that our communities throughout Scotland face.

A number of implications follow from the agreement. First, we will need to move on from the constitutional discussion. One of the unfortunate things about the debate is, surprisingly, that it is clear to me that the SNP has not moved on. I listened carefully to Mr Swinney, who was a bit like a lecturer at a seminar. We had 10 minutes of process and nothing about what the new powers could do to make a difference.



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

Can the member confirm that the SNP signed the final agreement? [Laughter.]



Meeting of the Parliament 04 December 2014 : Thursday, December 04, 2014
James Kelly

I, too, congratulate the Scottish Parliament on the payment of the living wage to all workers and contractors.

The cabinet secretary will be aware that the First Minister recently announced that agreement had been reached with Mitie to ensure that all cleaners at Scottish Government locations would be paid the living wage. Mitie has a contract with Anniesland college in Glasgow. Did the First Minister’s announcement cover all cleaners in relation to payments made through the Scottish Government, including those in the education sector and specifically at Anniesland college?



Meeting of the Parliament 04 December 2014 : Thursday, December 04, 2014
1. James Kelly (Rutherglen) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making on the payment of the living wage in public contracts. (S4O-03781)

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

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

S4M-11901.1 Mary Scanlon: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
>> Show more
YesDefeated

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
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NoCarried

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

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

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

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

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

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

Search for other Motions lodged by James Kelly
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
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 >>
Motion S4M-10592: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by James Kelly
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23533: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23532: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23497: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 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 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 >>
Question S4W-22929: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22928: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22930: James Kelly, Rutherglen, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/10/2014 Show Full Question >>