Jean Urquhart MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 18 December 2014 : Thursday, December 18, 2014
Jean Urquhart (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)

On behalf of the Green and Independent group, I congratulate Aileen Campbell and wish her a safe delivery and a happy Christmas. I think that we all agree that, for her stand-in, there could be no better choice than Fiona McLeod. When I read the list of her ministerial responsibilities, I imagined the long and comprehensive reading list that she might put together for everyone in each of the sectors in question. Her commitment to each of the areas will show, and I believe that she will take the job incredibly seriously. It is one of the most important positions in the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament, and I cannot imagine anyone better in it.



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart

Were you surprised by the Auditor General’s report, or do you think that there were areas that she was right to highlight?



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart

What caused the increase in the budget that was not anticipated?



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart

As you have answered everything comprehensively, I have just a short question. On the budget and the overspend, was there any connection between the—for want of a better word—slippage of employment from your original plan and trying to save money? Perhaps I have not looked at it carefully enough, but, in other words, is the difference between the estimated budget and the greater amount spent in reality related in any way to the criticisms in the Auditor General’s report?



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart

Okay. That was all I wanted to ask.



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart

In your submission, you mention possibilities involving a percentage of VAT and other taxes and duties. We do not understand the Barnett formula, so I wonder whether such measures will make any difference at all. Would we not need to know with real clarity how the Barnett formula is arrived at? For example, if the economy improves and there is a higher income from VAT, that would surely have to show somewhere in order for us to be convinced that Scotland was better off.

A number of economists are raising concerns that Scotland could end up worse off. We might alter income tax, and we might improve the economy. We might do better with a work programme. However, that would all be for nothing if we do not understand how an improvement in the Scottish economy is reflected in the Barnett formula calculation.



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart

If we accept that, are there areas in which we might not have seen any devolved power but where things had gone as far as the requests in other areas that would have made a more dramatic difference? In other words, if we had devolved the entire work programme—employment, the minimum wage and so on—at the expense of not doing so much on welfare, could that have made a greater difference to the overall picture?



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart

Yes. I will clarify what I am trying to get at. There are many similarities between the wish list in the STUC’s paper and your own wish list around welfare, income and work programmes. In its response to those issues, the Smith commission seems to go so far but not far enough almost in every area. Do you agree with that?



Finance Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Jean Urquhart (Highlands and Islands) (Ind)

Thank you for your written submission, which is very interesting.

Do you think that the Smith commission’s attempt is too broad and that there is a little bit of leeway in a number of areas rather than any dramatic change through the devolution of real power to the Scottish Government that would mean that the general public in Scotland would be aware of a significant difference in one area?



Finance Committee 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Jean Urquhart

But if everybody who is VAT registered is paying more, they are really claiming back more VAT than they are charging. I presume that, because it is value added, it is cumulative in that sense.

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
>> Show more
NoDefeated

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

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
>> Show more
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
>> Show more
NoDefeated

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

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

S4M-11825 Richard Lochhead: End of Year Fish Negotiations—That the Parliament welcomes the successfu
>> Show more
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 Jean Urquhart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11943: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11937: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11936: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 17/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11559: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 14/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11518: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11362: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 30/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11355: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 29/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11312: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11276: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 22/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10841: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Jean Urquhart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03758: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03529: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 16/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22542: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 05/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22540: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 05/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22541: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 05/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22539: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 05/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22401: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 19/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22341: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22315: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 08/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21979: Jean Urquhart, Highlands and Islands, Independent, Date Lodged: 27/06/2014 Show Full Question >>

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