John Swinney MSP

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John Swinney MSP

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  • Member for: Perthshire North
  • Region: Mid Scotland and Fife
  • Party: Scottish National Party

John is a member of the following Committees:

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

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by John Swinney

Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
John Swinney

I was not aware that Mr McMahon had been present at the Scottish National Party conference. If he was, and if this is a gradual journey that Mr McMahon is making to come over to the SNP in due course, based on the warmth with which he has always questioned me over the years, I will give him a very warm welcome.

As Mr McMahon will know, the council tax freeze has delivered real benefits to individuals and families across our country. The council tax had risen significantly before the election of this Government. We committed to freeze the council tax, and the freeze will have delivered £1,200 in benefits to the average band D householder in Scotland during the lifetime of this Administration—during the previous parliamentary session and this session. That is welcome support to individuals.

For those on lower incomes, the council tax freeze has had a disproportionately greater impact on their household income. That is why the council tax freeze has given such real benefits to people facing financial challenges in Scotland today.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney)

The Scottish Government is committed to consulting others later in this parliamentary session to develop a fairer, more progressive local tax, based on the ability to pay.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
John Swinney

I cannot give Mr Wilson a specific answer about the quality and category of investment finance that is acquired, other than to say that the Scottish Futures Trust has been successful in obtaining the necessary private capital to support a number of strategic developments. In the previous answer, Mr Brown talked about the Aberdeen western peripheral route. The SFT is involved in the procurement of the finance that is necessary to support that project.

The Scottish Futures Trust has a strong and robust framework for assessing the attraction of capital investment into such projects. That will be sustained by the scrutiny of Scottish Futures Trust Investments and by the Scottish Futures Trust as a whole.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth (John Swinney)

Subordinated debt is invested in hub projects through Scottish Futures Trust Investments, which is a subsidiary of the Scottish Futures Trust that was established for that purpose. Investment decisions are made and investments are monitored by the board’s investment committee. Scottish Futures Trust Investments accounts showing investments made are published annually.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
John Swinney

For a variety of reasons—the Commonwealth games, the Ryder cup and the referendum—Scotland has been in the news around the world like never before. A television audience of 500 million homes for the Ryder cup is extraordinary. Frankly, the country could not have looked more magnificent than it did then and during the referendum and the Commonwealth games.

The wider world’s impression of Scotland during 2014 will have been a good, strong and profound one. We cannot just say that that is the job done and that we do not need to reinforce that impression. The tourism market is intensively competitive, so we need to fuel that.

The presence of SDI in the business market is very strong in promoting why Scotland should be a destination for investment. That is not just about the topography, the geography and the scenery but about the inherent and economic strength, the skills base, the educational capability and the inventiveness of the Scottish population. Those are values on which we trade strongly.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
John Swinney

In that case, I will assume that he is ecstatic the next time he knocks on my door to ask for more money.

The evidence is that the VisitScotland marketing activity delivered a significant economic return, so it was money well spent. The surprise yourself campaign was a beautiful presentation of Scotland.

I took a decision in a tight spending round to allocate more resources than I had planned to allocate to VisitScotland to give the organisation the opportunity to build on what has been a fabulous year of promotion. We did not pay an awful lot of that through the VisitScotland marketing budget; indeed, we had to pay for it from various other budgets. Nonetheless, Scotland in 2014 looked great to a world audience and we need to sustain that. That is the purpose of that funding. I have great confidence in the ability of VisitScotland’s marketing activities to use the money wisely and effectively.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
John Swinney

At the end of the junior Ryder cup’s opening ceremony at Blairgowrie golf club, I observed to the VisitScotland chairman that the weather forecast was fabulous for the Ryder cup and that Scotland would look wonderful to the international television audience. I added that, given how wonderful Scotland had looked during the Commonwealth games and the many live broadcasts I saw on the referendum campaign, there would be no need for him to have any extra money for his marketing campaign. Given his protestations—they lasted for some time—he did not seem to take that terribly well. However, I must say that the VisitScotland board’s case for additional marketing support was well marshalled.

I will tell the chairman that Mr Biagi’s interpretation is that he should be ecstatic about his extra £5 million. I am not sure that—



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
John Swinney

Yes. This has been a bumper year for people having a reason to come to Scotland, which has given us a platform for business development conversations. The Commonwealth games and the Ryder cup were two huge events on which Scottish Enterprise deployed significant resources. Lots of staff were working all the hours that God sent, including weekends, to make sure that those conversations happened. I took part in a number of events with Scottish Enterprise that were aimed at business development purposes. From that work will come a range of leads that will be followed up.

I would not want members in any way to think that our approach to the pipeline of business development connections is anything other than a sustained contact network that is pursued to secure those business benefits for Scotland. If someone comes here because of the Edinburgh book festival, the Commonwealth games, the Ryder cup or whatever the reason happens to be, they will be followed up in order to secure business connections.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
John Swinney

This is an area of great interest and it has delivered significant returns. We have had in place the conference bid fund, which was a fairly modest investment of £3 million. It has been instrumental in bringing £107 million-worth of activity into the country. To put in £3 million and get £107 million back out is a pretty good rate of return. I could do with a few more rates of return like that.

We recognise that area as being a very significant factor in what we take forward. Again, this has been responded to by the private sector. To single out one venue, the SSE Hydro in Glasgow now has the capacity to put on all sorts of performances—not least from the Deputy First Minister in a couple of weeks, as well as from other international stars into the bargain. Coming to see performances gives people a reason to travel substantial distances and the spillover effect into accommodation and spending power is very significant. Of course the Government has been involved and Scottish Enterprise has been heavily involved in supporting the development of that venture, but it has also required private sector capital and leadership and it is a great asset for us to have in Scotland.

The conference market has very significant potential and we want to sustain our presence in that area. It is a very competitive market but we have a very competitive proposition. Obviously, the more these events happen, the more frequently footfall comes into Scotland because of them, and the more justification there is for direct air connections and other beneficial transport connections. I see that as a crucial tool in expanding our tourism presence.

11:30  

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
John Swinney

The support is not based on the critical mass of growth. It is based on where in the company base we believe that there is growth potential. I reassure the committee that that judgment is not made just about companies in city regions; it is made about companies the length and breadth of Scotland. That has to include the south of Scotland as much as any other part of Scotland for the simple reason that that is crucial if we are to fulfil the commitments that we have given and the task that we have set ourselves on the question of regional equity, because it is not acceptable for us to have growth in Scotland that excludes significant parts of our country. That is at odds with the Government’s economic strategy and it is at odds with the national performance framework.

We have an obligation to look at those issues and to put in place the necessary mechanisms to address them. That work is under way through the work of the strategic forum that I chair. The forum brings together enterprise agencies and the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council, which will be heavily involved in the campus issues, to ensure that the issues are properly reflected in the economic priorities that we take forward.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
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YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
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Not VotedCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by John Swinney
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11716: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11311: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10822: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10769: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10756: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10555: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10430: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10325: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10079: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09977: John Swinney, Perthshire North, Scottish National Party, On Behalf of Local Government and Regeneration Committee, Date Lodged: 07/05/2014 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 S2O-12498: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31491: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31492: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31428: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31427: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31403: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31400: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31399: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31401: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/01/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31402: John Swinney, North Tayside, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/01/2007 Show Full Question >>

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