John Wilson MSP

Welcome to John Wilson MSP's biography pages

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by John Wilson

Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
3. John Wilson (Central Scotland) (Ind)

To ask the Scottish Government how it monitors the use of subordinated debt in procurement projects by the hubcos and the Scottish Futures Trust. (S4O-03723)



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

What discussions has the cabinet secretary had with the Scottish Futures Trust about its prudent use of high-risk, high-yield financial instruments, namely lower-grade junk bonds? How widely are those instruments used by hubcos for financing Scottish Government and local government procurement contracts?



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
John Wilson (Central Scotland) (Ind)

I thank those members across the chamber who signed my motion and enabled this debate to take place. I also put on record my appreciation of Children 1st, the Child Poverty Action Group, Barnardo’s Scotland, the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Save the Children, among others, for their briefings for the debate.

As my motion states in no uncertain terms, child poverty in Scotland is rising, and End Child Poverty’s child poverty map shows increasingly shocking levels of poverty. For example, the new town of East Kilbride in the South Lanarkshire Council area is quite rightly regarded as a prosperous location, but figures indicate 25 per cent child poverty in the East Kilbride South ward. In another part of South Lanarkshire, Larkhall, the figure for child poverty is 26.46 per cent.

It is important to realise that behind those statistics are children and young adults who are going without food and the bare essentials. Poverty is totally unacceptable in a modern, prosperous Scotland and, in many ways, it is sad that we find ourselves once again having to discuss the continued blight of child poverty in Scotland.

The awful truth is that, according to End Child Poverty, one child in five in Scotland is living in poverty. I am aware that, over the past 15 years, members in this chamber have initiated various debates on the subject of poverty. Its effects should not be underestimated. It leaves a deep scar on those who live in it, and it impacts on our people’s educational attainment, with many failing to develop their life chances.

Poverty, but particularly child poverty, is a mark of our lack of collective ambition for future generations. It is estimated that 11 per cent of pupils in the most deprived areas leave school without any qualifications, compared with 3 per cent in the rest of Scotland.



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

I cannot comment on Mr Findlay’s observations, but it is disappointing that there are few members in the chamber from all sides taking part in the debate.

The factors that drive poverty are diverse, but they are more challenging than ever. For far too long we have relied on various schemes simply to ameliorate poverty. End Child Poverty has called on the United Kingdom Government to rethink welfare benefit policies and taxation policy. On the back of that, we must acknowledge the need to reconsider our outlook on welfare policy. In that regard, in his recently published book “Good Times, Bad Times: the Welfare Myth of Them and Us” and in his article in The Guardian on 12 November, John Hills dispels the myths that have been peddled about a them-and-us society—people rely on the welfare system at various times throughout their lives. In addition, researchers at Loughborough University have taken account of housing costs, which are an important consideration in real day-to-day living costs.

Poverty is careless in the extreme, as the problems that it creates mean that, as a society, we are regularly trying to play catch-up, creating various ad hoc projects to tackle the symptoms instead of really tackling the root causes.



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

Sorry, but I do not have time to take further interventions.

The new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has clearly highlighted that one of her objectives is to eradicate poverty in Scotland. I, for one, look forward to her Government’s proposals on tackling poverty. However, it is a poor sign of today’s society that in my lifetime food banks are being used almost as the norm by an increasing number of people in work. That clearly impacts on the family and on the individual’s emotional development and general wellbeing. Local citizens advice bureaux and Department for Work and Pensions offices throughout Central Scotland, for example, have to refer families to food banks on a daily basis. The situation cannot be allowed to continue to blight our society.

The onset of Christmas brings us the usual cheap marketing techniques utilised by payday loan companies, which are no doubt a factor in how people spend their limited financial means. It is also worth noting that energy companies regularly withdraw discount tariffs for the most vulnerable groups in society. With the onset of winter, people will again face an unmanageable hike in energy prices, despite the real-terms fall in wholesale energy prices.

Any economic strategy worth its salt has to recognise that opportunities will come about only if we also acknowledge the need for economic and social justice. That is a pre-requisite if all the people of Scotland are to flourish, especially our future generations. I hope that the Smith commission will deliver a framework for further powers for this Parliament that can assist the delivery of policies that will reduce the growing income gaps in our society and provide better cohesion. Devolving welfare powers is a necessary factor in the policy mix.

I thank End Child Poverty, which continues to raise awareness of its campaign and make useful contributions to the debate on ending child poverty in Scotland once and for all. I look forward to the day that this Parliament can say that we have eradicated the child poverty that is in our midst.



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

The living wage is one of the tools that can be used to raise earnings, but does the member accept that the current benefits and tax credit system penalises those who might benefit from the living wage?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
John Wilson (Central Scotland) (Ind)

I am the deputy convener of the committee.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
John Wilson

Good morning. I have a question for Ms Stewart, but Sandra White might also want to comment on it.

Sandra White has proposed that this type of entertainment be banned altogether by local government, or that we give each local authority the power to ban it from taking place in its area. Do you perceive a problem in that regard? If, for example, Glasgow took the decision to introduce a blanket ban while Edinburgh and Aberdeen decided to allow such clubs to exist, would that lead to legal action being taken against Glasgow for interpreting the legislation differently from other authorities in Scotland?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
John Wilson

I am just trying to get some clarification on whether the Scottish Government should be leaving it to local authorities to license sexual entertainment. My fear is that we could end up with the same companies operating in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen and then challenging a local authority and taking it to court on the basis that if such activity is permissible in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, it should be permissible in Glasgow. I just want to avoid lengthy legal wrangles in the courts, and the courts, rather than this Parliament, deciding on the appropriate use of the legislation.



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 19 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 19, 2014
John Wilson

I know that Dr Shortt’s study has been limited so far, but one of the big problems in many communities is not, as Mark McDonald indicated, the hotel or bar trade, but the off-licence trade and the small corner shops that sell the well-known tonic wine, particularly in areas such as the one that I live in—Lanarkshire—which have real problems.

How do you propose to measure that type of sale? Floor space does not come into the equation, given that I could take you to a small off-licence that will sell anything in excess of 200 bottles of that well-known tonic wine on a Friday night. How do we get to a position in which we can make an assessment of the situation in which, as well as a supermarket having an off-licence, a proliferation of small corner shops insist that they must have an off-licence in order to trade, although what they are trading in is a type of alcoholic beverage that is problematic in communities throughout Lanarkshire and central Scotland?

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
>> Show more
NoCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by John Wilson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11521: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11520: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11247: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11246: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11245: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11213: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 15/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11208: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 14/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11105: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11009: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 25/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10986: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by John Wilson
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23345: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23341: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23344: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23343: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23340: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23342: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23145: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 13/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03723: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 11/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23043: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23044: John Wilson, Central Scotland, Independent, Date Lodged: 06/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

Further information

Email our Public Information Service for more information.