Kevin Stewart MSP

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Kevin Stewart MSP

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Parliamentary Activities

Member of the Conveners Group

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Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart

I do not have a problem with being called left wing, and I am not necessarily a tax cutter, but I believe that when we have an unfair tax we have to tackle it. The council tax is unfair, and that is why we have the freeze. I believe in progressive taxation, which Mr Brown certainly does not.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart

Will the member take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart

Will Mr Buchanan give way?



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart

Will Ms McTaggart join me in calling on COSLA to have a full review of the funding formula? I think that that would benefit my constituents in Aberdeen, and I have called for it for a very long time.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart

This is the kind of situation that is faced every day in playgrounds when somebody disagrees with a point of view and they take the ball home. That is what the Tories have done, given what they have decided to do. They have put their representative on the Local Government and Regeneration Committee in a really bad position, because the debate in the committee was pretty immense in terms of the points that we got to. We often disagree about things, but we agreed completely and utterly that this was the right approach to take.

As I said, I am pleased that the Government listened to what we said and took the suggested approach. It is just a pity that the Conservatives have chosen to take their ball home. In some respects, they will miss out on having the views of civic Scotland in formulating their policy—which, let us be honest, will probably not be up to much anyway.

Mr Brown said that all the parties that are involved in the commission will “hammer taxpayers”. I point out to him that the Governments in the current and previous sessions of Parliament have ensured that taxpayers have not been hammered, as they have chosen to freeze the council tax for eight years. I am pleased about that because, between 1996-97 and 2007-08, the council tax on the average house in Aberdeen rose by 81.9 per cent. People in Aberdeen could not bear that burden, so I am really pleased that it has not been added to over the piece.

We recognise that the system is not perfect, but the Government has protected hard-pressed families. I suggest to Mr Brown that, rather than taxpayers being hammered, the opposite has been the case when it comes to this Government and the council tax.

I am pleased by the remit and membership of the independent commission. I hope that it will look at a number of things when it carries out its business, but I will touch on just one. I wrote to the Government recently about the provision for carers in the council tax system. I got a response from the Deputy First Minister, who suggested that the commission should look at such issues. I hope that it will agree to look at how carers have to pay into the local taxation system, as well as other hard-pressed folk in our society.

I wish everyone on the commission all the best and I encourage civic Scotland to engage with it. I repeat that I am pleased that we have moved forward as per the Local Government and Regeneration Committee’s recommendations.

15:35  

Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)

I thank my colleagues on the Local Government and Regeneration Committee for the work that they did on the flexibility and autonomy report. During our deliberations, one aspect that we looked at was the legal and constitutional funding mechanisms that are available to local government. Paragraph 101 of our report states:

“Steps should be taken within the lifetime of this Parliament to initiate an agreed approach to facilitate meaningful debate on alternative approaches with the aim of having a new system identified in time for the next local government elections in 2017. We consider this to be the latest appropriate timetable which would enable candidates at that election to put forward their policies linked to revised funding mechanisms. Given the desirability of reaching consensus we consider this should be done by way of an independent cross-party commission which should include representatives from local government and wider civic society across Scotland.”

I am extremely pleased that the Government has listened to that recommendation from the committee, and I was extremely pleased that every single member of the committee signed up to it, including the Conservative member.

I am quite surprised by the Conservatives’ attitude today, because what we need in dealing with this subject, which is—let us face it—a thorny one, is civic Scotland’s input. Basically, the Tories are saying that they are not interested in civic Scotland’s views. I am glad that the Labour Party, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats as well as many people from civic Scotland have agreed to join the commission.



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)

Will Alex Rowley give way?



Meeting of the Parliament 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Kevin Stewart (Aberdeen Central) (SNP)

The Local Government and Regeneration Committee is currently considering the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill. There is a sense of frustration among folk in Aberdeen that there is a lack of licensing provision for shops that specialise in the sale of psychoactive substances and drug paraphernalia. Is there a practical way of bringing such shops into the licensing regime to give folk peace of mind?



Local Government and Regeneration Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Convener

I thank you for your time today, cabinet secretary.

12:09 Meeting continued in private until 12:40.  

Local Government and Regeneration Committee 25 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 25, 2015
The Convener

Thank you for that, cabinet secretary. Could your officials have a look at the Official Report of the evidence from the licensing officials? I share your frustration about the interpretation in certain local authorities being different from that in others, but the key issue for the committee is that we have to make sure that the public is served and feels empowered about certain of these decisions. It seems to me that certain things in the 1982 act fly in the face of common sense, so I urge your officials to go back and have an in-depth look at what licensing officials said at the committee meeting because it seemed to be entirely logical to me.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-12423.1 Alex Rowley: Commission on Local Tax Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-12423 in the n
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YesCarried

S4M-12423 Marco Biagi: Commission on Local Tax Reform—That the Parliament supports the establishment
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YesCarried

S4M-12385 Liz Smith: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—That the Parliament agrees that a solid grou
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12395.1 Fergus Ewing: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in the
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12395.2 Patrick Harvie: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—As an amendment to motion S4M-12395 in t
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12395 Murdo Fraser: An Energy Strategy for Scotland—That the Parliament notes with concern the l
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YesCarried

S4M-12385.3 Alasdair Allan: STEM Education in Scottish Schools—As an amendment to motion S4M-12385 i
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-12382.3 Mary Fee: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion S4
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NoDefeated

S4M-12382.1 Gavin Brown: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to motion
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-12382.2 Willie Rennie: Building Scotland’s Infrastructure for the Future—As an amendment to moti
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Kevin Stewart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12415: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12402: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12398: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12302: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12279: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12275: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12274: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 06/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12249: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12239: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12219: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Kevin Stewart
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24557: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24556: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24558: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-04005: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03998: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03954: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23794: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23792: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23793: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23791: Kevin Stewart, Aberdeen Central, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/12/2014 Show Full Question >>

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