Lewis Macdonald MSP

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Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab)

Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Lewis Macdonald

The minister will be aware that 1,000 jobs have already gone in the past few months and that thousands more are on the line. Given the recent “Fuelling the next generation” report, does he agree that employers in the sector cannot afford to shed staff today and expect to recruit staff tomorrow? Will he encourage the sector to protect jobs in order to maintain continuity, keep confidence high and provide security for the onshore and offshore workforce?



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
5. Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab)

To ask the Scottish Government where it foresees future jobs growth in the offshore energy sector in the North Sea. (S4O-03825)



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Lewis Macdonald

One of the principles that the Smith commission accepted at the outset was that there should continue to be coherence across the UK in the pooling and sharing of resources and the provision of comparable benefits to people who are in similar circumstances in different parts of the UK. Do the Smith proposals achieve that coherence in a way that still allows the Scottish Government and the Scottish Parliament to take initiatives to address issues that are specific to Scotland in welfare and support and in job creation?



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Lewis Macdonald

I have a quick supplementary question on the implementation of the 2012 act and the criticisms that have been made. We have not had the opportunity to read the detail of the criticism, but does it suggest that there is a risk of underestimating the institutional task of implementing changes, particularly those that involve the introduction of new taxes and tax powers?



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab)

I have a general question, which substantially relates to tax. The issue of implementation has been touched on already. There is a report out this morning from the Auditor General for Scotland about the implementation of the Scotland Act 2012. Time is clearly not the key constraint—if it was, that would be quite surprising, because the measures have been two years in the implementation.

The Auditor General’s conclusion is that the Scottish Government has done what it needed to do with regard to the legislative framework, which we have also talked about, but that the actual provision of the people, the information technology systems and so on for two relatively small tax items is not yet in place, which might have consequences. I wonder whether we can draw any lessons from that, and generally from the implementation of the 2012 act thus far, in relation to the prospect of implementing the next Scotland act.



Meeting of the Parliament 11 December 2014 : Thursday, December 11, 2014
Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab)

I listened carefully to the Deputy First Minister’s reply to Mr Rennie. Will he confirm that the new level of funding that he mentioned for Aberdeen City Council leaves its per capita revenue support at less than 81 per cent of the Scottish average, which in turn means that the revenue support for the council falls more than £17 million short of the 85 per cent target that the Deputy First Minister has set?



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Lewis Macdonald

I am very glad that Mr Swinney does so. What I was saying—clearly, I hope—was that the fit-for-purpose constitutional settlement that the Smith agreement helps to deliver is a stronger Scottish Parliament in a stronger United Kingdom.



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Lewis Macdonald

The discussions that we had at the committee last week point the way forward to how we can work together across different Parliaments and also with local government on the devolution of the Crown Estate among other things.

However, the proposition that Governments should work together to advise the process is a very different thing from Governments working together on the process itself. Mr Swinney should recognise that the opportunity will arise for all of us when the Scotland bill comes here next year. All members of the Parliament will be offered the opportunity then to say whether that bill is fit for purpose.

15:31  

Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Lewis Macdonald

No, I do not. John Mason comes to my aid as a witness, to prove that indeed English votes for English laws is not a proposition that is compatible with a strong United Kingdom.

A modern union Parliament should reflect all parts of the union, both through a House of Commons that is directly elected by all UK citizens on an equal basis and through a second chamber representing the nations and regions of the UK. Devolution to cities and regions within England will be important there, just as double devolution to Scotland’s cities, regions and islands will be important here.

The devolution of power in England must be devolution from Westminster, just as it has been in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland since 1997. Once it is started, devolution in England will no doubt evolve further, as it has done in the other countries of the United Kingdom.

Those issues will be resolved elsewhere, but they set the context for the Scotland bill, which will come to this Parliament for consideration in the course of the next 12 months or so. Responsibility for bringing forward that proposed legislation clearly lies with the Government of the United Kingdom, and specifically with the Scotland Office, as Alistair Carmichael told the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee last week.

It is not for Mr Swinney to invite himself to join in with drafting UK legislation, but that legislation has to deliver on the Smith agreements, and I hope that it will attract the support of all parties. I hope that it will deliver on the vision of John Smith and Donald Dewar, and on the vote of the Scottish people in September, by strengthening both the Scottish Parliament and the United Kingdom.



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Lewis Macdonald (North East Scotland) (Lab)

The Smith agreement marks another significant stage in the progress of Scotland’s devolved Parliament. For Scottish Labour, the enactment of the agreement will be another historic step on the road to a political settlement that is fit for purpose in a modern social democratic Scotland.

It was another Smith—John Smith—who said that devolution was

“the settled will of the Scottish people”.

He could not have known how that will would be tested 20 years after his death, but he would have been pleased that Scotland has emerged from that test with devolution strengthened, not cast aside.

Just as famously, Donald Dewar said that devolution was a process, not an event. He could not have known how that process would go forward, but he knew that the Scottish Constitutional Convention marked the beginning of a debate, rather than the last word in an argument. His vision, which brought us to this place, was not of fixed powers or settled institutions, but of a dynamic process of change that would evolve, mature and develop.

Nor was Donald Dewar’s vision just about Scottish devolution. It was also about a reinvented United Kingdom with a devolved Scotland at its heart. The Smith agreement helps to advance that reinvention of the union, as well as the powers and responsibilities of this Scottish Parliament.

Not all the signatories to the Smith agreement are committed to a stronger union, any more than they were when they joined the campaign in support of the original Scotland Bill in 1997. However, John Swinney was explicit in his evidence to the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee last week that signing the Smith agreement committed him to

“endorse its contents and ... work in good faith to implement them”—[Official Report, Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, 4 December 2014; c 27.]

and that is a commitment that all members of all signatory parties should seek to deliver.

For those of us who support the devolution agenda in its own right, this next step is not just about additional powers for a devolved Parliament—important though that is. It is about reaching a new balance among the member countries of this United Kingdom. If John Smith and Donald Dewar made the case a generation ago for devolution to strengthen the union, it is important to restate that case today.

Rebalancing the union means reforming Westminster, of course. The union Parliament must be fit for purpose in the 21st century, and a future UK constitutional convention must have that topic high on its agenda. When some in Ruth Davidson’s party propose that Westminster should be something other than the union Parliament they are in danger of undermining the union itself, however inadvertently.

In October, William Hague led a debate on devolution following the Scotland referendum, which turned out to be about

“English votes for English laws”—[Official Report, House of Commons, 14 October 2014; Vol 586, c 180.]

at Westminster and not about devolution of legislation for England from Westminster. When Mr Hague was challenged about where he might find cross-party support for those proposals, the one example that he offered was that of the SNP. That is telling in itself.

If the United Kingdom is to evolve in future as a union of equal partners, Westminster cannot be both the English Parliament and the union Parliament at the same time.

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
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YesDefeated

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
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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
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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 Lewis Macdonald
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11922: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11747: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11525: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11505: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11500: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11492: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11233: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11096: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10667: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10396: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Lewis Macdonald
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23682: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03825: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 10/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23490: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23355: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23356: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23354: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23350: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23349: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23351: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23353: Lewis Macdonald, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 21/11/2014 Show Full Question >>

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