Linda Fabiani MSP

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Appointed Member of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body

Search for other Speeches made by Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride) (SNP)

Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani

Yes, David mentioned the changes to end-year flexibility in his paper.



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani

My supplementary might be a confusing one, but something struck me when Mark McDonald was talking. If we have only the admin power and not further fiscal power, and if we are relying on flexibility within that admin power, how does that then affect things such as the Treasury clawback rules on end-year flexibilities, which were changed a few years ago? Would we have to set up particular types of purely draw-down borrowing? Would that be taken into account in the annual calculations?



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani

Thank you.



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani

We would be able to administer rather than simply have powers to change.



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani

Therefore, we are no further forward.



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani

I am looking for clarification on an issue that was mentioned at the start of the discussion. It was quite clear from the Smith report that, with more borrowing powers, there would need to be a prudential borrowing regime. There was a lot of discussion around that matter on the commission and how that would be a sensible way forward. There was also a recognition that local authorities have more borrowing powers than the Scottish Government.

Paragraph 1.2 of the executive summary in the submission from Don Peebles says that there is a potential omission in that the enduring settlement document does not include the further borrowing powers that were called for in the Smith report. The “Borrowing for capital spending” section of the enduring settlement document recognises what the Smith commission agreement requested in that regard, but it then says:

“The 2012 Act already provides the Scottish Parliament with specific powers for capital borrowing, as set out above.”

I find that quite confusing. It is clear that we do not have a prudential borrowing regime—that is what was requested—but the document says that we have that power. What are your views on that?



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani

Perhaps, the next time that you are down at Westminster, you can invite the House of Lords to take a look as well.



Devolution (Further Powers) Committee 26 February 2015 : Thursday, February 26, 2015
Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride) (SNP)

An apparent concern in the House of Lords committee report is about data protection issues for young people and vulnerable people. We covered that subject extensively in the Referendum (Scotland) Bill Committee, all the members of which had concerns about protecting people in that regard. Was the extensive work that we did in that committee taken into account by the House of Lords? Do you or your team have any concerns at all about how that issue was dealt with in the referendum process?



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Linda Fabiani

Aw.



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Linda Fabiani (East Kilbride) (SNP)

I am tempted to say that I agree with Jim Eadie and to sit back down—[Interruption.] Thank you very much, Gavin Brown.

It was interesting to read the Scottish Government’s motion. It is almost a piece of literature, which is testament to the amount of work that has been done and on which things must be said. It also refreshed my memory on the 2013 update of the infrastructure investment plan.

A lot of the projects have been on-going since the update and even since the time of the first infrastructure plan’s publication. I was pleased to hear Mary Fee say that Labour very much supports Scotland’s being included in HS2. I hope that the other parties will also be able to confirm in their closing speeches their support, so that we have the strength of the Parliament behind the Government when it makes the case for that. As far as I am concerned, the case for bringing high-speed rail to Scotland has to be made.

There are causes for concern in the amendments. I note that Paul Martin said that, generally, there is agreement that we should go forward with the infrastructure projects, with some justifiable concerns about different matters. On seeing the reference to crossrail in the Labour amendment, I was struck by the fact that we have not heard a lot of the unionist parties talking about the London crossrail project and Scotland’s contribution to that. That led me to think about what Scotland could do with fiscal autonomy and the £400 million share of that project’s cost.

The Liberal amendment expresses concerns that the SNP’s fiscal plans will

“increase debt and divert money from infrastructure to debt interest for a generation”.

I absolutely believe that we have made and, indeed, shown the case that we can manage down a deficit without attacking society’s social fabric, as the Westminster coalition Government is quite clearly doing.

I was interested to hear Willie Rennie mention the price of borrowing. To go down that route is to argue against any borrowing whatsoever. The price of austerity is more important. Ask people out there about the price of the austerity measures that are wrecking the fabric of our society and making things difficult for single people, families, and working people right across our country. That is the true price, and it is one that is not worth paying, as far as I am concerned.

I also note the concern in the Liberal amendment about the Scottish Futures Trust. I am more concerned about the on-going cost of private finance initiatives, which were entered into with great gusto by the Labour-Liberal coalition over this Parliament’s first eight years. I am concerned not just about their on-going capital costs, but about their on-going management costs. NHS Lanarkshire is still suffering from that: it is paying the price of PFI for ancillary services. The Scottish Futures Trust is looking into the possibility of bringing some of those initiatives back into the public sector, which is an admirable thing to do. If we are talking about whether to have private finance initiatives or the Scottish Futures Trust and a non-profit-distributing method of financing public projects, I know what I would pick every single time.

The Government is to be commended on its husbandry of resources in terms of infrastructure, and on the way in which projects have been managed. Over the years, I have become convinced that, far too often with the big public sector megaprojects—not just in this country but in many countries—there is deliberate underestimating of costs because everybody knows that once a project gets so far down the road it must be completed. One thing about the Scottish Government is that it has been honest, up front and transparent about costs and how projects are monitored and managed, which is showing in some of the results that we are getting.

I am really pleased that there has been quite a bit of investment going on in my constituency. The M74 motorway will be a great improvement, and the links around the Raith interchange will be a great improvement for the East Kilbride expressway, allowing better access to the rest of Lanarkshire and to our cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Just yesterday, I was looking at the Hunter health centre, which has had £20 million of investment from the Government. It is not just straight from Government through the Scottish Futures Trust that investment in infrastructure comes; the Dollan aqua centre in East Kilbride, for example, has had funding from sportscotland. There are many different ways in which the Government invests in our infrastructure.

One of the most important things, which is unique in the UK at the moment, is that the Scottish Government’s approach to infrastructure and investment is not just about big, small or medium-sized projects, but about social investment. Investment in people should always count when we are designing projects, and SNP policies such as free childcare, free tuition fees and free prescriptions absolutely highlight our commitment to improving people’s lives and to increasing opportunity. Nicola Sturgeon, as First Minister, has made that clear in a lot of the presentations that she has made lately. One of the biggest infrastructure projects that we should all be thinking about in this session of Parliament, and for the next, is investment in the infrastructure of our people, because that is how we will really be successful.

16:47  
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
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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
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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
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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
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NoDefeated

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Linda Fabiani
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12159: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12136: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12005: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12003: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11819: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11798: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11604: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11065: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10869: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 21/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10802: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Linda Fabiani
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-04075: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03986: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03970: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03875: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03813: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03558: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21704: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21706: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21705: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21703: Linda Fabiani, East Kilbride, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/06/2014 Show Full Question >>