Mike MacKenzie MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie

The Scottish Government is currently spending £127 million, which is being topped up with £19 million from BT, to roll out the fibre optic broadband backbone. That will, it is hoped, ensure that the situation that David Stewart has described improves significantly. I am sure that he will agree with me that the Scottish Government deserves at least some credit for that.



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie

Will the member take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie

That is an interesting intervention, because Gavin Brown knows full well that the scenario is more complex than that. He knows that, by stimulating growth, taxation will increase. It is not a matter of having higher or punitive tax rates; it is a matter of stimulating the economy and thereby increasing taxation. I am pretty sure that Gavin Brown also knows that had Mr Osborne followed that kind of wisdom, we would be in a far better place than we are now. Unlike what Gordon Brown said, nobody can stop the boom and slump cycle. It just so happens that we are approaching the boom phase of the cycle now.

As I was saying, we can build our way towards prosperity by investing in infrastructure and high-quality jobs—by investing in our future. That is why the SNP Government is calling on the chancellor to use his budget to scrap the austerity project and to bring forward a 0.5 per cent year-on-year increase in budgets—only 0.5 per cent. The argument is not about whether to cut the debt; it is about how we cut it and about the speed of debt reduction. It can be done in a way that leaves a harmful legacy, such as if we keep on Mr Osborne’s course, or it can be done in the Scottish Government’s preferred way, in which we continue to invest more in infrastructure. That would build our competitiveness and productivity, and it would build a better future for everyone in Scotland.

16:06  

Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)

One of the defining features of this Government’s budgets in recent years has been the transfer of budget from resource to capital in an effort to offset—at least partially—the damaging cuts from Westminster, which have disproportionately targeted capital spending. It is difficult to follow the logic of the London Government in cutting the Scottish Government’s capital budget by a full 26 per cent, because it is the exact opposite of the economic wisdom on recession economics.

The logic of capital investment in infrastructure is not just about the economic multipliers that accompany such investment, or the increased number of jobs that are supported and created, but about our long-term competitiveness.

Capital investment is an investment not just in the present, but in our future. Without that investment, our competitiveness declines; our productivity declines; our national wealth and wellbeing decreases; and all our problems and challenges increase.

The policy is not just about throwing money at public projects as Labour did, or throwing money at the private sector through private finance initiative contracts, as both Labour and the Tories would like us to continue doing. It is about steering a prudent middle course and seeking genuine value from public investment. It is about ensuring that there is added value from public investment and showing that there is a virtuous course to be steered between, on the one hand, the public inefficiency that we used to hear about and, on the other hand, private sector greed.

Perhaps no project exemplifies those virtues better than the Queensferry crossing. I would have settled for the crossing being on time and on budget, but at this stage in construction it is a remarkable achievement for the project to be on course to be on time and below budget. We should celebrate and learn from that achievement, and we should set the same standard for all public contracts. When we set those high standards for public sector project delivery, we can also set a sustainable model for comprehensive and continual capital infrastructure investment and improvement. We can then bring into being the long-term certainty that is provided by the infrastructure investment plan.

It is a great pity that the Labour Party has forgotten the lessons that it learned from Keynes following the last great recession, and that the party has been unable to learn from the enlightened view of debt that Keynes demonstrated in negotiating the war debt over a suitably long period. It is a great pity that Labour members have forgotten the lessons of their political forefathers, who built their way out of the looming post-war recession, for they understood that we cannot cut our way out of recession if our goals are long-term competitiveness, long-term increases in productivity and long-term prosperity.

We can, however, build our way towards prosperity by investing in infrastructure and high-quality jobs—



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie

Mr Osborne has failed to meet every single borrowing target that he has pledged himself to. What impact has that had?



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie

Will the member take an intervention?



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)

Does the member accept that, when campaigners block projects through legal action, the Government cannot really do much about that?



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie

Does Annabel Goldie agree that contract documents often consist of huge piles of paper, with a cover sheet that is signed by both parties, and that, in principle, there is nothing to prevent fraudulent or accidental substitution of some of the meat or filling in the sandwich, even under current procedures?



Meeting of the Parliament 24 February 2015 : Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Mike MacKenzie (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)

I seem to recollect that a similar mechanism was used by Mary Queen of Scots, yet some of her letters were intercepted, which ultimately led to her demise. Would the member care to comment on how effective that mechanism may be in reality?



Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee 18 February 2015 : Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Mike MacKenzie

Thank you.

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
>> Show more
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 Mike MacKenzie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-12463: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12405: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12352: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/02/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12163: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12116: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12077: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-12065: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/01/2015 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11969: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11957: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11954: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Mike MacKenzie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-24618: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-24448: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/02/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03978: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00896: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 12/01/2015 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23517: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03773: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03640: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00814: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03586: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03505: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>

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