Mike MacKenzie MSP

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Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)

Good morning, minister. One thing that impressed the committee during its scrutiny of the Bankruptcy and Debt Advice (Scotland) Bill was the flexibility that is built into the common financial tool to take account of different circumstances. However, there is some merit in the concern expressed by StepChange and Citizens Advice Scotland about whether the tool has sufficient flexibility to allow them to continue to encourage their clients to build up small amounts of savings in order to provide resilience and enable clients to weather the financial storms that they might face, while maintaining payments and so on. Can you reassure us that the tool is sufficiently flexible to ensure good practice and allow StepChange and CAS to encourage their clients to save a small amount?

09:45  

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

On reading the written submissions from the various interested parties, I was struck by the fact that a number of them did not deal with the instruments that are before us today but revisited a number of issues that were dealt with in our scrutiny of the bill. Although it was good to be reminded of some of that scrutiny, a lot of what the submissions were concerned about is outwith the scope of what we are talking about today.

It is worth the committee reminding ourselves that our feelings about the BADAS bill were benign: we felt that it was a good bill and was well disposed to debtors and to creditors. The AIB has also shown itself to be well disposed to debtors and to creditors. I place on record my thanks to the AIB, because in dealing with some constituents’ problems I have found the AIB to be refreshingly helpful and predisposed to helping debtors in difficult situations and exploring innovative ways of doing that. I am assured that the AIB is well disposed, which is not something that we get a proper sense of in some of the written submissions that we have received.

I am particularly struck by the fact that the written submission from ICAS seems to reflect a situation in which people are looking into the shadows and seeing bogeymen and monsters that may not be there. When I read the instruments, I do not see any shadows. I might see one or two grey areas, but those grey areas will be resolved when the guidance is available. I am delighted that the minister has told us this morning that the guidance will be available shortly, and I hope that that will put to rest some of the fears that we have heard from some respondents.

I am pleased by the minister’s reassurances this morning. There is an urgency about the matter. We need to get on and implement the regulations sooner rather than later, not least because the UK Government seems to have moved slowly on related matters—in dealing with payday loans, for example. Although the UK Government is finally moving in the right direction, it has taken longer than any of us would have hoped to do that, so there is all the more reason for the Scottish Government to get on and implement the regulations as soon as possible. I urge all members to vote in favour of the motions. Let us ease the burden on debtors and provide a better service for creditors.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

Does Richard Baker welcome, as I do, the proposed extension of the debt arrangement scheme to include small businesses and sole traders? Does he think that that is a step in the right direction?



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

Yes—it is for Mr Withers, and it is specifically on food and drink. He mentioned the difficulties resulting from the economic difficulties in the European Union. The seafood sector appears to be doing fairly well, but if we took out the farmed salmon statistics, we would find that the rest of the sector is perhaps not doing as well as we imagine. I am particularly concerned about the shellfish sector, a lot of which stems from pretty small businesses. We know that most of our exporting is done by a few big businesses. The shellfish sector is characterised by smaller businesses that primarily export to France and Spain. Is there anything that we can do to help overcome that problem?



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

I absolutely agree that collaboration is the way forward. One difficulty on the ground is that small businesses compete with each other quite aggressively. How do you promote the collaboration that is necessary to get out to the foreign markets among businesses that are so inherently competitive?

10:45  

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

I would be interested to hear feedback on this, but the examples of good collaboration that you used were the whisky industry and salmon farming, which involve big companies. The particular problem seems to be among smaller companies, such as those in the shellfish sector. Maybe it is a feature of small businesses that, within their structures, the guy who is competing aggressively is also the guy who is expected to collaborate. Perhaps there is a separation of the roles in bigger businesses—I do not know.

I believe that there is low-hanging fruit for us to pick here if we can solve those problems.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

Convener, if you had just allowed me more time, I was going to wind this back into specific budget lines. [Laughter.]



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

That is a great insight. I am grateful to you.



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
16. Mike MacKenzie (Highlands and Islands) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government how the education system can be more closely aligned toward job and career opportunities. (S4O-03586)



Meeting of the Parliament 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Mike MacKenzie

Does the cabinet secretary agree that there is scope to fulfil suggestions made in the Wood report with regard to the secondary 1 to 4 junior secondary model for education that some rural authorities use, and does he agree that that is not incompatible with curriculum for excellence?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11123 Joe FitzPatrick on behalf of the Parliamentary Bureau: Business Motion—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-11114.2 Kenny MacAskill: Policing—As an amendment to motion S4M-11114 in the name of Graeme Pear
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YesCarried

S4M-11114 Graeme Pearson: Policing—That the Parliament acknowledges that policing in Scotland contin
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YesCarried

S4M-11116.1.1 Patrick Harvie: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to amendment S4M-11116.1 in the name
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YesCarried

S4M-11116.1 Nicola Sturgeon: Scotland’s Future—As an amendment to motion S4M-11116 in the name of Jo
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YesCarried

S4M-11116 Johann Lamont: Scotland’s Future—That the Parliament recognises the result of the independ
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YesCarried

Amendment 61 moved by Elaine Murray on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland) Bi
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NoDefeated

Amendment 62 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
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NoDefeated

Amendment 63 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Amendment 64 moved by Margaret Mitchell on motion S4M-11101 Kenny MacAskill: Courts Reform (Scotland
>> Show more
NoDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Mike MacKenzie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11240: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11146: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11055: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11003: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 25/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10920: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10848: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10813: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10796: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10708: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10615: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Mike MacKenzie
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
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 >>
Question S4O-03458: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21868: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21759: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 13/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03330: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03324: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21061: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03167: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/04/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03144: Mike MacKenzie, Highlands and Islands, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/04/2014 Show Full Question >>

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