Richard Baker MSP

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Search for other Speeches made by Richard Baker (North East Scotland) (Lab)

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker (North East Scotland) (Lab)

I acknowledge the broad support for the general direction of policy. You mentioned the ICAS submission. ICAS says that it has taken part in the working groups, whose establishment I welcome, but that the comments that have been made at the consultation events and through the working groups have not been acknowledged or properly addressed by the Scottish Government’s regulations. ICAS feels that the regulations will make the debt arrangement scheme a less attractive debt management solution, which seems to be counter to where we should be going with the generally agreed policy. ICAS recommends that the committee should consider recommending rejection of all the regulations.

I have also looked at the StepChange submission, which you mentioned. StepChange asks for

“a more realistic timetable for implementation”

as well as

“(a) proper consultation with the sector on the detailed guidance, and not just within the Working Group, and (b) amended regulations to be drafted.”

Would you consider that?



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

ICAS’s point is that, if the regulations go through unaltered, debt arrangement might become a less attractive option, which cannot be what the Scottish Government wants. What detriment would there be in taking on board the practical suggestions that ICAS said would make a difference to the scheme and in laying amended regulations? Do you not agree that any changes should be made?



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

That is in the ICAS submission. ICAS sets out a number of concerns—



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

ICAS has.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

There is clearly disagreement between ICAS and ministers over the impact of the regulations. In its submission—which you must have received, minister—ICAS describes concerns about what it calls the

“Inappropriate regulation of money advisers”,

which relates to Mr Robertson’s earlier points. I welcome the fact that you will consult stakeholders after the regulations are passed—or otherwise. If the motions are agreed to today, do you have any intention of amending the regulations further in the light of that consultation?



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

I again acknowledge the broad support for the overall policy direction on the important issue of helping people with serious financial issues.

The minister was right to praise the debt arrangement scheme. That is why it is important that we take seriously the views of ICAS, which, after all, has great expertise in the area and a long history of working with the Scottish Government on it. ICAS says that it fears that the proposals may make the debt arrangement scheme less attractive.

10:00  

Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

The point is that ICAS has highlighted in its submission a number of concerns about the regulations, so the committee should take them seriously. A number of the issues that ICAS has raised have also been raised by Citizens Advice Scotland and StepChange Debt Charity. They must be listened to.

I welcome the fact that the minister said that he will engage in further consultation in the event that the regulations are approved. I know that he will do that, and I hope that it is done seriously and that people are not only consulted but listened to and that the concerns that have been expressed are seriously addressed.

However, my fundamental point—this is where I depart from Mr MacKenzie—is that I fail to see what would have been lost by withdrawing the regulations and going into further consultation and dialogue to address the concerns materially so that we do not have concerns raised in submissions to the committee at this point in the process. That would be a better way for the Scottish Government to proceed.



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

Like Dennis Robertson, I warmly welcome Mr McTaggart’s comments about the importance of connectivity to Aberdeen in relation to the coming budget. They reflect the importance of the oil and gas sector, which is still performing strongly.

That industry has identified skills gaps and it believes that there is potential for more people to find work if they are given the right skills. There was some debate earlier about whether additional public sector funding is needed for that, and there has been keen debate in general about skills investment. For example, there has been debate about further education budgets during previous budget processes. Do you believe that there is a strong case for investment in skills and training to be a priority in the coming budget?



Economy, Energy and Tourism Committee 08 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Richard Baker

I highlighted the success of the oil and gas industry, which is—like the food and drink industry, as Mr Withers mentioned—very strong in exports. However, our success in exporting seems to be focused in those two areas, and exports are not as strong across the economy as a whole.

My next question is for Mr Boyd. The level of manufacturing exports has declined in recent years. Could the Scottish Government, through its policy or in its coming budget decisions, do more to promote the manufacturing sector? Does it aspire to reverse the decline in exports from our manufacturing sector?



Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee 07 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 07, 2014
Richard Baker (North East Scotland) (Lab)

My question is on pre-signed signature pages. The policy memorandum states that those may be used if

“the party concerned clearly authorised or mandated this in advance, or subsequently ratified what had been done with full knowledge of the content of the new document.”

First, do you think that that offers sufficient protection? Secondly, to what extent is it an issue anyway? The law firms that gave evidence on 30 September said that they do not use pre-signature pages. It would be helpful to know whether you have experience of how widely they are used.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Richard Baker
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-10431: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10306: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09903: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/05/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08985: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/02/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08291: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08214: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/11/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08066: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 23/10/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07711.1: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 17/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07521: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/08/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07200: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 27/06/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Richard Baker
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-22845: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22795: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22794: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22796: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22667: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22654: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22658: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22657: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22655: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22634: Richard Baker, North East Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Question >>

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