Richard Lyle MSP

Welcome to Richard Lyle MSP's biography pages

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Richard Lyle

Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Richard Lyle

I refer members to my entry in the register of members’ interests. I am the convener of the cross-party group on the Scottish Showmen’s Guild.

What further help can the minister give to small businesses that might not have fixed premises and which might not receive help through the small business bonus scheme? In particular, what further help can he offer to showmen—as the Scottish Showmen’s Guild celebrates its 125th year—who face reduced income because of the present regulations under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982?



Meeting of the Parliament 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
1. Richard Lyle (Central Scotland) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government how its ministers helped promote small business Saturday and what its position is on supporting such events in the future. (S4O-03821)



Meeting of the Parliament 16 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 16, 2014
Richard Lyle (Central Scotland) (SNP)

I welcome the opportunity to take part in this debate, which is on an issue that touches all communities in Scotland, not just my Central Scotland region.

When the DWP decided to abolish elements of the discretionary social fund, namely crisis loans for living expenses and community care grants, this Government rightly had to look at how to replace the DWP’s one-size-fits-all approach with a service that was fairer for those who used it and which contributed to Scottish policy priorities such as tackling child poverty and reducing homelessness. As members know, the new service has been in place on an interim basis since April. The Scottish welfare fund aims to steer people towards a range of social services, as well as help people in a financial crisis or enable them to lead a more settled life by providing them with essential household goods.

The Scottish welfare fund is a discretionary budget-limited scheme that prioritises applications according to need and the grants provided do not need to be repaid at any time. Local authorities have the discretion to provide support in different ways, not always through grants and cash payments. Support may take the form of vouchers, a household fuel card or furniture, if local authorities think that that is the way to meet the applicant’s need. I would support cash payments and not vouchers, which, as has been said—and I agree—can cause embarrassment to the applicant.

In essence, the Scottish welfare fund aims to provide a safety net in an emergency where there is an immediate threat to health and safety, to enable people to continue to live independently and prevent the need for institutional care and, thus, to provide assistance to families that are facing exceptional pressures.

As members will be aware, the interim Scottish welfare fund was designed to take advantage of local delivery while maintaining a national character. Local authorities can supplement funding from Scottish ministers, but they are under no obligation to do so. The intention is for the funds to link to other local services, thereby providing a better overall service to vulnerable members of the community. The services that applicants are most commonly referred to are advocacy, welfare rights, housing and money or debt management.

Despite being in place on only an interim basis, the Scottish welfare fund has already helped, I am led to believe, more than 100,000 households. The bill will put the fund on a statutory basis to ensure that that vital help continues for the people of Scotland. As has been stated, the Scottish Government has shown its commitment to the welfare fund by topping it up by a further £9 million, and I am sure that that will be maintained in 2015-16.

I welcome the announcement that the minister made earlier and the Scottish Government’s commitment to the Scottish welfare fund, which contrasts with what is happening south of the border. In England, the discretionary social fund has been abolished and funding has been provided to local authorities for local welfare assistance schemes. However, the funding for that has not been ring fenced and no duty has been placed on local authorities to provide such schemes. Furthermore, the UK Government plans to withdraw dedicated funding to local authorities for such schemes from April 2015. That will result in many English local authorities having to scale back their local welfare fund provision or scrap it completely.

My view, which I know is shared by my colleagues in the chamber today, is that it is completely unacceptable that anyone should be living in poverty in a country as wealthy as Scotland. In light of that, I was pleased to see that this Government is doing something about it by providing £104 million in next year’s budget to tackle poverty and inequality and help those who are affected by welfare changes. I was particularly pleased to note that, in 2015-16, the Scottish Government will provide £35 million to allow full mitigation of the—to my mind—hated bedroom tax for the 71,000 people in Scotland who are affected by it.

I am pleased to be able to say that I am a member of a party that stands up for those on welfare, as opposed to the Tories and Labour, who have signed up to further welfare cuts after the general election. As has been said, the cuts are extensive. My colleague Kevin Stewart mentioned more than £6 billion of cuts.

Save the Children has estimated that, over the next four years, the welfare spending cap will push an additional 345,000 children across the UK into poverty. That is completely unacceptable in this day and age and I am glad that this SNP Government is committed to doing what it can to protect the most vulnerable in Scotland.

I end by relaying a story from a number of years ago. As a councillor, I was called out on Christmas day to a house in my ward that had gone on fire. The lady was left without a home and without clothes and so on—everything was destroyed. Luckily, no one was injured in the fire. The lady was rehoused, but she was left to wait several weeks for a crisis loan. Mr Rennie ably made the point that there can be some time between a person applying and the loan being paid out.

I suggest that the bill will help people such as that lady. I am sure that this Government will use all the powers that it can use and provide all the help that it can provide for people who are in such situations. We must ensure that people who are in crisis are helped by their Government and their politicians. We all wish to help people in poverty. As I said, we have a country that is rich in oil but we still have people who are in poverty. That is not right and we should do something about it.

15:40  

Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Richard Lyle

Labour-controlled North Lanarkshire Council is still dragging its feet on settling staff pay claims. It continues to have meetings to discuss the matter in private. It does not allow opposition councillors to see paperwork before those meetings and it gathers the paperwork back in after the meetings. In the light of Labour’s hypocrisy on paying the living wage but failing to meet equal pay claims, what action can the minister take to ensure that the council stops dragging its feet?



Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 10, 2014
8. Richard Lyle (Central Scotland) (SNP)

To ask the Scottish Government when the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners’ Rights last met North Lanarkshire Council. (S4O-03808)



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Richard Lyle

That is what I meant.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Richard Lyle

I welcome the point that Mr Huggins made. I have had previous experience of driving with the out-of-hours service. If you phone NHS 24 and immediately get an appointment, you do not have to wait in accident and emergency; you can go straight in and get your appointment to see the doctor, or indeed the nurse, because in some cases a nurse can cope with the situation without a doctor. That relieves pressure on A and E, so I encourage people to do that. Having worked in hospitals on Christmas day, new year’s day and 2 January, I have seen the pressures on A and E and on the service. Thank you for your comments.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Richard Lyle

For 365 days a year, the out-of-hours service and NHS 24 cope when doctors’ surgeries are closed. What plan do we have in place for this year, bearing in mind that, this Christmas, doctors’ surgeries may close on the Wednesday and then not open until the following Monday. Out-of-hours services will have to cope from 6 pm on the Wednesday, all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 8 am on the Monday, and the same again at new year, over and above what they already do. What planning is in place to ensure that we have sufficient cars and doctors, and that we can cope with any possible snowy weather that we might have on the horizon?



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Richard Lyle

That was only a supplementary question, convener. I have another question that I will ask later.



Health and Sport Committee 09 December 2014 : Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Richard Lyle

So you are working to ensure that councils do not shut nursing homes that we might need over the next period.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11901.3 Neil Findlay: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11901.1 Mary Scanlon: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11830.2 John Swinney: The Smith Commission—As an amendment to motion S4M-11830 in the name of Ru
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11830 Ruth Davidson: The Smith Commission—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of the Sm
>> Show more
YesCarried

Amendment 6 moved by Dr Richard Simpson on motion S4M-11826 Maureen Watt: Food (Scotland) Bill—That
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.3 Claire Baker: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.2 Jamie McGrigor: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825.1 Tavish Scott: End of Year Fish Negotiations—As an amendment to motion S4M-11825 in the n
>> Show more
NoDefeated

S4M-11825 Richard Lochhead: End of Year Fish Negotiations—That the Parliament welcomes the successfu
>> Show more
YesCarried

S4M-11763.3 Margaret Burgess: Private Sector Rent Reform—As an amendment to motion S4M-11763 in the
>> Show more
YesCarried

Search for other Motions lodged by Richard Lyle
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11255: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11254: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10714: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10705: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 31/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10424: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 20/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10391: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10390: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10389: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10246: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09751: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/04/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Richard Lyle
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4O-03862: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03821: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 08/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03808: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/12/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23028: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03699: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03490: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03455: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 04/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03366: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21468: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-21467: Richard Lyle, Central Scotland, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/05/2014 Show Full Question >>

Further information

Email our Public Information Service for more information.