Sandra White MSP

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Meeting of the Parliament 18 December 2014 : Thursday, December 18, 2014
Sandra White (Glasgow Kelvin) (SNP)

Westminster refused to engage with the fund for European aid to the most deprived people. Would it have been a good idea for Westminster to engage with it, considering that Spain received €500 million? That would have helped with the cost of food banks.



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

I just wanted to make the point that £10 million is a substantial saving, when compared with a £1.7 million increase. That is a positive aspect.



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

There has been talk of rising costs, and one of the witnesses who was on the panel with the Auditor General said in response to a question from Mary Scanlon about costs going up to £4 million that that rise was over a three-year period, so that the annual figure is £1.7 million. However, paragraph 46 on page 17 of the Auditor General’s report shows that there is actually a saving on HMRC’s costs, with a downward revision of between £5 million and £10 million. Will the money that is to be saved, as mentioned by the Auditor General, be subsumed as a saving in the overall running costs of the project?



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

In the second part of the report, the Auditor General says that

“There is a risk that the IT system for collecting the devolved taxes will not be fully implemented by 1 April 2015”,

and paragraph 27 suggests that that “may have consequences” and not that it will have consequences. Can you tell the committee what the situation is with the IT system? Will it be up and running for 2015?



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

It may have been Eleanor Emberson who said it, or it may have been in the Auditor General’s report, but I recall somebody saying that recruiting 40 staff all at the same time would not be beneficial to the process and that it would need to be done in phases. Is that correct?



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

Can we establish one thing? Everyone has agreed that it is a large and complex issue and that it has been a moveable feast with the Smith commission and the extra powers, during which process the implementation of the report was taking place. That is established, so I want to go forward by asking about what the report says.

Ms Emberson said that the figures in the report are factually accurate and that she agrees with them, but when it came to the Auditor General’s conclusions she would not necessarily—I do not want to say “agree”; let me say that her perception was slightly different. I will take you through some points in the Auditor General’s report. The first is:

“There is a risk that Revenue Scotland will not fill all of its operational posts in line with its plans”,

although the report also states that in phase 2 there would be

“Staff in post by the end of February 2015 (as originally estimated).”

Will those posts be filled in time for 2015?



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

There is factual accuracy, but it seems that the Government has not agreed with the conclusions—although perhaps it will do so when we ask it for evidence. I bring you back to the fact that you used the phrase “may be”. We must keep that point in mind, as you used that phrase earlier and it is in the report.



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

I absolutely take that on board, but I return to the fact that you cannot see into the future. Throughout the report, you refer to many things that “may” happen—you do not say that they will definitely happen.

I welcome the report and I think that it is right that you should highlight the issues that you draw in your conclusions, but not necessarily in the final report as we have here. For example, you mention the IT system in the report, but Mr Taylor said that having a centralised IT system is probably the right way to go in the long term, to save money and to have more transparency not only for the Parliament but for the people of Scotland as well.



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

Thank you very much. Although that does not necessarily prove my point, it shows how difficult it is to be accurate.

You mentioned the factual accuracy of the report that we have before us; you also mentioned the conclusions that you have drawn from them. Various members have asked whether the involved parties, including Government, had seen the report and raised any issues, but that was in relation to the report’s factual accuracy. The conclusions that you have drawn from those facts is an entirely different issue.



Public Audit Committee 17 December 2014 : Wednesday, December 17, 2014
Sandra White

My point was about the accuracy of your audit. You mentioned the Commonwealth games. That came in below budget, so we saved money. How accurate is an audit of an issue that is on-going? The evidence from the Commonwealth games is that the games saved money and things worked fantastically.

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

S4M-11901.3 Neil Findlay: Developing Scotland’s Young Workforce—As an amendment to motion S4M-11901
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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
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YesCarried

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Sandra White
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11949: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11948: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11947: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11946: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11945: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11944: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11942: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 18/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11777: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/12/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11744: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11705: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 26/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Sandra White
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4T-00818: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03541: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 22/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03526: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 15/09/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4T-00756: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 01/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03432: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03219: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 02/05/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03107: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/03/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-03008: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 03/03/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02979: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/02/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4O-02910: Sandra White, Glasgow Kelvin, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 10/02/2014 Show Full Question >>

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