Shona Robison MSP

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Shona Robison MSP

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  • Member for: Dundee City East
  • Region: North East Scotland
  • Party: Scottish National Party

Shona is a member of the following Committees:

Shona is a member of the following Cross-Party Groups:

Parliamentary Activities

Search for other Speeches made by Shona Robison

Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
Shona Robison

I am aware that the latest position is that the committee is expecting a review of the current registration process by Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, which is to be completed next month. I hope that that helps the Public Petitions Committee to take the issue forward. We will be happy, following that review, to engage either with the commissioner or with the committee.



Meeting of the Parliament 20 November 2014 : Thursday, November 20, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners’ Rights (Shona Robison)

That is a matter for the Scottish Football Association and the football clubs. As the member will be aware, a petition has been lodged before the Public Petitions Committee on the matter. The Scottish Government has consistently made it clear that the Scottish FA and the football clubs have a duty of care for all the young people involved in the Scottish youth football initiative, which must be upheld at all times.



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners’ Rights (Shona Robison)

Ken Macintosh gave the impression that people who voted no in the referendum were somehow in favour of welfare continuing under the UK Government. Is he really arguing that those people who voted no wish welfare to remain in the hands of the UK Government? Surely that does a great disservice to those many no voters who want welfare policy to be decided in this place so that we can have a fairer system here in Scotland.



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Shona Robison

How about the 100,000 households, including 32,000 families, who have been helped through the Scottish welfare fund over the past year? What about the 537,000 vulnerable people who have been protected from increased council tax liabilities? What about the 71,000 households affected by the bedroom tax? What about the 72 projects that are supporting 20,000 people through advice services? There are a few examples for the member.



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Shona Robison

Will the member give way?



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Cabinet Secretary for Commonwealth Games, Sport, Equalities and Pensioners’ Rights (Shona Robison)

I have listened with great interest to all the contributions from members, and I will deal with as many as I can, beginning on a consensual note.

I agreed with much of what Jackie Baillie had to say about Lord Freud’s comments. She forgot to mention the fact that Labour appointed Lord Freud, but we will leave that to one side. What Lord Freud said revealed a disdain for, a complete misunderstanding of and a detachment from the ordinary day-to-day lives of people with a disability. I agree with much of Jackie Baillie’s analysis of his comments and with her comments about the UK Government’s direction of travel.

However, that begs the question: if Labour was serious about creating a fairer system, why did Labour MPs vote along with the Tories for George Osborne’s welfare spending cap, which includes DLA, PIP and attendance allowance? Labour MP Diane Abbott, with whom I agree quite often and who opposed the cap, said:

“The Chancellor does not say many things that I think are correct, but he is correct to say that voting for this cap locks us into the coalition’s cuts.” —[Official Report, House of Commons, 26 March 2014; Vol 578, c 390.]

That says everything that needs to be said about Labour’s position on welfare reform.



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Shona Robison

Nonsense. In fact, the SNP MPs at Westminster were very clear when they voted against the cap. We will be known by our deeds, and Jackie Baillie’s colleagues voted for the cap, which, as Diane Abbott said, locked Labour into the coalition’s cuts.

Jackie Baillie mentioned the bedroom tax, which was actually a little surprising because, since we last debated the issue in the chamber, it has come to light that Jackie Baillie had to wait by the phone for quite some time before Ed Miliband let her know whether Labour could oppose the bedroom tax and support its abolition.



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Shona Robison

No—the Government has done something. We have provided £50 million to mitigate the bedroom tax. Of course, it would be better to have the powers here to abolish the bedroom tax, but Jackie Baillie does not want this place to have control over that. Anyway, I hope that Jackie does not have to wait by the phone before she can announce Labour’s position on other policies in future.

Jackie Baillie also mentioned the Scottish independent living fund, which is a very important fund. Of course, the new funding of £5.5 million is important, because it will not only help to keep the ILF open but make it available to new users. I would have thought that we could all agree that that is a good thing that we should support.

Christina McKelvie asked specifically about the position in relation to those with a terminal illness not being charged care charges and what would happen if there was a failure to agree that position with local government. I am optimistic and hopeful that an agreement will be reached with local government. However, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing has made it clear that, if that is not the case, the Scottish ministers are prepared to introduce secondary legislation to regulate that aspect of care charges for people with terminal conditions, using the same definition of “terminal” as is used by the DWP for benefits purposes. As I said, however, I sincerely hope that it does not come to that.

Ken Macintosh made a very thoughtful speech. The example that he gave of his constituent Russell highlighted the absurdity of changes to a system in which someone has managed to hold down a job very well but the support mechanisms around them are slowly pulled away. That does not make any sense morally and it does not make sense financially, because the outcome is a danger that the person will lose their job, which will have financial consequences for the welfare system.

I agree with Ken Macintosh on that, but I find it difficult to agree with his conclusions. Given what he said and all the other cases that have been highlighted, whether on access to the work programme or other benefits issues, surely we should be able to agree that we could do better in this place. If we were to agree with that, surely we would agree that this place is the best place to decide on welfare policy.

However, that is not what Ken Macintosh said. He said that the no vote in the referendum meant that people were content for welfare to be reserved to Westminster. I will say in a moment why I do not think that that is correct but, if the Labour Party believes that, it demonstrates a lack of consistency in its approach to the issue, because, if that is the case, why would it bother to say that housing benefit and attendance allowance should be devolved?



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Shona Robison

In a minute.

Of course, that conclusion is clearly not the case, because, in every poll that has asked people where they think that the power over welfare should sit, time and again the overwhelming majority of the Scottish population has said that all welfare should be devolved to this place.



Meeting of the Parliament 12 November 2014 : Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Shona Robison

It is quite interesting that a number of Labour members have talked about the sharing of risks and benefits across these islands, because, to me, it seems that it is disabled people who are taking all the risks and receiving very few of the benefits.

Kenneth Macintosh asked about how we could do things differently. The Scottish Government has made a comprehensive submission to the Smith commission to set out a system that is based on fairness, equality and early intervention, with an ability to bring together the tax and the benefit systems, along with the care system. Again, however, it remains to be seen what elements of those powers will be devolved to this place. The systems have to link together in a way that makes sense.

With regard to the funding of the proposals, we are already providing funding. Some £300 million has been spent in the past two years on mitigating welfare changes by the UK Government. Would it not be better if we had been able to spend that £300 million, and, indeed, the £104 million that we are going to spend next year, on designing a better welfare system in Scotland?

Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
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YesCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
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NoDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
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YesCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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NoDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
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NoDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
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YesCarried

S4M-11484.1 Jackson Carlaw: Human Rights—As an amendment to motion S4M-11484 in the name of Roseanna
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Not VotedDefeated

Search for other Motions lodged by Shona Robison
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11030: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 29/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10736: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 05/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10257: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-09293.1: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 11/03/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08879: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 28/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08797: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 17/01/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08612: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 16/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-08546: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 09/12/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07808: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 24/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-07761: Shona Robison, Dundee City East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 19/09/2013 Show Full Motion >>
This Member currently holds a ministerial post. First Minister and Ministers cannot ask the Government questions which is why no recent questions are displaying here. Please use the full search to find details of previous questions by this Member.
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S3W-26491: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 14/08/2009 Show Full Question >>
Question S2O-12337: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 07/03/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32069: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32068: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32067: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32076: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32073: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-32077: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 27/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31964: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2007 Show Full Question >>
Question S2W-31967: Shona Robison, Dundee East, Scottish National Party, Date Lodged: 23/02/2007 Show Full Question >>

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