Tavish Scott MSP

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Trustee of the Scottish Parliamentary Contributory Pension Fund

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Meeting of the Parliament 04 November 2014 : Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

The minister has clarified that the targets are indeed important. Will he therefore clarify why the Cabinet sub-committee that he mentions has met only once since June—as he said, just last week? How many times does it plan to meet in the forthcoming months and how important is its role?

Will the cabinet secretary also clarify for Parliament what is, I accept, a conundrum for him? Will he replace the existing policy mechanisms that he has—I grant, under the existing devolution settlement—or is he looking at new initiatives? If so, I am not clear from his statement exactly what they might be.



Meeting of the Parliament 28 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Tavish Scott

I was going to try to quote the Deputy First Minister. She said that the vow was

“last minute flimsy and meaningless”.

Now, she says that it is an awful lot more than that. Maybe she should make up her own mind as to what it actually is rather than invent a whole new scenario of constitutional change that she absolutely dismissed two days before the referendum.

Let me make a couple of other points in relation to what can happen in the next month. The first is that there are those of us who care about not only tackling the inequalities and poverty in this country with the powers that I certainly want to see in this Parliament—much stronger powers over both taxation and welfare—but making sure that that can happen in different parts of the UK. There is an obligation on those of us who want to see the strengthening of the whole of the UK to see that change happen not just here but elsewhere as well. There are very interesting thoughts now emanating from different parts of the country as to what may happen.

I have a lot of time for the arguments that are made by, for example, David O’Neill, the president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, in relation to decentralisation and the financial responsibility and power of local government. Sadly, we have seen the reversal of that process over some years now, and it would be very helpful if those who want to come from the responsibility side of that debate changed the position and moved it forward in a way that was genuinely beneficial to local decision making in Scotland rather than it always being concentrated on everything being in Edinburgh.

On that principle, Sarah Boyack raised the point about the Crown Estate. I do not want to see the Crown Estate’s powers over the sea bed being in Edinburgh; I want to see them in the islands. It would be very helpful if all those who want to support that would say so. If Richard Lochhead wanted to support that from the front bench, I would very much welcome that.

On the landscape of how this process will now move forward, it is inordinately helpful that the turnout, as the Deputy First Minister said, was so high in the referendum that happened a month or so ago. It gives a grounding and a basis for what could happen if the parties can work constructively together—the first signs on that are very encouraging—on producing a very much stronger package for the future. To do that, we all need to accept the limitations of our own positions and what we bring to the table—by that I mean all political parties—and instead forge something that is much stronger for Scotland within the United Kingdom and produce powers that can genuinely make a difference for the people of Scotland.

15:48  

Meeting of the Parliament 28 October 2014 : Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

I had rather hoped that the debate would be about the Smith commission but, instead, it seems to be a debate about embarrassing the Labour Party. I suppose that that is entirely understandable. A leadership election process is going on in that party, and it is quite understandable that its political opponents should seek to take advantage of that. Nicola Sturgeon did exactly that in her opening remarks and in her interventions on Drew Smith and Sarah Boyack.

Nicola Sturgeon also said that we should not prejudice the work of the Smith commission. I wish that she had read the interview that Lord Smith of Kelvin gave in Scotland on Sunday, in which he said specifically that it would be very helpful if the party leaders did not seek to bind the hands of those who are negotiating on the parties’ behalf. It does not seem to me that the tone of the nationalists in today’s debate, led by the Deputy First Minister, has helped in any way. [Interruption.] There they go again. The Deputy First Minister said that we should not prejudice the work of Smith but went on to do exactly that in her remarks, in which she sought “clarity from Labour”. I hope that Iain Gray and Gregg McClymont will be given the space to move onwards and upwards in a way that is beneficial to this Parliament and to the structures that many of us want to see across the UK.

The Deputy First Minister made some helpful remarks, particularly on rethinking the governance of the country. I absolutely agree with Sarah Boyack’s observations about decentralisation within Scotland. This is a debate about not just what flows from London to Holyrood, but what flows from Holyrood out and across Scotland. We have seen seven years of the reversal of that flow under the current Scottish Government. One clear theme that has come through in the thousands of responses that have already been made to Lord Smith’s commission is a very strong public opposition to that approach. I hope that that is reflected in what happens over the next month or so.

Much is made of the front page of the Daily Record a couple of days before polling day, but rather more is made of it now than was made then. Again, let me quote the Deputy First Minister, who said on 17 September that what was on the front page of the Daily Record was

“last minute flimsy and meaningless”.

Today, it seems to be rather more than that. If the Deputy First Minister wants to intervene she is very welcome to. I will repeat what she said, which was that it was

“last minute flimsy and meaningless”.



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

In your different health board areas, are you all being asked to make these observations—and indeed suggestions—to the NHS at the centre? In fairness, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing has made observations at question time on many occasions about how difficult recruitment is. I just wonder who is driving the process of recognising the challenges that you have all—very fairly—identified. How, therefore, do we tackle them?



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

If you wanted to change the system, is that the part that you would target?



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

Why does that happen?



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

What does that mean?



Public Audit Committee 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

Thank you for being so commendably open. It is incredibly helpful to have people coming along to the committee who are open about what is happening.

How do you think we can best tackle the recruitment challenges? Are you arguing that the NHS across Scotland needs to be able to reward in different ways? We now provide golden hellos for general practitioners in particular areas of deprivation and in areas of rurality. Do you think that other incentives need to be built in?

You may also be aware that MSPs and health ministers face some pressure around public perception, given the pay rates in that area. We are under that pressure at the same time that you are faced with pretty ghastly choices and recruitment challenges.



Meeting of the Parliament 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott (Shetland Islands) (LD)

I was concerned to hear about the assassination attempt on Mr Stevenson, and that he survived. In a more serious vein, I remind him that, when he was more recently an environment minister, the then environment secretary in the UK Government took him to international conferences as very much part of the delegation. Chris Huhne was mindful of taking the Scottish minister, who happened at that time to be Mr Stevenson. That is the right approach.

It is disappointing that the Government lodged a motion that was always going to divide the chamber. As a number of members have said, surely most of us can reach broad agreement on the issue. In fairness to Mr Wheelhouse, his remarks did not follow his motion. They were entirely reasonable, as one would expect but, sadly, that was not the case for the motion.

I will gently pick Mr Wheelhouse up on one point. If I noted him correctly, he said that the Scottish Parliament has a proud record of supporting action. We have a proud record of supporting targets, but we surely know from environmental organisations—and not least Stop Climate Chaos Scotland’s briefing—that we are some way from dealing in concrete actions. Members on all sides have made that point in relation to the targets, which have yet to be achieved. I hope that we can achieve the targets. When we do so, perhaps Scotland can be a little more assertive about its position, and it will not be just rhetoric.

My real difficulty with the motion relates not to all the political stuff but to the suggestion that the New York summit was a success. My reading of New York is that, as usual, we got a huge amount of rhetoric from Obama and everyone else, but not much action. It worries me most that the Chinese made it abundantly clear that they have no plans whatever to comply with international emission standards reductions, because they consider China to be a developing country and not a developed country. In China’s view, its arguments about the number of its people who fall within the UN definition of being in poverty completely outweigh the emissions from its coal industry and other such challenges.

The New York summit might have done some things, but it was long on rhetoric and short on action. We have a long way to go globally before differences are made. In New York, the French gave poor countries a $1 billion guarantee, which was definitely progress, as was the commitment from pension funds and the bank and insurance industry to low-carbon ventures, which is meant to be worth about $200 billion. Those aspects are concrete. However, the main commitment of the US, which is still the world’s biggest economy, was to take climate change into account in overseas aid spending. That can hardly be construed as an enormous step forward.

What chance Paris 2015? The minister was right to highlight the importance of that conference. We are a considerable way from extolling the virtues of a guaranteed agreement in Paris next December—that is a long way from happening—but I hope that the minister will support Ed Davey’s work in the European Union. On his initiative as the UK environment secretary, he created the green growth group, which is being driven forward by 15 EU nations. I hope that the minister will find time to support that and the measures that are being taken to put in place at the October European Council meeting, which will happen shortly, an agreed European climate change policy towards 2030. Poland opposes the proposal, because of its coal industry, so this is not yet a done deal even in Europe. Until such a policy is in place, we will be a considerable way from having the solution that we want in Europe and around the globe.

16:29  

Meeting of the Parliament 01 October 2014 : Wednesday, October 01, 2014
Tavish Scott

The R&A seems to have dragged itself into the 21st century, and about time too. However, there is much to do, because I certainly hope that Stephen Gallacher is not the last Scot to play. I hope that he plays next time too, but I rather hope that there are a few more Scots in the team with him.

15:19  
Vote DetailMSP VoteResult

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

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

Selection of the Parliament's Nominee for First Minister
YesCarried

S4M-11567.2 Margaret Mitchell: Lowering the Drink Drive Limit—As an amendment to motion S4M-11567 in
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11507.1 Cameron Buchanan: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11507 Angela Constance: Progressive Workplace Policies to Boost Productivity, Growth and Jobs—Th
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

S4M-11494.3 Jackie Baillie: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11494.2 Alex Johnstone: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—As an amendment to
>> Show more
Not VotedDefeated

S4M-11494 Margaret Burgess: Welfare Benefits for People Living with Disabilities—That the Parliament
>> Show more
Not VotedCarried

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

Search for other Motions lodged by Tavish Scott
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Motion S4M-11707: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 26/11/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11333: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 28/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11306: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 27/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11215: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 16/10/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11042: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-11029.3: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 30/09/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10732: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/08/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10666: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10536: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 02/07/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Motion S4M-10364: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 17/06/2014 Show Full Motion >>
Search for other Questions asked by Tavish Scott
EventIdTypeSub TypeMSP NameParty NameConstituencyRegionTitleItemTextFormattedAnswer DateAnswerStatusIdExpectedAnswerDateAnsweredByMspApprovedDateSubmissionDateMeetingDateProductionStatusIdRecordStatusIdStatus DateOnBehalfOfConsideredForMembersBusinessCrossPartySupportRegisteredInterestSupportCountSupportDateIsEventLinkCurrentMinister
Question S4W-23267: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 19/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-23119: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 12/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22980: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 03/11/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22846: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 13/10/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22290: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 07/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22289: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 07/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22245: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 05/08/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22202: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 28/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22166: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 17/07/2014 Show Full Question >>
Question S4W-22114: Tavish Scott, Shetland Islands, Scottish Liberal Democrats, Date Lodged: 11/07/2014 Show Full Question >>

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