18 December Vol. 2, No 42 Session 3

Note: (DT) signifies a decision taken at Decision Time.

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Drink Driving: The Cabinet Secretary for Justice (Kenny MacAskill) moved S3M-3125—That the Parliament expresses concern that one in nine road deaths in Scotland is related to drink driving; calls on the UK Government to reduce the 80 mg limit, which was set over 40 years ago, to a 50 mg limit in line with much of Europe; wishes Scotland's police forces success with their campaign over the festive season, and sincerely hopes that no one has their Christmas and New Year destroyed by those who choose to ignore the anti-drink-driving message.

Richard Baker moved amendment S3M-3125.1 to motion S3M-3125—

leave out from "calls" to end and insert—

"recognises that the UK Government is currently consulting on road safety and related issues and that this includes an invitation for views on the current drink-driving limit; believes that a UK-wide approach on this issue is sensible; believes that Scottish ministers should engage constructively in the UK Government’s consultation process, and believes that drink driving must be combated at all times of the year and that Scottish police forces must be properly resourced to ensure effective enforcement."

Bill Aitken moved amendment S3M-3125.1.1 to amendment S3M-3125.1—

leave out from third "believes" to end and insert—

"further recognises the growing problem of driving under the influence of drugs, and believes that drink and drug driving must be combated at all times of the year and that Scottish police forces must be properly resourced and be in possession of the appropriate technology to ensure effective enforcement."

After debate, amendment S3M-3125.1.1 was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 99, Against 15, Abstentions 2).

After debate, amendment S3M-3125.1 as amended was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 55, Against 61, Abstentions 0).

After debate, the motion was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 66, Against 1, Abstentions 49).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament expresses concern that one in nine road deaths in Scotland is related to drink driving; calls on the UK Government to reduce the 80 mg limit, which was set over 40 years ago, to a 50 mg limit in line with much of Europe; wishes Scotland's police forces success with their campaign over the festive season, and sincerely hopes that no one has their Christmas and New Year destroyed by those who choose to ignore the anti-drink-driving message.

2. General Question Time: Questions were answered by Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

3. First Minister’s Question Time: Questions were answered by the First Minister (Alex Salmond).

4. Dignity for Palestinians: The Parliament debated S3M-2878 in the name of Pauline McNeill—That the Parliament welcomes the passage of the boat, Dignity, which travelled from Cyprus to Gaza with 11 European parliamentarians including three members of the Scottish Parliament on board; recognises that this is the third boat to challenge the siege of Gaza, which has become a permanent blockade and which has affected every aspect of Palestinian life to the point where they are now in receipt of the largest food aid programme in the world; is concerned about the impact of the blockade on ordinary Palestinians, denying them basic health care rights as there is a shortage of medicine, proper medical equipment and severe restrictions on leaving Gaza for referral treatment, which has resulted in many deaths as recorded by the World Health Organisation; supports the efforts of Edinburgh Direct Aid to send aid to Gaza, and recognises that action by the international community, to secure an end to the siege of Gaza and implement international law, is key to encouraging long-term peace in the Middle East.

5. Motion without Notice: Pauline McNeill moved without notice that, under Rule 8.14.3, the debate on Dignity for Palestinians be extended until 1.24 pm. The motion was agreed to.

6. Themed Question Time: Questions on Finance and Sustainable Growth were answered by the Cabinet Secretary and Ministers.

7. Organ Donation: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) moved S3M-3124—That the Parliament accepts the recommendations in the second report from the UK Organ Donation Taskforce and notes in particular that the move to a system of opt out should be reviewed again in five years’ time in light of the progress with implementation of the recommendations in the taskforce’s first report, which are designed to remove existing barriers to donation, and that, in light of the growing shortage of organs for transplantation, Scotland should, within the existing legislative framework, take all possible steps to almost double its number of organ donors, as our contribution to the challenge of increasing organ donation rates across the United Kingdom from the present level of 13 donors per million population to 24 donors per million population by 2013.

Dr Richard Simpson moved amendment S3M-3124.1 to motion S3M-3124—

leave out from second "the" to "which" and insert—

"those recommendations of the reports of the UK Organ Donation Taskforce that"

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 48, Against 64, Abstentions 4).

After debate, the motion was agreed to (DT).

Accordingly the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament accepts the recommendations in the second report from the UK Organ Donation Taskforce and notes in particular that the move to a system of opt out should be reviewed again in five years’ time in light of the progress with implementation of the recommendations in the taskforce’s first report, which are designed to remove existing barriers to donation, and that, in light of the growing shortage of organs for transplantation, Scotland should, within the existing legislative framework, take all possible steps to almost double its number of organ donors, as our contribution to the challenge of increasing organ donation rates across the United Kingdom from the present level of 13 donors per million population to 24 donors per million population by 2013.

8. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on items 1 and 6 as noted above.

The meeting closed at 5.04 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
18 December 2008

Appendix
(Note: this Appendix does not form part of the Minutes)

Subordinate Legislation

Negative Instruments

The following instruments were laid before the Parliament on 18 December 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Freshwater Fish Conservation (Prohibition on Fishing for Eels) (Scotland) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/419)

laid under section 68 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries (Consolidation) (Scotland) Act 2003

The Zoonoses and Animal By-products (Fees) (Scotland) Amendment (No. 2) Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/423)

laid under section 56(4) of the Finance Act 1973

Other Documents

The following documents were laid before the Parliament on 18 December 2008 and are not subject to any parliamentary procedure—

Scottish Consolidated Fund Receipts and Payments Account 1 April 2007 to 31 March 2008 (SG/2008/172)

NHS Superannuation Scheme (Scotland) 2007-08 (SG/2008/255)

Scottish Teachers’ Superannuation Scheme 2007-08 (SG/2008/256)

laid under section 22(5) of the Public Finance and Accountability (Scotland) Act 2000

Committee Reports

The following reports were published on 18 December 2008—

Public Audit Committee, 4th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Report on Free personal and nursing care (SP Paper 183)

Equal Opportunities Committee 3rd Report (2008): Stage 1 Report to the Justice Committee on the Offences (Aggravation by Prejudice) (Scotland) Bill (SP Paper 187)

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 44th Report 2008 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 188)