15 May Vol 2, No 2 Session 3

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

The meeting opened at 9.15 am.

1. Ministerial Statement: The Minister for Communities and Sport (Stewart Maxwell) made a statement and answered questions on Equality and Diversity.

2. Shucksmith Report and the Future of Crofting in Scotland: The Parliament debated the subject of the Shucksmith Report and Future of Crofting in Scotland.

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

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

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

6. Free Personal Care: The Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing (Nicola Sturgeon) moved S3M-1902—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of Lord Sutherland’s independent review of free personal and nursing care and the Scottish Government’s acceptance in full of the report’s recommendations, including the commitment to provide £40 million a year in additional funding; notes Lord Sutherland’s clear conclusion that the UK Government should not have withdrawn the attendance allowance funding in respect of self-funding clients in care homes, currently valued at over £30 million a year, and urges the Scottish Government to pursue vigorously with UK Ministers the reinstatement of this funding while longer-term work to re-assess all funding streams relevant to the care of older people in Scotland takes place.

Margaret Curran moved amendment S3M-1902.3 to motion S3M-1902—

leave out from “and urges” to end and insert—

“however, also notes the decision of the UK Benefit Commissioners that continued payment of attendance allowance to self funders would have been a breach of the current benefit rules; further notes the UK Government’s Wanless review’s suggestion of the alignment of the benefits system, including attendance allowance, with funding for social care, and therefore calls on the Scottish Government to enter into discussions with the UK Government, as part of the UK Government’s review of social care, to ensure that Scotland receives a full and equitable share of the overall funds available for care of the elderly; urges the Scottish Government to undertake further work to re-assess all funding streams relevant to the care of the elderly and to come forward with proposals for the sustainable long-term funding of care of the elderly; notes that there is a funding gap in the current financial year, and calls on the Scottish Government to engage with COSLA immediately to achieve a resolution of the problem and report back to the Parliament before the summer recess.”

After debate, the amendment was disagreed to ((DT) by division: For 59, Against 63, Abstentions 0).

Mary Scanlon moved amendment S3M-1902.1 to motion S3M-1902—

insert at end—

“and calls on the eight Scottish councils which continue to charge for assisting with food preparation to cease to do so forthwith and all councils which have levied such charges to refund everyone who has been wrongly charged for this service.”

After debate, the amendment was agreed to ((DT) by division: For 75, Against 0, Abstentions 47).

Ross Finnie moved amendment S3M-1902.2 to motion S3M-1902—

after “additional funding” insert—

“the source of which will be identified in next year’s budget”.

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

The motion, as amended, was then agreed to ((DT) by division: For 79, Against 43, Abstentions 0).

Accordingly, the Parliament resolved—That the Parliament welcomes the publication of Lord Sutherland’s independent review of free personal and nursing care and the Scottish Government’s acceptance in full of the report’s recommendations, including the commitment to provide £40 million a year in additional funding the source of which will be identified in next year’s budget; notes Lord Sutherland’s clear conclusion that the UK Government should not have withdrawn the attendance allowance funding in respect of self-funding clients in care homes, currently valued at over £30 million a year; urges the Scottish Government to pursue vigorously with UK Ministers the reinstatement of this funding while longer-term work to re-assess all funding streams relevant to the care of older people in Scotland takes place, and calls on the eight Scottish councils which continue to charge for assisting with food preparation to cease to do so forthwith and all councils which have levied such charges to refund everyone who has been wrongly charged for this service.

7. Decision Time: The Parliament took decisions on item 6 as noted above.

8. Upper Forth Crossing: The Parliament debated S3M-1297 in the name of John Park—That the Parliament welcomes the progress being made in constructing the Upper Forth crossing; looks forward to its planned opening in 2008; recognises that when both crossings are operational this will greatly improve the road infrastructure and cut journey times around Kincardine; is concerned that increasingly the Forth Road Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles, placing a burden on the A985, A907 and A997; accepts that the existing Kincardine crossing is planned to close for a maintenance period following the opening of the Upper Forth crossing; is concerned that Kincardine will suffer severe traffic congestion as vehicles are diverted through and around the village to the new crossing, and is further concerned that the villages situated on the A907, such as Oakley, Blairhall, Carnock, Saline and Gowkhall will also be subjected to unprecedented levels of traffic congestion.

The meeting closed at 5.43 pm.

P E Grice
Clerk of the Parliament
15 May 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 15 May 2008 and are subject to annulment—

The Public Transport Users’ Committee for Scotland Amendment Order 2008 (SSI 2008/186)

laid under section 52(2) of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2005

The Mobility and Access Committee for Scotland Revocation Regulations 2008 (SSI 2008/187)

laid under section 81(3) of the Transport (Scotland) Act 2001

Committee Reports

The following report was published on 15 May 2008

Subordinate Legislation Committee, 20th Report, 2008 (Session 3): Subordinate Legislation (SP Paper 95)