Yesterday I asked the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Constitution how the Scottish Government’s fiscal policy supports first-time buyers. See below for his answer.
Yesterday I spoke in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill Debate, and called on the UK Government to listen to the Scottish Parliament. We cannot compromise on a fundamental premise of devolution- consent. The Scottish Parliament was unanimous- Scottish Tories alone in their opposition- in refusing consent for the Bill, and it is now time for the UK Government to reconsider its power grab on this Parliament’s powers.
I asked the Scottish Government, in light of the ongoing review of the Children (Scotland) Act 1995, what consideration it is giving to putting a professional system, such as the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service in England, in place for family courts in Scotland.
I spoke in the NHS Tayside Public Inquiry Debate, and acknowledged the importance of feedback to public services in order to improve the quality of services people are able to access – especially in an area as important as mental health. I welcome the fact that NHS Tayside Chairman John Brown has commissioned an independent inquiry into the mental health services offered by NHS Tayside, and it is crucial that recommendations be undertaken as a matter of priority.
The evidence from Mike Russell during the Finance and Constitution Committee yesterday was clear, the consent of the Scottish Parliament throughout the negotiations over the EU Withdrawal Bill remains crucial. Consent remains a fundamental principle of devolution and we can’t let the UK Government undermine the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
Today I spoke in the Conservative Party Members Debate on NHS Tayside. The Government’s handling of this situation has been open and transparent from the start, and the Cabinet Secretary has taken decisive action to maintain public confidence. For the opposition to come to the chamber and question the funding of the Scottish NHS with no serious funding plans of their own is not credible and not the serious approach the issue and Scotland deserves.
During First Minister’s Questions, I asked the First Minister whether the EU Withdrawal Bill had been adequately amended by the UK Government in order to meet the expectations of the Scottish Government. It is deeply concerning that the UK Government seems intent on undermining Scottish devolution as we know it. Watch below for the First Minister’s answer.
Yesterday I asked expert witnesses on the Finance and Constitution Committee about Investor- State Dispute Settlements and their potential inclusion in future trade deals negotiated by the UK Government on behalf of Scotland, in a session focusing on the UK Trade Bill.
Yesterday I asked the Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn MSP, what the Scottish Government’s response is to the recent publication of large companies’ gender pay gaps, which show that there remains a large pay gap among many companies across the UK, including in Edinburgh. Watch to see his answer.