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Language: English / Gàidhlig

Chamber and committees

Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee

Meeting date: Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Agenda: Transport (Impact of Covid-19), Subordinate Legislation


Subordinate Legislation

Plant Health (Official Controls and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020 (SSI 2020/152)

The Convener

The second agenda item is consideration of the two negative instruments that are detailed on the agenda. No motions to annul been received in relation to these Scottish statutory instruments. However, I believe that Stewart Stevenson wishes to comment on them.

Stewart Stevenson

I want to comment on the Seed (Fees) (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2020. The regulations have a mix of some fees going down, a number of fees remaining the same and one case of a fee going up by 8 per cent. Given the current move away from international sourcing of foodstuffs and, of course, the raw materials that create foodstuffs—seeds—I suspect that we are in a very different world from the world for which this instrument was developed. My simple ask is that we consider writing to the Scottish Government to ask it to provide more information about the parts of the regulations making increases.

Reading the material in front of me, I am not clear that I understand what the effect in the changed world might be of the fees that we are increasing. It might be appropriate to ask the Government to lighten my darkness and, I suspect, that of colleagues. However, that is not a barrier to my supporting the SSI proceeding according to the normal timetable.

The Convener

Thank you, Stewart. Because that matter has officially been raised, I declare that I have an interest in a farming partnership that might use some of the seeds that are described in the SSI.

Does the committee wish to follow Stewart Stevenson’s suggestion of writing to the Government in relation to the instrument to ask why those rises are appropriate?

Rachael Hamilton

I would like Stewart Stevenson to clarify why the briefing that we received does not explain why the seed percentage increase is being implemented. It seems that all the moneys were not collected last year, and the briefing gives a statement about why there has been an increase.

Stewart Stevenson

It was purely for clarity. My interest is not so much the why as what the effect might be in the changed circumstances of the increases. However, my suggestion is a matter for the committee and the convener to decide on.

The Convener

There seems to be general agreement to ask the question that Stewart Stevenson suggested. Does the committee agree that it does not want to make any formal recommendations in relation to the two instruments?

Members indicated agreement.

The Convener

The clerks will draft the letter suggested by Stewart Stevenson. I thank all members for their help in this morning’s meeting. It has not been that easy trying to chair it and I apologise again—actually physically now—to any of you who felt excluded from the meeting. I did my best to keep you all involved. I now close the meeting.

Meeting closed at 11:53.