To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports of a planned strike by school support staff, including janitors, cleaners, caterers and school support assistants, over pay and conditions.
That the Parliament believes that every life lost through drugs is a tragedy and recognises that behind each statistic is a grieving family and community; agrees that the scale of the drug deaths emergency in Scotland requires the Scottish Government to use every lever at its disposal to save and improve lives using the best available evidence; further agrees that the principles of the Scottish Government's national mission should be rooted in a human rights informed, public health approach, not a criminal justice one; believes that the support for people with substance dependency should be in parity with other health conditions, removing unnecessary stigma and discrimination; supports the calls for an urgent review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to fully align the law with the public health response outlined in the Scottish Government paper, A Caring, Compassionate and Human Rights Informed Drug Policy for Scotland, of which decriminalising drugs for personal use is one part, and agrees that the Scottish Government should work constructively with the UK Government to either amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 or devolve the powers to Scotland to draft its own drugs legislation that better reflects international best practice.
As an amendment to motion S6M-10490 in the name of Elena Whitham (Drug Law Reform), leave out from "be rooted" to end and insert "take both a public health and a criminal justice approach to target the serious organised crime gangs that target Scotland’s most vulnerable communities; believes that the support for people with substance dependency should be in parity with other health conditions, removing unnecessary stigma and discrimination; notes the Lord Advocate’s statement, which confirms her willingness to produce a prosecution policy statement enabling a drug consumption room facility to be set up without requiring any change to existing law; acknowledges that drug law is identical across the UK, yet drug-related deaths in Scotland are 2.7 times higher than the UK average; opposes the decriminalisation of drugs, which would make it more difficult to tackle the criminal gangs that profit from this trade and cause misery for communities across Scotland, and supports tackling the problem of substance dependency by implementing the proposed Right to Recovery Bill, which would enshrine a right in law that those who need treatment are able to get it."
As an amendment to motion S6M-10490 in the name of Elena Whitham (Drug Law Reform), leave out from “supports” to end and insert “notes that, under the Scottish National Party administration, funding for Alcohol and Drug Partnerships fell by over £46 million in real terms between 2014-15 and 2019-20; welcomes the statement by the Lord Advocate, which will allow a pilot safer drug consumption room in Glasgow to go ahead, but regrets that it has taken almost seven years since the initial proposal for this progress to be made; regrets that more than 4,000 lives have been lost due to drugs since a public health emergency was declared in 2019; is concerned that, 14 months on from the recommendations of the Drug Deaths Taskforce, no formal application has been made to establish drug checking services in Scotland and medication assisted treatment standards are yet to be fully implemented, and calls on the Scottish Government to desist with finding constitutional disagreements and focus on using devolved powers and resources to improve rehabilitation services and tackle the root causes of addiction.”
Members' Business — S6M-10348 Willie Rennie: Consultation on Proposed Council Tax Rises
Willie Rennie (S6M-10348)
That the Parliament notes the Scottish Government’s Fairer Council Tax consultation on the raising of council tax rates for those in properties in valuation bands E to H, which closes on 20 September 2023; understands that, should these rises go ahead, 715,312 houses in places like North East Fife and across the rest of Scotland will be affected; further understands that this will mean more than a quarter of homes in Scotland will be impacted by this proposed rise on top of any yearly increase that is decided by local authorities; considers that this proposal may cause concern to many people living in band E to H properties, who, during a cost of living crisis, it believes are already faced with expensive energy bills, high levels of inflation and rising mortgage rates; notes the belief that these proposals do not go as far as previous commitments by the Scottish Government to scrap Council Tax in its entirety, and further notes the calls for MSPs to commit to scrutinising any proposals that result from the consultation fully and robustly.
1. Decision on taking business in private: The Committee will decide whether to take items 5 and 6 in private.
2. Scottish Government priorities relevant to the Committee's remit: The Committee will take evidence from—
Mairi Gougeon, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Land Reform and Islands, Scottish Government
George Burgess, Director of Agriculture and Rural Economy, Scottish Government
David Signorini, Interim Director of Environment and Forestry, Scottish Government
and then from—
Fiona Hyslop, Minister for Transport, Scottish Government
Alison Irvine, Interim Chief Executive, Transport Scotland
Bill Reeve, Director of Rail, Transport Scotland
Chris Wilcock, Head of Ferries Branch, Transport Scotland
3. UK subordinate legislation: The Committee will consider a proposal by the Scottish Government to consent to the UK Government legislating using the powers under the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 in relation to the following UK statutory instrument proposals—The Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023 (Revocation and Sunset Disapplication) Regulations 2023
4. Subordinate legislation: The Committee will consider the following negative instrument—Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme (Amendment) Order 2023 (SI 2023/850)
5. Scottish Government priorities relevant to the Committee's remit: The Committee will consider the evidence it heard earlier under agenda item 2.
6. Work programme: The Committee will consider its work programme.
For further information, contact the Clerk to the Committee, Peter McGrath on 0131 348 6039 or at [email protected]