The Scottish Parliament’s Covid-19 Committee, which will be tasked with considering any changes to lockdown legislation, has launched a consultation to gather views about moving out of the current lockdown phase.
The call for views is intended to inform MSPs looking at the Scottish Government’s framework for decision-making, and considering any proposals to change the current rules. The Committee understands that future decisions will need to balance competing demands, benefits and harms, and wants to ensure a wide range of voices are taken into account before final decisions reached.
Submissions to the committee can be made until 29 May by emailing [email protected]. The Committee is particularly keen to gather views on:
• The overall strategy set out in the Scottish Government’s Framework for Decision Making;
• The scope for differing approaches being followed in different areas – across Scotland or the UK;
• Maintaining public confidence in the public sector response to COVID-19 whilst easing current restrictions;
• How different interests could be involved in the decision-making process about lifting restrictions, and what would help the final decisions to be widely supported despite any necessary trade-offs;
• Could the current decision-making processes used by the Scottish Government to respond to COVID-19 be improved, and if so how;
• How robust is the data used to inform the response;
• How should the Scottish Government’s messaging strategy be developed as we transition out of the current lockdown (and potentially have to create other or further restrictions in the future).
Speaking as the call for views was launched, Committee Convener, Murdo Fraser MSP, said:
“This is an unprecedented and complex situation which requires the Scottish Government to make difficult decisions, necessarily involving competing interests and challenging trade-offs.
“Rightly, until now, we have relied heavily on doctors and scientists. But as we move into the next phases of the Covid-19 response, as a Committee we are mindful of the need to involve a wide range of voices.
“The discussions and debates in the weeks and months ahead do not have obvious or ‘right’ answers, and understanding what different sections of society think is vital to being able to find a consensus, or at least broad agreement, on the path forward.
“To help us as we seek to find that route, we are asking people – business groups, charities, civil society, and interested members of the public – to drop us a short response outlining their thoughts on how we can and should find the right balance moving forward.”
Webpages relating to this call for views are available here.
The Scottish Government’s framework for decision-making is on their website here.