Motion S5M-09768: Rohingya Muslims

09 Jan 2018

That the Parliament deplores the reported military crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim population in Burma, which it understands has been described by the UN as “ethnic cleansing”; believes that the Rohingya are considered by many to be the “world’s most persecuted minority”, with them reportedly being denied citizenship and left effectively stateless since the country’s formation; understands that the recent military crackdown was ostensibly launched in response to attacks on police stations and, since then, the violence has grown; notes with concern reports of mass rapes, burned villages and displacement of more than half a million people by the military; deplores the decision reportedly taken by Burma to ban Yanghee Lee, a UN special rapporteur, from visiting the country; understands that the vast majority of the Rohingya refugees are sheltering in Bangladesh, with a deal to repatriate them to Burma being discussed by the two countries; notes the widespread concern, including by residents of the Glasgow Shettleston constituency, regarding the ongoing crisis in Burma/Myanmar, and notes the belief that extra pressure from the international community is essential to stop the violence and reach a lasting settlement.

Motion S5M-09766: UK Economic Failure

09 Jan 2018

That the Parliament notes the OECD’s revised forecast of just 1.2% growth for the UK economy in 2018, which, it believes, is due to Brexit uncertainty; understands that the forecast comes from the OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2017, Issue 2, which was published in December 2017; further understands that the new figure would put the UK joint last among the 35 member countries for growth, alongside Japan and behind Italy with its projection of 1.5% growth; welcomes the analysis carried out by the TUC, which reportedly shows that British workers are likely to see their earnings fall by 0.7% in 2018 due to a rise in the cost of importing as a result of a fall in the value of the pound; understands that the TUC analysis highlights that only Spain and Italy are also expected to have negative wage growth, though both would outperform the UK; considers that the UK economy as a whole has been hopelessly mismanaged by the UK Government; believes that there is wide consensus that this economic slowdown is due to uncertainty caused by Brexit, with even the IMF’s managing director reportedly citing it as the catalyst; further believes that any economic damage already done shows the danger that a badly handled process could have for the Scottish economy, and calls on the UK Government to adopt a policy of seeking membership of the European single market to minimise uncertainty and protect living standards from the damage that it considers a disastrous hard Brexit could cause.

Motion S5M-09764: NHS Data

04 Jan 2018

That the Parliament notes the reported calls from the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Scottish Council to move away from a focus on “crude” targets; believes that multiple targets are making it more difficult to focus on delivering the best care for patients who find themselves using the Scottish NHS; agrees with the reported comments by Peter Bennie, chairman of the BMA’s Scottish Council, that “we need a fundamental shift to a more mature way of dealing with the data we have on our health service, which places more emphasis on doing the right things for patients and trusting doctors and healthcare staff to use their skills and judgement”; welcomes the offer from the BMA to work with those looking to build on the Review of Targets and Indicators in Health and Social Care in Scotland, which was carried out by Professor Sir Harry Burns on behalf of the Scottish Government and published in November 2017; believes that there should be further moves towards preventative spend in the community to reduce the pressure on more reactive services; recognises what it considers the importance of setting standards, and calls on all political parties and commentators to emphasise a wider view of patient care rather than just a few easily measured statistics.

Happy New Year

29 Dec 2017