Motion S5M-03268: Executive Pay and Performance

05 Jan 2017

That the Parliament notes the publication of the report, An Analysis of CEO Pay Arrangements and Value Creation for FTSE-350 Companies, which was commissioned and funded by the CFA Society of the United Kingdom, and which examines the link between executive pay and performance; understands that the report was carried out by Weijia Li and Steven Young of Lancaster University Management School and is based on analysis of CEO pay structures and value created for FTSE-350 companies over the period from 2003 to 2014-15; further understands that the report found that the median pay for a CEO over this period has increased by 82% in real terms, that the median FTSE-350 company generated little in the way of profits over the period from 2003 to 2009 after adjusting for full cost of funds and, from 2010 onwards, the median firm generated less than a 1% economic return on invested capital; believes that simplistic, short-term metrics are frequently used to measure performance of CEO remuneration contracts; considers that the figure of £1.9 million for median executive pay in 2014 is unacceptable at a time of stagnant wages for those working on low incomes, and calls for action to be taken to ensure that CEO pay is more closely aligned to results and is within reasonable distance of a company’s average employee pay.

Motion S5M-03267: Persecution of Religious Minorities

05 Jan 2017

That the Parliament notes the warning made by the Duke of Rothesay regarding persecution faced by minority religious groups around the world; understands that his comments included a warning that society should not return to “the dark days of the 1930s”; agrees with his comment that “the scale of religious persecution around the world is not widely appreciated”; understands that the charity, Aid to the Church in Need, recently released its report, Religious Freedom in the World, which ranks countries based on the level of religious freedom that they have; welcomes the Duke of Rothesay’s stated belief that, whichever religious path people follow, the destination is the same, “to value and respect the other person”, and believes that these basic principles of tolerance and compassion are ones that everyone should fight to uphold in an increasingly uncertain world.

Motion S5M-03042: E-cigarettes Risk

10 Dec 2016

That the Parliament notes the comments of the US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, regarding the risks of e-cigarettes; understands that he has said that the use of electronic cigarettes among young people is “now a major public health concern” as their brains are more vulnerable to the negative consequences of nicotine; notes that Dr Murthy’s report states that “the effects include addiction, priming for use of other addictive substances, reduced impulse control, deficits in attention and cognition, and mood disorders”, and agrees with him that the negative health effects and potentially harmful doses of heated chemicals in e-cigarettes are not completely understood and that “we know enough right now to say that youth and young adults should not be using e-cigarettes”.

Motion S5M-02821: Payday Loans

30 Nov 2016

That the Parliament notes the report, Payday loans: The next generation, which was published by StepChange Debt Charity, which examined changes to the high-cost, short-term credit (HCSTC) market since the introduction of stricter measures by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2015; notes that the changes included a price cap on HCSTC and both stronger affordability guidance and financial health warnings; welcomes the evidence suggesting that this has had a positive impact on some of the worst conduct issues, with the charity reporting significantly fewer clients with HCSTC debts; understands however, that there remain issues with lending practices; notes the report’s call for the FCA’s review of the impact of the price cap to look further into these continuing problems; acknowledges the research’s conclusion that there remains a significant gap in the market for accessible and affordable credit; recognises what it sees as the important role played by credit unions in Shettleston and across Scotland in providing affordable loans with fairer conditions and longer repayment terms; commends the commitment of StepChange Debt Charity to helping people in debilitating debt and preventing others from entering this, and wishes the charity, and Scotland’s credit unions, all the very best in their ongoing work.