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.

Motion S5M-02773: Edinburgh Airport Transport Links

26 Nov 2016

That the Parliament notes the recent report produced by the Airport Operators Association regarding the method of transport used between Edinburgh Airport and the city; understands that 8% of people travelling from the airport used the tram while 25% took the bus, which represents a fall in tram usage on previous months; believes that the reasons that people gave for this included the proximity of the bus stop to the terminal, cheaper bus fares and the comparable journey times; considers that this is evidence that most people in Edinburgh prefer the bus to the tram, and believes that this might also be the case if a tram-train link is introduced between Glasgow and its airport.

Motion S5M-02670: Type 26 and 31 Frigates

24 Nov 2016

That the Parliament notes with concern what it sees as the complete lack of detail provided by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) regarding the delivery of the new Type 26 and Type 31 frigates; understands that the UK Parliament’s defence committee has called on the MoD to provide necessary detail on the delivery of these ships and has suggested that, without this, the strategy is little more than a collection of aspirations; believes that the committee argued that the lack of forward planning shown by the MoD threatens the long-term sustainability of the shipbuilding industry; considers that this is unacceptable, particularly in light of what it believes were the promises made regarding Scotland’s shipyards before and after the independence referendum; deplores what it understands are the wider moves by the MoD to moving a disproportionate number of military bases away from Scotland; believes that the serious flaws found in the engine systems of the Type 45s shows that there is a need for a more organised approach to the construction of these vessels, and notes the calls on the MoD to take on board the recommendations made by the committee to ensure that those employed in Scotland’s shipbuilding industry will not be further damaged by what it believes have been unnecessary delays due to a lack of forward planning.