Motion S5M-16169: More First-time Buyers Finding a Home

05 Mar 2019

That the Parliament notes the recent research from the Bank of Scotland, which it understands shows the number of first-time buyers in Scotland to have grown by more than 50% in the last decade; believes that first-time buyers now make up close to a half of all house purchases with a mortgage, and congratulates those who have managed to purchase their own home; welcomes that Scotland continues to be one of the most affordable places to purchase a property in the UK, and further welcomes the additional £100 million investment from the Scottish Government in the Help to Buy scheme from April 2019.

Motion S5M-16098: Food Allergies

01 Mar 2019

That the Parliament notes the BBC article, Why the world is becoming more allergic to food, by Dr Santos of King’s College London, which draws attention to the increasing prevalence of food allergies in the UK; further notes that the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is currently seeking views on changing the food allergen information laws for food pre-packed on the premises where it is sold; considers that option 4, “label food with name of food, full ingredients list and with allergens emphasised”, is the only viable option to ensure the safety of consumers; believes that it is misleading to state that all other pre-packed food currently contains “full ingredients lists”, while unspecified individual ingredients can be legally listed as flavourings, starch and dextrose, among other inaccessibly named ingredients; agrees that all members of society should be able to consume food at any location, without fear of an allergic reaction from unidentified ingredients, and calls on the Scottish Government to urge the UK Government to ensure that all individual ingredients are listed on all food items, as it considers that this is the only way to minimise the struggles that those with food allergies experience daily and prevent further unnecessary deaths.

Motion S5M-15988: Equitable Access to Healthcare

22 Feb 2019

That the Parliament acknowledges that General Practitioners at the Deep End, a group of GPs working in the 100 most deprived communities in Scotland, recently organised a conference in Glasgow to discuss their work, with interested GPs attending from all over the UK and the Republic of Ireland; recognises the existence of the “inverse care law”, which shows that those who require health services the most, including in Glasgow Shettleston, often find them hardest to access; notes the group’s view that GP practices require funding and resource to be allocated based on levels of need, not simply demand, and further notes the group’s view that until funding is restructured in this way, health inequalities will not only continue to exist, but likely widen.

Motion S5M-15857: Freedom of Religion

14 Feb 2019

That the Parliament notes the publication in February of World Watch List 2019, by Open Doors, which identifies the 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted, with, according to the list, North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan being the worst offenders; understands that North Korean Christians face imprisonment, torture and death for merely believing in a higher authority than the Kim family; believes that the freedom to choose, change or abandon one’s religion is a fundamental human right and should be upheld by all countries, and trusts that both Scottish and UK governments will raise this issue with the relevant countries when the opportunity arises.