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.

Motion S5M-15858: Scotland Needs Access to Cash

14 Feb 2019

That the Parliament notes that recent research by Which? shows that Scotland has lost 399 bank branches since 2015 and 290 ATMs in just the last year; considers that bank branches and ATMs are lifelines for people in both rural and urban areas of Scotland, especially those who experience chronic health issues; believes that, although many individuals are turning to alternative methods of banking, it is essential that a significant number of branches and ATMs remain open to allow those without the means to access digital services to bank securely in person at a branch or ATM, and agrees with Which?’s recommendation that a regulator should be appointed by the UK Government to ensure that cash continues to be available for all.

Motion S5M-15810: Global Inequality on the Rise

11 Feb 2019

That the Parliament notes the recent report by Oxfam highlighting what it considers the alarming rate at which global inequality is increasing, with 26 individuals reportedly owning the same amount of wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population, which is 3.8 billion people; considers that the under-taxation of society’s wealthiest individuals and corporations is directly linked to widening inequality; acknowledges the report’s finding that the richest 10% of people in the UK are paying a lower effective rate of tax than the poorest 10%, when consumption taxes are considered; believes that wealth needs to be taxed at fairer levels to strengthen public services and allow all members of society the opportunity to flourish, regardless of the financial circumstances that they are born into, and considers that there needs to be a greater emphasis on taxing wealth and ensuring that nobody is left behind.