Motion S5M-07786: World Car Free Day 2017

20 Sep 2017

That the Parliament welcomes World Car Free Day 2017, which will be marked on 22 September; understands that the event, which was first held in the UK in 1997, promotes public transport, cycling and walking and encourages the development of communities in which jobs are closer to home and shopping is within walking distance; understands that many organisations across Scotland will be celebrating the day, including the Parliament and Government, with the Parliament’s car park being closed to everyone except people with a specific access need; believes that an increased uptake of public transport is good for society as a whole, and hopes that members can lead by example and aim not to use a car on the day.

Motion S5M-07700: Reaching Out to the World

18 Sep 2017

That the Parliament notes the report, Reaching Out to the World, which was published by Airlines UK and the travel association, ABTA, which compares Scotland to 10 similar-sized European nations regarding countries and destinations served; understands that the report found that, despite a growth in new destinations, Scotland lags behind other nations when it comes to short-haul, long-haul and direct flights; notes that Scotland comes 10th in terms of countries served, 11th in terms of direct long-haul connectivity, while being in a strong position when it comes to indirect connectivity; acknowledges the figures in the report, which it understands show that Scotland has the highest air passenger taxes of the 11 countries by a large margin, with only one of the other 10 countries levying a tax that is larger than 1/10th of the value of the tax levied in Scotland; welcomes the recommendation in the report that urges the Parliament to support a 50% reduction in Air Departure Tax to help create the opportunity for growth, and considers that Scotland can become a leader in air connectivity if the right decisions are taken.

Motion S5M-07605: International Literacy Day 2017

18 Sep 2017

That the Parliament welcomes International Literacy Day on 8 September 2017; understands that this year’s event is held under the theme, Literacy in a Digital World; further understands that this event has been celebrated annually since the first was declared by UNESCO on 17 November 1965; believes that this year’s focus on the challenges and opportunities in promoting literacy in the digital world is particularly important with the pace of technological advancement globally, and further believes that promoting literacy should be a key goal for everyone in society.

Motion S5M-07643: Size Matters

18 Sep 2017

That the Parliament notes the report that has been published by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) and Slimming World, Size Matters, which looks at the marketing tactics used by various businesses to get customers to buy larger portions of food and drink than they had originally intended; understands that such processes, which are known as verbal up-selling, can lead to one-in-three buying a larger coffee than planned, upgrading to a large meal in a fast-food outlet and buying chocolate at the till in petrol stations; notes the report’s findings suggesting that this can lead to the average person consuming an extra 17,000 calories each year and that it is a major driver in the rise of obesity; welcomes the RSPH and Slimming World’s call for businesses to pledge to only upsell healthy items, and believes that taking on the issues highlighted in this report are a great step towards tackling the problem of obesity.