Motion S5M-16913: Personal Debt in Scotland

12 Apr 2019

That the Parliament notes the recent publication of StepChange’s annual analysis of personal debt, Scotland in the Red, which shows that the charity’s clients had an average of £11,754 in unsecured debt in 2018; understands that over 60% of its 30,000 clients are in debt due to circumstances outwith their control, such as ill health, wage reductions, welfare payment changes or unemployment; further understands that council tax arrears, up from 36% to 46% between 2014 and 2018, are of particular concern to the charity due to the considerable increase in the number of clients affected; agrees with StepChange that local authorities in Scotland need to work with the advice sector to address the current council tax arrears dilemma, and further agrees with StepChange that earlier signposting to free debt advice is urgently required to help tackle personal debt at the earliest opportunity.

Motion S5M-16772: Assisted Dying Law

03 Apr 2019

That the Parliament considers that the public is split in its views concerning the current laws regarding assisted dying; understands that, while some people support assisted dying and would like to see the current law changed, others are concerned that it would be impossible to put adequate safeguards in place, and considers that the abuse of vulnerable people would probably take place; acknowledges that the Parliament has twice decided that the law should remain as it is; believes that opposition to changing assisted dying laws has support from a wide cross-section of society outwith Parliament and from MSPs of various parties; considers that, while recent legal changes in a number of countries, including Canada, the United States and Australia, mean that over 100 million people around the world now have access to assisted dying, Scotland should not just follow what it sees as the current fashion, but should decide on the merits of the case; acknowledges the view that, while there is a strong desire from some to continue the conversation in Parliament on assisted dying, considers that there must be a question as to how frequently it returns to the same issue; understands that, historically, there have been some families that wished the early demise of an elderly relative for financial gain and that there could be strong budgetary pressures on the state and others to save on care costs by encouraging the assisted dying of vulnerable individuals; recognises the excellent palliative care provided by nursing homes, hospices and others to help those suffering from degenerative and terminal illnesses, and notes the view that dying is a serious matter worthy of proper recognition and discussion.

Parliamentary Patter – April 2019

01 Apr 2019

Motion S5M-16672: Migrant Numbers Down

29 Mar 2019

That the Parliament notes the recent National Insurance registration figures released by the DWP, which show that there was an 18% decrease in the number of registrations for overseas workers between 2015 and 2018; understands that more than half of Scotland’s regions have seen a reduction of 20% or more in migrant numbers during this period, with Shetland experiencing an enormous 69% decline; considers that these figures make it glaringly obvious that what it sees as the UK Conservative administration’s anti-immigration rhetoric and complete disregard for Scotland is likely to put extreme pressure on many of Scotland’s businesses and public services, particularly those already experiencing labour shortages; believes that, as Scotland’s population has not grown naturally for decades, the country needs more working-age people to migrate here, and therefore welcomes continued migration to Scotland.