Motion S5M-08262: Wheel of Misfortune

19 Oct 2017

That the Parliament welcomes the report from the think tank, ResPublica, Wheel of Misfortune: The case for lowering the stakes on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, which suggests that the UK is the only developed country to have high street betting shops that allow people to bet £100 every 20 seconds; notes the report’s calls for the UK Government to cut the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) from £100 to £2; agrees with its assessment that the present maximum stake can lead to job loss, damage to communities and the breakdown of families; understands that, over the last year, FOBTs have been responsible for losses of more than £1.7 billion, which is almost £12,000 on average, with one third of players considered at risk of serious addiction according to the Gambling Commission; believes that action must be taken to tackle what it sees as the scourge of FOBTs in Scotland’s communities, and calls on the UK Government to take action when it publishes its review of stake levels, by lower the maximum stake to £2 at most.

Motion S5M-08254: World Food Day 2017

19 Oct 2017

That the Parliament welcomes the activities around World Food Day 2017, which is being marked on 16 October and aims to show ongoing commitment to ending world hunger; notes that the awareness day was first held in 1945 to commemorate the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); understands that the day is celebrated in over 150 countries, making it one of the most recognised days of the UN calendar; notes that this year’s theme is, Change the future of migration. Invest in food security and rural development; understands that FAO works with governments and other stakeholders to generate evidence on migration patterns and helps to build countries’ capacity to address migration through rural development policies;, and calls on all levels of government to do what they can to invest in food security and rural development and to work to take their fair share of the burden from the refugee crisis.

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.