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Debates and questions

These are the official transcripts of what people said in:

  • the Chamber the place where Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) meet to debate and make decisions
  • committee meetings - committees are small groups of Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) from different political parties

This part of the website also includes written questions and answers. 

Debates and Questions Listing

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Chamber

Official transcripts of what MSPs said in the Chamber. This is the place where all MSPs meet to debate and make decisions.

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 24 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Draft Infrastructure Investment Plan 2021-22 to 2025-26, Protection of Workers (Retail and Age-restricted Goods and Services) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 23 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, Prioritising Education, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Heart Valve Disease Awareness Week.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 22 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Covid-19, Minority Ethnic People and Communities, Decision Time, Residential Outdoor Centres.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 17 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Employment Support, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament 16 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Sustainable Aviation beyond Covid-19, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Museum for Human Rights.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 15 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Migration and Care Workers, Decision Time, World Suicide Prevention Day 2020.

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Meeting of the Parliament 10 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Scottish Parliament (Assistance for Political Parties) Bill: Stage 1, Internal Market, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 09 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Presiding Officer’s Statement, Point of Order, Portfolio Question Time, Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill, Fisheries Bill, Business Motions, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time, Dirty Camping.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 08 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Baroness Cumberlege Report, Period Products (Free Provision) (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Business Motion, Decision Time, Alcohol Foetal Spectrum Disorders.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Virtual) 03 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 02 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Point of Order, First Minister’s Question Time, United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill, Programme for Government 2020-21, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Point of Order, Business Motion, Decision Time, Correction.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 01 September 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Programme for Government 2020-21, Care Homes, Logan Review (Technology Sector), Committee Announcement, Agriculture Bill, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Virtual) 27 August 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 26 August 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Life Sciences Innovation (Covid-19 Response), Business Motion, Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Agriculture (Retained EU Law and Data) (Scotland) Bill, Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 25 August 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Business Motion, Topical Question Time, Ferguson Marine, Business Motion, Children (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3, Children (Scotland) Bill, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 20 August 2020

The agenda for the day:

First Minister’s Question Time, Portfolio Question Time, Tackling Child Poverty Delivery Plan, Parliamentary Bureau Motions, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament 19 August 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland (Amendment) Bill: Preliminary Stage, Health, Scotland’s Redress Scheme for Survivors of Historical Child Abuse in Care, Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body, Business Motions, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 18 August 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, United Kingdom Internal Market, Business Motion, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 13 August 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

Portfolio Question Time, Motion of No Confidence, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time.

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Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 12 August 2020 [Draft]

The agenda for the day:

One Minute’s Silence, First Minister’s Question Time, Return to School, Economic Recovery Implementation Plan, Business Motion, Decision Time.

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Committee

Transcripts of committee meetings are uploaded as soon as they've been checked for accuracy. This may be a few days after the meeting has taken place.

Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints

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COVID-19 Committee

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Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee

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Delegated Powers and Law Reform Committee

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Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee

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Education and Skills Committee

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Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee

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Equalities and Human Rights Committee

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Finance and Constitution Committee

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Health and Sport Committee

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Justice Committee

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Justice Sub-Committee on Policing

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Local Government and Communities Committee

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Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee

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Public Petitions Committee

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Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee

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Social Security Committee

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Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland (Amendment) Bill Committee

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Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee

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Written Questions

These are questions that MSPs have asked the Scottish Government about its work. It also includes any answers to these questions.

S5W-32076: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-2550 by Jeane Freeman on 8 October 2019, how many community link workers (a) have been recruited and (b) are in post, broken down by SIMD quintile.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32080: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what mechanisms there are to ensure that public safety is not compromised by the manner in which companies responsible for trunk road maintenance prioritise their work programmes.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32077: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it considers that there is a sufficiency of "white-lining" operators to ensure that companies responsible for trunk road maintenance can meet their obligations to maintain public safety on the trunk road network and on roads maintained by local authorities.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32075: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will publish the data strategy for health and social care that was announced in the Programme for Government.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32062: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-31612 by Jeane Freeman on 22 September 2020, for what reason information on the number of people in the NHS Highland area who attended out-of-area PET scans from 1 January 2016 to date in 2020 is not held centrally, when it provided this information for the period 1 January 2016 to 30 April 2018 in its answer to question S5W-16725 from the Member on 29 May 2018, and whether it will now provide the information asked for.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32081: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, in light of the announcement that other NHS boards are to receive a similar service, when the anticipated thrombectomy service for Edinburgh and the east of Scotland will be (a) delivered to NHS Lothian and (b) functioning.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32057: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports that there may be a further delay to replace the Belford Hospital in Fort William and that any new hospital may not have surgical capacity.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32071: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many of the 800 mental health workers proposed in the Mental Health Strategy have been recruited, broken down by setting.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32069: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when NHS chiropodist services will recommence.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32061: Mark Ruskell (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it will take to reverse the decline in the number of woodland birds.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32079: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how often, in each of the last three years, companies responsible for trunk road maintenance were found not to have met the terms of their contracts with it, and what action it took on each occasion.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32078: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it ensures that companies responsible for trunk road maintenance discharge the terms of their contracts with it.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32060: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has any plans to provide financial assistance to the Independent Food Aid Network.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32070: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much of the £11 million allocated for the Scottish Child Payment in 2020-21 will be spent on administration costs.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32073: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the 24/7 NHS service that was announced in the Programme for Government will be completed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32059: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assistance it will provide to food banks in each local authority in 2020-21; how much has been allocated in the financial year to date, and how much it plans to provide in 2021-22, also broken down by the amount for each food bank receiving direct assistance.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32068: Liam McArthur (Orkney Islands)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will provide updated COVID-19 guidance for livestock keepers.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32074: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many additional whole-time equivalent staff will be required to deliver the (a) 24/7 NHS service and (b) redesign of unscheduled care that was announced in the Programme for Government, broken down by profession.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32072: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the redesign of unscheduled care that was announced in the Programme for Government will be completed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32067: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 25 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether personal stylists are classed as tradespeople and therefore exempt from the new COVID-19 restrictions.

Awaiting answer

S5W-31909: James Kelly (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 21 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what penalties can be issued against home owners who do not comply with the new fire safety standards due to be introduced in February 2021.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 25 September 2020

As this will be a minimum standard for safe houses as part of the Tolerable Standard, local authorities will be able to use their statutory powers to require owners to carry out work necessary to meet the standard, although we would expect any intervention to be proportionate.

 

S5W-31588: Jamie Greene (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 7 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what the (a) primary and (b) secondary school attendance rate has been since August 2020.

Answered by: John Swinney on 25 September 2020

Answered by: John Swinney 25 September 2020

The percentage attendance in primary schools was 95.8% on 17 August, before dropping to 84.1% on 28 August and rising to 95.0% on 10 September.

The percentage attendance in secondary schools was 95.0% on 17 August, before dropping to 83.5% on 1 September and rising to 89.3% on 10 September.

Note that figures from 7 September onwards are provisional and subject to change.

Note that these are figures on percentage attendance and percentage of pupils not in school. This is a different basis to what is normally published. Some of the pupils not in school because of a Covid-19 related reason will be undertaking education provision, and would be recorded as being in attendance in the biannual statistics publication.

Daily attendance and absence in schools in Scotland

  

Date

Percentage attendance - PRIMARY

Percentage attendance - SECONDARY

17-08-2020

95.8%

95.0%

18-08-2020

95.6%

94.2%

19-08-2020

95.3%

93.7%

20-08-2020

94.1%

93.2%

21-08-2020

91.6%

92.0%

24-08-2020

87.6%

90.4%

25-08-2020

86.5%

88.2%

26-08-2020

86.7%

87.7%

27-08-2020

86.1%

86.4%

28-08-2020

84.1%

84.4%

31-08-2020

88.1%

84.1%

01-09-2020

90.0%

83.5%

02-09-2020

91.4%

84.5%

03-09-2020

92.0%

85.1%

04-09-2020

91.0%

84.1%

07-09-2020

93.7%

87.6%

08-09-2020

94.6%

88.1%

09-09-2020

95.0%

88.9%

10-09-2020

95.0%

89.3%

11-09-2020

93.6%

88.0%

S5W-31702: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what support it has offered to food banks and hubs since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to assist with the distribution of items to vulnerable people.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 25 September 2020

We have gone beyond our original £70 million Food Fund commitment and have now committed over £120 million to tackle food insecurity caused by the pandemic.

£57.6 million of funding was provided to local authorities to provide coordinated cross-sectoral help with food and other essentials for at risk groups from April-Sept inclusive; We have provided guidance to local authorities, who were given flexibility in how to use these funds, and shared good practice around community support.

£4.9 million has been invested to support 50 third-sector partners through direct grants. These strategic investments, focused on delivering critical national or community-based responses and include £2.1 million for FareShare to purchase and distribute food to groups and hubs (as referenced in response to S5W-31701 on 24 September 2020. A further £7.8 million has been invested in projects focused on tackling food insecurity through our Wellbeing and Supporting Communities funds

These investments are in addition to us increasing the Scottish Welfare Fund, which is placing money directly into the pockets of those who need it and continue to provide support for a range of needs including for those experiencing financial or physical barriers to food.

The Tackling Food Insecurity Team are providing regular email updates to community groups, sharing information on funding and providing guidance to organisations on any specific issues they raise.

All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .

S5W-31834: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-28018 by Shirley-Anne Somerville on 30 March 2020, when the consultation will begin.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 25 September 2020

Work is ongoing to re-plan the Social Security Programme as a result of the significant impacts of Covid 19. The Scottish Government will consider the timescales for a public consultation on Employment-Injury Assistance as part of that re-planning work.

 

S5W-31836: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what information and assistance is available to Members and staff who are experiencing difficulties with alcohol or drugs.

Answered by: Liam McArthur MSP (on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Liam McArthur MSP (on behalf of the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate 25 September 2020

drugs or substances to such an extent that that it affects their health, work performance, behaviour or relationships at work. The SPCB is committed to ensuring a working environment which is free from this risk. , The SPCB is committed to providing a safe and positive working environment for Members and staff.  The SPCB recognises that this can be put at risk by individuals who misuse alcohol

Under its published policies, the SPCB makes a distinction between individuals with an alcohol, drugs or substance misuse problem and misconduct involving alcohol, drugs or substances.  These policies apply to SPCB staff and Members’ staff.  The SPCB considers dependency on alcohol, drugs and substances to be a health problem for which the individual requires specialist treatment and support. 

As such the SPCB, through its occupational health partners, provides impartial information, advice and support to individuals experiencing difficulties.  This includes arranging specialist counselling, assessment or referral to another agency.  Individuals can also seek support through the Employee Assistance Programme.  This Programme provides a network of counsellors who are available to offer continuing support to those who have more complex issues.

The SPCB recognises that it is also the responsibility of the individual to accept this help and assistance to improve their condition.

S5W-31872: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what the indicative time frame is for the planned transfer of powers to Social Security Scotland from the DWP.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 25 September 2020

The Scottish Government assumed Executive Competence for the devolved benefits on 1 April 2020. To date the Scottish Government and Social Security Scotland have delivered eight social security benefits, including four brand new forms of assistance. The most recent of these was Job Start Payment, launched on 17 August to help young people with the costs of starting a new job. We will open applications for the Scottish Child Payment in November this year, and are also on track to deliver Child Winter Heating Assistance by the end of the year, subject to getting the data we require from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

As I set out in my statement to Parliament on 1 April, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the Scottish Government, Social Security Scotland and DWP, whose support we need to transfer social security powers. As a result, we are having to rework our timetable for delivery of the remaining devolved benefits, which is a complex exercise. We need to take into account the impact of the pandemic not only on our own services, but also on the availability of health and social care professionals to bring their expertise to the co-design of disability and carer benefits at a time when many are still needed on the frontline, and on DWP’s capacity to support the transfer of social security powers. I will update Parliament later this year.

S5W-31723: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many under-65s have received free personal care since the introduction of Frank's Law.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 25 September 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-31545: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much it spends on stroke care, and how this compares with how much it would have to spend to match the Royal College of Physicians’ 2016 stroke guidelines.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 25 September 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-31729: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many times ministers have requested that the parliamentary record be corrected in each year since 2007.

Answered by: Graeme Dey on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Graeme Dey 25 September 2020

This information is not collated centrally.

 

S5W-31544: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the December 2019 minutes of the National Advisory Committee on Stroke, which reportedly suggest that there are budget constraints when implementing stroke care.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 25 September 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-31774: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 14 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what information it can provide regarding the settlement of its recent dispute with Gigaclear regarding Lot 1 of the superfast broadband programme; how much it paid to Gigaclear to settle the dispute, and whether it will provide a breakdown of its legal costs.

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Paul Wheelhouse 25 September 2020

The terms of the settlement are confidential to the parties involved. We are pleased that the matter is now resolved, thus allowing us to get on with the task of delivering superfast broadband to the people of the North of Scotland as soon as possible.

 

S5W-31910: James Kelly (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 21 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to promote new fire safety standards among home owners ahead of them being introduced in February 2021.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 25 September 2020

An announcement was made on 28 March 2018 of our intention to strengthen the current standards we have in place for fire alarms. This announcement was widely reported in press, television and social media as well as housing and electrical related publications. An informative fact sheet was also made available on our website: https://www.gov.scot/publications/fire-and-smoke-alarms-in-scottish-homes/

A joint awareness raising campaign will be taken forward, coordinated across Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, Scottish Government and the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to ensure consistency in approach in all local authority areas prior to the standard coming into force on 1 February 2021.

S5W-31835: Mark Griffin (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 16 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when the Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Advisory Group last met, and whether the published minutes for the group are up to date.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 25 September 2020

The Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit Advisory Group last met in December 2017. Minutes for this meeting and previous meetings of the Advisory Group can be accessed here:

https://www.gov.scot/groups/industrial-injuries-disablement-benefit-advisory-group/#:~:text=The%20Industrial%20Injuries%20Disablement%20Benefit%
20%28IIDB%29%20Advisory%20Group,the%20Scottish%20Government%
20and%20UK%20Government%20policy%20landscapes

S5W-32056: Bill Kidd (Glasgow Anniesland)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the car parking arrangements at Ninewells Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary during the COVID-19 pandemic response.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 25 September 2020

On 30 March 2020, the three PFI hospital car park providers at Ninewells Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Edinburgh Royal Infirmary agreed to remove car parking charges for staff, visitors and patients initially for the three months and extended further by additional three months until 30 September 2020.

The Scottish Government have now reached agreement with the three PFI hospital car park providers to extend the free car parking arrangements by a further four months until January 2021.

This extension of free parking continues to support staff and remove the barriers to our staff working with the NHS during these unprecedented times.

S5W-31728: Miles Briggs (Lothian)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 10 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to address so-called Anglophobia, or anti-English abuse.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 25 September 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.

 

S5W-31904: Mary Fee (West Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 21 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government (a) how many and (b) what percentage of secondary schools have a school-based counsellor.

Answered by: John Swinney on 25 September 2020

Answered by: John Swinney 25 September 2020

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-31767 on 25 September 2020. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .

 

S5W-31703: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what direct support it has provided to food banks and hubs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Answered by: Aileen Campbell on 25 September 2020

Answered by: Aileen Campbell 25 September 2020

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-31702 on 25 September 2020. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx .

S5W-32043: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what the drop-out rate for disabled people in (a) (i) primary, (ii) secondary and (iii) further education and (b) all education settings has been in each of the last five years.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32026: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what employment support programmes were in place prior to those created as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, broken down by the (a) group that the programme targets, (b) budget for the programme in each year that it has been running, (c) number of programme participants and (d) number of participants who went on to find employment.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32055: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how young people can access its job guarantee scheme.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32012: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with (a) the UK Government and (b) Scottish port authorities regarding the Freeport competition.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32011: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what independent research it has (a) commissioned and (b) consulted on regarding the role that Freeports can play in incentivising international trade, boosting innovation and regenerating disadvantaged areas post-Brexit.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32034: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will introduce regular COVID-19 testing in prisons for (a) prisoners and (b) staff.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32054: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how its jobs guarantee scheme will work in Glasgow; what types of jobs will be available; what pay will be offered, and for how long the jobs will be guaranteed.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32048: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what criteria it has established to determine whether people previously shielding should resume doing so.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32053: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will review the legal obligation to offer a public mains water service to all households.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32031: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to extend the NHS COVID-19 testing capacity ahead of the winter.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32018: Liam Kerr (North East Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Justice on 23 September 2020 (Official Report, c.20), whether it will provide a full list of the stakeholders that the cabinet secretary said he had spoken to “to seek their views on the areas of the [Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill]" that he was "committed to considering”; what date each discussion took place, and whether it will publish the minutes of each discussion.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32039: Alex Cole-Hamilton (Edinburgh Western)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to review the application process for legal aid to avoid people having to incur legal costs when initially applying for it.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32044: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what proportion of disabled people have completed secondary education in each of the last five years, broken down by qualifications achieved.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32052: Anas Sarwar (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether NHS patients who are required to self-isolate for 14 days prior to surgery are eligible for the self-isolation support payment if they meet the other eligibility criteria.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32042: Mike Rumbles (North East Scotland)

Scottish Liberal Democrats

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, prior to 24 September 2020, whether there has ever been a legally enforceable (a) travel ban and (b) restriction on people meeting in the west of Scotland.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32058: Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on cancelling the 2020 licensing fee for pubs and other hospitality premises, and whether it has discussed this with COSLA.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32047: Maurice Golden (West Scotland)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what criteria must be met before placing a legal obligation on employers to allow working from home where it is possible to do so.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32035: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what COVID-19 testing facilities are available (a) at higher and further education institutions and (b) near student accommodation, and what plans it has to prioritise mobile testing units for these locations.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32014: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of any (a) economic and (b) social advantage of Freeports.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32037: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what measures are in place to carry out routine weekly COVID-19 tests for home care services' staff.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32036: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many home care staff have been tested for COVID-19, and what proportion tested positive.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32029: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what existing employment support programmes have been enhanced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, broken down by the (a) budget increase for each programme and (b) additional number of participants that any budget increase will fund.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32051: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the First Minister's commitment to "providing resources for additional environmental health officers" in her statement on 22 September 2020 (Official Report, c.16), how many officers it considers require to be recruited; by what date additional officers should be recruited, and how much funding it will provide to enable this.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32038: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many prisoners have tested positive for COVID-19 each month, broken down by prison.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32032: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what use it has made or plans to make of laboratory testing capacity for PCR COVID-19 tests in (a) university and (b) private laboratories, and what the associated costs are.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32033: Monica Lennon (Central Scotland)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many walk-in COVID-19 testing centres it plans to establish, broken down by location.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32027: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what the level of unemployment has been in each year since 2007, broken down by (a) gender, (b) disability status, (c) BAME identification and (d) the 16 to 24-year-old age group.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32013: David Stewart (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what role it will play in promoting the Freeport competition.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32028: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what new employment support programmes have been created to response to the COVID-19 pandemic, broken down by the (a) group that the programme targets, (b) budget for the programme and (c) anticipated number of participants.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32009: Alexander Stewart (Mid Scotland and Fife)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the plan by Stirling Council to take over control of the running of the Wallace Monument, and what discussions it has had with the council regarding plans it has for its development.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32041: Jackson Carlaw (Eastwood)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its estimate is of the (a) number and (b) percentage of pupils who have been wearing a face covering at all times when moving around school corridors and communal areas in each local authority since the updated guidance was published on 25 August 2020.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32045: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what extra provisions are in place in educational settings to support disabled people, and how these have changed in the last 10 years.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32050: Annie Wells (Glasgow)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it will issue guidance to local authorities regarding additional inspection and enforcement powers, as announced by the First Minister in her statement on 22 September 2020 (Official Report, c.12).

Awaiting answer

S5W-32046: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many support teachers there currently are in schools to specifically support disabled people, and what it is doing to (a) recruit and (b) retain such teachers.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32017: John Finnie (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Green Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to questions S5W-31705 and S5W-31706 by Fergus Ewing on 17 September 2020, by what date it will publish the full business case for the future of Cairn Gorm funicular, and whether this will be prior to it making a decision on whether to allow full public scrutiny.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32030: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what the estimated level of (a) unemployment and (b) youth unemployment will be by the end of the current financial year.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32016: Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of NHS Dumfries and Galloway's plans to deliver the 2020 flu vaccine.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32040: Alexander Burnett (Aberdeenshire West)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the letter of 10 September 2020 to the Member from the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills, whether it will provide a breakdown by local authority of the £25 million investment in the provision of devices and connectivity for disadvantaged or digitally excluded children and young people.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32025: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it is considering publishing anonymous data on the efficacy of the Test and Protect system that analyses the trends in the (a) transmission in various settings, (b) compliance of quarantine and (c) average time taken to reach contacts.

Awaiting answer

S5W-32049: Jackson Carlaw (Eastwood)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 24 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what consideration it has given to the National Deaf Children’s Society's campaign to widen access to clear face coverings in order to improve communication with deaf people, while still protecting the public from COVID-19.

Awaiting answer

S5W-31871: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government, further to the answer to question S5W-31380 by Clare Haughey on 31 August 2020, which initiatives have been allocated funding from the £6 million committed to mental wellbeing, broken down by the amount allocated to each.

Answered by: Clare Haughey on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Clare Haughey 24 September 2020

The £6m of funding that the Scottish Government has committed to promoting positive mental wellbeing over the course of the pandemic is as follows:

£3.8m (Announced on 27 March), which consists of:

  • £2.1 million to expand the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub so that it will be available to the public 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • £0.5 million to expand the Breathing Space telephone helpline and web support service
  • £1.2 million to provide extra capacity for Computerised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CCBT).

£1m to roll out the Distress Brief Intervention programme on a national basis

 

£1m for children, young people and families (Announced on 1 May), which consists of:

  • £768,000 for a relationships helpline to be delivered by The Spark counselling service
  • £105,000 to support Young Scot to develop enhanced digital content and resources on mental health
  • £205,000 to support 47,000 autistic people across Scotland. This consists of funding to increase capacity at the Scottish Autism Helpline, and help for the National Autistic Society to keep people in touch online during lockdown.

£200k for free access to Solihull Online (Announced on 19 May)

S5W-31683: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what distinction it makes between disclosing legal advice that it has received to a judicial inquiry and that disclosed to any other form of official and formal inquiry.

Answered by: John Swinney on 24 September 2020

Answered by: John Swinney 24 September 2020

The Scottish Government does not apply any hierarchy of status to inquiries established under the Inquiries Act 2005 and Parliamentary Inquiries. Ministers recognise the value and importance of both, albeit noting that they have a different legal basis.

Maintaining legal professional privilege is fundamental to good government in line with the requirements of the Ministerial Code, the administration of justice and the rule of law. As set out in the response to PQ S5W-31274 on 1 September 2020, Scottish Ministers have authorised the disclosure of legal advice in exceptional circumstances only. The Scottish Ministers did not impose a restriction notice on the disclosure of legal advice to the Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry or the (UK) Infected Blood Inquiry; in relation to the Trams Inquiry, disclosure was for the limited purpose of enabling the Inquiry to determine whether the documents were privileged, and no material which was privileged was disclosed further.

There is no single test of "exceptionality" for determining whether it is appropriate to waive confidentiality. Whilst waiver will only be considered in exceptional circumstances, each situation is considered on its own merits.

All answers to written Parliamentary Questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx

S5W-31787: Pauline McNeill (Glasgow)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 11 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what action it plans to take to engage with homeowners faced with costs arising from the need to replace dangerous cladding on their properties.

Answered by: Kevin Stewart on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Kevin Stewart 24 September 2020

The Scottish Government is very conscious that homeowners affected by cladding issues following the terrible events at Grenfell tower are facing difficulties through no fault of their own.

On 30 March 2020, Scottish Ministers agreed to set up a Technical Working Group to develop a Scottish Advice Note to determine the fire risk posed by external wall systems in existing multi-storey residential buildings. The Ministerial Working Group on Building and Fire Safety met on 11 June and it was agreed that a targeted consultation with key stakeholders including residents and tenants will be taken forward.

On the related issues of mortgages and cladding, as I indicated to the Local Government and Communities Committee on 4 September, I have asked that representatives of home owners provide evidence to the next scheduled meeting of the Ministerial Working Group on Mortgages and Cladding at the end of this month, so the group can consider the market and mortgage issues owners have faced as a result of these issues.

Housing officials have also met with a number of homeowners, and I have a personal meeting scheduled with the High Rise Scotland Action Group on 30 September. As I made clear at Committee, I am sympathetic to calls for potential funding support and will work with members of the Working Group to determine a clear picture of those people who are most affected by this issue.

S5W-31684: Jackie Baillie (Dumbarton)

Scottish Labour

Date lodged: 9 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what status it regards a parliamentary inquiry to have, and whether it considers this to be lesser than that of a judicial inquiry.

Answered by: John Swinney on 24 September 2020

Answered by: John Swinney 24 September 2020

I refer the member to the answer to question S5W-31683 on 24 September 2020. All answers to written parliamentary questions are available on the Parliament's website, the search facility for which can be found at http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx

S5W-31876: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of the financial support provided through (a) Best Start Foods and (b) Best Start Grant in (i) the Scottish Borders and (ii) Scotland in the last year.

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Shirley-Anne Somerville 24 September 2020

Social Security Scotland routinely publish information on payments issued as part of the quarterly Official Statistics release ‘Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods’. This includes information on value of payments at Local Authority level.

Information on Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods was last published on 28 July 2020 and provided information up to 31 May 2020. This publication is available from:

https://www.gov.scot/publications/best-start-grant-and-best-start-foods-high-level-statistics-to-31-may-2020/

The value of payments issued, from the launch of each benefit to 31 May 2020, for both the Scottish Borders and Scotland are shown in the following table. Best Start Grant consists of three separate payments: Pregnancy and Baby Payment, Early Learning Payment and School Age Payment.

 

Best Start Grant

Best Start Foods

Scottish Borders

£413,800

£63,219

Scotland

£25,143,850

£4,598,419

The next publication of Official Statistics is due to be released on 27 October 2020, and will include information up to 31 st August 2020.

S5W-31881: Rachael Hamilton (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 17 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide a breakdown of the £1.5 million invested in the Digital Participation Charter, and what proportion of this focused on older people and isolation.

Answered by: Ben Macpherson on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Ben Macpherson 24 September 2020

The priority target groups have been different across each of the 7 rounds of the charter fund, as has the way data has been captured within the target groups.

Rounds 1 – 3 (£748,108)

50 of the 84 projects (60%) self-identified as targeting older people, older people were the most common target group for these rounds.

In this evaluation projects were able to select more than one target group.

Rounds 4 – 6 (£721,131)

19 of the 86 projects (22%) identified as primarily targeting older people, once again older people were the most common target group for these rounds.

In this evaluation projects were categorized by their primary beneficiary group only.

Round 7 (£182,702)

8 out of 19 (42%) projects are doing work targeting older people and social isolation.

S5W-31993: John Mason (Glasgow Shettleston)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 23 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how much funding has been allocated to each ministerial portfolio to support the policy response to the COVID-19 emergency.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Kate Forbes 24 September 2020

The Scottish Government publishes its Autumn Budget Revision at 14:30 today. (Document no SG/2020/161)

This represents the second phase of the Scottish Government’s financial response to the COVID 19 emergency, building on the Summer Budget Revision published in May, along with the usual technical adjustments and transfers which are processed in budget revisions.

Document is available here www.gov.scot/isbn/9781800040854

S5W-31994: Tom Arthur (Renfrewshire South)

Scottish National Party

Date lodged: 23 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government when it plans to publish information on multi-year capital budgets, and provide further clarity on future levels of public sector investment.

Answered by: Kate Forbes on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Kate Forbes 24 September 2020

A Capital Spending Review Framework document will be published on the Scottish Government website today and is available here: https://www.gov.scot/isbn/9781800040946

The Framework provides the basis for publishing a full Capital Spending Review later this year, which will set out multi-year capital budget allocations for the Scottish Government, and other public sector bodies. This Framework document supports transparency about the fiscal context and the financial assumptions which underpin the draft Infrastructure Investment Plan, while also setting out the parameters and priorities that will inform the budget allocations that will be made once the Capital budget outcomes of the UK Comprehensive Spending Review are known. It covers the 5 financial years of the next Parliamentary term, and sets out now how we have a full and realistic plan for around £33.5 billion of investment to deliver the ambitious National Infrastructure Mission.

Providing clarity on future capital spending plans will aid our response to the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, giving confidence to key sectors of the Scottish economy. Our capital spending will support employment and economic recovery through our large-scale infrastructure plans, while also moving us along the path to net-zero carbon emissions, and underpinning the provision of quality public services on into the future. We will support economic growth by investing directly in businesses to boost innovation and employment, funding research and development, and capitalising the Scottish National Investment Bank.

S5W-31800: Oliver Mundell (Dumfriesshire)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 14 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to reports of delays in processing Disclosure Scotland applications for care home staff.

Answered by: Maree Todd on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Maree Todd 24 September 2020

We are aware that the restarting of business as usual (non-COVID) disclosure services by Disclosure Scotland in early June has seen some disclosure applications taking longer than during the full lockdown period.

Over the past month, the average processing time for COVID-related PVG applications from registered care services (the category that includes care home staff) has been 6.1 days, with the average processing time for business as usual applications being 9.3 days.

S5W-31682: Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands)

Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party

Date lodged: 9 September 2020

To ask the Scottish Government how many COVID-19 tests processed by (a) the Lighthouse Lab Network and (b) NHS Scotland that were confirmed as positive have been reconfirmed as positive following retesting, broken down by local authority area.

Answered by: Jeane Freeman on 24 September 2020

Answered by: Jeane Freeman 24 September 2020

I shall reply to the member as soon as possible.