Alasdair Allan: There is no doubt that part of the purpose of the pilot scheme is to monitor the economic effects of a reduction in ferry fares. I wish to take nothing away from the needs of other island communities; however, by definition, a pilot project must be tested somewhere. We are living up to our manifesto commitments and going beyond them in testing the scheme not only in the Western Isles, but in...
Alasdair Allan: To ask the First Minister whether the Scottish Government supports the establishment of a Scottish digital channel alongside the new Gaelic digital channel, as recommended by the Scottish Broadcasting Commission. (S3F-1000)
Alasdair Allan: Will the First Minister join me in giving MG Alba best wishes for its launch next week? On broadcasting more generally, does he believe that network broadcasters need to move quickly to increase their revenue share to 8.6 per cent to allow Scotland to experience the kind of television service to which it is entitled and which most other countries take for granted?
Alasdair Allan: The cabinet secretary mentioned the importance of maintaining a population that is engaged in agriculture in our remoter areas. Does he recognise that there is an enormous potential disincentive to that, in the form of the requirement to identify livestock electronically? Many crofters tell me that that would be the final straw. [ Interruption. ]
Alasdair Allan: A dh'fhaighneachd do Riaghaltas na h-Alba dè na planaichean a tha aige airson leigeil le taisbeanadh-siubhail de na fir-tàileisg Leòdhais a dhol air adhart ann an Leòdhas, am measg àitean eile. To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to allow the exhibition of the Lewis chessmen on the Isle of Lewis, among other places.
Alasdair Allan: Following this week's announcement that Lighthouse Caledonia Ltd is reviewing its fish processing operations, putting at risk 130 jobs in my constituency, what action is the Scottish Government taking to find a more secure future for that area and for related industries in the Western Isles?
Alasdair Allan: I welcome the attention that the minister has given to two issues that have been raised by me and by many others—burdens, and the structure of the Crofters Commission. What will the minister do to reassure crofters who have used the bull hire scheme in the past, especially in areas where commercial alternatives are not readily available? Will the money for that be kept inside the crofting...
Alasdair Allan: Other members have ably recalled the impact that the foot-and-mouth disease outbreak had on Scotland's rural communities. The impact was felt no less keenly in crofting than in farming communities, as people in my constituency and other Highlands and Islands constituencies will testify. The marginal nature of crofting will have been brought home to the cabinet secretary recently when he saw...
Alasdair Allan: The committee would like to thank the chamber for what has been, on the whole, a positive debate that has featured many useful contributions. [ Interruption. ] Mr Neil's sneeze was not one of the more useful contributions, but there were many others. All members will cherish their own recollections of the chaos on election night, and we have heard many of them recited this morning. I am not...
Alasdair Allan: What representations will the Scottish Government make to Her Majesty's Government about the failure of the benefits system to recognise that weavers who are left without work as a result of the downturn in the industry are unemployed? As a result of that anomaly, they cannot claim relevant benefits.
Alasdair Allan: Will the member give way?
Alasdair Allan: Will the member confirm to the many patients who have benefited from the reduction in prescription charges that the Labour group's policy is that the proposed measure should be postponed and they should wait longer? Is the member speaking in a personal capacity or for the Labour group?
Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive what it will do to ensure that public sector jobs are dispersed throughout Scotland.
Alasdair Allan: Tapadh leibhse, Oifigeir-riaghlaidh. Tha mi glè thaingeil don a h-uile duine a tha a' gabhail pàirt anns an deasbad seo, an fheadhainn aig a bheil Gàidhlig agus, dìreach cho cudromach, an fheadhainn a tha ga h-ionnsachadh fhathast—mi fhìn nam measg. Tha mi taingeil cuideachd do na buidhnean Gàidhlig a bha a' gabhail pàirt an-diugh ann an latha Gàidhlig na Pàrlamaid. Carson,...
Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive when Skills Development Scotland will be in a position to confirm further details of its commitment to dispersing work to its centre on the Isle of Benbecula and to ensure that this operation grows and develops.
Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive whether it has evaluated the likely economic impact on the Western Isles should the European Commission’s initial proposals on west of Scotland prawn fishery be approved.
Alasdair Allan: To ask the Scottish Executive what discussions it plans to have with housing associations on investment reform.
Alasdair Allan: Will the member concede that the Scottish Government is now giving a greater proportion of its budget to local government?
Alasdair Allan: I pay tribute to the many members, including Dave Thompson, who have a record of campaigning on drink driving. On the face of it, the issue of 80mg versus 50mg might appear to be pretty academic, but it is one of those issues where the statistics are compelling. Other members have already quoted some of those statistics, but the one that clinched the argument for me was the following, which...
Alasdair Allan: Will the member give way?