Results 1–20 of 1383 for speaker:Derek Brownlee

Scottish Parliament: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2011 (16 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: That is a terrifying prospect. Given that we vote in the budget debate in February, I always wondered why we regularly come back to consider such orders. I appreciate that there is the technicality of voting to give additional money to councils around the council tax freeze, but I always wondered why we had debates associated with such orders and whether we were not simply rehearsing old...

Scottish Parliament: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2011 (16 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: I am glad that someone on the Labour benches has finally admitted that the recession happened on that party’s watch, because Labour members have been keen to deny that in previous years. Michael McMahon tells us that the Labour Party has been keen on the council tax freeze, which makes me wonder what Tom McCabe, David Whitton and Malcolm Chisholm were thinking when they voted against the...

Scottish Parliament: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2011 (16 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: Oh—it is underfunded, which I presume is why, in 2009, Mr McMahon said: “The SNP Government is ripping off local councils by £270 million.” Are we to take it that the Labour Party proposal now is that the council tax freeze will be fully funded if it gets £270 million per year extra? It appears that Labour members here, like their masters in London, are happy to make spending...

Scottish Parliament: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2011 (16 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: If I remember correctly, the Liberal Democrats were committed to a local income tax, but Ross Finnie has said that they would not introduce it in the next five years. We would reduce pensioners’ council tax bills by £200. I appreciate that that is a different formulation from that in 2007 but, as Mr McMahon said, things move on. In relation to the measure on police numbers, which is a key...

Scottish Parliament: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2011 (16 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: Will the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2011 (16 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: Will the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Local Government Finance (Scotland) Amendment (No 2) Order 2011 (16 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: The member made a point about the council tax freeze having been underfunded consistently since its introduction, and the Labour Party is committed not only to freezing the council tax but to funding it fully. By how much will the council tax freeze have to be funded in order to be fully funded?

Scottish Parliament: “Report on preventative spending” (9 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: I thank the committee clerks, and the witnesses who gave evidence to the inquiry. I also thank Andrew Welsh for his time as convener of the Finance Committee. The inquiry on preventative spending was perhaps one of his easier tasks and I know that he feels strongly that it is an important legacy not just of his work, but of the work of the Parliament as a whole. The Finance Committee does not...

Scottish Parliament: “Report on preventative spending” (9 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: Ross Finnie raised an important point about the outcome basis. Although there has been a shift in rhetoric in Parliament about moving towards an outcome basis, that has not been matched by a shift in everyone’s point of view on how we deal with it. Too often, we still equate spending more with getting more. In fact, as Margaret Smith pointed out, it is not always the case that if we spend...

Scottish Parliament: Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (3 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: 5. To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to review the operation of the Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005. (S3O-13116)

Scottish Parliament: Licensing (Scotland) Act 2005 (3 Mar 2011)

Derek Brownlee: Can we take it from that answer that in the event that the current Scottish Government was to be re-elected, there would be no movement in relation to licence fees for premises until the conclusion of that review at the earliest?

Scottish Parliament: Regeneration (24 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: This morning, we have heard a broad range of activities being classed as regeneration activities. Perhaps one of the issues that we face is the fact that regeneration means different things to different people. Obviously it means the regeneration of the physical infrastructure, which is what the town centre regeneration fund was aimed at helping. I welcome Patricia Ferguson’s support for...

Scottish Parliament: Regeneration (24 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: It might well have been in Labour’s manifesto, but it did not vote for the initiative when it had the opportunity to do so in Parliament. Labour will presumably be judged by what it does, not what it promises. We all know that a promise from the Labour Party is not worth a great deal. Regeneration is more about jobs than about anything else. Some regeneration initiatives aim to tackle...

Scottish Parliament: Regeneration (24 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: Yes, there are issues about depopulation, but if we look at any time during Scotland’s economic history we will find that the population shifted as new opportunities became available in different parts of the country. We cannot expect the Government to end that practice. I appreciate that when there is significant depopulation in an area there are issues for the people who are left behind...

Scottish Parliament: Regeneration (24 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: I am always keen for the Scottish Government and the UK Government to work well together. I cannot add anything to what Alex Johnstone said, which is that the Coalfields Regeneration Trust in England has said that it will not be in a position to make any announcement on its funding. Of course we must try and work together to leverage in funding, but we must look at funding for CRT on its...

Scottish Parliament: Regeneration (24 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: I have the statistics from the National Coal Board Scottish area: 52 pits closed under Wilson and Callaghan, which is more than four times the number that closed under Thatcher. Should Johann Lamont not be a little more contrite about the impact that the Labour Party in government had on the mining communities?

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill: Stage 3 (9 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: Mr Kerr was right in one respect: that was certainly a vision, although perhaps not quite the vision that he wants to portray to the Scottish people. The budget is not a Conservative budget. Members will have to wait until 23 March for a Conservative budget, although that will, of course, be a Liberal-Conservative budget in the best progressive tradition of both our parties. [Interruption.]

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill: Stage 3 (9 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: It is obvious that the art of co-operation learned by the Liberal Democrats in supporting and working with us at Westminster has rubbed off at Holyrood, and I welcome that. The budget is a compromise, and it is the better for it. It is obvious that it is not a Labour budget, because it balances and does not add another £200 billion to our national debt. The Government proclaims—as its...

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill: Stage 3 (9 Feb 2011)

Derek Brownlee: I think the member forgot to say that they also wrecked the public finances.

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill: Stage 1 (26 Jan 2011)

Derek Brownlee: There are things in this budget with which we agree, such as the pay freeze on salaries of over £21,000, to protect jobs; the protection of the national health service budget; the funding for additional police; the maintenance of the cuts in business rates for small and medium-sized businesses; and the council tax freeze. They are all Conservative policies, but I am sure that members will...


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