Results 81–100 of 8707 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Non-Domestic Rates (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (28 Apr 2022)

Fergus Ewing: The minister has made it clear that, in the next revaluation, impacts of Covid that might occur in the longer term can be taken into account as part of the general market situation. Will he encourage the assessors—who are, of course, independent—to engage with industry sectors that believe that they have been impacted severely and for a long time by Covid, to make sure that assessors are...

Scottish Parliament: Non-Domestic Rates (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (28 Apr 2022)

Fergus Ewing: The topic of business rates is arcane, esoteric and drier than the Saharan sands—and it attracts certain anoraks, not excluding myself, to contribute to debates, as I am doing today. Nonetheless, it is hugely important to business and to the Government. That struck me many years ago—in 2008, I think—when we introduced the small business bonus scheme. I was visiting a lady hotelier in...

Scottish Parliament: Decarbonisation (31 Mar 2022)

Fergus Ewing: Will the First Minister welcome the achievement of an 11 per cent reduction in emissions from North Sea operations, and does she agree that the production of more gas on the UK continental shelf means less imported liquefied natural gas—cutting emissions by nearly 300 per cent? Should we in Scotland not be in the lead on opportunities for decarbonisation, such as the use of offshore wind to...

Scottish Parliament: Complex Care (Out-of-area Placements and Delayed Discharge) (22 Mar 2022)

Fergus Ewing: I t is my impression that of all the tens of thousands of people who, over the past 22 years, have in one way or another sought help from me as a constituency MSP, those who face the longest, most painful and gruelling struggle are parents and families whose children have profound special needs, whether in childhood, adulthood or both. Does the minister recognise that, in the Highlands and...

Scottish Parliament: Retrofitting Buildings for Net Zero (18 Jan 2022)

Fergus Ewing: Mark Wilcock is 58 years old and he works for Highlands and Islands Enterprise. He has lived in Nairn for two years, having purchased a flat in a tenement where a bank formerly carried out business on the ground floor. He chose to live in Nairn for its natural beauty, its history and the lifestyle that it offers. The building, which was constructed in 1874, is listed. The flat is now draughty...

Scottish Parliament: Mental Health and Wellbeing (Primary Care) (12 Jan 2022)

Fergus Ewing: It was 22 years ago, in 1999, that I finally managed to persuade the voters of Inverness East, Nairn and Lochaber to elect me. Perhaps to my shame, it was only after becoming an MSP that I realised that mental ill health was quite so prevalent in our community. Across parties, I think that we see that in our constituency work. The problems are especially severe in the Highlands and Islands....

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (14 Dec 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Will the minister meet me and representatives of the Society of Independent Brewers, which represents mostly small craft brewers? Is she aware that those brewers calculate that the average cost of implementing her scheme will be no less than £20,000, much of it payable two and a half to three months in advance of the scheme’s start? Is she also aware that they regard her scheme as so...

Scottish Parliament: Grouse Moor Management Review Group (Recommendations) (25 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: In thanking the minister for recently meeting with me and senior members of the Scottish Gamekeeepers Association, can I ask her to reaffirm to Parliament that the Scottish Government recognises the value to the rural economy of country sports, which are carried out professionally, as they have been and will continue to be, given the excellent professionalism of gamekeepers in our country?

Scottish Parliament: Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (25 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: This debate is one of the most important of our time, so Gillian Martin is to be congratulated on bringing it to the chamber. I thank members from virtually all parties for attending yesterday evening’s meeting of the cross-party group on oil and gas. It was really informative, and I hope that we can work together across the chamber to promote objectives on which, increasingly, we should be...

Scottish Parliament: Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (25 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I think that the member might be interested in what I have to say. We should work with experts in Scotland such as Scottish Carbon Capture & Storage. As the minister will know, when I was in his position for five years, I worked with people such as Professor Stuart Haszeldine, a world leading scientist who, with Dr Emma Martin-Roberts and Dr Stuart Gilfillan, published a report earlier this...

Scottish Parliament: Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (25 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: With regard to the future operations of the North Sea oil and gas operators, does the minister welcome the opportunity that now exists to build a consensus across almost all parties that the forthcoming climate compatibility checkpoint—which, I understand, the UK Government, having consulted on it since last September, is introducing—offers an opportunity to demonstrate that future...

Scottish Parliament: Circular Economy (17 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Circularity Scotland has produced estimates of the key requirements that will largely determine the overall costs of the proposed deposit return scheme. Its estimates are broadly double the Scottish Government estimates, which, at the time when the Parliament approved the scheme, totalled £2,410 million over 25 years. What are the total costs now? Have they doubled to around £5,000 million?...

Scottish Parliament: Road Infrastructure (17 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: All members want to see improvements to our rail and bus services and public transport. We all want more active travel, whether by bicycle or Shanks’s pony, although this particular and somewhat ageing pony treks no more. My first point has been made by other members—it is a trite point, but it is absolutely crucial to the debate. In rural Scotland—98 per cent of our country’s land...

Scottish Parliament: Road Infrastructure (17 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Why not?

Scottish Parliament: Road Infrastructure (17 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: To be fair, I think that the transport secretary will confirm that SNP members are committed to upgrading roads throughout rural Scotland, in particular on the ground of safety, although I cannot speak for the Government. We should not forget that dualled links reduce massively the risk of head-on collisions. Some years ago, a friend of mine lost his wife on the A9 on the way to an SNP...

Scottish Parliament: Road Infrastructure (17 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I will finish on this. The project should go ahead, as it has already gone through the public local inquiry process. That, for me, is a matter of honour.

Scottish Parliament: Road Infrastructure (17 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: Will Mr Kerr give way?

Scottish Parliament: Road Infrastructure (17 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: The power of persuasion. I very much agree with what has been said—the roads are really important to rural communities. However, I ask for clarification. Just before the Holyrood elections, the Conservatives pledged that they would add an extra lane to the motorway between Glasgow and Edinburgh. I believe that the cost of that would be around £5 billon, which would use up the whole budget...

Scottish Parliament: National Planning Framework (10 Nov 2021)

Fergus Ewing: I ask whether the minister can provide reassurance to me and my constituents in Inverness and Nairn that his statement does not and will not, in any way, manner or means, delay, detract, diminish or dilute the absolute commitment of the Scottish Government to dual the remaining sections of the A9 between Perth and Inverness and the section of the A96 from Inverness to Auldearn, and to do so...

Scottish Parliament: Decision Time (26 Oct 2021)

Fergus Ewing: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I had technical problems. I would have voted no.

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