Results 1–20 of 2299 for speaker:Elizabeth Smith

Scottish Parliament: Economic Inactivity (27 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: 1. To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has undertaken to measure the extent of economic inactivity in Scotland post-Covid-19 pandemic. (S6O-03260)

Scottish Parliament: Economic Inactivity (27 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: The cabinet secretary will know that, two years ago, her colleague John Swinney identified economic inactivity as the biggest challenge facing the Scottish economy, which I entirely agree with. Since then, the economic inactivity rate has remained stubbornly high. Will she explain in a little more detail what policies the Scottish Government is enacting to address that problem, particularly...

Scottish Parliament: Public Finances (Impact of Stagnation) (27 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: Does the cabinet secretary agree that the stagnation issue to which Mr MacDonald’s question refers is as much a Scottish problem as a UK one, given that the recent Confederation of British Industry-Fraser of Allander report into productivity in Scotland clearly shows that Scotland is failing in 10 out of 13 productivity metrics?

Scottish Parliament: Higher Education (Access) (26 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: The main strategic challenge that the higher education sector faces is trying to balance the increasing economic and social demands from the Government with the academic excellence to which we are so accustomed. The pressures on universities are intense because of the financial constraints that they are under, and the percentage share of private sector funding that supports our universities...

Scottish Parliament: Higher Education (Access) (26 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: I will not give way just now, if the minister does not mind. In other words, unless university places increase, there will, by definition, be displacement of other students from more traditional university backgrounds. We know that that is happening. I come on to the issue of what needs to happen. First, there has to be a radical improvement in school education. If there was not such a wide...

Scottish Parliament: Higher Education (Access) (26 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: The minister’s colleague Fergus Ewing made an important point in a contribution in a debate a couple of weeks ago about the possibility of a bond for medical graduates in order to try to retain them in Scotland. Has the minister considered that? That could be part of a funding structure that could be of considerable help in ensuring that we retain more of our graduates.

Scottish Parliament: Health Budget (13 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: 3. To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to a recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which states that the 2024-25 budget implied a real-terms reduction to health spending. (S6O-03192)

Scottish Parliament: Health Budget (13 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: I recognise that comparisons can be made with previous years, but the Institute for Fiscal Studies made the point that the Scottish Government’s claim that health spending had increased by 1.3 per cent for 2024-25 did not include the top-up figures for the previous health budget in 2023-24. Does the cabinet secretary recognise that there is some inconsistency in that, and that that makes it...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Economy (13 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: Will the cabinet secretary take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Economy (13 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: I thank the Labour Party for bringing the debate to the chamber, because it is extremely important. The measure of GDP may be incomplete, but it matters hugely because of the other benefits that it brings, such as increased tax revenues and economic confidence, to name just two. As Jamie Halcro Johnston rightly said, it is essential for delivering better public services, raising the standard...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Economy (13 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: Will the minister take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: United Kingdom Spring Statement ( 7 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: The chancellor’s budget prioritised improving public sector output and efficiency, with, for example, £3 billion going to the national health service to update information technology, streamline data and utilise artificial intelligence. When will we see similar changes in Scotland through public sector reform, as the Finance and Public Administration Committee has been calling for?

Scottish Parliament: Autumn and Spring Statements ( 6 Mar 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: On the multiyear theme, the Scottish Government said last year: “wherever possible multi-year certainty will be provided to support strategic planning and investment” for local authorities. What progress has been made on that?

Scottish Parliament: Non-domestic Rates Public Health Supplement (29 Feb 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: 3. To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has conducted of the potential impact of the proposed non-domestic rates public health supplement on large retailers, as set out in its 2024-25 Scottish budget. (S6O-03144)

Scottish Parliament: Non-domestic Rates Public Health Supplement (29 Feb 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: I know that the cabinet secretary is aware of the very strong concerns that have been expressed by the Scottish Retail Consortium. At stage 2, she promised that she would examine the likely impacts of any such move. However, I ask her to recognise that those who are already liable for the higher property rate are paying a much higher rate on comparable premises than those elsewhere in the UK...

Scottish Parliament: Eljamel and NHS Tayside Public Inquiry and Independent Clinical Review (29 Feb 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: I thank Neil Gray for advance sight of his statement regarding the very welcome appointments of the Hon Lord Robert Weir and Professor Stephen Wigmore. I also thank him for his very quick and effective engagement with me on this matter during his short time so far in post. We have all heard—in my case, for 10 years—harrowing stories about the intense and permanent physical and...

Scottish Parliament: National Care Service (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (29 Feb 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: When a major committee of this Parliament concludes that it is concerned that the Scottish Government has, so far, been unable to articulate and communicate a model of how some proposed new legislation would operate, that is hardly a ringing endorsement. It is worse still for something that is supposed to be one of the most important pieces of legislation that the Parliament has seen. Both...

Scottish Parliament: National Care Service (Scotland) Bill: Referral Back to Lead Committee at Stage 1 (28 Feb 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: I am entirely in agreement with what Jackie Baillie is saying.

Scottish Parliament: National Care Service (Scotland) Bill: Referral Back to Lead Committee at Stage 1 (28 Feb 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: Actually, it is not a surprise, because I think that we both have exactly the same views about the importance of scrutiny in the Parliament. Does Jackie Baillie agree that we seem to have a tradition in the Parliament of having too many framework bills, which means that we do not have enough time to scrutinise, because we do not have the necessary detail?

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 3) Bill (27 Feb 2024)

Elizabeth Smith: If this budget process has achieved anything, it is the full exposure of the fundamental divide in Scottish politics, which is between those of us who believe that policies to stimulate jobs, investment and economic growth and to encourage aspiration should be the top priority, and those—principally ministers in the Scottish Government and their bedfellows, the Greens—who believe that the...


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