Results 1–20 of 1492 for speaker:Mark McDonald

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill ( 9 Mar 2021)

Mark McDonald: Thank you, Presiding Officer. On the off chance that I lose track and forget to do this, I say that, having served under Bruce Crawford in the previous session of Parliament on the Devolution (Further Powers) Committee, on which you also served, I regard him as one of the statesmen of Scottish politics and think that he will be remembered as the best Presiding Officer that this Parliament...

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill ( 9 Mar 2021)

Mark McDonald: I am grateful to Daniel Johnson for that. I know that others share that passion and will continue to advance the issues in the next session of Parliament. I am also proud to have been able to introduce the baby box to Scotland, which is something that friends and constituents who have had babies since 2017 have been keen to tell me they have been delighted to receive. Its latest iteration,...

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 5) Bill: Stage 1 (25 Feb 2021)

Mark McDonald: I am grateful to the cabinet secretary for meeting me last week to discuss some of the budget issues. I hope that, by stage 3, she might be able to say a bit more about some of the issues that I raised with her, which I will reference in my speech today. Willie Rennie alluded to the north-east of Scotland, and it will come as no surprise to members that I intend to focus the bulk of my...

Scottish Parliament: Child Disability Payment (Design and Delivery Plans) ( 4 Feb 2021)

Mark McDonald: 1. I note my interest in that I am the parent of a child in receipt of disability living allowance. To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made in involving individuals with experience of disability living allowance in the design and delivery plans for the child disability payment. (S5O-04985)

Scottish Parliament: Child Disability Payment (Design and Delivery Plans) ( 4 Feb 2021)

Mark McDonald: I thank the cabinet secretary for her answer and for meeting me prior to the pandemic to discuss these matters. The cabinet secretary will know from the correspondence and the discussions that we have had that I am concerned about the renewal process for the disability living allowance for children, which often requires huge amounts of paperwork to be filled in. Can she say a little bit more...

Scottish Parliament: Budget 2021-22 (28 Jan 2021)

Mark McDonald: The reduction in poundage that the cabinet secretary has announced is welcome, but she will be aware that there are calls in the north-east for her to do more to offset the impact on businesses in Aberdeen of the 2017 revaluation. Only 23 per cent of businesses in Aberdeen are eligible for the small business bonus, which is the lowest proportion in Scotland. The cabinet secretary knows that I...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 ( 4 Jan 2021)

Mark McDonald: I entirely support the measures that the First Minister has outlined. However, as the parent of a child with additional support needs, and having undertaken home schooling during the previous lockdown, I am acutely aware of the difficulties that will be faced by many families with at least one child with a disability or such additional needs in being able to deliver home learning for all...

Scottish Parliament: Budget Update ( 9 Dec 2020)

Mark McDonald: The cabinet secretary is aware that businesses in Aberdeen pay higher business rates than businesses of equivalent size in many other local authorities, due to historical economic conditions that perhaps do not currently exist. A number of businesses have therefore missed out on business support because of nationally applied thresholds. When she considers local delivery, will the cabinet...

Scottish Parliament: Cervical Cancer Screening (12 Nov 2020)

Mark McDonald: This week, 15,000 women across Scotland, including many of my constituents, discovered that letters inviting them for non-routine cervical screening and colposcopy treatment were not sent at the end of August, as they should have been. That has caused a great deal of anxiety for those women, because those tests are required because they are considered to be at greater risk of cervical cancer,...

Scottish Parliament: Masks (World Health Organization Guidance) (25 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: I welcome this morning’s clarification from the cabinet secretary that children and young people with autism—I highlight my interest as a parent of an autistic child—will be exempt from wearing face coverings. How prescriptive does he expect the list of exemptions to be, given the plethora of conditions that might make it difficult for young people to wear face coverings? What steps...

Scottish Parliament: Aberdeen Lockdown (Guidance) (12 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: The First Minister’s announcement regarding the extension of the restrictions in Aberdeen is understandable but, nonetheless, it will come as a disappointment to many across my constituency. At yesterday’s topical questions, I asked the health secretary about a specific issue that has been raised with me by a number of constituents who rely on the support of grandparents to look after...

Scottish Parliament: Return to School (12 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: In common with other members’ children, my son started S1 today and my daughter will start P6 later this week. I thank the cabinet secretary for helping me to rule out teaching as a future career option over recent months. Parents in Aberdeen are obviously concerned about their children going back to school while local restrictions remain in place. I have heard the general reassurances that...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Aberdeen) (11 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: 1. To ask the Scottish Government what conditions it expects to be met to enable the easing of local restrictions in Aberdeen. (S5T-02300)

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Aberdeen) (11 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: I am sure that the cabinet secretary will appreciate that these are very worrying times for my constituents and for other residents in the city of Aberdeen, many of whom hope that good news will be round the corner but recognise nonetheless that the risk remains. The Scottish Government guidance on the matter covers many issues, but one issue that was not covered and that remains ambiguous is...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 Restrictions (Aberdeen) (11 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: I fully appreciate that it is better that we get a detailed response that gives reassurance to parents rather than an answer in the chamber that might not reflect the full detail that is required. Another issue that has come up this week in my constituency mailbag—and, I suspect, other members’ mailbags—is about the reopening of schools. I appreciate that there will be a statement...

Scottish Parliament: Examination Results (11 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: The cabinet secretary mentioned the long-term review that will consider the assessment of pupils more generally and examine whether the balance is correct. Given that the current situation appears to have demonstrated that pupils from more deprived backgrounds are traditionally disadvantaged by the closed-book exams system, will there be an opportunity to completely do away with that as part...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (11 Aug 2020)

Mark McDonald: I suspect that my question is for the Cabinet Secretary for Justice. In light of the question from Gillian Martin about individual establishments in the city of Aberdeen, will the regulations that the Scottish Government is introducing involve additional powers being given to licensing boards to take enforcement action against the licence holders of any establishments that are seen to be...

Scottish Parliament: Childcare (23 Jul 2020)

Mark McDonald: I have been contacted by constituents who operate businesses that provide music and movement classes for nought to five-year-olds. Those classes are not covered by statutory ELC provision but are nonetheless important to children and their families. What steps will the Government take in the guidance to offer those businesses some assurance about their ability to resume offering classes? Many...

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Next Steps) ( 9 Jul 2020)

Mark McDonald: The lifting of restrictions is welcome, because it demonstrates the progress that is being made, particularly around households being able to meet indoors. However, for individuals who have family members in care homes, there remain challenges and difficulties, understandable as they may be. I have a constituent whose mother is in a care home and nearing the end of her life. As is the...

Scottish Parliament: Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Economic Update ( 9 Jul 2020)

Mark McDonald: I fully support the cabinet secretary’s calls for greater flexibility and powers to enable Scotland-specific solutions. However, I want to ask her about potential flexibility that she could look to introduce. A person in my constituency has received their rates bill and an increase of 10 per cent is to be applied, despite their income currently being down by 75 per cent. Can the cabinet...


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