Fulton MacGregor: 8. To ask the Scottish Government what its latest engagement has been with the UK Government about proposals for a UK internal market. (S5O-04507)
Fulton MacGregor: I realise that there have been quite a lot of questions in this group, but can the cabinet secretary outline how concerned he is that, under the proposals, Scottish Parliament laws could be challenged in court if they were considered to contravene the new UK internal market legislation that the UK Parliament agrees?
Fulton MacGregor: While the economic impact of Covid-19 is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, we must not forget that worsening poverty levels are likely only to be exacerbated by the impending Brexit. What work is being done to model that impact with regard to both inequalities and poverty?
Fulton MacGregor: Can the cabinet secretary give an update on the review of domiciliary eye care and say when she thinks it may be safe for that service to resume face to face in some capacity?
Fulton MacGregor: The bill requires the provision of information and evidence in support of applications and it gives the power to compel any individual or body to provide specific information. What assurances can the cabinet secretary provide that steps will be taken to ensure that victims will not experience retraumatisation as a result of the process of applying to the scheme?
Fulton MacGregor: I ask this question as a father of a kid who went into primary 2 today. I thank his school and North Lanarkshire Council for all that they have done to make him and us feel safe, which was very evident at the gates. Before I ask my question, I would like to take this opportunity, as a parent and not as an MSP, to thank the cabinet secretary. Both he and the First Minister have given...
Fulton MacGregor: Thank you, Deputy Presiding Officer. I wanted to put my thanks on the record, given the week that this has been. My question is about face coverings and school transport, and is similar to where Jackie Baillie was going with her question. I have had a number of queries from parents who are concerned that face coverings are not needed on school transport, in particular. Will the cabinet...
Fulton MacGregor: There has been a lot of comment recently about development of a vaccine. Is there anything in the coronavirus acts that can help to ensure widespread coverage in Scotland, should a vaccine become available?
Fulton MacGregor: Like many people, I welcome the news that schools will reopen on a full-time basis and, of course, the significant funding that has been made available to councils to make that work. How is the Scottish Government working with local authorities to ensure that full-time appropriate childcare will be in place for parents who need to return to work?
Fulton MacGregor: The First Minister has confirmed that face coverings will be mandatory on public transport from Monday. Are there any plans to encourage people to wear them by providing masks at train stations, for example?
Fulton MacGregor: Given that lockdown has led to many victims of domestic violence being exposed to an even greater risk, are there any plans to further roll out and expand the Caledonian programme and other such initiatives to tackle the scourge of domestic abuse?
Fulton MacGregor: Will the minister provide an update on the distress brief interventions? Will she outline the roll-out of the programme and say how it is being delivered and what the impact has been?
Fulton MacGregor: A range of the powers in the coronavirus acts are intended to prevent delays and backlogs in the justice system. I will move on a bit from James Kelly’s question. Can the cabinet secretary advise members whether the measures are proving to be effective in mitigating delays and enabling our justice system to continue to function effectively?
Fulton MacGregor: Will the member take an intervention?
Fulton MacGregor: I thank those who attended the Justice Committee and its clerks for the tremendous amount of work that they have put into the bill. I speak not only as a member of the Justice Committee, but as a dad of two children. It is my son’s third birthday today, and although it is not uncommon for parents to be working on their kids’ birthdays, it is a wee bit different this year. Folk will...
Fulton MacGregor: I rise not only as an MSP but as a dad to two young children. Like many parents, I am terrified of what schooling might be like for children and what impact social distancing could have on their learning and development. That is why I am fully supportive of the measured, cautious and evidence-led approach of this Government. I thank the First Minister and Deputy First Minister for that. Given...
Fulton MacGregor: I thank the Cabinet Secretary for Finance for—[ Temporary loss of sound. ]—businesses across Scotland are being supported throughout this very difficult time. However, I have been contacted by a number of businesses that are crucial to the local economy here but which have not qualified for the small business grant, due to sharing accommodation or being located in a business centre. What...
Fulton MacGregor: Police officers have performed a crucial role during the first phase of the Covid-19 emergency, and it was right for the minister to clearly state that no police officer should be the victim of abuse or violence while they are at work. Can she outline the extent to which the public has confidence in policing in Scotland during the coronavirus pandemic?
Fulton MacGregor: I have been contacted by a constituent who is shielding along with her family, as her three-year-old son has cystic fibrosis. She is worried about what the immediate future may hold. She was keen to stress to me that outdoor exercise is key to keeping him well, which is similar to the situation that was raised by Joan McAlpine. What consideration has the Scottish Government given to the...
Fulton MacGregor: What additional support is the Scottish Government providing to key mental health services during the coronavirus pandemic, to help people to look after their mental health and wellbeing?