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Results 121–140 of 334 for speaker:Ben Macpherson

Scottish Parliament: Archaeological Projects (Support) (28 Nov 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I am aware of Caithness Broch Project and am particularly impressed by its efforts to use and engage with local communities, particularly children. The Scottish Government appreciates the work that is being undertaken by the project to promote Caithness’s rich archaeological history, and its proposal to build a full-scale broch as a visitor attraction. Engagement in a project of this nature...

Scottish Parliament: Fairtrade Accreditation (28 Nov 2018)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government has provided £1.6 million in core funding to the Scottish Fair Trade Forum since its inception in 2007, to take forward our policy on fair trade. That includes having realised 2013 our ambition to achieve fair trade nation status, which was reconfirmed in 2017, and demonstrating Scotland’s on-going progress in supporting and purchasing fair trade. Scotland currently...

Scottish Parliament: Fairtrade Accreditation (28 Nov 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thank Alex Cole-Hamilton for raising that point. I am aware of the Queensferry fair trade group and I congratulate it on its work in achieving Fairtrade royal burgh status. I am aware that Alex Cole-Hamilton has previously asked parliamentary questions about the matter, and that he corresponded with the then transport minister, Humza Yousaf. I offer him a meeting with me and, potentially,...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Economic Migration to Scotland) (28 Nov 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Migration is crucial to the development of Scotland as a thriving nation. I recently met the UK Minister of State for Immigration and, again, sought her commitment to meaningful engagement, given the profound impact that migration has on Scotland’s economy, public services and demography. We submitted compelling evidence to the Migration Advisory Committee. Disappointingly, the proposals...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Economic Migration to Scotland) (28 Nov 2018)

Ben Macpherson: With the aim of achieving more devolution of powers to build a more flexible and tailored migration system, I and the rest of the Government are working constantly with stakeholders, who are raising with us concerns about the MAC’s recommendations, the effect of Brexit and the hostile environment policy. We are going through a constructive awareness-raising process with business and other...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Migration Policy) (28 Nov 2018)

Ben Macpherson: The Scottish Government has made it clear to the UK Government and the Migration Advisory Committee that Scotland’s needs in relation to migration policy are distinct and significant. The Scottish Government also provided a detailed response to each of the MAC’s calls for evidence, but that evidence has largely been ignored. We have highlighted to the UK Government that the MAC’s...

Scottish Parliament: Brexit (Migration Policy) (28 Nov 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Linda Fabiani is right to say that the MAC report took little cognisance of Scotland, with only page 123 and a little bit of page 124 being allocated to it. The member is also right to ask about our engagement with the MAC and, indeed, the UK Government on the shortage occupation list. In August—and again this week, when I met her for a second time—the UK Minister for Immigration gave me...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Contribution to International Development (25 Oct 2018)

Ben Macpherson: A few weeks ago, I was at the Scotland Malawi Partnership’s annual general meeting, where I learned a new phrase thanks to a project by Link Community Development International. The phrase is “onse ngo funika”, which is Chichewa for “all people are important”. It is a phrase that resonates with us in Scotland, as it does in the warm heart of Africa. In that spirit of equality,...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Contribution to International Development (25 Oct 2018)

Ben Macpherson: W ill the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Contribution to International Development (25 Oct 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Will the minister give way?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Contribution to International Development (25 Oct 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thank all members who have participated in what has been an excellent debate. Before I make my concluding remarks, I will address some of the points that have been made, just for clarity. Liam McArthur and Claire Baker raised the question of a diminished focus on Malawi. We are absolutely committed to Malawi as a focused partner. The £11.5 million that I announced for our new development...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Contribution to International Development (25 Oct 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Thank you, Presiding Officer. I will try to speak a bit louder. For clarity, £3 million per annum is designated from the international development fund for Malawi, which receives the largest amount of funding through the fund. Let us be absolutely clear on that. On the points that Ross Greer raised, for clarity, I point out that the Scottish Government and its enterprise agencies do not...

Scottish Parliament: United Kingdom Immigration Minister (Meetings) (4 Oct 2018)

Ben Macpherson: During summer recess, the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government and I had introductory meetings with the UK immigration minister, Caroline Nokes, and I expressed my concerns to her about UK policy on immigration. Although we hold profoundly different positions, I hope to work professionally and constructively with Ms Nokes to ensure that the rights of EU citizens in Scotland...

Scottish Parliament: United Kingdom Immigration Minister (Meetings) (4 Oct 2018)

Ben Macpherson: It is clear that current UK immigration policy is simply not appropriate for Scotland. The current costs are prohibitively expensive, as has been articulated, preventing eligible children for applying for British citizenship. Indeed, Stuart McDonald MP highlighted that very issue in a Westminster debate last month. The immigration system should be easy to access and focused on what a...

Scottish Parliament: BBC Alba (19 Sep 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thank all the speakers for what has been an excellent debate, and I thank Donald Cameron for lodging the motion. It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to express the Scottish Government’s gratitude to all who are involved in BBC Alba, on its 10th birthday. First, I thank BBC Alba producers, presenters and commissioners and, of course, the BBC and the Gaelic Media Service, MG Alba,...

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee Report (18 Sep 2018)

Ben Macpherson: As this is my first time speaking as Minister for Europe, Migration and International Development, I draw members’ attention to my voluntary entry in the register of members’ interests. For transparency, I refer the chamber to the fact that my partner is employed by Christian Aid Scotland. Before I answer Gordon MacDonald’s question directly, it is important for me, as a new minister,...

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee Report (18 Sep 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Absolutely. Gordon MacDonald has raised important points about demographics that the MAC report did not consider appropriately or fully. According to official statistics, all of Scotland’s population increase in the next 25 years is due to come from migration. However, the MAC report did little to consider Scotland’s needs; instead, it suggested—remarkably—that increasing the pension...

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee Report (18 Sep 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Absolutely. It is important to reiterate that paragraph 7.72 of the MAC report acknowledges that devolution of immigration powers is ultimately a political choice. Gordon MacDonald is right to say that the Scottish Government’s “outward-looking, welcoming and positive approach to immigration could not be further removed from the right-wing rhetoric that emanates from the United Kingdom...

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee Report (18 Sep 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thank Pauline McNeill for that important question. There is an interesting balance between high-skilled and low-skilled workers. The way that the report prefers some people over others is disappointing, and will be disappointing to industries across Scotland, including tourism and hospitality, agriculture and social care, which rely on low-skilled workers. We welcome the fact that the...

Scottish Parliament: Migration Advisory Committee Report (18 Sep 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I thank Neil Findlay, too, for that important question. I share much of the sentiment in it. First, I absolutely value all skills in our economy. The point that I was making is that one of the problems with the MAC report is that it includes a hierarchy that stresses some skills more than others. I deeply value the commitment of social care workers in my constituency and throughout Scotland....


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