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Results 161–180 of 337 for speaker:Ben Macpherson

Scottish Parliament: Education Maintenance Allowance (2 May 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I welcome that the Scottish National Party Government continues to recognise the importance of the EMA programme in allowing our young people to make learning decisions that are based on their abilities and aspirations rather than their financial circumstances. What proportion of EMA recipients live in our most disadvantaged areas?

Scottish Parliament: Social Security (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (25 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Like others, I very much welcome the right to advocacy within the bill and I rise to speak in favour of all the amendments in the group in the name of the minister. I speak particularly to amendment 35, which I support for a number of reasons. First, in my view it is important that amendment 35 is passed so that Parliament—MSPs—will have the opportunity to scrutinise the regulatory...

Scottish Parliament: Social Security (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (25 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I lodged amendments 111A and 111B to extend the definition of “terminal illness” to ensure that regulations are framed to include anyone under the age of 18 who has a progressive disease that is likely to cause death. The amendments sought to make sure that special rules would apply to those young people so that they got the highest rate of benefit quickly and with no assessment. Doing...

Scottish Parliament: Social Security (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (25 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I reiterate the concerns about the amendments that I stated at stage 2. I have concerns with regard to the burden of proof, what prosecutors would be expected to prove and how that evidencing would be undertaken.

Scottish Parliament: Social Security (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (25 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I refer to the discussion at stage 2 about the concept of “knowingly” and evidencing whether false or misleading information was knowingly given. It is a legally problematic concept. Reassurances were given at stage 2 and in the letter from the minister that Pauline McNeill mentioned. I acknowledge that Pauline McNeill has stated that she will not press her amendments if the minister...

Scottish Parliament: Social Security (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (25 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: If passed, this historic bill will successfully transition and deliver the 11 benefits that were devolved under the Scotland Act 2016, which will undoubtedly make many meaningful and important differences across our country. One such difference will be the delivery of funeral expense assistance, which will replace the UK Government’s funeral payment and provide critical financial support to...

Scottish Parliament: Social Security (Scotland) Bill (25 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I am grateful for the chance to add to the debate. Like other members, I feel a great deal of pride in having been a member of the Social Security Committee and in having worked with the clerks, who have helped us so much, and with the bill team and members across the different parties. Most of all, I am proud to have worked with Jeane Freeman as the minister. Her stewardship through the...

Scottish Parliament: National Plan for Gaelic (24 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I welcome the opportunity to speak in this important debate on the Scottish Government’s new national plan for Gaelic and its overarching aim to help to create a secure future for Gaelic in Scotland, building on the 2005 act and recent developments, progress and success. I speak today not as a speaker of Gaelic, but certainly as an admirer and also as a constituency MSP. I will come on to...

Scottish Parliament: Syrian Refugees (Resettlement) (19 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: 4. I remind members that I am a parliamentary liaison officer to the First Minister. To ask the First Minister how many Syrian refugees have been resettled in Scotland. (S5F-02247)

Scottish Parliament: Syrian Refugees (Resettlement) (19 Apr 2018)

Ben Macpherson: As well as warmly welcoming those from Syria who have made Scotland their home, I would like to take the opportunity to pay tribute to all those organisations that have supported those who are settling into communities across Scotland, including the services provided by Multi-Cultural Family Base in Leith, in my constituency. Like many others, I think that we should celebrate the positive...

Scottish Parliament: Fair Work (22 Mar 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Greater fairness in the workplace is about greater fairness in society. It is about understanding that although the social or economic values of what people do may be different, all contributions in the workplace are equal. That is why the living wage is so important: no matter what a person does, they should be rewarded fairly and properly. I welcome the debate and I base what I say in it on...

Scottish Parliament: Fair Work (22 Mar 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I welcome the question and will shortly come on to the issue that Johann Lamont has raised. However, the issue that we need to consider is that the business pledge cannot be enforced in law here because we do not have proper powers over employment law in the Scottish Parliament, which puts us at a significant disadvantage. Johann Lamont said earlier that she supports employment law remaining...

Scottish Parliament: Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Repeal) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (15 Mar 2018)

Ben Macpherson: I rise to speak in favour of amendment 1 and all the other amendments in the group because the amendments are about being responsible. I refer members to the Justice Committee’s stage 1 report, which mentions some of the very powerful evidence that we heard about section 6. The Scottish Council of Jewish Communities said: “section 6 is an important transnational power that catches conduct...

Scottish Parliament: UK Withdrawal from the European Union (Legal Continuity) (Scotland) Bill (28 Feb 2018)

Ben Macpherson: The Lord Advocate made a number of references to, and comparisons with, the UK Government’s European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. For clarity, can the Lord Advocate confirm that it is the case that any arguments that suggest that the Scottish Government is acting in a way that is incompatible with EU law could also be used to argue that the UK Government’s bill is incompatible with EU law and...

Scottish Parliament: Edinburgh Waterfront (22 Feb 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Improving Edinburgh’s waterfront is an issue that I have been working on since I was elected. What consideration has the Scottish Government given to the significant potential for regeneration of Edinburgh’s waterfront, particularly in terms of delivering more affordable housing, and what consideration has it given to overcoming any barriers to investment, in order to encourage and enable...

Scottish Parliament: Population Needs and Migration Policy (22 Feb 2018)

Ben Macpherson: As a passionate internationalist, I am proud that Scotland has been for centuries an international nation. Today, international links are as important as they have ever been to the high-tech, manufacturing, and food and drink industries, to the social care sector and to so many other sectors of our economy. Such links are vital for the Scotland of today and tomorrow and for the challenges...

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 2) Bill: Stage 3 (21 Feb 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Will the member take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 2) Bill: Stage 3 (21 Feb 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Miles Briggs is speaking positively, I think, in favour of spending on the NHS, so perhaps he can explain why he is likely to vote against £400 million extra spending for the NHS and why the Scottish Conservatives’ tax proposals to take £501 million out of the Scottish revenue budget would cut 12,000 nurses from the Scottish NHS. Can Miles Briggs explain his rationale?

Scottish Parliament: Undercover Policing (7 Feb 2018)

Ben Macpherson: The report says that there is “no evidence that undercover advanced officers ... from Police Scotland ... had operated outwith the parameters of the authorisation” in undercover operations. Does the cabinet secretary agree that that key finding demonstrates that that element of policing in Scotland is functioning proficiently and that officers are behaving in the way that their superiors...

Scottish Parliament: Budget (Scotland) (No 2) Bill: Stage 1 (31 Jan 2018)

Ben Macpherson: Last week, I visited two primary schools in my constituency. As I was there, meeting the teachers and chatting to some of the children, I thought about how young people of primary school age across Scotland have grown up in a context of on-going Westminster austerity. That is a sobering fact, and something on which we should all reflect—particularly those who believe in the UK state. Since...

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