Results 1–20 of 491 for speaker:Paul O'Kane

Scottish Parliament: Scottish Child Payment (Aberdeen) (28 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: The minister rightly points to the impact of the Scottish child payment but, given last week’s poverty and inequality statistics and his Government’s budgetary decisions, which include slashing the housing and employability budgets, does he accept what the Institute for Public Policy Research, Save the Children and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have said, which is that the interim...

Scottish Parliament: Ferguson Marine (Chief Executive) (27 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: In a previous response, the cabinet secretary chose to selectively quote John McMunagle, the co-convener of the GMB union at the yard. He also said that David Tydeman had “inherited an almost impossible job” and that “arguably out of the six or seven CEOs that we have had, David has been the best of them”. When is the cabinet secretary going to meet GMB representatives, as well as the...

Scottish Parliament: Women’s State Pension Age (Poverty Rate) (26 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: This is a very serious report, and I thank all the women who have contributed to it and campaigned over many years. Now that the report has been published, will the cabinet secretary take the opportunity to outline what steps she is taking to discuss its implications for WASPI women in Scotland with the relevant UK ministers? I am sure that she agrees that a swift response from this UK...

Scottish Parliament: Gender Representation on Public Boards (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (26 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: I am pleased to open on behalf of Scottish Labour in the debate. Scottish Labour supported the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Act 2018 and we continue to support the principle of the act. It is an important step towards achieving gender parity and increasing the representation of women through a robust level to promote equality. However, we fully acknowledge that the...

Scottish Parliament: Gender Representation on Public Boards (Amendment) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (26 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: I do not intend to detain the chamber for too much longer in having to listen to me, given that I opened for the Labour Party at the beginning of the debate. I will simply reflect on some of the contributions that have been made and then offer again our view on the requirement that the bill be on the statute book and on the lessons to be learned. I put on record my thanks to the legislation...

Scottish Parliament: Immediate Priorities Plan for Disabled People (21 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: 8. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the implementation of the immediate priorities plan developed with disabled people’s organisations. (S6O-03247)

Scottish Parliament: Immediate Priorities Plan for Disabled People (21 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: Disabled people across my West Scotland region have been in touch with me to express their frustration that the Government is not taking their issues and concerns seriously. Although they have welcomed the intent behind the immediate priorities plan, that has become something of a misnomer because there is no immediacy on a plan that the Government has been discussing for a year. Indeed, the...

Scottish Parliament: Social Housing Waiting Lists (Disabled People) (14 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: The minister will be aware of the “Dying in the margins” work by Marie Curie and the University of Glasgow, which has reinforced the significant demand for adapted properties for people who are diagnosed with a terminal illness. When someone passes, there is an impact on their family when they have to move out of an adapted property very quickly. What will the Government do to engage with...

Scottish Parliament: Addressing Child Poverty Through Parental Employment (14 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: It is a pleasure to open the debate on behalf of Scottish Labour. I welcome the chance to highlight the report to Parliament and to highlight the important role that improved parental employability has to play in our fight against child poverty. Tackling poverty, and in particular child poverty, is a mission that is broadly shared across the Parliament. Indeed, in many instances we have...

Scottish Parliament: Addressing Child Poverty Through Parental Employment (14 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: The arguments on the budget and on the required growth of the economy were well made. I did not detect a focus on economic growth or employability in the Scottish Government’s budget, nor did I detect one on improving access to work for people across Scotland, including parents, especially those of young children. We could have another debate on the council tax freeze, which has attracted a...

Scottish Parliament: Addressing Child Poverty Through Parental Employment (14 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: If the cabinet secretary would let me make just a little progress, I will come back to her. I joined the Social Justice and Social Security Committee as it was progressing through its inquiry, and I was not able to go on the committee visits, but I heard evidence from representatives of a number of leading organisations, who spoke about the work that needs to be done to support people back...

Scottish Parliament: Addressing Child Poverty Through Parental Employment (14 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: The minister knows full well that we had a number of debates in this place prior to Christmas on the devolution of employment law, and we have stated clearly that we need to have a UK floor for the standards that are expected. Our new deal for working people, which I am about to come on to talk about, has to represent the floor in terms of what we will deliver for people across the UK, with a...

Scottish Parliament: Addressing Child Poverty Through Parental Employment (14 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: If the minister is going to support that, I will certainly give way to her.

Scottish Parliament: Addressing Child Poverty Through Parental Employment (14 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: As I have said already, I think that we need a floor of rights for workers and expectations on employers, and I think that we can do that at UK level with our new deal for working people. I am being expected to take a lecture on employment rights from a Scottish Government that does not pay £15 an hour to social care workers, despite the demands of the trade unions, that sold off £700...

Scottish Parliament: International Women’s Day ( 7 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: Presiding Officer, I apologise to members that I will have to leave before the end of the debate and I thank you for your understanding in that regard. I am pleased to lend my voice in this debate in support of the continuing work that we must do to realise equality for women and girls, not just at home but around the world. I acknowledge the many powerful contributions that we have heard...

Scottish Parliament: Town Centres (Investment) ( 6 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: The minister will recognise that, when large employers leave a town, the impact on the town centre can be substantial. Since the Inverclyde socioeconomic task force was formed, 1,200 jobs have been lost in the local economy, and the position will worsen if EE leaves the community. The local council has invested £72 million in capital projects to regenerate the town centre. When will the...

Scottish Parliament: Town Centres (Investment) ( 6 Mar 2024)

Paul O'Kane: —to keep jobs in Inverclyde and improve the town centre?

Scottish Parliament: Benefits Uptake (22 Feb 2024)

Paul O'Kane: The record of the most recent Labour Government in lifting millions of children and pensioners out of poverty by expanding social security payments and encouraging uptake of those payments speaks for itself. Analysis by the Scottish Government that was published in November last year showed that only three quarters of eligible people had taken up the young carer grant, that only 61 per cent...

Scottish Parliament: Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (22 Feb 2024)

Paul O'Kane: I am pleased to open for Scottish Labour in the debate. We recognise the importance of the bill, the debate and the issues contained therein. Listening to the speeches so far, we have already started to see the emerging issues that have been debated in committee, which I think will be a feature as the bill continues its progress. I wish to start from a position of some consensus. There are...

Scottish Parliament: Regulation of Legal Services (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (22 Feb 2024)

Paul O'Kane: The committee heard a variety of evidence on either side of the argument. I acknowledge what the member is saying. What was clear to me was the significant concerns that were raised by not just the judiciary but by the Faculty of Advocates, the Law Society of Scotland and many other bodies in the legal profession. I have significant concern about the wider issue of ensuring that the...


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