Results 21–40 of 8797 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: A96 Dualling (Inverness to Aberdeen) (20 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: On 19 February 2021, the then cabinet secretary for transport, Michael Matheson, announced that the made orders for the Nairn bypass and the dualled section of the A96 from Inverness would be issued that summer. Three years on, that still has not happened. Has the three-year delay been deliberate, as a means of ensuring that the Scottish Government does not have to spend the money on...

Scottish Parliament: Business Confidence and Promotion of Entrepreneurship ( 7 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: In the next financial year, businesses in the hospitality sector south of the border in the United Kingdom will receive 75 per cent rates relief; here, they will receive zero relief. Given that those businesses—including hotels, pubs, restaurants and some visitor attractions such as bingo clubs in my constituency—incurred major debt to survive the lockdown during Covid, that is a serious...

Scottish Parliament: Bankruptcy and Diligence (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 ( 6 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: Murdo Fraser sets out the challenge very clearly. Is there not a concomitant risk that many debtors who are aware of the fact that mental health may provide a method of getting a pause might instruct solicitors that they have a mental health problem, perhaps with some merit and substance, and, therefore, a very serious risk that, if we go through the bill without defining exactly what it is...

Scottish Parliament: Bankruptcy and Diligence (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 ( 6 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: I apologise for being late to the chamber because of being unavoidably detained on a personal matter. It was in the 1970s that I read a reflection that the late distinguished first First Minister of Scotland made at that point, which was that Scotland was the only country in the world that had her own legal system but lacked a legislature. He believed profoundly that this Parliament should...

Scottish Parliament: Bankruptcy and Diligence (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 ( 6 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: There is an element of that, but I want to finish the point that I was making. Many of those people, who faced the loss of their business, their dignity, their status and their self-esteem and self-worth, were under incredible stress. Very often, they did not have any mental problems, but I could sense, as a non-expert—an entirely lay person—that they were beginning to suffer from mental...

Scottish Parliament: Bankruptcy and Diligence (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 ( 6 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: I will take the minister’s intervention if I have time, Presiding Officer.

Scottish Parliament: Bankruptcy and Diligence (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 ( 6 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: I wish the minister well, but my main point is that the questions are difficult and postponing them until a later date is not the right solution. If they can be answered prior to stage 3, that would do Parliament a service and it could avoid what I have identified as potential risks becoming actual ones. I wish the minister well in the task that I once pursued, and I very much hope that he...

Scottish Parliament: Bankruptcy and Diligence (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 ( 6 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: I have a constituent who is a cleaner and works for the public services. He inherited a small amount of money from his parents, which he used to buy a flat to rent out. His tenant has not paid the rent for a long period of time and has said that he will not do so, because he knows that he cannot be evicted. Thus, my constituent is facing severe mental stress. He is not wealthy—he is a...

Scottish Parliament: Measles ( 1 Feb 2024)

Fergus Ewing: The worryingly low uptake of the MMR and flu vaccines in the Highlands increases the risk to public health and the risk of an outbreak of measles. Will the First Minister and his Cabinet Secretary for NHS Recovery, Health and Social Care ask NHS Highland to work with general practices such as that in Nairn, which is keen to resume local provision of the vaccination service from general...

Scottish Parliament: European Union (30 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: Mr Stewart said that it was questionable that we had an influence in the EU. To give an example, between 1979 and 2020, the Highlands and Islands received more than £1 billion from the EU—I understand that it received £1.024 billion. My late mother was influential in obtaining some of that, under objective 1. Surely that is a very good example of us having a positive voice in Europe even...

Scottish Parliament: Green Economy (24 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: I agree with all that the cabinet secretary has said. Does he agree that, in order to maximise the efficacy of the opportunities in the green economy, we must continue to support a thriving oil and gas sector, not least because the companies in it make very substantial investment in renewables from their resources and through the work that they do? Does he agree that, if we shut them down...

Scottish Parliament: Green Economy (24 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: The Highlands and Islands should become the heart and hub of renewable development in Scotland over the next 50 years—working with Aberdeen and other centres of excellence, of course. That is not Trumpian hyperbole, but a conclusion that can inescapably be drawn from the facts—not only the facts of existing developments in the Highlands over the past 20 or 30 years in various types of...

Scottish Parliament: Green Economy (24 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: Yes, I welcome that. I hope that, as a humble back bencher, I might get a little bit of time back for that intervention, Presiding Officer. We need more people and more homes, and we need proper transport links. It would be remiss of me not to mention dualling of the A9 and the A96. If we are to achieve all those things, we cannot continue with the transport system that we have, because it...

Scottish Parliament: Green Economy (24 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: You have anticipated my words, Presiding Officer. I hope that I have given some food for thought, and I wish the cabinet secretary well in what I found to be an absolutely fascinating and engrossing portfolio.

Scottish Parliament: Horizon Information Technology Prosecutions (16 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: Surely all evidence from the Horizon computer system is now utterly discredited, so if that evidence played any part in a conviction, surely a reasonable doubt must therefore appertain. The Lord Advocate will be aware of the article by former sheriff Kevin Drummond KC in Scottish Legal News last Friday, in which he suggested that the swiftest solution in overturning this egregious miscarriage...

Scottish Parliament: Visitor Levy (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (16 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: We have spent an hour this afternoon debating the Horizon computer system. If the visitor levy is going to depend on either one computer system or up to 32 systems, has anyone has worked out how those are to be organised and paid for, how much that will cost and what little sum will be left for anyone else?

Scottish Parliament: Post Office Employees (Potential Wrongful Convictions) ( 9 Jan 2024)

Fergus Ewing: Does the cabinet secretary agree that any conviction that resulted from the introduction of the flawed Horizon system must be unsafe and flawed and should be quashed? Will the Scottish Government, working with the UK Government, consider introducing emergency legislation, if necessary, so that the greatest miscarriage of justice of our time can be redressed? Finally, in order to ensure that...

Scottish Parliament: A9 Dualling (20 Dec 2023)

Fergus Ewing: On the way to the chamber this afternoon, and quite by chance, I bumped into an Invernessian who reminded me that he had lost friends on the A9. That was a salutary reminder of the force behind the campaign. In any campaign, it is wise to accept victory where it occurs and to be magnanimous. It is said that to be prepared is half the victory, and I think that the cabinet secretary will agree...

Scottish Parliament: A9 Dualling (13 Dec 2023)

Fergus Ewing: When the transport minister makes her A9 statement, it must include putting all eight remaining single carriageway sections into procurement. If it is believed that private finance is to be used, does the Scottish Government understand that it is essential that the Inverness to Nairn and Nairn bypass sections of the A96 should also be placed into procurement at the same time, and all within...

Scottish Parliament: A96 Corridor Review (30 Nov 2023)

Fergus Ewing: May I ask the Deputy First Minister a simple question? By what year will the construction of the Nairn bypass be completed?

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