Results 81–100 of 8797 for speaker:Fergus Ewing

Scottish Parliament: Secondary Education (Vocational and Technical Qualifications) (21 Mar 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Mr Hepburn is generous, as always. I commend two maxims to the minister. First, if you can’t beat them, join them. Secondly, it is better to jump than to be pushed. In that spirit—I put this kindly—would the Scottish Government be willing to reconsider its current approach, which appears to be not to actively advance the universal extension of touch typing skills to all children in our...

Scottish Parliament: Circularity Scotland (14 Mar 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Much, if not most, of the £57 million that will be lost in non-redeemed, non-claimed deposits will be paid out—and lost—by those who cannot, or cannot readily, return bulky and heavy items, bottles, tins and cans. They will predominantly include the poorest, those without a car, the elderly, the mobility impaired and rural and island dwellers who cannot access a return point. Their money...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (Payments) ( 7 Mar 2023)

Fergus Ewing: 3. To ask the Scottish Government, in light of reports that small shops in Scotland fear they cannot survive because of the costs and impacts of the deposit return scheme, what its position is on Circularity Scotland’s confirmation on 1 March that retailers who use reverse vending machines would have to wait one month for payment for returned bottles, rather than the previously expected...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (Payments) ( 7 Mar 2023)

Fergus Ewing: For the past 18 months, in all its documents, on its website and in its presentations, Circularity Scotland has confirmed that payments to retailers who provide reverse vending machines would be made within seven days. Tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions, of pounds have been invested on the basis of those commercial terms. Now, that seven-day period has been extended to one month....

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (Payments) ( 7 Mar 2023)

Fergus Ewing: There is irrefutable proof that businesses have been misled, duped and deceived by Circularity Scotland. For the second week running, the minister has completely failed to answer relevant, pertinent and vital questions. I ask her again: was she consulted by CSL on the unwarranted, unheralded and non-consultative change from seven-day to one-month payment—if even that can ever be achieved...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme ( 1 Mar 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Is the minister aware, and is the permanent secretary aware, of the huge extra costs that must necessarily be incurred by businesses between now and mid-April—being when a new First Minister and Cabinet could halt the scheme? Businesses have told me today and yesterday that, between now and April, those extra costs will amount to £15 million for convenience stores and between £10 million...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme ( 1 Mar 2023)

Fergus Ewing: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I will raise a point of order, of which notice was given to your office. With regard to standing orders as a whole, particularly under chapter 14, on laying and publication of documents, and also having regard to the clearly defined duties that are incumbent on the permanent secretary as the accountable officer as prescribed in the “Scottish Public...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (Impact on Drinks Producers) ( 9 Feb 2023)

Fergus Ewing: 4. To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government’s response is to reports that 600 drinks producers are concerned about the impact on their businesses, and the survival of them, in relation to the deposit return scheme. (S6F-01796)

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (Impact on Drinks Producers) ( 9 Feb 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Many of the 600 businesses that I referred to are in a state of fear and even despair. Some will close, some will fail and others will no longer sell their produce in their own country of Scotland. Unless it is halted now, the scheme—most businesses believe it to be fatally flawed—will damage Scotland’s reputation as a place to do business. Will the First Minister therefore instruct a...

Scottish Parliament: A9 Dualling ( 8 Feb 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Today’s news will be met in the Highlands with shock, incredulity and anger. Why does Transport Scotland, unlike its counterpart south of the border, put all the risks of unforeseen costs on contractors? Surely, that makes—and has made—bidding less attractive. Nearly two years into this parliamentary session, why do we still not have a revised timetable to replace a deadline that every...

Scottish Parliament: Holocaust Memorial Day (26 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Tomorrow, 27 January, is Holocaust memorial day, which marks the anniversary of the liberation, 78 years ago, of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. Does the First Minister support the great work that is done by the Holocaust Educational Trust, our schools and others in teaching successive generations of our children about the atrocities that saw millions of people murdered and...

Scottish Parliament: Holocaust Memorial Day 2023 (26 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: The theme of Holocaust memorial day this year is “Ordinary People”. We know, of course, that Hitler and his henchmen—Himmler, Heydrich, Eichmann and others—were the very personification of evil. However, leaders need followers, and their leadership succeeded in visiting the horrors of the Holocaust only because of the complicity of their followers. Sadly, their followers were ordinary...

Scottish Parliament: A9 Dualling (19 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Even now, the Transport Scotland website says that the dualling of the A9 between Perth and Inverness will completed by 2025. If that happens, I will go out and purchase a hat in order to be able to eat it. Seriously, do we not owe an apology to the people of the Highlands and of Scotland because we will not achieve that target? Shall we not come clean? Above all, when will we bring forward a...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland’s Biodiversity Strategy (19 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Does the minister know that the capercaillie has been under threat for about as long as I have been an MSP? That really is quite a long time. For almost all that period, it has faced predation by a variety of predators, all of which regard caper eggs as breakfast, lunch and tea rolled into one. Is she aware that NatureScot has recently recognised that predators, including foxes, must be...

Scottish Parliament: National Planning Framework 4 (11 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: The NPF4 refers to the fact that the A9 and A96 will be improved for reasons of safety. However, one word is conspicuous by its absence from the text, namely the sole word “dualling”. The Scottish Government has commitments to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness and the A96, in my constituency, from Inverness to Nairn. Can the minister confirm that the absence of a reference to dualling...

Scottish Parliament: National Planning Framework 4 (11 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: On the issue of housing, does the member agree that, although the content of NPF4 in respect of housing in rural Scotland is, to some extent, to be welcomed, it is still very restrictive and very caveated, that it is very difficult to build houses in rural Scotland and that there are strong arguments that rural Scotland—farmers, in particular—can do much more to address the housing...

Scottish Parliament: National Planning Framework 4 (11 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: I start by warmly thanking the minister for his unequivocal reaffirmation of the Scottish Government’s commitment to dualling the A9 from Perth to Inverness and to dualling the A96 in my constituency. That commitment is very welcome, so I look forward to his ministerial colleagues coming before the Parliament in a matter of weeks to flesh out the details of how and when that dualling will...

Scottish Parliament: National Planning Framework 4 (11 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: There should be a greater emphasis on that. To be fair, it is mentioned in the detail of the section on rural places, but I agree that more needs to be done in that regard, although doing it is not easy. As well as high-level commitments, some detail is needed. When I was not a humble back bencher, but an important person like the minister, I sought to ensure that we could do what is being...

Scottish Parliament: National Planning Framework 4 (11 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: I would like to, but I do not have time. Why not put that capital to work by allowing farmers, crofters, land managers and estates to use their land more flexibly and with less difficulty? In rural Scotland, development is the Cinderella issue. I have learned that over the course of 23 years of struggling on behalf of constituents who desperately want to do something with their land, their...

Scottish Parliament: National Planning Framework 4 (11 Jan 2023)

Fergus Ewing: Does Mr Simpson acknowledge that forestry operations, including those relating to felling and planting, are very much controlled by forestry standards, which are not part of the planning system and ensure good practice, and that the ills that were committed in the 1980s relating to misplanting and so on cannot take place now? NPF4 does not set out to control the mischief that he is arguing...


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