Results 181–200 of 2876 for speaker:Alex Johnstone

Scottish Parliament: Scotland Bill (Welfare and Employment Support Powers) ( 2 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: 3. To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to use the additional welfare and employment support powers proposed in the Scotland Bill. (S4O-04530)

Scottish Parliament: Scotland Bill (Welfare and Employment Support Powers) ( 2 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I congratulate the minister on the cheerful nature of the opening to his answer. However, his response went downhill as he carried on. Will the minister flesh out not only how he would like to use the powers but how he is likely to finance the changes that are coming? This Government has given the clear impression that additional welfare powers will be used to distribute significant...

Scottish Parliament: Programme for Government 2015-16 ( 2 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: And to be finished as quick as I can, Presiding Officer. There is an often-used practice in politics: if you say a thing often enough, it begins to be perceived as true.

Scottish Parliament: Programme for Government 2015-16 ( 2 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Here we are. We heard the First Minister say yesterday, and Alex Neil told us today that this Government is going to hit its targets for building affordable housing. However, Jim Hume pointed out in his speech that the manifesto commitment in advance of the previous election was to build 30,000 socially rented houses during the course of this parliamentary session. That was, after the...

Scottish Parliament: Programme for Government 2015-16 ( 2 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I want to develop my argument, if John Finnie does not mind. The problem is that history tells us that rent controls do not work. Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck said: “In many cases rent control appears to be the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing”. In 1992, a survey of American and Canadian economists found that 93 per cent of people agreed...

Scottish Parliament: Programme for Government 2015-16 ( 2 Sep 2015)

Alex Johnstone: The fact is that rent control in any form artificially caps the potential return from an asset, and that restriction can discourage investment in the sector, at a time when investment to address housing demand is much needed. We cannot legislate our way out of a housing crisis; we can only build our way out of it. Let us build houses.

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Registration) (24 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: 1. To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has undertaken of its proposed changes to registering teaching staff. (S4O-04488)

Scottish Parliament: Teachers (Registration) (24 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: The cabinet secretary will be aware that a number of submissions to the Education and Culture Committee on the Education (Scotland) Bill have expressed serious concerns about the Scottish Government’s proposals. In particular, the International School of Aberdeen explained that delivering its unique curriculum to a diverse group of students would not be possible if it could hire only...

Scottish Parliament: Onshore Wind Energy (23 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Will the minister concede that, more than a year before the election, Michael Fallon made it clear that subsidies would be withdrawn in the event of a Conservative win? Will he also concede—

Scottish Parliament: Onshore Wind Energy (23 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: —that this party has campaigned repeatedly for a diverse energy mix—

Scottish Parliament: Onshore Wind Energy (23 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Does the minister really put all his eggs in one basket—

Scottish Parliament: Onshore Wind Energy (23 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: —and not expect us to say, “I told you so”?

Scottish Parliament: Scottish Budget (Reduction) (18 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Can the Deputy First Minister give me a guarantee that, when he announces the figures later this week, or next week, the underspend for last year will be a figure that is less than £107 million? If not, many of his remarks today are going to look a bit silly.

Scottish Parliament: Caledonian MacBrayne (Workforce Concerns) (16 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Will the minister give a guarantee that, in reacting to the action of the trade unions at CalMac, he will also have as his highest priority through the tendering process value for money for the taxpayer and a quality service for the fare-paying passenger?

Scottish Parliament: Harbours (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (16 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: My memory of history is that Margaret Thatcher was long gone by 1991.

Scottish Parliament: Harbours (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (16 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I assure you, Deputy Presiding Officer, that this will be a short speech, because there is not much left to say on the bill. It has been an interesting debate, but I must emphasise one thing, which is that I believe that the bill is not about the anti-privatisation agenda, however well it might achieve that objective by other means. This is the result of the fact that a quirk of previous...

Scottish Parliament: Harbours (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (16 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: There are some areas of the Government’s responsibility in which, I am sure, that is an advantage rather than a disadvantage, but in this case it is very important that we clarify the situation before we have ports fall foul of the provision. The debate has been interesting also in terms of a number of pieces of information that were provided. For example, Mary Fee pointed out that Aberdeen...

Scottish Parliament: Harbours (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (16 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Does David Stewart care to remember the opportunity that he had to take the wheel of the pilot boat and run up and down the various docks in Aberdeen—at great danger to the shipping and the public, I am sure.

Scottish Parliament: Harbours (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (16 Jun 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I must intervene because I have always been the first in the chamber to make it clear that the concept of public service is not unique to the public sector; it also has a great tradition in the private sector, which we should encourage. In this particular case, we are almost getting back to an old argument, which I remember having in the chamber once before, about whether the co-operative...


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