Results 61–80 of 2876 for speaker:Alex Johnstone

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill (17 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I will keep this short and simple. I explained in my opening remarks that I feel that we could have done better and that the bill at stage 1 was better than the bill that we have at stage 3. When decisions are taken tonight, the Conservative Party will stand with the private rented sector and will vote against the bill. That does not mean that we do not wish the circumstances of those who...

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill (17 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I hear from behind me the sound of my Green colleague Patrick Harvie, with whom I have had many an argument over the past few years. I would be delighted to accept his intervention.

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill (17 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I believe that home ownership is the ideal that we should encourage wherever possible. However, I also believe that the private rented sector can not only succeed; in his contributions today, Patrick Harvie has demonstrated that it is very successful in other parts of Europe. I simply disagree on how we might achieve that in Scotland. Patrick Harvie and I will always disagree courteously; I...

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill (17 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: We will always disagree because, unlike Patrick Harvie, I believe in the market and will never deviate from that position.

Scottish Parliament: Scotland Bill (16 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I hear the comments that Linda Fabiani makes, but how do they relate to Lord Smith’s remark that he believes that the vow and the promises of the commission have been fulfilled?

Scottish Parliament: Scotland Bill (16 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: This debate comes at the end of a very important process. As Iain Gray said, such a debate, being held on a damp Wednesday morning, might potentially have been a damp squib, but that has not happened, for two reasons. First, it has offered a number of our distinguished members an opportunity to make what will be their final contributions to this Parliament. I pay tribute in particular to...

Scottish Parliament: Scotland Bill (16 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Given Mr McNeil’s experience, I think that that is sensible. Finally, I pay tribute to Alex Salmond. I suffered slightly from déjà vu as I listened to Mr Salmond make his final remarks—as did some other members, I am sure—because we have heard him do that before. What worried me most was that he finished his speech by saying goodbye “for now”, so it is possible that he may be...

Scottish Parliament: Land Reform (Scotland) Bill (16 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Will the minister acknowledge that it has been the people sitting behind him in the chamber who have talked about the 18th century, and that the injustice of the 21st century is that, while Scotland’s modern Parliament talks about the historical injustices of land reform, his party has failed to acknowledge during the entire debate that, although he is correct that much of Scotland is owned...

Scottish Parliament: High-speed Broadband (Access) (15 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Although remote and hard-to-reach areas remain of great concern, will the cabinet secretary take the opportunity to comment on the many town centres in some of Scotland’s most populated areas that have been bypassed by high-speed broadband because they have direct exchange lines? It seems that BT expects to have Government support to overcome that, but does the cabinet secretary think that...

Scottish Parliament: Forth Road Bridge Inquiry (15 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: There are many concepts for which there is no word or phrase in the English language. We usually overcome that by borrowing from the French, but there is one concept that we cannot borrow from the French for; we have to borrow from the Germans. That concept is schadenfreude. I will define that in my own way. It is what happens when an Opposition spokesman takes great pleasure in watching the...

Scottish Parliament: Forth Road Bridge Inquiry (15 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: The minister is convinced that that is how the system works and I am sure that it is. The problem is that there was a mismatch of expectations on both sides of the relationship. It was an unforeseen problem, which we will have to deal with going forward. Many people lost money as a result of the problem—not least the transport industry, whose heavy goods vehicles had to take long routes to...

Scottish Parliament: Higher Education (Widening Access Scheme) (10 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: 1. To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Scottish funding council’s announcement that the reduction to the higher education budget will prevent expansion of the widening access scheme. (S4O-05646)

Scottish Parliament: Higher Education (Widening Access Scheme) (10 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Last month’s budget announcement indicated that higher education funding would drop by £36 million, or 3.3 per cent, and the funding council has suggested that the fourth tranche of additional undergraduate places will not be allocated to universities next year for the widening access scheme. The Scottish National Party Government has stated categorically that one of its priorities is to...

Scottish Parliament: Engagements (10 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Hear, hear. Members: Oh!

Scottish Parliament: Infrastructure Improvements (North of Aberdeen) ( 9 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: The minister might be aware of the “Why stop at Ellon?” campaign, which is trying to make the case for dualling the road north of Ellon to Peterhead and Fraserburgh. Is there any prospect that the minister might consider that idea outwith the multimodal study that has been described?

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments ( 9 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: It has been a very long time since I last spoke in an agriculture debate; in fact, it has probably been more than 10 years. First of all, then, I had better take care of the niceties and refer members to my entry of the register of members’ interests. I should further clarify that I take no income from any farming business that is in receipt of farm payments and have not done so for a very...

Scottish Parliament: Rural Payments ( 9 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. The decision to move farm support from the south-east to the north and west has resulted in many farmers in my own area expecting payments that are only 50 or 60 per cent of those that they received only a few years ago. For many, though, those payments have not arrived. For nearly two years now, Richard Lochhead’s promises have appeared to indicate that everything is going...

Scottish Parliament: Tourism (Aberdeenshire) ( 3 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: The minister will be fully aware of the potential impact of flooding during the winter on tourism in the Royal Deeside area in particular. Can he do anything to assist directly people whose businesses have been impacted? In particular, is any flexibility available to enable people who are unable to let holiday accommodation to make it available to people who have been displaced as a result of...

Scottish Parliament: Support for Older People with Dementia (North Angus) ( 2 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: 10. To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on whether there is a satisfactory level of support for older people in north Angus with dementia. (S4O-05604)

Scottish Parliament: Support for Older People with Dementia (North Angus) ( 2 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: The minister may be aware that, as a result of local circumstances, elderly mentally infirm care in the Montrose and district area is no longer available for those who live in that community. Given the importance of ensuring that such care can be found within an individual’s own community, is there anything that the minister can do to ensure that the situation is rectified as soon as possible?


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