Results 81–100 of 2876 for speaker:Alex Johnstone

Scottish Parliament: Social Security ( 1 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: At the beginning of the debate, Alex Neil said that this was an historic day. I agree. These are indeed exciting times as we move forward and take advantage of the powers that will be given to us by the new Scotland Bill. I must contrast my experience on the bill’s tax provisions and those on welfare. I found the tax provisions simple and easy to understand. As a result, they have not been...

Scottish Parliament: Social Security ( 1 Mar 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. As a result, I have no qualms about suggesting that social security should be tied, wherever necessary, to encouraging and supporting people back into work. I also believe there to be no issue with conditionality being attached to the payments that we make. It is often said in debate here that, somehow, conditionality is inappropriate. Those who pay their hard-earned...

Scottish Parliament: Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage (Rural and Island Communities) ( 9 Feb 2016)

Alex Johnstone: The challenge of providing high-quality mobile phone and broadband services in a country like Scotland is not one that should be underestimated. The geography of the country will always bring about difficulties. However, if we look around the world, we find that such difficulties have been overcome effectively in other countries. My experience of alpine nations is that they tend to have a...

Scottish Parliament: Broadband and Mobile Phone Coverage (Rural and Island Communities) ( 9 Feb 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I therefore ask the minister to consider how we can make the resources that are available work more effectively for people right across Scotland.

Scottish Parliament: Homelessness (Prevention) ( 3 Feb 2016)

Alex Johnstone: Will the minister consider looking again at people who have specific problems holding down a tenancy, to see whether additional aid can be given to support such people with their tenancies and prevent them from becoming homeless?

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: The Trade Union Bill gives effect to manifesto commitments that the Conservative Party made in advance of being elected as the majority Government of the United Kingdom last May. Trade unions are an important part of our society. The trade union movement has a proud history of campaigning for workers’ rights and for improvements in health and safety in the workplace and of representing...

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No—I will not be taking interventions. It is not unreasonable to require an opt-in process for union political donations. Often, members are unaware that they can opt out of the political part of their union subscriptions. It is only right that people can make a clear decision about who they donate money to and what that money is to be used for. On the timing and duration of industrial...

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. Taken together, the proposed measures are not an unreasonable addition to the provisions that previous Governments put in place to facilitate good industrial relations. I turn to the issue of a legislative consent motion. The Scottish Government has set out in detail its position on the bill. It lodged a legislative consent memorandum in relation to the bill and the Presiding...

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: There are one or two things that I can say with some conviction. The first is that the past couple of hours were a couple of hours of my time that I will never see again. Members have failed to notice that there is an alternative interpretation of the bill and have debated a bill that does not exist. The truth is that members have been more interested in out-lefting one another for political...

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. Others have been willing to highlight the hypocrisy of the Labour Party. Much of the current trade union regulation in this country was introduced against fierce opposition by the Labour Party in the House of Commons. That same party then served in government for many years and never at any time did anything to reverse any of those regulations.

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you—not at this point.

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I will give way briefly. Come on—move quickly.

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: That is a perfect example of how Governments work with and facilitate changes in how trade unions operate. The UK Government is simply doing what it feels is appropriate to change the position of trade unions, as the preceding Government did in its own way.

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I am afraid that I must make some progress. On that subject, we have to take it into account that we are talking about something that is being deliberately misinterpreted for political effect.

Scottish Parliament: Trade Union Bill (26 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. Nowhere is that more obvious than in an assertion that one or two members have made, including Patricia Ferguson, who offered the interpretation that the bill will confer on UK ministers powers over the implementation of restrictions on facility time and check-off. That case has not been made at all. There are opportunities to ensure that there is proper implementation and that...

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (21 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: As has been said already, the private rented sector has become an important part of the rented sector. It now produces the houses that are needed for many people who are unable to find them in the social rented sector or through other affordable tenancy methods. As a result, any change in the legislation must take into account the requirement to ensure that that sector remains of adequate...

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (21 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I am sorry, but I only have five minutes. I must persevere. It is true that there is a strong mandatory ground in the bill that concerns antisocial behaviour. However, to get someone evicted on the basis of antisocial behaviour, the landlord requires witnesses. In how many cases is a neighbour willing to give evidence against someone if the result of a failure of the proceedings will simply...

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (21 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. I believe that the no-fault ground for removal has been successfully used in those circumstances and that removing that ground will simply make life more difficult for many tenants who are already in difficult circumstances. Much has been said already about student tenancies. There is a quite specific investment model being used for the production of large amounts of additional...

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (21 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I have the rare opportunity to speak again at the conclusion of the debate, and I will complete my remarks at that stage.

Scottish Parliament: Private Housing (Tenancies) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 (21 Jan 2016)

Alex Johnstone: I resume where I left off. Jim Hume covered quite a bit of the issue of rent control in the same way that I want to cover it. I take this opportunity to back Jim Hume’s concerns. Some people perceive rents to be rising apace in Scotland, but the statistics show that rent levels are relatively stable across Scotland and in some areas they are actually falling. How do we get confused about...


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