Results 121–140 of 2876 for speaker:Alex Johnstone

Scottish Parliament: Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (25 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. We must get a handle on the cost of ferry services. We support in principle the notion that the Government advanced of the road equivalent tariff. In order for that to be sustained into the future, however, we must know what the services will cost and we must be able to control those costs. That is why the tendering process has the potential to benefit many people, including...

Scottish Parliament: Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (25 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: That would have been the effect had the services been completely unbundled but, as the Government and the minister know, the services could have been partly unbundled to make the contracts of a size that would have allowed our other ferry companies to compete in the process, and that would have been of great benefit. An unusual aspect of this debate is that, after I speak, the minister who...

Scottish Parliament: Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services (25 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Is it not the case that when the Hamnavoe broke down much of the slack was taken up by a privately run and unsubsidised ferry service?

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I will begin where the previous speaker left off. There is complacency written right through the Scottish Government’s motion. It says at the outset “That the Parliament recognises that housing helps promote social justice, strengthens communities and tackles inequality as well as being good for the economy”. Those truths cannot be denied, and no one will try to remove that statement...

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Indeed, why not?

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Ah, right to buy—one of those little totems that this Government waves occasionally. The truth is that right to buy had withered on the vine and very few people were using it. Of those who were using it, as many as 70 per cent had been tenants since before the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001, so if they were not allowed to buy their properties, they would simply have remained tenants. I doubt...

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I will continue and try to get through my speech. Perhaps the member will attract the Presiding Officer’s eye and be allowed to speak during the debate. What we need to do today is to think about how we get more homes available in Scotland. That means being innovative about how we take forward investment. This Government has tried to focus on key areas. Indeed, if members read the right...

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Oh!

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Will the member give way?

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Will the member give way?

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Councils have been forced further into debt in order for that to be achieved. [Interruption.]

Scottish Parliament: House Building Programme (18 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: The cabinet secretary knew what the budget was before he set the previous target. He missed that target, by our definition, and he has now set a target for 50,000 in the next parliamentary session, should his party be elected. How many of those 50,000 houses will be for social rent and, secondly, how many of them are conditional on George Osborne giving him the money?

Scottish Parliament: “Changing Relationships: Parliamentary Scrutiny of Intergovernmental Relations” (17 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I welcome the opportunity to respond to the debate on behalf of my party. There have been some interesting comments, not least from Malcolm Chisholm, who told us that he was participating largely out of a sense of duty. When these exciting debates come along, duty is, for many of us, as much of a motivator as anything else. At the beginning of the debate, Bruce Crawford pointed out that after...

Scottish Parliament: Server Access Speeds (MSPs’ Regional Offices) (12 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Has any consideration been given to alternative software strategies? The direct connection using Citrix relies on the system being open all the time, but by using appropriate software strategies we can escape that and many connection problems.

Scottish Parliament: Social Security in Scotland (Future Delivery) (12 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: This is a debate that I am very glad to be involved in. It is on a subject on which many of us have been involved in some very heated discussions of late and over recent years, but I welcome the tone in which it was introduced today, and I hope that at the end of the afternoon we will have a more constructive outcome than we have experienced in previous debates. In welcoming the tone in which...

Scottish Parliament: Social Security in Scotland (Future Delivery) (12 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: No, thank you. Ministers of both Governments will have to rise to that challenge, but the Secretary of State for Scotland is certainly keen to find a solution to that problem. On the carers allowance being uprated to match the jobseekers allowance, that is one area in which Ruth Davidson managed to get in just ahead of the minister. She committed the Conservatives to that policy before it was...

Scottish Parliament: Social Security in Scotland (Future Delivery) (12 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Given that we have a wee bit of time in the debate, I wonder whether the member will take the opportunity to explain—if he, like many of his colleagues, is opposed to sanctions—whether he imagines a benefits system that would have no measures within it to ensure that people engaged in the process.

Scottish Parliament: Social Security in Scotland (Future Delivery) (12 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: Does the minister agree that, if we are going to trust local government to do some of the delivery, we must trust local government to do enough of it so that we can get efficiencies in the delivery network? Does she agree that giving local government a small bit will be inefficient and cost more money than it is worth?

Scottish Parliament: Energy Storage Network (11 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: One of the first things that I was ever taught in a science class was that energy can never be created or destroyed; it can only be changed from one form to another. That is a lesson that we should all take to heart when we are thinking about the need to store energy because, too often, we go for the hi-tech solution when low tech is the right way to go. Many people will remember how...

Scottish Parliament: Energy Storage Network (11 Nov 2015)

Alex Johnstone: I might have time later to get on to the subject of diversity of energy sources, which is something that I believe in. The other point that I wanted to make with regard to low-tech solutions is about compressed or liquefied air, which is also mentioned in the report that we are discussing. We can learn a great deal from work that is being done, particularly in India, on cars that are powered...


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