Results 81–100 of 234 for speaker:Mercedes Villalba

Scottish Parliament: Creative Industries (Workplace Ownership) (11 Jan 2023)

Mercedes Villalba: As we have heard, Aberdeen’s Belmont cinema is an important educational and cultural cornerstone. It is wholly owned by Aberdeen City Council, so it is all the more alarming that such a venue has been allowed to close and to go into administration without the option of saving the cinema being considered. Can the minister confirm what obligation there is on the administrators of the cinema...

Scottish Parliament: Energy Strategy and Just Transition Plan (10 Jan 2023)

Mercedes Villalba: I thank the cabinet secretary for the advance sight of his statement and of the draft energy strategy and just transition plan, which states: “We are supporting the reskilling of oil and gas workers by funding an offshore skills passport through our Just Transition Fund.” Such a passport must be more than just an app that tells the user where their qualification gaps are; it must allow...

Scottish Parliament: Deposit Return Scheme (22 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Has the Scottish Government asked those who are conducting the gateway reviews into the deposit return scheme to interview representatives of organisations that are running successful deposit return systems, especially those that have most recently set up systems that are much cheaper for producers and have come online more quickly?

Scottish Parliament: Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill (22 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Will the minister take an intervention?

Scottish Parliament: Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill (22 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Will the minister give way?

Scottish Parliament: Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill (22 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am very grateful to the minister for introducing this bill to reform legal gender recognition for trans men and women. However, we must also recognise that there are trans people who identify as non-binary—as neither men nor women. I seek a commitment from the minister that further work into non-binary recognition will be carried out by the Scottish Government in this parliamentary session.

Scottish Parliament: Climate Change Comittee Reports (22 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The Scottish Government is looking to scale up the rate of peatland restoration by increasing private sector investment through the peatland code. Dr Calum MacLeod, policy director at Community Land Scotland, has warned that such investment could prevent Scottish communities from securing “significant and lasting community benefits from restoration work”. What legal protections will be...

Scottish Parliament: Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (21 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Would the member like to clarify in what way the previous contribution demonstrated respect? From where I was sitting, it was extremely disrespectful and bordered on hate speech.

Scottish Parliament: Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (20 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. My card has not been in the console for quite some time, but I have been voting. I would be grateful if my votes could be counted.

Scottish Parliament: Budget 2023-24 (Tax Increases) (14 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 1. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will incorporate the costed package of tax increases recommended in the Scottish Trades Union Congress-commissioned report, “Options for increasing taxes in Scotland to fund investment in public services”, into its 2023-24 budget. (S6O-01684)

Scottish Parliament: Budget 2023-24 (Tax Increases) (14 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The Scottish Government is well aware of the indefensible wealth inequalities that blight Scotland, yet when I called on the First Minister to support even the principle of a wealth tax back in March, I was told that that is “not something that this Government has the power to put in place.”—[ Official Report , 24 March 2022; c 27.] Last week, the STUC outlined exactly how a wealth tax...

Scottish Parliament: COP27 Outcomes ( 6 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am pleased to have the opportunity to close the debate on COP27 outcomes for Labour, because climate change is an issue that I am passionate about tackling. As poverty is, climate change is an issue of inequality and injustice that hits working-class people hardest and is caused by political choices that have benefited the super-rich. Closing the debate gives me the opportunity to summarise...

Scottish Parliament: COP27 Outcomes ( 6 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Can I get the time back, Presiding Officer?

Scottish Parliament: COP27 Outcomes ( 6 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am afraid that I am unable to take the intervention. I am sorry. Labour also supports the ambition that is highlighted in the motion of “protecting 30% of land and seas by 2030”. However, targets are not enough to tackle the climate and nature emergencies. As the Labour amendment highlights, we need to see “action and delivery”. We will not support the Tory amendment, because it...

Scottish Parliament: COP27 Outcomes ( 6 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am afraid that I do not have time in hand. As I said, we support the element of the Conservative amendment that refers to protecting “human rights across the world”, and we also support elements of Tory members’ contributions to the debate. I am thinking, for example, of Graham Simpson’s comments on lower bus fares for all and on dualling of train tracks. I think that I also heard...

Scottish Parliament: COP27 Outcomes ( 6 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: It is not good enough for the Government to say that we do not have the power, the wealth or the skills. We have all those things. The only thing that we do not have is a Government that has the socialist ambition to redistribute wealth and power. That is why we need a workers’ economy, which only Labour in Government can deliver—

Scottish Parliament: Fuel Poverty (Engagement with Energy Sector) ( 1 Dec 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The UK’s major energy distributors made £15.8 billion in profits last year, despite rising energy bills putting more consumers at risk of fuel poverty. Unite the union is calling on Ofgem to reopen its price review and set a clear cap on distributors’ profits. Will the cabinet secretary join Unite in urging Ofgem to act now to end that rampant profiteering?

Scottish Parliament: Housing (Private Sector Rents) (24 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 7. To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to address high private sector rents. (S6O-01603)

Scottish Parliament: Housing (Private Sector Rents) (24 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I thank the minister for his support for Labour’s rent-freeze policy. It is vital that that stays in place until we have a national system of rent control to bring rents down, because long-term underinvestment in council housing and the history of poor regulation of the private rental sector has allowed private landlords to cash in on the housing crisis while claiming that they provide a...

Scottish Parliament: Emergency Response to Flooding (North-east Scotland) (24 Nov 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: We are already seeing the effects of the climate emergency, with further extreme weather events becoming more likely. The National Infrastructure Commission has argued that governments should set resilience standards, which operators would be required to meet. The United Kingdom Government is set to introduce a national resilience strategy, so will the First Minister make the case for the...


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