Results 141–160 of 234 for speaker:Mercedes Villalba

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Will the member take an intervention on that point?

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I did seek to work with the Government. I was met with some support, and an acknowledgement that we were facing an emergency situation and that a cap on increasing rents would benefit renters, but I did not receive any constructive counter-proposals or any suggestions for how I could strengthen or improve the amendments.

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I recognise the minister’s sincere concern about unintended consequences around evictions. Does he not recognise that the lack of legislative change this year—I am not saying that he is not doing research and preparation on rent controls, but they will not come in this year, because there is nothing on the table—will mean that landlords will continue to increase rents, which will cause...

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I thank everybody who has spoken in favour of amendments 72 and 73, and I also thank the minister for his response. I am disappointed that I was unable to intervene on his colleague on the case law relating to the human rights legislation. I recognise that members have sincere concerns regarding the potential for legal challenge and so, to that end, I would like to put their minds at rest by...

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Now is not the time, Ross—I do not know what I am supposed to refer to him as.

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Ross Greer. Sorry, Presiding Officer. Amendments 72 and 73 merely freeze rent, rather than reducing it. I have sought to strike a balance between the rights of the landlords, by giving them the ability to appeal and by providing a deadline of 2024, and the interests of the community, given the cost of living crisis. The measures that I propose in my amendments are less drastic than those...

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I am 100 per cent pressing the amendment.

Scottish Parliament: Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill (28 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The Covid-19 pandemic exposed many of the underlying inequalities in our society; from insecure work, to the undervaluing of our key workers, the pandemic highlighted the need for us to make real transformational changes. However, the bill before us today, which is supposedly focused on building a fair post-pandemic recovery, leaves many injustices untackled—and none more so than rip-off...

Scottish Parliament: Pay Levels (22 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 3. To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to improve pay levels in the Scottish economy in light of the reported findings of the Office for National Statistics that United Kingdom annual growth in regular pay, excluding bonuses, fell by 4.5 per cent after adjusting for inflation. (S6O-01262)

Scottish Parliament: Pay Levels (22 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: The latest ONS findings reveal that average wages in the UK are falling at the fastest rate for more than two decades. Last week, the First Minister told Parliament: “I want all public sector workers to get the fairest possible pay increases, particularly at this time of soaring inflation.”—[ Official Report , 16 June 2022; c22.] However, the Scottish Government’s pay policy is...

Scottish Parliament: Accident and Emergency Departments (Waiting Times) (15 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: I remind members of my entry in the register of members’ interests. Scottish Ambulance Service workers play a vital role in supporting the delivery of patient care in our A and E departments, but Unite the union’s recent survey of those workers reveals that those departments are increasingly understaffed, that the staff are working longer shifts and facing greater abuse, and that many...

Scottish Parliament: Child Poverty (National Mission) (15 Jun 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: It has been estimated that about 30,000 children in Scotland are in poverty as a direct result of the cost of privately rented housing. At stage 2 of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill last week, in response to my calls for immediate action to freeze rent, the Deputy First Minister said: “Obviously, the Government will seek to take whatever action we can in the short...

Scottish Parliament: Decision Time (25 May 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: On a point of order, Presiding Officer. I would have voted no.

Scottish Parliament: Carbon Neutral Islands (17 May 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Reaching net zero cannot be about just hitting a target. I think that everyone in the chamber agrees that we must drastically reduce our emissions. That agreement is testament to the climate movement. However, not everyone agrees on how it must be done. For me, as a socialist and a trade unionist, our path to net zero must redistribute wealth and power from landowners and chief executives to...

Scottish Parliament: “A Just Transition? The Voices of Oil and Gas Workers” ( 4 May 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: This latest report reveals that just one in 10 oil and gas workers feel that they have enough opportunities to switch to work in renewables. After decades of inaction from industry, what we need is ministers who will champion the interests of workers over market forces; we need them to hold industry to account for the promises that it makes. Will the minister demonstrate his commitment to oil...

Scottish Parliament: Police Scotland Training (Colombia) ( 4 May 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Police Scotland’s international development and innovation unit continues to provide training to some of the world’s most serious human rights abusers. In Colombia, where there is evidence of human rights abuses being committed by the national police, including the killing of protesters, Police Scotland officers continue to provide training. Given the evidence of human rights abuses being...

Scottish Parliament: General Practitioner Services (Online Appointments) ( 4 May 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: 1. To ask the Scottish Government what impact assessments it has made of any increased use of online appointments on patients’ access to GP services. (S6O-01022)

Scottish Parliament: General Practitioner Services (Online Appointments) ( 4 May 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: In the face of opposition from patients and staff, Old Aberdeen medical practice was put out to tender, and that has resulted in declining standards of patient care for many of my constituents. One example is the roll-out of an e-consult system to arrange GP appointments online. That should have allowed patients to request an appointment at any time but, in reality, it has left many...

Scottish Parliament: General Practitioner Services (Online Appointments) ( 4 May 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: Will the minister commit today to undertaking an impact assessment of the e-consult system and how it has affected the provision and quality of patient care at Old Aberdeen?

Scottish Parliament: Covid-19 (Recovery Strategy) (Lateral Flow Test Provision) (27 Apr 2022)

Mercedes Villalba: One of the stated aims of the Scottish Government’s Covid recovery strategy is to improve access to services where provision was restricted by the pandemic. Although health and social care workers will continue to be able to access free lateral flow tests, other front-line workers from teachers to hospitality staff will no longer have access to them for routine workplace testing. That could...


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