Legislative Programme

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 10:14 am on 16th June 1999.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond Leader, Scottish National Party 10:14 am, 16th June 1999

Medical advice on those matters is well known and has been well discussed. We retain that position even if other people have had a remarkable change in view over the past few weeks. We will, I hope, debate this issue at some length in the immediate future.

I want to address the issues that I feel should have been discussed in this ministerial statement. A few seconds ago, I read the quotations from the Liberal Democrat manifesto. There were quotations by members of the Labour party during the election campaign on the privatisation of key public services. I believe that the Scots Parliament, after argument and debate, could reach some consensus as to whether the private finance initiative was the best method of investing in public services in Scotland, or whether, as the evidence overwhelmingly indicates, it posed severe dangers in terms of cost, ownership control and the reversion of public assets to the private sector. I would have liked investment in public services against the privatisation of public services to have been included in this legislative programme.

Mr Alex Neil asked the First Minister about jobs and investment. The First Minister replied that the Government's expenditure programme was the area where jobs and investment would be secured. As I have pointed out, during the election campaign it was shown that the claimed increases in Government expenditure in Scotland were mythical.