After section 6

Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:00 pm on 13th November 2002.

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Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative 4:00 pm, 13th November 2002

Amendment 42 is in the name of Tommy Sheridan. As time is now extremely tight, I will call to speak only the movers of amendments, the minister and those who are summing up.

Photo of Tommy Sheridan Tommy Sheridan SSP

The introduction at stage 2 of paragraph (fa) to section 7(2) amended the bill to allow the Scottish ministers to introduce regulations to enable the debt arrangement scheme determinations to be appealed against. It is fair to say, therefore, that the minister has already accepted the right of debtors to be entitled to an appeal if they are refused access to a debt arrangement scheme. However, as the bill stands, if a debtor is refused access to a debt arrangement scheme, they have no right of appeal. Amendment 42 would establish a right of appeal. Already, too many of the key principles of the debt arrangement scheme are subject to delegated legislation, something which the Subordinate Legislation Committee found worrying when it considered the bill, and that many others found worrying during stage 2.

Amendment 42 would include in the bill the right for a debtor to appeal if they are not allowed access to a debt arrangement scheme. It would allow a right of recourse to the sheriff for impartial reconsideration of the matter. I make the point that that is a common provision; for example, the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 permits disgruntled tenants to have access to the sheriff if they are aggrieved about certain formal decisions that have been taken by their landlord. The amendment is both sensible and consistent with other legislation in allowing a debtor the right of appeal in relation to a determination not to allow them access to the debt arrangement scheme.

Amendment 42 is straightforward. It would include in the bill a provision that should be in the bill. I appeal to members and the minister to support the amendment.

I move amendment 42.

Photo of Richard Simpson Richard Simpson Labour

We believe that amendment 42 is unnecessary. It had been intended that the general power provided by section 7(1) would enable regulations to provide for an appeal mechanism. However, at stage 2, a provision was added to section 7 to provide specifically that the regulations may make provision for appeals against determinations of the Scottish ministers on applications for approval or variation of debt payment programmes.

In addition, amendment 42 would provide that diligence be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal to the sheriff. However, that would have the effect of pre-judging the outcome of the appeal. I therefore recommend that Tommy Sheridan seek to withdraw amendment 42.

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative 4:15 pm, 13th November 2002

The question is, that amendment 42 be agreed to. Are we agreed?



Division number 10

For: Canavan, Dennis, Harper, Robin, MacDonald, Ms Margo, Sheridan, Tommy
Against: Adam, Brian, Aitken, Bill, Alexander, Ms Wendy, Baillie, Jackie, Barrie, Scott, Boyack, Sarah, Brankin, Rhona, Brown, Robert, Butler, Bill, Campbell, Colin, Chisholm, Malcolm, Craigie, Cathie, Crawford, Bruce, Curran, Ms Margaret, Deacon, Susan, Eadie, Helen, Ewing, Dr Winnie, Ewing, Fergus, Ewing, Mrs Margaret, Ferguson, Patricia, Fitzpatrick, Brian, Fraser, Murdo, Gallie, Phil, Gibson, Mr Kenneth, Gillon, Karen, Godman, Trish, Goldie, Miss Annabel, Gorrie, Donald, Grahame, Christine, Grant, Rhoda, Gray, Iain, Hamilton, Mr Duncan, Harding, Mr Keith, Henry, Hugh, Home Robertson, Mr John, Hughes, Janis, Hyslop, Fiona, Ingram, Mr Adam, Jackson, Dr Sylvia, Jackson, Gordon, Jamieson, Cathy, Jamieson, Margaret, Jenkins, Ian, Johnstone, Alex, Kerr, Mr Andy, Lamont, Johann, Livingstone, Marilyn, Lochhead, Richard, Lyon, George, MacAskill, Mr Kenny, Macdonald, Lewis, Macintosh, Mr Kenneth, MacKay, Angus, Maclean, Kate, Macmillan, Maureen, Martin, Paul, Marwick, Tricia, McAllion, Mr John, McAveety, Mr Frank, McCabe, Mr Tom, McGugan, Irene, McIntosh, Mrs Lyndsay, McLeish, Henry, McLeod, Fiona, McLetchie, David, McMahon, Mr Michael, McNeil, Mr Duncan, McNeill, Pauline, McNulty, Des, Monteith, Mr Brian, Morgan, Alasdair, Morrison, Mr Alasdair, Muldoon, Bristow, Mulligan, Mrs Mary, Munro, John Farquhar, Murray, Dr Elaine, Neil, Alex, Oldfather, Irene, Paterson, Mr Gil, Peacock, Peter, Peattie, Cathy, Radcliffe, Nora, Raffan, Mr Keith, Reid, Mr George, Robison, Shona, Robson, Euan, Rumbles, Mr Mike, Scanlon, Mary, Scott, John, Scott, Tavish, Simpson, Dr Richard, Smith, Iain, Smith, Mrs Margaret, Stephen, Nicol, Stone, Mr Jamie, Sturgeon, Nicola, Swinney, Mr John, Thomson, Elaine, Ullrich, Kay, Wallace, Ben, Wallace, Mr Jim, Watson, Mike, Welsh, Mr Andrew, White, Ms Sandra, Whitefield, Karen, Wilson, Allan, Wilson, Andrew, Young, John

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

The result of the division is: For 4, Against 108, Abstentions 0.

Amendment 42 disagreed to.