Section 7 — Debt payment programmes: power to make further provision

Debt Arrangement and Attachment (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:15 pm on 13th November 2002.

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

Amendment 14, in the name of the minister, is grouped with amendment 15. There is time for only the briefest of statements in support of the amendment, minister.

Photo of Richard Simpson Richard Simpson Labour

Amendments 14 and 15 are technical amendments. Members might recall that at stage 2 Robert Brown lodged amendments 40, 41 and 42 to allow not only debtors, but creditors to apply for variation of a debt payment programme.

Executive amendments 40A and 97 were offered to achieve the same purpose, but with additional clarity. Along with Robert Brown's amendment 42, those amendments were agreed by the committee on 9 October. As a consequence, amendments 14 and 15 are required to reflect the change in the text from debtor to include creditors as well.

I move amendment 14.

Amendment 14 agreed to.

Amendment 15 moved—[Dr Richard Simpson]—and agreed to.

Amendments 43 and 44 not moved.

Amendment 45 moved—[Mr Kenneth Gibson.]

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

The question is, that amendment 45 be agreed to. Are we agreed?

Members:

No.

Division number 11

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

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

The result of the division is: For 32, Against 75, Abstentions 1.

Amendment 45 disagreed to.

Photo of Murray Tosh Murray Tosh Conservative

Amendment 90, in the name of the minister, is in a group on its own.

Photo of Richard Simpson Richard Simpson Labour

Amendment 90 responds to concerns raised during stage 2 about the regulations' providing for public notice of applications. Robert Brown's amendment 43, which was passed during stage 2, deleted the enabling power in section 7, allowing the regulations to provide for public notice of applications.

The committee felt strongly that means other than public notice should be found to allow creditors who might have been omitted in error from a proposed programme to know about applications so that they could seek to be included. In the light of the committee's serious concerns, the Executive undertook to consider the matter again, so we hope that amendment 90 meets that commitment.

The regulations already provide for establishing and maintaining a register of debt payment programmes. Amendment 90 will add provision that will allow the register to include applications for the approval and variation of debt payment programmes as well as for approved debt payment programmes. This means that bona fide creditors will be able to gain access to the information that they need without any need for public notice of applications to appear in newspapers or the like.

I advise members that analysis of consultation responses on this point suggested a preference for public notice in the form that the Social Justice Committee was concerned about—I know that it was a matter of great concern to the committee. The amendment will enable suitable arrangements to be made in regulations. We will make those as workable and user-friendly as possible for creditors, while protecting debtors' privacy as far as possible.

I move amendment 90.

Amendment 90 agreed to.