Relocation decisions are based on a range of factors, including costs, the quality and efficiency of service, economic factors such as unemployment and other indicators of deprivation, the availability and suitability of staff, transport issues, environmental considerations, the position of staff and the requirements of the organisation concerned.
I draw the minister's attention to the position in which Scottish Natural Heritage
The Executive closely considers such matters in discussions. The holy grail in the case in question is to disperse jobs to parts of the country that can then become economically active, which will allow everybody to engage with the work of the Executive and the Parliament. Our relocation triggers allow us to make sensible decisions.
In my constituency, 2,500 people are employed by the Inland Revenue and more than 500 people are employed by the Department for International Development in East Kilbride. I think that we would lose those jobs under the policies of the member's former party. We want to ensure that we provide relocation for real jobs throughout Scotland to effect an impact on our communities rather than provide dislocation, which there would be under the policies of the member's former party.
Whitehall rather stole a march on us, as it has put 70 jobs in the Western Isles—doing so has been well received. The minister is aware that I am always banging the drum for Wick. Does he agree that putting pensions and information technology jobs into the far north would greatly boost the ailing economy in that part of Caithness?
I am aware of the member's close interest in such matters through letters and correspondence with her. A strong case is being made. The Executive must look at good opportunities throughout Scotland to allow services to be delivered and staff to engage properly within the process, and to ensure that we continue to deliver first-class, high-quality public services. The Executive considers such matters and we seek to make announcements in the near future.