Since the last meeting of the short-life working group, on 27 May 2008, officials have been working with the Home Office on the no recourse scheme. Officials consulted the short-life working group on the draft proposal and comments from the group were fed into the Home Office at the end of October.
The Home Office will make an announcement about the scheme in the near future, and I have asked that the short-life working group provide a report on progress on the Home Office scheme in Scotland once it has begun operating.
I am sure that the minister will agree that we are keen to see the detail of that. The facts on the ground suggest that there is hugely inadequate provision for families. In Glasgow, five families were provided for but another 42 families were not, and Glasgow Women's Aid suffered a loss as a result of that.
Will the minister assure me that there will be a speedy conclusion to putting forward options to rectify the situation? Will he further assure me that, given that only five local authorities refer to domestic abuse as a priority in their single outcome agreements, he will ensure that all local authorities make it a priority?
I share the member's concern
The member is aware that we have doubled the funding for work on violence against women to £44 million over the next three years. That has been widely welcomed and shows the Government's commitment to ensuring that women who have to leave their homes as a result of violence, or who find themselves in difficulty because of other problems with their children with regard to domestic abuse, get the protection and services that they require.
I am sure that that is a priority for all councils throughout Scotland. All the single outcome agreements are being renegotiated for the next year, and councils throughout Scotland are signed up to ensuring that we achieve the national outcomes, which include the outcome that people should be able to live free from violence and in safer and more secure homes.