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Public Services Reform (Scotland) Bill

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at 4:35 pm on 25th March 2010.

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Photo of Andy Kerr Andy Kerr Labour 4:35 pm, 25th March 2010

With respect, I have only four minutes.

The bill does not do enough to reform public services. We are in favour of streamlining quangos, which is why we support the establishment of social care and social work improvement Scotland. However, as many members said, such streamlining must be done in a way that improves the delivery of services to the public. The bill represents an exercise in crude arithmetic, with a view to getting a result and being able to talk about a bonfire of the quangos; the price that we will pay for that is too high.

We have witnessed an unprecedented power grab by the Government today. It is unfortunate that that has happened. However, as Margo MacDonald and many other members said, if the bill is passed the Government should not assume that the Scottish Parliament will take its eye off the measures in it, even for a minute. I say with a heavy heart that Labour members will support the bill. We do so only because of the Government's previous cock-up on the establishment of creative Scotland. We have no desire for the power grab to the centre that the Administration is proposing.