Caledonian MacBrayne

Scottish Executive Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 2:15 pm on 15th April 2010.

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Photo of Lord George Foulkes Lord George Foulkes Labour 2:15 pm, 15th April 2010

To ask the Scottish Executive what recent discussions ministers have had with the management of Caledonian MacBrayne and what subjects were discussed. (S3O-10071)

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth and I last met with the chairmen of David MacBrayne Ltd and Caledonian Maritime Assets Ltd in November 2009, to discuss ferry matters.

Photo of Lord George Foulkes Lord George Foulkes Labour

Do the minister and the cabinet secretary share my concern that a publicly owned company has a tax avoidance scheme that uses a Guernsey-based subsidiary? Will the minister raise that matter with Caledonian MacBrayne and insist that it accepts full responsibility for paying employer contributions to national insurance for all its employees in the United Kingdom?

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

Mr Foulkes is sometimes not entirely wise in choosing subjects. The change that was made to create Caledonian MacBrayne Crewing (Guernsey) Ltd was, of course, entirely an initiative conducted under the previous Administration for the purposes that Mr Foulkes has just described. If he has not already done so, he will receive a written answer from me very shortly that shows that the subject has not been one on which concern has been expressed until now. However, I am interested that the Labour Party has resiled from its previous decisions.