Secretary of State for Scotland (Meetings)

Part of First Minister's Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at 11:59 am on 28th October 2010.

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Photo of Alex Salmond Alex Salmond First Minister of Scotland, Leader, Scottish National Party 11:59 am, 28th October 2010

As Tavish Scott well knows, it has been the Government's position for some considerable time to restrict the distinction awards in the national health service, which are the most substantial part of bonuses across the health service. We received a dusty response from the previous UK Government when Nicola Sturgeon took that initiative. Let us hope that the present Government is prepared to follow Tavish Scott's lead on this matter, if nothing else, and that the distinction awards are restricted.

On the general position, Tavish Scott should understand that, in terms of the overall public sector wage bill, there are certainly going to be great sacrifices, but we cannot cut across previously established contracts of employment. If we did that, we would end up in the Court of Session or the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future. I am sure that not even the Liberal Democrats would support that.