Remploy (United Kingdom Government Response)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd March 2012.

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Photo of Kenneth Macintosh Kenneth Macintosh Labour

I do, and I thank Mr FitzPatrick for that.

Members: Mr Stewart.

Sorry—I beg your pardon, Mr Stewart. That is a terrible thing to do, and I have done it twice in one week now. I should know better after what happened with Mr Miliband. [Laughter.] I thank Mr Stewart for those comments, and I turn to what we can do practically to help.

On the basis of the evidence and past experience, it strikes me that political will is hugely important. I will be honest: when I heard that the debate was coming up, I thought that we, as the Opposition, had chosen the motion. I was slightly surprised to hear that the SNP had chosen it. I am not trying to apportion blame; however, when Blindcraft was threatened with closure, there was an expectation that the Scottish Government would intervene but it chose not to. On the other hand, when Glencraft was threatened with closure and there was a lot of political unrest, the Scottish Government intervened. There are political choices to be made.