Remploy (United Kingdom Government Response)

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

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Photo of Bob Doris Bob Doris Scottish National Party

Ms Scanlon did not take any interventions. She should sit down.

Let us look at what we can do. There has been a lot of heat in the last few speeches about what previous UK Governments and the current UK Government have done. It was reasonable for Ms Adamson to set out the historical context; the UK Labour Party set the train in motion. However, on one level, that is now irrelevant. We are where we are and the majority of members want to find a way forward for Remploy factories.

I am mindful of the £4,000 figure that Gordon MacDonald mentioned when he spoke about the profit and loss margins at Remploy Springburn. When we see such close margins, we must say to ourselves that there must be a way forward such as a plan or proposal that can sustain Remploy Springburn and others into the future. I want to be actively involved in helping to achieve that on a cross-party basis.

Whether we are looking for social enterprise models, co-operative models, or better use of article 19, something has to be done. I say very gently to some members that just saying that the Scottish Government can step in every time that a UK Conservative Government messes up is not the answer to our problems. The answer to Scotland’s problems is to not have any UK Government messing up in Scotland, so that we can provide a better future for all our workforce.