Remploy (United Kingdom Government Response)

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

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Photo of Murdo Fraser Murdo Fraser Conservative

There have been far too many SNP comments in the debate already, so Mrs Ewing can sit down. I have to say that there was a contrast between Mrs Ewing’s tone and that of her brother on the front bench. Perhaps that explains why he is a minister and she is not.

Most of the speeches from Labour members were extremely positive. I gently remind John Pentland that it was Peter Hain who closed 28 factories because they were not viable. I do not remember motions from the Labour Party expressing deep disappointment about that being debated in the Parliament at the time.

We should focus on the positives and the way forward. We should consider initiatives to develop alternative business models. I welcome the minister’s comment that he will work with the DWP and that the DWP will work with the Remploy board to find ways forward and alternatives, such as social enterprises. On that, I agree with Helen Eadie. Change is difficult. Our focus should be on supporting the employees, not on scoring party-political or constitutional points.