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Scotland’s Future

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 18th September 2013.

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Photo of Rob Gibson Rob Gibson Scottish National Party

No.

That is the UK policy that is holding back the people of Achiltibuie and those in the tenements of Glasgow or wherever.

Then there is the privatisation of the Royal Mail. We will not be able to get the service so that we can sell goods. We can do that once we have our hands on the broadband that is coming.

We cannot get the land on which to build houses because many of the powers remain in London. The Government there will not end tax haven status and will not get rid of trust law. We will have to do that for ourselves. We have to get the powers to do so.

With all due respect, although I agree with the leader of the Opposition when she says that the land league was something to be proud of, it only protested; it did not get all the land back. We can do that only with the powers that are held at Westminster at the moment.

On energy, the Crown Estate is intent on taking a huge chunk of the profits from projects such as those that will develop offshore in my constituency and many more. Last week in the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, the Crown Estate said:

“For argument’s sake, let us use 2020 projected values. If we think about a round 3 site, for 1,000MW of installed capacity, we would expect to receive about £7.6 million per annum.”—[Official Report, Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, 11 September 2013; c 2538.]

That is the opportunity that could be held in our hands without it being sent as an impost to the Treasury. We need to control the Crown estate in order to empower coastal communities. There are many more such opportunities, but I will move on.

The Labour Party has a will-they, won’t-they position on the bedroom tax. Will it keep it or scrap it? We wait to hear with interest. We were talking about old songs earlier on and there is an old song that we should talk about here. It is Hamish Henderson’s internationalist anthem “The Freedom Come All Ye”. He said in the last verse:

“In your hoose a’ the bairns o Adam

Can find breid, barley-bree and painted room.”

In Scotland, we aspire to have the potential to give people their right to a roof over their heads and the food and recreation that they deserve as people in our country. They have been denied those things far too often in the past, whether they are in Achiltibuie, Glasgow or wherever.

That is why I recognise and welcome

“evidence that shows that there are gains for families and communities when decisions about Scotland are taken by those who care most about Scotland, the people who live and work here.”