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Pre-release Access to Economic Statistics (Committee Bill Proposal)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th September 2019.

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Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

Nothing makes us more powerful. However, we are asked to comment, in many cases, the minute that something is published, and I would far rather that comment were informed by the facts, as opposed to being a knee-jerk response to high-level figures.

When I talk about others having access, I am not in any way suggesting that we want to preserve our access but deny access to the Scotland Office, for example. I am making the point, first, that there is an element of accountability in that regard, and secondly, that no one is denying access to statistics for those who legislate or the general public. All will have access.

My point is that PRA enables us to make a far more informed comment when something is published than just a knee-jerk response. Everybody has access to the statistics as soon as they are published.

I am going over my time, so I will draw to a close. Given the whole group of issues that the Scottish economy faces, whether it is a disorganised European Union exit or anything else, the Parliament needs to focus on and devote its energy to doing all that it can to support and protect the people, industries and reputation of Scotland. I look forward to working with the Economy, Energy and Fair Work Committee to do that.