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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 Richard Lyle Richard Lyle Scottish National Party

No.

Statisticians place considerable value on ensuring that ministers respond to statistics in an informed way, based on a correct understanding. I believe that removing PRA would mean that statisticians would have considerably less opportunity to influence the immediate reaction of ministers to statistics. Alternatively, ministers could end up saying that they are unwilling to comment until such time as they have had a chance to consider the statistics and take advice on the policy implications, which would reduce the scope for discussion and debate. The Opposition would then say that the minister was not up to speed. As far as I am concerned, Opposition members cannae have their cake and eat it. I believe in PRA—it should stay. I do not agree with the Opposition.