Recently Answered Parliamentary Questions

Question S4O-02136
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 14/05/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what additional support it will provide to HMYOI Polmont and Education Scotland, following the decision to increase access, quality and consistency of teaching for inmates as a result of the report on HMYOI Polmont in February 2013.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 22/05/2013 (Skip to 02.03)

Question S4W-14735
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/05/2013

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has had discussions with Camelot regarding (a) how a national lottery could operate and (b) whether people in Scotland could participate in national lottery games for the rest of the UK if Scotland became independent.

Answered by John Swinney (16/05/2013):

To date there have been no discussions with Camelot about the operation of the National Lottery. An independent Scotland would continue to have a lottery and lottery infrastructure. Decisions about any changes to the national lottery following independence would be a matter for the respective governments to agree.

Question S4O-02106
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/05/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what projects it is funding to promote social, cultural and business links with Poland.

Current Status: Taken in the Chamber on 15/05/2013 (Skip to 04.53)

Question S4W-14610
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/05/2013

To ask the Scottish Government (a) what its position is on and (b) whether it plans to review the defence of provocation in relation to adultery.

Answered by Kenny MacAskill (14/05/2013):

The Scottish Law Commission has begun a review of the law of homicide, which will encompass a general review of the defences of provocation, self-defence, coercion and necessity as well as a comprehensive examination of the required mental element for the crime of homicide. Further information may be found at: http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/law-reform-projects/homicide/

The Scottish Government will give any recommendations very careful consideration.

Question S4W-14610
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/05/2013

To ask the Scottish Government (a) what its position is on and (b) whether it plans to review the defence of provocation in relation to adultery.

Answered by Kenny MacAskill (14/05/2013):

The Scottish Law Commission has begun a review of the law of homicide, which will encompass a general review of the defences of provocation, self-defence, coercion and necessity as well as a comprehensive examination of the required mental element for the crime of homicide. Further information may be found at: http://www.scotlawcom.gov.uk/law-reform-projects/homicide/

The Scottish Government will give any recommendations very careful consideration.  

Question S4W-14609
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/05/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what projects it is funding to tackle racism in schools, broken down by funding amount.

Answered by Alasdair Allan (10/05/2013):

We are providing £400,000 over financial years 2012-15 to Show Racism the Red Card and Youth Development and Employment Support, however, the specific amounts for work in schools cannot be identified as the work of these organisations cut across many areas.

Question S4W-14608

Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 01/05/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to write off the student debt of graduates of universities in Scotland.

Answered by Michael Russell (10/05/2013):

Access to student loans is a key part of how students in Scotland support themselves. The Scottish Government has no plans to change that, however we are committed to ensuring that the amount of debt accrued remains manageable and that we do not, for example, ask our students to take on loans to pay tuition fees.

Beyond that, we are not resourced to make amends for the historical mistakes of previous administrations.

Question S4W-14358

Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/04/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to protect young carers from any negative impact of the recent welfare reforms.

Answered by Nicola Sturgeon (29/04/2013):

We are doing all we can to mitigate the worst impacts of these reforms on people and organisations across Scotland. This includes: providing £7.9 million for organisations to give advice and support to those affected; an additional £9.2 million for the new Scottish Welfare Fund, giving a total Fund of £33 million; and providing, with our partners in local government, a total of £40 million to protect people in Scotland from the UK Government’s 10% cut in Council Tax Benefit.

The Scottish Government also works with a range of organisations to help better understand the impact of the UK Government’s reforms of the welfare system on different groups in Scotland. Carers Scotland are represented on our Welfare Reform Scrutiny Group.

The Scottish Government recognises the important role of carers, including young carers in Scotland and we continue to provide substantial funding to a range of National Carers Organisations to ensure they get the support they need. This includes providing around £4 million between 2008 and 2015 through the implementation of Getting it Right for Young Carers Strategy. Organisations supporting young carers are also benefitting through our investment of over £13 million between 2010-2015 for short breaks for both carers and young carers.

In addition, part of the £28.9 million to NHS boards for their Carer Information Strategies between, 2008-2015 is supporting young carer services in a variety of ways.

Question S4W-14119

Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 03/04/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to address the reported shortage of social housing in Glasgow.

Answered by Margaret Burgess (23/04/2013):

A three-year delegated housing supply budget (through to March 2015) of £181.138 million was issued to Glasgow City Council through the Transfer of Management and Development Funding. This enables Glasgow City Council to take the lead in devising a locally led programme of social and affordable housing developments, based on the priorities identified within its local housing strategies and strategic housing investment plans.

The Scottish Government is providing further support through the Glasgow Housing Association new build reprovisioning programme, in which all of the homes will be for social rent in Glasgow.

In addition, the Scottish Government recently approved five Glasgow housing developments under the Greener Homes Innovation Scheme, which will provide a mix of social and affordable housing developments across the city.

Question S4W-13782
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 19/03/2013

To ask the Scottish Government how many convictions for domestic abuse have been for a repeat of the same offence in each of the last five years.

Answered by Kenny MacAskill (25/04/2013):
Information on the number of individuals convicted of an offence with a domestic abuse aggravator along with the number of those individuals with at least one previous conviction (also with a domestic abuse aggravator) is recorded in the following table.

Financial Year

Individuals convicted of a crime/offence with a domestic abuse aggravator

Individuals with at least one previous conviction recorded
(with a domestic abuse aggravator)

2011-12

8,247

2,549

2010-11

8,089

2,193

2009-10

8,405

2,026

2008-09

6,760

1,504

2007-08

5,458

1,109

 Source: Scottish Government Criminal Proceedings Database.

Offence aggravations are codes that highlight particular circumstances relating to the specific incident as opposed to the actual charge. Recording of offence aggravators has been improving over time and it is deemed that recording has only reached a sufficient level of consistency in the past three years from 2009-10.

Any apparent increase in the number of previous offences is likely to be the product of improved recording and an increase in the counting base. Therefore, any comparisons of aggravator information made over time should be made with caution and in particular the number of individuals with at least one previous conviction is not comparable year on year.

Question S4O-01963
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 18/03/2013


To ask the Scottish Government what additional investment it will provide to Glasgow City Council in order to further regenerate the most deprived areas of the city by summer 2014.

Answered by Margaret Burgess (27/03/2013):
It is the responsibility of the Council and the Community Planning Partnership to deliver local economic development and local regeneration, based on their understanding of local needs and circumstances, from their local government settlement.

In 2013-14 Glasgow City Council will receive £1,240 million in revenue funding and £105.8 million capital funding.

They also receive funding for transport, education and housing projects, including £4.5 million from the People and Communities Fund by 2015. Additional support also includes £20 million to Clyde Gateway Urban Regeneration Company for 2013-14.

The Scottish Government remains committed to the regeneration of all of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas and strengthening of local communities.

Question S4W-13698
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 14/03/2013

To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to review the level of support offered to Diploma in Legal Practice students.

Answered by Michael Russell (26/03/2013):
The Scottish Government is carrying out a review of postgraduate student support arrangements in Scotland including the support provided for Diploma in Legal Practice.

Question S4W-13640
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 13/03/2013

To ask the Scottish Government whether it has achieved its aim of providing 600 hours of free nursery education per year to each family. 

Answered by Aileen Campbell (20/03/2013):

The Children and Young People Bill, which includes proposals to increase the current level of 475 hours of funded pre-school education per annum for three and four year olds, to a minimum of 600 hours of funded early learning and childcare for three and four year olds, and two year olds who are looked after, is currently being developed.

In addition to increasing the number of hours of funded provision, the Bill will also increase the level of flexibility in terms of how the entitlement can be accessed.

The aim is for the legislative proposals relating to increasing the level and flexibility of funded early learning and childcare to be delivered from 2014.

Question S4W-13616
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/03/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of how many cystic fibrosis patients with the G551D mutation are not being prescribed Ivacaftor (Kalydeco).

Answered by Alex Neil MSP (25/03/2013):

NHS Boards have been advised that clinicians should progress applications for ivacaftor for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis who have not had a lung transplant and who have the G551D gene mutation on the basis that the costs of associated with the medicine following a successful application will be met through the Rare Conditions Medicines Fund.

Clinicians are best placed to determine if their patients would benefit from this medicine.

Question S4W-13617
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 12/03/2013

To ask the Scottish Government how many successful requests for Ivacaftor (Kalydeco) have been funded by the Rare Conditions Medicines Fund.

Answered by Alex Neil MSP
The Scottish Government does not hold information on how many successful requests have been made for ivacaftor.

NHS Boards have been advised that clinicians should progress applications for ivacaftor for patients suffering from cystic fibrosis who have not had a lung transplant and who have the G551D gene mutation on the basis that the costs associated with the medicine following a successful application will be met through the Rare Conditions Medicines Fund.

Clinicians are best placed to determine if their patients would benefit from this medicine.

Question S4O-01943
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 11/03/2013
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making on improving mental health services for prisoners.

Answered by Michael Matheson (20/03/2013):

Responsibility for providing mental health services in prisons transferred to the NHS in November 2012.

NHS chief executives established the National Prisoner Healthcare Network to support delivery of a high quality, safe, effective and consistent service to prisoners, hosted by Healthcare Improvement Scotland. Mental health is a priority for the network. A sub-group focusing on mental health will report its recommendations for service development to the network in April.

Question S4W-13539
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 07/03/2013

To ask the Scottish Government what support it gave to events that marked World Book Day 2013.

Answered by Aileen Campbell (21/03/2013):

World Book Day is one of a range of initiatives supported by partner bodies engaged in literacy work, in this case specifically Scottish Book Trust, supported by Education Scotland.

I attended the Scottish Children’s Book Awards with Scottish Book Trust in Dundee on World Book Day this year where I presented the Review Competition Awards.

Further, the importance of World Book Day was promoted through social media channels in the PlayTalkRead campaign.

Question S4W-13498
Anne McTaggart, Glasgow, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 06/03/2013

To ask the Scottish Government how much it has spent on external legal advice and advocacy since May 2011.

Answered by John Swinney (20/03/2013):

The total spent on external legal fees since May 2011 is £6,065,037.27 (exclusive of VAT). The total spent on Counsel fees since May 2011 is £2,352,906.94 (exclusive of VAT). 

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