11/05/2017: First Minister's Questions Politics Scotland


Download Subtitles

SRT

ASS


11/05/2017: First Minister's Questions

Coverage of First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament.


Similar Content

Browse content similar to 11/05/2017: First Minister's Questions. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!

Transcript


LineFromTo

Hello. A very warm welcome to the Garden Lobby here at Holyrood.

:00:17.:00:24.

Glorious weather. Beautiful day for going out canvassing. Yes, of

:00:25.:00:28.

course, the UK general election is well under way. The leak of the

:00:29.:00:32.

draft Labour manifesto today causing quite a fuss. The main emphasis of

:00:33.:00:37.

this is questions to the First Minister on the devolved powers of

:00:38.:00:41.

the FM. But you can bet that UK begun election will come up as well.

:00:42.:00:45.

Let's cross to the chamber and find out. That's Mary Fee on her feet

:00:46.:00:54.

asking a question about education. A hot subject this week. That Labour

:00:55.:01:00.

manifesto will rear its head today once questions to the First Minister

:01:01.:01:04.

gets under way. The issue of renationalisation of rail, bus and

:01:05.:01:08.

postal services might not be so controversial with everyone here.

:01:09.:01:12.

But the Trident question is certainly one which the First

:01:13.:01:15.

Minister may want to use against Kes can ya Dugdale. The Scottish Labour

:01:16.:01:22.

Party vote in the favour the getting rid of Trident. As we saw in its

:01:23.:01:28.

draft form today, favours maintaining the Trident system

:01:29.:01:34.

against the Scottish Labour Party and of Jeremy Corbyn. On top of

:01:35.:01:39.

that, we're bound to get questions on those devolved issues with a view

:01:40.:01:43.

to the election campaign, how they might impinge upon it. We've had

:01:44.:01:48.

those questions this week about education, about literacy and the

:01:49.:01:52.

SNP Government's record on that. That's an issue which Nicola

:01:53.:01:56.

Sturgeon said she wants to make her main priority. This is, of course,

:01:57.:02:01.

the Education Secretary, John Swinney on his feet to answer that

:02:02.:02:07.

question. We faced a number of Labour local authorities that were

:02:08.:02:09.

absolutely determined to reduce teacher numbers. I wouldn't have it.

:02:10.:02:20.

So, I'm delighted that as a result of the Government's strong action in

:02:21.:02:24.

this respect, we see an increasing number of teachers in our schools

:02:25.:02:30.

and our classrooms and I'm delighted that the ?120 million that the

:02:31.:02:33.

Government has made available directly to the schools of our

:02:34.:02:37.

country, which the Labour Party voted against every single one of

:02:38.:02:42.

them, is now recruiting another teachers in our classrooms and

:02:43.:02:44.

assisting in the delivery of education in Scotland. I would have

:02:45.:02:50.

thought Mary Fee would have welcomed that. Deputy First Minister getting

:02:51.:02:57.

things under way early. Well, that's warmed us up! The First Minister

:02:58.:03:01.

does not need to follow that example. Returning to First

:03:02.:03:05.

Minister's Questions. Ruth Davidson? Thank you. I want to ask the First

:03:06.:03:10.

Minister what engagement's she's planned for the rest of the day. The

:03:11.:03:16.

Government's programme for Scotland. Today, in Scotland in an S2 class of

:03:17.:03:20.

30 pupils, on average, five can't write properly. That's double the

:03:21.:03:25.

number of just four years ago. When the First Minister sees statistics

:03:26.:03:30.

like these does she feel embarrassed, achimed or both?

:03:31.:03:34.

Actually, what I feel is utterly determined. Determined to carry on

:03:35.:03:39.

with the changes we are making in Scottish education so that we

:03:40.:03:45.

continue to see the improvements in attainment and progress in closing

:03:46.:03:50.

the attainment gap. Ruth Davidson points to the S2 performance in

:03:51.:03:54.

writing in the study published this week. I'm not going to try in any

:03:55.:04:00.

way to diminish the significance of those findings. But, I think it is

:04:01.:04:07.

important to say this, that study, a sample study, measures S2 pupils

:04:08.:04:12.

against the standard that they're expected to reach in S3. What we

:04:13.:04:18.

know now from the much more comprehensive data that we're

:04:19.:04:21.

publishing through the national improvement framework, which we'll

:04:22.:04:25.

continue to publish on an annual basis and will become informed by

:04:26.:04:29.

the standardised assessments. We see over 80% of the pupils in S3 meeting

:04:30.:04:34.

the standard that they're required to meet. We'll continue to take

:04:35.:04:40.

forward the meshures that have been guided by OECD recommendations. For

:04:41.:04:45.

example, our new attainment challenge, our new attainment fund

:04:46.:04:49.

which as the Deputy First Minister said is directing resources to head

:04:50.:04:53.

teachers. The new bench marks for literacy and numeracy put in place

:04:54.:04:58.

backed by a range of targeted programmes from the attainment

:04:59.:05:02.

challenge, book bug, play top read programme in the early years, read,

:05:03.:05:06.

write, count in early primary. The read reading challenge. We'll

:05:07.:05:10.

continue to take forward the new detailed mesh you arement system

:05:11.:05:15.

which will track progress not just by way of a sample survey, but by

:05:16.:05:22.

using data on every pupil in primary 1, 4, 7 and S3 broken down by local

:05:23.:05:26.

authority and schools. In answer to the question, I feel determined to

:05:27.:05:30.

continue to get on with these reforms to make improvements for

:05:31.:05:36.

pupils right across our country. Ten years and five out of every 30

:05:37.:05:42.

pupils can't write properly. Presiding Officer, we like to pride

:05:43.:05:45.

ourselves in Scotland that our education system was the best in the

:05:46.:05:49.

world. After ten years of this SNP Government, we can do so no longer.

:05:50.:05:54.

Last week, I stood here and raised the fact teacher training places are

:05:55.:05:57.

not being filled. Yesterday, we learnt about the standards of that

:05:58.:06:03.

training. On the time spent on literacy one trainee said it would

:06:04.:06:07.

be a single week. One week. Another said she and her fellow trainees

:06:08.:06:12.

don't have the sufficient skills in numeracy to be able to teach it to

:06:13.:06:16.

11-year-olds at a reasonable standard. So, we've not enough

:06:17.:06:21.

trainee teachers coming through and the ones who are, aren't being

:06:22.:06:24.

taught properly. That's not their fault. But, if they're not getting

:06:25.:06:28.

the proper instruction, what chance do they have of teaching our

:06:29.:06:34.

children? Firstly, I think, as I said also last week, while we should

:06:35.:06:40.

not and this Government does not ignore the challenges we face, we

:06:41.:06:43.

should not do a disservice to pupils and teachers across the country. As

:06:44.:06:52.

I've just said, more than 80% of S3 pupils, according to the

:06:53.:06:55.

comprehensive data we publish, are meeting the required standards in

:06:56.:07:00.

writing. We're also seeing annual increases in the proportion of

:07:01.:07:04.

school levers reaching the national 5 level. The gap between richest and

:07:05.:07:09.

poorest closing. A record number of advanced higher passes. A record

:07:10.:07:13.

number of higher passes in the last few years. Let me turn also to the

:07:14.:07:19.

question of teacher education. In terms of entry into initial teacher

:07:20.:07:24.

education, we've increased the intake into teacher education as

:07:25.:07:28.

part of the work we are doing to make sure there are the required

:07:29.:07:32.

numbers of teachers coming into our schools. In terms of the content of

:07:33.:07:36.

teacher education, which is the substance of the question Ruth

:07:37.:07:40.

Davidson asked and has been under discussion at the Education

:07:41.:07:43.

Committee this week. There's a couple of points to make first

:07:44.:07:49.

before I action we've taken. It is universities, of course, in

:07:50.:07:53.

partnership with the GDC that decide the content and structure of initial

:07:54.:08:01.

teacher education. Here's a fact... Here's a fact that Ruth Davidson

:08:02.:08:05.

won't like to hear. It says something good about Scottish

:08:06.:08:10.

education. The recently published complete university guide rate the

:08:11.:08:14.

four of Scottish universities in the top seven across the UK for

:08:15.:08:19.

teacherer education. We have recognised we need to do more around

:08:20.:08:24.

teacher education. I'm surprised Ruth Davidson doesn't seem to know

:08:25.:08:29.

this from the content of her question, in our delivery plan

:08:30.:08:33.

published last year, we committed to a review of Scotland's initial

:08:34.:08:38.

teacher education courses. And, the report of that review will be

:08:39.:08:41.

published in the next few weeks. On that, as well as on the other

:08:42.:08:48.

issues, this is the situation. We've got good performance across

:08:49.:08:51.

education in Scotland. But there are areas where we have recognised we

:08:52.:08:55.

need to do better. This Government is getting on with the job of taking

:08:56.:08:59.

the action that will deliver these improvements. Here's a fact for the

:09:00.:09:07.

First Minister. Bright young trainees are starting their careers

:09:08.:09:10.

in Scotland without the tools they need to do the job. That's not me

:09:11.:09:14.

saying it. That's what they told this Parliament just yesterday. As

:09:15.:09:19.

the Education Secretary acknowledged this week, we need inspections to

:09:20.:09:23.

flag up issues in our schools but the number of inspections has gone

:09:24.:09:29.

down upped the SNP. Why? We don't have enough inspectors and the one's

:09:30.:09:33.

we have are being dragged off the job to sort out of the mess that the

:09:34.:09:38.

curriculum for excellence. Does this sound like a system which is in any

:09:39.:09:44.

way functioning properly? She just said about curriculum for

:09:45.:09:47.

excellence, not only did Ruth Davidson go against what her party

:09:48.:09:51.

said about curriculum for excellence, she goes against the

:09:52.:09:56.

judgment of the OECD when they did a review of curriculum for excellence

:09:57.:10:01.

and said that was a reform that they welcomed but they pointed out the

:10:02.:10:04.

areas where we had to further improve to deal with the challenges

:10:05.:10:09.

we face. So, what we have in education is good performance and we

:10:10.:10:13.

have a range of international experts who have said that. We have

:10:14.:10:19.

a number of challenges, not least the ones the SSLN survey highlighted

:10:20.:10:22.

this week. We have a programme of reform that's getting on with making

:10:23.:10:27.

the changing backed by significant addition at investment in our

:10:28.:10:30.

schools that are about delivering improvement. So, I think it is

:10:31.:10:35.

important that this Parliament scrutinises that on an ongoing

:10:36.:10:38.

basis. As First Minister with the Deputy First Minister, I'm going to

:10:39.:10:42.

stay focussed in taking forward this reform programme. As I said last

:10:43.:10:47.

week, what we often find in this chamber is opposition parties

:10:48.:10:50.

calling for us to make changes but as soon as we make any of those

:10:51.:10:56.

changes and as soon as some people might think they disagree with them,

:10:57.:10:59.

we find opposition parties running for cover. Well, this Government

:11:00.:11:03.

will continue to focus on making the reforms and making the changes that

:11:04.:11:06.

we think are required to drive the improvements we are determined to

:11:07.:11:13.

see. It's funny the First Minister talked about what a range of

:11:14.:11:21.

international experts said about. Professor Lindsey Paterson. He says

:11:22.:11:26.

this: Curriculum for excellence has ignored the need for deep knowledge

:11:27.:11:30.

with the dismaying consequences that we now see. So, every week we stand

:11:31.:11:35.

up here and hear jargon about cross curricular this and joined up that.

:11:36.:11:39.

It's not much help if we've children in our country that can't add up,

:11:40.:11:44.

can't write and can't read. Last week, the First Minister accused me

:11:45.:11:47.

of being obsessed about the constitution. Well, here is her

:11:48.:11:51.

record in this place. Since last year, this Government has spent more

:11:52.:11:57.

time debating the constitution than debating education, health,

:11:58.:12:02.

transport and justice combined. And we have had enough. After ten years,

:12:03.:12:09.

after ten years, don't the people of Scotland deserve a Government that

:12:10.:12:12.

will for once focus on their priorities and not on hers? Let me

:12:13.:12:22.

share some of the views... Order, that's enough! Let me share some of

:12:23.:12:28.

the views of the international exports I was referring to. Page 13

:12:29.:12:32.

of the OECD review of Scottish education states this. The

:12:33.:12:36.

curriculum for excellence is an important reform putting in place a

:12:37.:12:44.

coherent 3-18 curriculum. It rests on a contemporary view of skills and

:12:45.:12:51.

what makes for powerful learning. The deputy director for OECD. We

:12:52.:12:55.

applaud Scotland for having the foresight and patients to put such

:12:56.:13:00.

an ambition reform as curriculum for excellence in place. That's the

:13:01.:13:05.

support backed up by the international council for education

:13:06.:13:09.

advisers. Who were deeply impressed with the schools they visited during

:13:10.:13:13.

their programme here. We'll continue to build on the strengths of

:13:14.:13:18.

Scottish education and make sure we drive the improvements through the

:13:19.:13:22.

action I have been talking about. The the attainment fund, putting

:13:23.:13:25.

?120 million into the hands of head teachers. The attainment challenge,

:13:26.:13:32.

driving improvements in literacy and numeracy. Making sure we don't have

:13:33.:13:37.

to just rely on a sample SSLN survey. We have comprehensive data

:13:38.:13:42.

on every pupil in these particular school years. We'll continue to take

:13:43.:13:46.

forward that programme of reform. Let me turn to the issue of

:13:47.:13:53.

priorities. You see when Ruth Davidson talks about the time spent

:13:54.:13:59.

in this chamber debating the constitution, what she's trying to

:14:00.:14:06.

distract attention from is that has been time debating the implications

:14:07.:14:15.

of Brexit. The Brexit disaster. The Brexit disaster that the Tory Party

:14:16.:14:23.

is leading this country into. Secondly, on priorities. Over the

:14:24.:14:29.

past week, the Scottish Tories have churned out press release after

:14:30.:14:34.

press release after press release. In all of those press releases, we

:14:35.:14:39.

have seen health mentioned once. We've seen education mentioned 12

:14:40.:14:51.

times. We've seen me, the SNP or Independent mentioned a grand total

:14:52.:14:56.

of 153 times! So, Presiding Officer, I'll get on with the job of

:14:57.:15:02.

improving education, but I'll take no lectures on priorities from Ruth

:15:03.:15:04.

Davidson or the Tories! What engagements has the First

:15:05.:15:20.

Minister planned for the rest of the week. The bring forward the

:15:21.:15:25.

Government's plan for Scotland. Scotland's nurses need a pay rise.

:15:26.:15:30.

Since 2010 they've seen a real terms cut in wages of ?3,400. Our NHS

:15:31.:15:35.

staff are underresourced and underpaid. The Labour Party will

:15:36.:15:39.

always argue for better wages because it means better performance.

:15:40.:15:44.

The reality of today's NHS is nurses are more likely to leave the

:15:45.:15:47.

profession because the work isn't paying as well as it should. The

:15:48.:15:52.

results, hundreds of millions of pounds spent on agency staff. So,

:15:53.:15:57.

why did the SNP vote against scrapping the pay cap last night?

:15:58.:16:02.

Well, I think this is a really important issue, not just for people

:16:03.:16:07.

working in NHS but for public sector workers generally. We've had a

:16:08.:16:11.

period of pay restraint. The reasons for that pay restent were firstly

:16:12.:16:16.

the financial crash. Then the long period of austerity started under

:16:17.:16:19.

Labour and continued under the Tories. The reason for that pay

:16:20.:16:28.

restraint, the reason was to protect jobs in the public sector and make

:16:29.:16:33.

sure we can protect investment in areas of the public sector like our

:16:34.:16:37.

NHS. As I said previously, we're seeing more investment in our NHS

:16:38.:16:41.

today under this Government than we would if Labour were in Government.

:16:42.:16:43.

They didn't pledge as much as we did. On the issue of pay, can I say,

:16:44.:16:50.

I think this is an issue we are required to look carefully at now

:16:51.:16:55.

inflation is rising again. With the NHS, of course, it is the

:16:56.:16:59.

independent pay review body that makes pay recommendations. The

:17:00.:17:02.

Health Secretary yesterday committed to working with the health unions to

:17:03.:17:07.

jointly commission work that we would then submit to the pay review

:17:08.:17:11.

body for its deliberations for the next year. But, we have taken action

:17:12.:17:18.

to make sure that we are treating workers in our NHS as fairly as

:17:19.:17:22.

possible. Unlike Governments elsewhere in the UK, we have

:17:23.:17:27.

targeted low pay and we've also made sure that we've always accepted

:17:28.:17:31.

recommendations of the pay review body and made sure people working in

:17:32.:17:36.

our NHS aren't denied the progression they've sometimes been

:17:37.:17:39.

denied elsewhere. As a result of that, while I do not deny for a

:17:40.:17:43.

second the real pressure that people working in our NHS are under, as a

:17:44.:17:50.

result of that, in Scotland, every entry level NHS support staff worker

:17:51.:17:58.

is paid more than ?1,000 a year more than their English counterparts. A

:17:59.:18:03.

band 5 nurse, the level for a newly qualified nurse, is paid ?300 a year

:18:04.:18:08.

more than somebody doing the same job in England. And, crucially, paid

:18:09.:18:14.

?312 a year more than a nurse doing the same job in Wales. Why do I

:18:15.:18:20.

mention Wales? Labour is in Government in Wales and they haven't

:18:21.:18:24.

even done as much as we've done to protect the pay of nurses. We'll

:18:25.:18:28.

continue to make sure we work with our trade unions to get fairness for

:18:29.:18:31.

our nurses and for public sector workers. In all of that, there's no

:18:32.:18:43.

escaping the reality whilst they might be ?300 better off than

:18:44.:18:47.

England they are worse off than they should have been under her

:18:48.:18:53.

Government. And the brutal reality of a decade of SNP has seen them

:18:54.:18:59.

make a complete and utter mismachinagement of our 2346789 HS

:19:00.:19:05.

The Times newspaper today reports a ?400 million contract for private

:19:06.:19:08.

doctors to work in our NHS that went out to tender on the 1st May. The

:19:09.:19:13.

brutal truth is our hospitals have to turn to private sector because

:19:14.:19:17.

they don't have enough doctors in the first place. Labour can reveal

:19:18.:19:23.

today the number of consultant posts that have remained vacant for six

:19:24.:19:28.

months or more has increased six fold since 2011. That's the reality

:19:29.:19:33.

of complete and utter mess she has made of our NHS. So, tell me First

:19:34.:19:39.

Minister, why can't the SNP find ?400 million for private health

:19:40.:19:43.

companies but it can't find the money to pay our NHS nurses? I'll

:19:44.:19:49.

take no lessons on private sector involvement in our NHS from the

:19:50.:19:54.

Labour Party who signed PFI contracts in our NHS that continues

:19:55.:19:59.

to drain the budgets. The reality is, reliance on the private sector

:20:00.:20:02.

reduced under this Government. That is right and proper. Let's go back

:20:03.:20:08.

to the important issue of pay. Not just in the NHS but in the public

:20:09.:20:14.

sector. I understand why workers across our public sector think the

:20:15.:20:19.

1% pay cap has now to be lifted. We'll continue to talk to trade

:20:20.:20:23.

unions. I was talking about this very issue earlier this week. And

:20:24.:20:27.

will continue to make sure the evidence we submit to the pay review

:20:28.:20:32.

body for the NHS properly reflects the circumstances in the economy

:20:33.:20:38.

today. We've had pay restraint because we have had an extremely

:20:39.:20:42.

tight public spending environment. We have had to make sure we protect

:20:43.:20:47.

jobs in the public sector and protect investment in our National

:20:48.:20:51.

Health Service. The other thing Kezia Dugdale won't want us to

:20:52.:20:55.

mention is the fact we've also in Scotland had a policy of no

:20:56.:20:58.

compulsory redundancies in the public sector. We look at the NHS.

:20:59.:21:04.

We see 12,000 compulsory redundancies in the NHS. 20,000

:21:05.:21:09.

South of the border, none here in Scotland. I'm not standing here

:21:10.:21:14.

saying it is easy for anybody working in our NHS. Because of the

:21:15.:21:18.

action we've taken to make sure we target extra resources at low paid

:21:19.:21:23.

people, making sure people working in our NHS get access to

:21:24.:21:27.

progression, because of that, 60% of agenda for change staff will have

:21:28.:21:33.

been paid more than the 1% uplift when they're progression and action

:21:34.:21:36.

in low pay's taken into account. I don't think it is at all fair for

:21:37.:21:41.

Kezia Dugdale simply to dismiss the fact we have done more than any

:21:42.:21:45.

other Government anywhere else in the UK to try to help public sector

:21:46.:21:50.

workers in this difficult time. We will continue to do exactly that.

:21:51.:21:54.

The difference is this Government stands on the side of public sector

:21:55.:21:58.

workers in the NHS and elsewhere too. Two things come from that.

:21:59.:22:08.

First of all, in all of that answer, she's actually asking us to be

:22:09.:22:12.

grateful that she's not sacking nurses because of her compulsory

:22:13.:22:17.

redundancy policy. Secondly, there is a clear difference between our

:22:18.:22:22.

two parties. Whilst I have a progressive plan to protect our

:22:23.:22:26.

public services and stop the cuts, all she has is a plan to see the

:22:27.:22:30.

private sector profit from Scotland's sick. That is the

:22:31.:22:34.

reality. And the Times romp today also tells us the amount of private

:22:35.:22:39.

money going into the NHS has doubled in the last two years alone upped

:22:40.:22:42.

her watch. Let's look at those facts. Our hospitals don't have

:22:43.:22:47.

enough nurses. Those nurses don't have enough money in their pocket.

:22:48.:22:50.

Our hospitals don't have enough doctors. But this there's enough

:22:51.:22:54.

money for private health firms S this what the NHS looks like when

:22:55.:22:58.

the Government's more interested in running a referendum than running

:22:59.:23:04.

the NHS? Let's look at private sector spend. Private sector spend

:23:05.:23:11.

fell last year in NHS Scotland. It represents 0.7% of the Scottish

:23:12.:23:15.

Government's total health resource budget. In comparison, in a trend

:23:16.:23:22.

started under the last Labour Government, the NHS in England

:23:23.:23:27.

spends 7.6% of its budget on the private sector. So, we will continue

:23:28.:23:33.

to make sure that we are investing in the public NHS not the private

:23:34.:23:37.

sector. Interestingly, one of the first things I did when I was Health

:23:38.:23:43.

Secretary was scrap the private contract for the running of a

:23:44.:23:46.

hospital that was introduced by the last Labour administration. So, the

:23:47.:23:56.

problem for Labour here is all these things they pontificate about in

:23:57.:23:59.

opposition are things they failed to do when they had the opportunity in

:24:00.:24:08.

Government. And, lastly, I don't expect anybody working across our

:24:09.:24:12.

public sector to be grateful to any Government. They are dealing with

:24:13.:24:15.

extremely tough times. I recognise that. I recognise that particularly

:24:16.:24:21.

for people working at the front line of the NHS. But I would expect

:24:22.:24:26.

opposition parties to recognise that in these tough times, this

:24:27.:24:31.

Government has done more in terms of public sector pay than any other

:24:32.:24:37.

Government across the UK. That's why agenda for change, staff are made

:24:38.:24:42.

more in Scotland than England and why newly qualified nurses are paid

:24:43.:24:50.

more in Scotland than they are in England and Labour-governed Wales.

:24:51.:24:54.

We have record funding in our NHS and record numbers of staff working

:24:55.:24:55.

in our NHS as well. I'm conscious we've taken a lot of

:24:56.:25:08.

time on the first two questions. There are a number of members who

:25:09.:25:12.

wish to get in. If we can make progress. Two constituency

:25:13.:25:21.

questions. John Finney? North-west highland, it's UNESCO status in 2015

:25:22.:25:24.

after ten years of hard work by local communities. That status is

:25:25.:25:28.

assessed every four years. It is next due to be assessed in 2019.

:25:29.:25:33.

Until now, the Scottish Government's provided core funding. This year,

:25:34.:25:36.

the Scottish Government took the decision not to supply core funding.

:25:37.:25:42.

The park have put of a crowd funder that closed on Monday. They've

:25:43.:25:51.

raised 12,816. What's gone into achieve that can UNESCO status, it

:25:52.:25:55.

would be a disaster if that status was lost. Will you examine options

:25:56.:26:05.

for sporting the West Highland geopark to keep its UNESCO status? I

:26:06.:26:12.

am familiar with go owe park and the UNESCO status it has. It is

:26:13.:26:19.

extremely important. As I recall, the Scottish Government provided

:26:20.:26:24.

initial core funding with a view to geopark becoming sustainable. I am

:26:25.:26:29.

happy to ask for it to be looked into again and see if we can do

:26:30.:26:34.

anything. I'll report back to on-Finney once we've had the

:26:35.:26:39.

opportunity to look at it. Our bowling and tennis club in Greenock

:26:40.:26:45.

is a 175-year-old club offering vital sporting facilities. Changing

:26:46.:26:50.

to water and sewage charge exemption rules has left them facing a bill up

:26:51.:26:55.

to ?2,000 per annum which could drive up membership costs or force

:26:56.:26:58.

them to close doors. They are not the only ones. What comfort can the

:26:59.:27:04.

First Minister provide charities, clubs, village halls and sporting

:27:05.:27:07.

groups that the Government will look at these charges. Will she commit to

:27:08.:27:12.

a full and open review into this policy? . It is not too long since

:27:13.:27:17.

we had a full review of the situation around charities with

:27:18.:27:21.

water rates or exemptions. I remember it well. At the time, I was

:27:22.:27:26.

the minister in charge of taking forward the recommendations from

:27:27.:27:28.

that review. I remember well we tried to put in place a system that

:27:29.:27:34.

was as fair as possible to as many charities across the country. The

:27:35.:27:38.

test for he exemption are based on the income of charities and capital

:27:39.:27:45.

that the charities hold. Therefore there will always be some charitable

:27:46.:27:50.

organisations that don't get examingses because they've capital

:27:51.:27:53.

above those thresholds. I am more than happy to have the relevant

:27:54.:27:57.

minister look at the particular loringation cited here. To make sure

:27:58.:28:06.

the rules are being applied appropriately. The genuine point is

:28:07.:28:11.

all members will recognise with any system of exemptions like this,

:28:12.:28:14.

there will be some organisations that do not qualify for the

:28:15.:28:18.

exemptions. I know that will be very difficult for organisations in that

:28:19.:28:22.

position. I'll ask Rose Anne in a Cunningham to look at this

:28:23.:28:25.

particular case and report back to the member in due course. To ask the

:28:26.:28:30.

First Minister what issues will be discussed at the next meeting of the

:28:31.:28:34.

Cabinet. Matters of the importance, the people of Scotland. Yet again,

:28:35.:28:39.

we've #45ered about the poor statistics on education. The mother

:28:40.:28:45.

of our 15-year-old schoolboy said to me yesterday that she is worried her

:28:46.:28:49.

son could be one of those statistics. He is struggling with

:28:50.:28:55.

reading and writing. She is anxious about his future. And she is also

:28:56.:29:01.

angry with the SNP who have been in charge for the whole of her son's

:29:02.:29:05.

education. What has the First Minister got to say to that mother

:29:06.:29:10.

and her son? I'm concerned to learn of any parent anywhere in the

:29:11.:29:14.

country who has concerns of that nature about their child's

:29:15.:29:19.

education. I would repeat again how seriously I and this Government take

:29:20.:29:22.

the challenges that we face in education. I won't repeat as I did

:29:23.:29:27.

with Ruth Davidson, all of the strengths of Scottish education. I

:29:28.:29:30.

do think it is unfair to teachers working hard across the country not

:29:31.:29:34.

to recognise those strengths and to recognise some of the real

:29:35.:29:37.

improvements we're making. Up with of the ones I didn't mention earlier

:29:38.:29:44.

on was the improvements in attainment with pupils with

:29:45.:29:48.

additional support needs. Because we recognise some of these

:29:49.:29:51.

challengeses, we are taking the action we're taking. I don't know

:29:52.:29:56.

the school the child 69 parent quoted by Willie Rennie goes to. But

:29:57.:30:00.

it is very, very likely that the head teacher of that school now has

:30:01.:30:08.

in his or her own hands, additional resources, significant resources to

:30:09.:30:13.

invest in areas that head teacher thinks is required to attain improve

:30:14.:30:16.

thes. It is that action we're determined to continue to drive

:30:17.:30:20.

forward. Many of the reforms we are taking forward are reforms Willie

:30:21.:30:25.

Rennie's opposing. Yes, it is absolutely right members bring

:30:26.:30:29.

concerns to this chamber. But, we also have to be prepared to do the

:30:30.:30:33.

difficult things that are required to see the improvements we all want

:30:34.:30:34.

to see. I'm afraid that's more promises to

:30:35.:30:43.

improve school education at some point in the future. It won't help

:30:44.:30:48.

that schoolboy now. He could be part of a lost generation. He's been in

:30:49.:30:53.

school for a decade. Every single day off that the SNP education

:30:54.:30:57.

secretaries have been in charge. And they still sit round the Cabinet

:30:58.:31:03.

table today. These are the Education Secretary is that rejected a pupil

:31:04.:31:08.

premium for six whole years, even though it raised attainment in

:31:09.:31:13.

England. They delayed education for two-year-olds, rejected a penny on

:31:14.:31:18.

income tax education and cut thousands of places from our

:31:19.:31:20.

colleges. When the First Minister and her ministers have got it so

:31:21.:31:27.

wrong for years, why on earth should that mother and her 15-year-old son

:31:28.:31:34.

ever trust them again? Firstly, these are important issues and

:31:35.:31:38.

important challenges we've got to face. I do think it does a real

:31:39.:31:42.

disservice to the young people of our country to use language like "A

:31:43.:31:46.

lost generation". That is pretty disgraceful. Secondly, Willie Rennie

:31:47.:31:54.

talks about investments he thinks we should have made years ago. I would

:31:55.:31:59.

remind him that those years gone past are exactly the years the

:32:00.:32:03.

liberal Democrats were in a Westminster coalition with the

:32:04.:32:08.

Tories, cutting Scotland's budget year after year after year. APPLAUSE

:32:09.:32:14.

The last point I would make is the most important point. Willie Rennie

:32:15.:32:19.

says the parent he talks about, what good will this do now. The money I'm

:32:20.:32:23.

talking about that is in the hands of head teachers is in the hands of

:32:24.:32:28.

headteachers right now. I've spoken to headteachers in my constituency

:32:29.:32:32.

who are already talking about the initiatives they are taking forward

:32:33.:32:37.

with this investment. The additional investment direct to headteachers,

:32:38.:32:42.

the extra investment elsewhere, but also the measures we are taking

:32:43.:32:46.

forward to ensure that we can track the progress as a result of these

:32:47.:32:51.

measures. Willie Rennie repeatedly stands up in this chamber and

:32:52.:32:54.

opposes the things we are trying to do to make sure that we can see

:32:55.:32:58.

these improvements and make sure we can be accountable to every parent

:32:59.:33:02.

across this country. We will get on with doing the things that need to

:33:03.:33:06.

be done, even sometimes when they are difficult and don't get the

:33:07.:33:10.

support of the Liberal Democrats. APPLAUSE

:33:11.:33:21.

Last night BBC Scotland broadcast a shocking documentary on the human

:33:22.:33:25.

trafficking trade. It provided clear evidence that young girls are being

:33:26.:33:29.

trafficked from Slovakia to Glasgow where they are forced into sham

:33:30.:33:34.

marriages to local men. This is a scandal and human tragedy which is

:33:35.:33:38.

going on under our noses in Scotland right now. Can the First Minister

:33:39.:33:42.

set out what her government will do to support girls who arrive here in

:33:43.:33:46.

such appalling circumstances and what measures can be taken to cut

:33:47.:33:50.

down on trafficking and traffickers who indulge in this evil trade? This

:33:51.:33:57.

is an extremely important issue. Annie Wells is right to say that it

:33:58.:34:03.

is both a terrible crime, it is also a global problem. It's important we

:34:04.:34:08.

take robust steps to tackle it, both in cracking down on the crimes being

:34:09.:34:14.

committed but also making sure we are supporting the victims. In terms

:34:15.:34:20.

of tackling crime, the human trafficking and act passed by this

:34:21.:34:27.

Parliament in 2015 gives both police and prosecutors enhanced powers to

:34:28.:34:30.

detect and prosecute those responsible for human trafficking.

:34:31.:34:36.

Police Scotland also uses joint investigation teams established

:34:37.:34:39.

under European law to work with Romanian and Slovakian police in

:34:40.:34:44.

this area. It's vital that Police Scotland continues to work closely

:34:45.:34:50.

with UK immigration, Euro poll and other nations' police forces in

:34:51.:34:56.

order to investigate human trafficking offences. We will

:34:57.:35:00.

continue to make sure our police force have the powers and resources

:35:01.:35:04.

to investigate and tackle what are evil crimes against these

:35:05.:35:08.

individuals. The second important point is how we support victims of

:35:09.:35:13.

human trafficking. We continue to support what is the invaluable work

:35:14.:35:17.

of organisations that offer assistance to victims. In 2017-18

:35:18.:35:29.

the government will provide grant funding to specific organisations

:35:30.:35:33.

who support at Old victims of human trafficking, an increase on previous

:35:34.:35:37.

funding. Will also continue to work with them to improve the support

:35:38.:35:42.

available to prevent re-trafficking. There is a whole range of it. I will

:35:43.:35:46.

be happy to write to the Minister with more detail but we should all

:35:47.:35:51.

agree that the crime of human trafficking is evil and we've got to

:35:52.:35:54.

bring those responsible to justice but also provide the support the

:35:55.:36:02.

victims need. Is the First Minister may be aware there is huge

:36:03.:36:09.

disappointment following a prolonged investigation and nine separate

:36:10.:36:16.

court hearings related to the case of the illegal killing of a hen

:36:17.:36:21.

Harrier. The video footage supplied was inadmissible. Notwithstanding

:36:22.:36:28.

the progress made by ministers in recent years in tackling wildlife

:36:29.:36:31.

crime for the First Minister acknowledge this is a serious crime

:36:32.:36:37.

threatening the species. Given that wildlife crime is often difficult to

:36:38.:36:41.

detect, the law and the approach of the Crown Office must take into

:36:42.:36:45.

account such factors. Can I ask the First Minister if she will be

:36:46.:36:54.

willing to investigate this case? I do agree very much with Richard

:36:55.:37:01.

Lochhead. As he will understand, decisions about the prosecution of

:37:02.:37:05.

crime are decisions for the Crown Office and the Law officers act in

:37:06.:37:10.

that respect independently of ministers. I think it's important we

:37:11.:37:15.

take wildlife crime very seriously. Particularly in cases where it

:37:16.:37:23.

threatens a threatened species. I'll be happy to ask the relevant

:37:24.:37:28.

Minister again to meet with Richard Lochhead to look at what more we can

:37:29.:37:33.

do, particularly taking into account his point about often these crimes

:37:34.:37:37.

taking place in remote areas and therefore they are more difficult to

:37:38.:37:42.

detect. It's important we make sure the policy framework, and the law

:37:43.:37:46.

around this, and that the decisions taken by the Crown Office are doing

:37:47.:37:53.

everything possible to crack down on these kinds of crime. We will

:37:54.:37:56.

continue to do everything we can to make sure that is the case. College

:37:57.:38:01.

lecturers have been. On strike for the fourth day in this current

:38:02.:38:06.

dispute, impacting on them, their families and their students'

:38:07.:38:10.

education and exams. Can I ask how many days lecturers will need to

:38:11.:38:14.

strike before the First Minister intervenes to insured the pay deal

:38:15.:38:18.

is honoured? Does she agree with me that preparation time is essential

:38:19.:38:21.

in order to enable high-quality learning? I agree with the last

:38:22.:38:28.

point. I want to see this dispute settled. I don't want to see college

:38:29.:38:33.

lecturers on strike. It's not in their interests or in the interests

:38:34.:38:36.

of squalid Dutch students. As members will be aware that dash in

:38:37.:38:42.

the interests of college students. It will see a significant pay rise

:38:43.:38:57.

for the vast majority of college lecturers. The discussions now are

:38:58.:39:02.

about how different terms and conditions are replaced with a

:39:03.:39:06.

national system. Talks are continuing and I would encourage

:39:07.:39:10.

both sides to go the extra mile, including and perhaps especially the

:39:11.:39:16.

employers to go the extra mile to reach an agreement. In terms of the

:39:17.:39:21.

point about government intervention, and I take this seriously because

:39:22.:39:24.

ministers have been speaking regularly with both sides trying to

:39:25.:39:27.

make sure we do everything to encourage them to move towards a

:39:28.:39:32.

resolution. The move to national bargaining was something the union

:39:33.:39:35.

is rightly long campaigned for an something I'm delighted to see this

:39:36.:39:39.

government has delivered. If we have a situation where in order to

:39:40.:39:44.

resolve a dispute government has to step in and intervene, that's not

:39:45.:39:47.

the success of national bargaining, that would be the failure of

:39:48.:39:51.

national bargaining. Ministers will continue to discuss with both sides,

:39:52.:39:55.

we will do everything we can to bring it to a settlement. Talks are

:39:56.:40:01.

ongoing, I think today and certainly tomorrow and I hope we will see a

:40:02.:40:05.

resolution of this. That's in the interest of college lecturers and

:40:06.:40:10.

also college students. I hope that reassures the member that the

:40:11.:40:12.

government will continue to make sure we are doing everything

:40:13.:40:21.

possible to bring that about. I'd like to refer members to my register

:40:22.:40:25.

of interest to ask the First Minister how the Scottish Government

:40:26.:40:30.

is marking meant to help awareness week. I welcome the opportunity to

:40:31.:40:34.

highlight Mental Health Awareness Week. It's important we all do what

:40:35.:40:38.

we can to increase awareness and reduce the stigma. To mark the week,

:40:39.:40:42.

the Minister for mental health met with parents of children with

:40:43.:40:46.

experience of mental health services and last I spoke at an event to

:40:47.:40:50.

discuss stigma within the workplace. We will hold the first meeting of a

:40:51.:40:55.

stakeholder Forum on the 23rd of June. That is a specific commitment

:40:56.:41:00.

in our new strategy because we know that working with stakeholders will

:41:01.:41:03.

be key to the actions of the strategy in the year ahead. I thank

:41:04.:41:08.

the First Minister for that answer. In my opinion one of the most

:41:09.:41:12.

important actions outlined in the strategy is a commitment to

:41:13.:41:17.

introduce a managed clinical network for perinatal mental health. How

:41:18.:41:22.

would that be progressed and how will it help mothers experiencing

:41:23.:41:26.

mental health problems? Progress is being made and just this week the

:41:27.:41:30.

lead clinician for the managed clinical network for perinatal

:41:31.:41:38.

mental health has been appointed. They heard at first hand from others

:41:39.:41:43.

their experiences in asking for and getting the right help. I would

:41:44.:41:46.

expect the new network to get it right for parents and their children

:41:47.:41:50.

by driving up standards of care through integration of services and

:41:51.:41:57.

more collaboration. I ask the First Minister whether the Scottish

:41:58.:41:59.

Government has had discussions with agency to SEPA? The Scottish

:42:00.:42:10.

Government is in regular contact with the Scottish Environment

:42:11.:42:14.

Protection Agency. SEPA staff are present in Grangemouth on a regular

:42:15.:42:20.

basis as part of their duties to deliver regulatory functions. I

:42:21.:42:24.

understand the following discussion with locally elected members, SEPA

:42:25.:42:32.

is establishing a site to support the wider Stirling -based team. I

:42:33.:42:36.

thank the First Minister for that and I welcome the fact that SEPA are

:42:37.:42:40.

going to have those discussions with Grangemouth. It doesn't require an

:42:41.:42:52.

answer! To ask the First Minister what the Scottish Government is

:42:53.:42:55.

doing to better resource planning authorities in light of an increase

:42:56.:42:58.

in planning fees for major applications from the 1st of June

:42:59.:43:03.

2017. We need a planning system that supports both businesses and

:43:04.:43:07.

communities to deliver high quality development on the ground. There has

:43:08.:43:10.

been a general understanding that fee levels are too low and in many

:43:11.:43:15.

instances aren't proportionate to the work involved in processing

:43:16.:43:18.

planning applications. Fees and performance go hand-in-hand

:43:19.:43:22.

therefore we are increasing the maximum fee for major planning

:43:23.:43:25.

applications to provide further resources to councils to improve

:43:26.:43:28.

performance. The National view of planning fees

:43:29.:43:42.

that she has mentioned, maximum fees have risen from 30,000 to 120 5000.

:43:43.:43:48.

This is a welcome Rob Dorset for local authorities. Many planning

:43:49.:43:52.

authorities have done an excellent job despite cuts. Organisations such

:43:53.:43:57.

as homes for Scotland, are TPI and smaller building firms want to make

:43:58.:44:00.

sure there is a corresponding improvement in the service for those

:44:01.:44:05.

fees. With the First Minister recognise that these costs could be

:44:06.:44:09.

prohibitive if there isn't a dramatic improvement in waiting

:44:10.:44:13.

times in particular I'm looking at the figures for house-building,

:44:14.:44:17.

where there is an average weight of 48 weeks. I know the government has

:44:18.:44:22.

a strong interest in this, planning to build 50,000 houses. I'd like to

:44:23.:44:26.

know what the First Minister can do to ensure those additional costs are

:44:27.:44:29.

spent on improving the planning system itself. I think I would make

:44:30.:44:34.

two quick points. Firstly it's important to stress that the maximum

:44:35.:44:40.

fee increase only applies to major applications, which account for less

:44:41.:44:44.

than 1% of all applications. It wouldn't impact on our plans to

:44:45.:44:50.

deliver 50,000 affordable homes. Secondly, the fee increase is

:44:51.:44:54.

deliberately about giving councils resources to improve their

:44:55.:44:57.

performance. Improving planning performance and doing it on a

:44:58.:45:00.

consistent basis across the country is one of the things we can do to

:45:01.:45:05.

boost economic growth in Scotland. Its vital these increases lead to

:45:06.:45:09.

that improvement in performance. We are seeing improvements in

:45:10.:45:14.

reductions in waiting times for example, there is more that can be

:45:15.:45:17.

done and I hope this increase in the feed together with the actions will

:45:18.:45:21.

take forward from our wider review of planning will help with that in

:45:22.:45:28.

the period ahead. To ask the First Minister in light of the local

:45:29.:45:31.

government elections, whether Scottish Government will act to

:45:32.:45:34.

randomise the ordering of candidates by surname on ballot papers in

:45:35.:45:38.

future elections? For somebody who surname starts with an S, I can see

:45:39.:45:45.

the attraction! Can I begin by congratulating all councillors

:45:46.:45:47.

elected last week. I'm sure everybody would join me in wishing

:45:48.:45:52.

them well in their roles to support local communities. Following the

:45:53.:45:56.

successful electronic count, randomise the ordering of candidates

:45:57.:46:00.

's earnings is one of the innovations the Scottish Government

:46:01.:46:03.

will consider for future elections. No decisions have been taken but

:46:04.:46:07.

it's one of the changes that will be subject to consideration. I thank

:46:08.:46:13.

you for that answer. The SNP randomises its own internal SNP

:46:14.:46:17.

ballot so it seems reasonable that the SNP government introduces such a

:46:18.:46:23.

measure in local elections. The system produces results heavily

:46:24.:46:31.

biased in relation to surnames. In Glasgow 40 of the 43 contests where

:46:32.:46:37.

two or more candidates from the same party stood, the individual who

:46:38.:46:41.

surname is closest to the beginning of the alphabet received the highest

:46:42.:46:49.

number of votes. Does the First Minister agree that after three

:46:50.:46:56.

elections, there is clearly something wrong when one surname can

:46:57.:47:00.

prove such a decisive factor in whether one is elected, and does she

:47:01.:47:04.

not agree that if this isn't addressed the credibility of the

:47:05.:47:07.

single transferable vote system is at stake? APPLAUSE

:47:08.:47:14.

I think that has to count as a classic question! Before I address

:47:15.:47:21.

the substance of the question I'm delighted that there was an Aitken

:47:22.:47:26.

elected in Glasgow because Councillor Susan Aitken of course is

:47:27.:47:31.

set to be the new SNP leader of Glasgow City Council. I'm delighted

:47:32.:47:37.

about that. On the serious issue, it's important that no candidate in

:47:38.:47:41.

any election is at an unfair disadvantage. We would all agree

:47:42.:47:44.

with that and that's why we have already said that we will examine

:47:45.:47:48.

the particular issue that Kenny Gibson has raised. It's also

:47:49.:47:53.

important with any changes to how we do elections but we build consensus

:47:54.:47:58.

around that. Not for any one party to decide on those changes. As we

:47:59.:48:03.

look at but we will be looking carefully at opinion not just across

:48:04.:48:06.

the parties but across civic Scotland as well. As we do have this

:48:07.:48:12.

consideration over the next few years I would encourage everybody

:48:13.:48:19.

across Scotland to contribute to it. That concludes First Minister's

:48:20.:48:26.

Questions. They can't get away from elections. Even talking about the

:48:27.:48:29.

ordering of names on the ballot paper. It's the UK general election

:48:30.:48:35.

that is dominating attention. I'm joined by two colleagues, speaking

:48:36.:48:39.

as a tailor I come after both of you in the running order is! Simon

:48:40.:48:43.

Johnson, first of all, let's talk about the education question. Again,

:48:44.:48:50.

Nicola Sturgeon looking contrite but argumentative in response to it.

:48:51.:48:54.

Yes, I thought sometimes Nicola Sturgeon is at her best when her

:48:55.:48:58.

back is against the wall but she really struggled. She said, you are

:48:59.:49:02.

talking down pupils and teachers, we are doing X, Y, Z. She came up with

:49:03.:49:07.

a convoluted excuse about how we shouldn't be looking at the fact

:49:08.:49:13.

that half of S2 pupils can't write properly. To be honest I thought she

:49:14.:49:18.

struggled because the figures were... It was a tough gig. They are

:49:19.:49:23.

reading off a list of things they are doing latterly to try and

:49:24.:49:27.

address the situation. Both Willie Rennie and Ruth Davidson came back

:49:28.:49:33.

to the fact that ten years ago they came to power. I think she was

:49:34.:49:37.

struggling quite a bit on it. Katrina, it came out of the evidence

:49:38.:49:42.

at Holyrood and the fact it wasn't just the pupils who were in numeric,

:49:43.:49:46.

the teachers themselves lacked the skills in transmitting new Morrissey

:49:47.:49:51.

as well. Yes, trainee teachers, people who are going to educate the

:49:52.:49:56.

next generation said that they were concerned that they didn't have the

:49:57.:50:01.

numeracy skills to teach maths to primary seven pupils. Clearly

:50:02.:50:05.

something has to be done. Nicola Sturgeon says there is a review

:50:06.:50:09.

going on and that's due to publish in the next few months. What it will

:50:10.:50:14.

bring, we will see Ben. Simon, it was both Ruth Davidson and Willie

:50:15.:50:23.

Rennie going on this question. It is a devolved matter but they are

:50:24.:50:26.

trying to make an election point as well. Absolutely. It plays into two

:50:27.:50:33.

key themes for both parties. One is to do with Nicola Sturgeon's

:50:34.:50:36.

competence in government and secondly, it's playing into this

:50:37.:50:38.

argument that the Scottish Government has been focusing on

:50:39.:50:42.

Constitution and the independence referendum rather than doing the day

:50:43.:50:47.

job. But will be a major theme for the Conservatives and Liberal

:50:48.:50:50.

Democrats. The First Minister came back she said it's not me obsessing

:50:51.:51:02.

about the Constitution and it had education, health, transport and

:51:03.:51:08.

justice combined. Nicola Sturgeon said we've been debating the

:51:09.:51:13.

constitution because we've been debating the Brexit shambles your

:51:14.:51:16.

Tory government caused. Is it fair to judge, this is a UK general

:51:17.:51:24.

election, it's not about the matters people decide what people bridge the

:51:25.:51:27.

two. Everything is fair game in politics. People don't understand

:51:28.:51:35.

the daily nation between this place's powers and Westminster's

:51:36.:51:41.

powers. It feeds into issues of competence about Nicola Sturgeon

:51:42.:51:47.

specifically. Let's talk about Kezia Dugdale's chance for Labour, she was

:51:48.:51:54.

going again on the SNP's record. It was health and nurses pay. It was

:51:55.:51:59.

one of the other big responsibilities the Scottish

:52:00.:52:02.

Parliament has. Kezia Dugdale was saying, under the SNP's watch, over

:52:03.:52:07.

the last ten years nurses have seen their wages decline in real terms by

:52:08.:52:12.

over ?3000. Nicola Sturgeon didn't so much dispute that but she said,

:52:13.:52:18.

hang on, nurses are paid more in Scotland than in England and Wales.

:52:19.:52:21.

She said a newly qualified nurse in England or Wales would get ?300 less

:52:22.:52:28.

than their counterparts in Scotland, pointing to Wales which is of course

:52:29.:52:32.

the one part of the UK where Labour are in government. It was an attempt

:52:33.:52:38.

by Kezia Dugdale to place herself on the side of the workforce and Nicola

:52:39.:52:42.

Sturgeon quite explicitly said in her final statement, we are on the

:52:43.:52:46.

side of the workforce. There was a battle there for the hearts and

:52:47.:52:50.

minds. Yes, that was a question to do with one eye on the election as

:52:51.:52:55.

well. Labour are fighting a battle for their base, public sectors

:52:56.:52:59.

workers, workers in the NHS. This was Kezia Dugdale saying, I'm on

:53:00.:53:03.

your side, I believe you should be getting more pay. Katrina, the two

:53:04.:53:08.

topics health and education struck me that they will almost rehearsed

:53:09.:53:13.

positions. Of course these are topics that have been raised

:53:14.:53:18.

endlessly, education was raised last week. Kezia Dugdale was raising the

:53:19.:53:22.

subject of nurses pay only yesterday. But it appeared that they

:53:23.:53:26.

were almost formulaic in the questions and the response as if it

:53:27.:53:30.

was familiar ground for all of them. It did, didn't it? The education

:53:31.:53:36.

questions came off the back of the statistics we had earlier this week

:53:37.:53:40.

and also on the appearance of trainee teachers at the education

:53:41.:53:44.

committee. Kezia Dugdale and Labour were making the same point about

:53:45.:53:51.

nurses pay yesterday. Both sides had their arguments lined up and gave us

:53:52.:53:56.

their lines. It doesn't take us much further forward. Finally, you can

:53:57.:54:02.

see the First Minister responding slightly contrite but equally the

:54:03.:54:07.

Education Secretary sitting next to her looked really solemn and

:54:08.:54:13.

serious. They know this is a huge challenge on these education stats

:54:14.:54:17.

but don't seem to be very good. That's the thing. It's very

:54:18.:54:21.

difficult to turn around, when you've got 49% of S2 pupils who

:54:22.:54:27.

can't write well. It's going to take years of difficult work and they are

:54:28.:54:30.

going to keep getting hammered on this. They can project improvements

:54:31.:54:36.

but it's going to take a while. It's going to take a long time and taking

:54:37.:54:42.

on the education unions as well, which is difficult stuff. They've

:54:43.:54:45.

done a lot of low hanging fruit making this and that free but this

:54:46.:54:49.

will be really difficult. A lot of this was done in England a long time

:54:50.:54:55.

ago. Katrina and Simon, hang on a second. As I mentioned it's the

:54:56.:54:59.

small matter of a UK general election coming up in four weeks'

:55:00.:55:06.

time. We've had the leak of the draft Labour manifesto, pretty well

:55:07.:55:10.

right now it's going to the national executive of the Labour Party at a

:55:11.:55:15.

meeting in London to ratify change. The Scottish party has their input

:55:16.:55:19.

to that. I spoke to Kezia Dugdale just before coming on air, she

:55:20.:55:23.

wasn't exactly delighted that it had been leaked but she welcomed the

:55:24.:55:27.

statement there was against independence in a referendum. I

:55:28.:55:31.

asked her about the fact the manifesto, contrary to the Scottish

:55:32.:55:36.

party's conference position, the manifesto backs the renewal of

:55:37.:55:40.

Trident. You're in favour of Trident according to the manifesto. The

:55:41.:55:45.

draft manifesto clearly says it supports the renewal of Trident,

:55:46.:55:48.

that's the Democratic position of the UK wide Labour Party. Not the

:55:49.:55:53.

Scottish Labour Party? We took a position against the renewal of

:55:54.:55:57.

Trident and we argued that within our movement. The final fate of the

:55:58.:56:02.

Labour Party is to renew Trident but also to... Said the Scottish party

:56:03.:56:07.

is overruled? This is part of our democratic process, we took a

:56:08.:56:10.

position and made our voice Claire. I'm joined by my colleagues again.

:56:11.:56:19.

Simon, let's talk about the leak. Parties like to be in charge of the

:56:20.:56:23.

distribution of policy not having it done by leak. Ignoring what's

:56:24.:56:31.

actually in the document, a leak of an entire manifesto, what it tells

:56:32.:56:34.

the electorate is that this is a party at war with each other.

:56:35.:56:39.

Somebody inside has seen it in their interest... To pass it to the

:56:40.:56:45.

Telegraph who broke the story. The Telegraph and the Mirror! Somebody

:56:46.:56:49.

trying to cover their tracks, perhaps. There's somebody in there

:56:50.:56:52.

who isn't very enamoured with the direction of the party or Mr Corbyn

:56:53.:56:57.

and is trying to sabotage the campaign. This party is not ready

:56:58.:57:04.

for government. As to the content, substantial renationalisation,

:57:05.:57:10.

rail... Rail, energy companies as well. The price cap that the Tories

:57:11.:57:18.

to cried in 2015 on energy prices coming in, now under Labour.

:57:19.:57:25.

Substantial changes as well and offers on Social Security and

:57:26.:57:31.

benefits. Yes, yes. It's interesting, going back to what

:57:32.:57:34.

Simon said about it going to the Telegraph, he said it shows a party

:57:35.:57:40.

in chaos but another commentator was saying, actually more people will

:57:41.:57:44.

read the Labour manifesto as a result! LAUGHTER There's a lot of

:57:45.:57:56.

tax and spending, regulation, nationalisation. It does smack of

:57:57.:58:06.

the 1970s... A gloomy picture of Mr Corbyn, you must have been dredging

:58:07.:58:10.

through the archives to find that one! He looks much smarter now. What

:58:11.:58:16.

does it say about Scotland and the input of the Scottish Parliament?

:58:17.:58:20.

The position on Trident for example, it's slightly shambolic. We've got a

:58:21.:58:25.

UK party saying we are in favour of Trident with a leader who clearly

:58:26.:58:29.

isn't. Up here we've got a Scottish party whose official position is

:58:30.:58:32.

that they are opposed to the renewal of Trident with Kezia Dugdale as a

:58:33.:58:36.

leader who is in favour of Trident. What the voters will make of that, I

:58:37.:58:41.

think they'll be rather confused. They can go with the manifesto

:58:42.:58:45.

approach that Trident will be renewed but they are seeking a

:58:46.:58:54.

multilateral approach. On the subject of the election we will be

:58:55.:58:59.

hosting a series of ask the leader debates on BBC One Scotland a week

:59:00.:59:02.

before the general election, hosted by Glen Campbell. We are looking for

:59:03.:59:06.

members of the public to put their questions to each of the party

:59:07.:59:10.

leaders. You can apply to be part of the audience by visiting the

:59:11.:59:11.

website. You can follow the election

:59:12.:59:22.

throughout the campaign here on BBC Scotland.

:59:23.:59:36.

The race is on to complete London's most ambitious railway.

:59:37.:59:39.

I don't think we've seen anything to this scale and complexity before.

:59:40.:59:43.