2 December: publication of the Scottish Economic Report 2005. The report gives a review of recent trends in the Scottish, UK and global economies.
5 December: Colin Boyd, QC, welcomed delegates of the 22nd meeting of the European Judicial Network in Edinburgh. The Network was created as a means of encouraging co-operation between distinct legal jurisdictions. Over 125 prosecutors, law enforcement and judicial personnel attended the conference to discuss key issues such as the European Evidence Warrant and the response to terrorism.
7 December: Rhona Brankin, Deputy Minister for Environment, announced that the Parliament considered a 'Sewel Motion' that seeks to ensure that orders banning people from keeping animals due to cruelty are valid throughout Britain. Both the Scottish Parliament and Westminster Government are currently considering the introduction of separate pieces of legislation to up-date laws on animal welfare.
7 December: Allan Wilson, Deputy Minister for Lifelong Learning, said that statistics published today show that 90 per cent of Scots-domiciled graduates going into permanent employment are staying in Scotland to work.
8 December: Cathy Jamieson, Minister for Justice, announced that the process of unification of the 'non-jury' courts will begin in Lothian and Borders and will follow in courts in Grampian, Highland and Islands. It is anticipated that unification will begin in 2007-08.
13 December: Ross Finnie, Minister for Rural Development, announced a consultation on a strategy to prevent the pollution of watercourses and to safeguard biodiversity. During development of the strategy the Executive will examine the scope in the Land Management Contract system to provide the right incentives for farmers to minimise water pollution.
13 December: Nicol Stephen, Deputy First Minister, announced that according to the Global Connection Survey the US continues to be Scotland's biggest export market, worth £2.6 billion in 2004. Mr Nicol also said that India, soon to become the third biggest economy in the world, has now moved into the top 20 destinations for Scottish exports for the first time.
14 December: Ross Finnie, Minister for Environment, set out a programme of action 'Choosing Our Future: Scotland's Sustainable Development Strategy' to improve quality of life, protect natural resources and reduce Scotland's impact on the global environment.
14 December: publication of the Government Expenditure and Revenue in Scotland 2003-04 report which states that the 2003-04 total expenditure for Scotland is estimated at £45.3 billion or 10 per cent of the UK total. This includes devolved and reserved spending in Scotland. 'Identifiable' government expenditure in Scotland (spending specifically incurred on behalf of the residents of Scotland) was £37.2 billion, which is the largest per head expenditure after Northern Ireland. Scotland's identifiable expenditure on services is about 19 per cent higher than in the UK on average. 'Non-identifiable' expenditure (Scotland's share of expenditure that is generally incurred on behalf of the UK people as a whole, e.g. defence) was estimated at £5.7 billion or 8.1 per cent of the UK amount. In 2003-04, total receipts in Scotland are estimated £34 billion, equivalent to 8.2% of total UK receipts. This excludes North Sea oil revenues.
14 December: Tom McCabe, Minister for Finance and Public Service, said that the additional spending in Scotland associated with hosting the G8 Summit was worth £65 million and outstripped the net costs of £60 million to the Executive for organising the Summit.
15 December: Jack McConnell, First Minister, joined the Chair of Commonwealth Games Council for Scotland and the Leader of Glasgow City council to sign the document that officially designates Glasgow as a candidate for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
21 December: Malcolm Chisholm, Minister for Communities, delivered a parliamentary statement setting out the action which has been taken, is being taken and which will be taken to achieve the abolition of Priority Need by 31 December 2012. At present all people applying as homeless have the right to temporary accommodation but only those people assessed as being in 'priority need' are currently eligible for permanent accommodation. The Executive has pledged to abolish the priority need test to ensure that all people who are unintentionally homeless will be entitled to a permanent home.
22 December: Ross Finnie, Minister for Environment, announced the outcome of this year's EU December Council Ministers which sees a considerable increase in prawn quotas and a reduction of the proposed 15% cut in days at sea for Scottish fishermen to a 3% cut. This agreement was achieved through co-operation with the industry, Regional Advisory Councils, scientists and other fisheries stakeholders.
22 December: Lewis Macdonald, Deputy Minister for Health, announced that the main fees charged by the Care Commission in 2006-07 are to be frozen at current levels and fees for care homes are to be reduced by 10%. The Executive will continue to pay for the gap between the Commission's costs and the amount recovered in fees.
30 December: Peter Peacock, Minister for Education, said that record numbers of qualified teachers from across the world are coming to Scotland to teach because of the pay and conditions on offer.
21 December: Professor Alec Spencer was appointed the new Chair of the Scottish Accreditation Panel for Offender Programmes. The new panel will meet formally for the first time in April 2006.
A summary of the Bills passed by the Parliament in the 1999-2003 session can be found on the Parliament website at www.scottish.parliament.uk/business/bills/billsPassed/billsum-s1.htm
7 December: the general principles of the Joint Inspection of Children's Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1 were agreed by Parliament. The aim of this Bill is to enable access, sharing, discussion and holding of information between education, social work, justice and health professionals in support of joint inspections of children's and social work services.
14 December: the general principles of the Interests of Members of the Scottish Parliament Bill: Stage 1 were agreed by Parliament. The Bill provides for the establishment of a register of interest for members of the Scottish Parliament, both financial and non-financial. It provides for entries in the register to be added, amended, corrected and deleted. It also prohibits advocacy by members in return for payment or benefit in kind. The Bill also enables parliamentary sanctions to be imposed if a member contravenes the provision of the Bill.
15 December: the Family Law (Scotland) Bill: Stage 3 was passed by Parliament. The provisions of the Bill include:
the rules regulating divorce;
parental responsibilities and rights (PRRs) for fathers;
protection against domestic abuse; .
as well as introducing new legal safeguards for cohabiting couples and their children.
1 December: publication of a report by the Education Committee supporting the general principles of the Executive's Joint Inspections of Children's Services and Inspection of Social Work Services (Scotland) Bill. The aim of this Bill is to enable access, sharing, discussion and holding of information between education, social work, justice and health professionals in support of joint inspections of children's and social work services.
1 December: a report published by the Enterprise and Culture Committee recommends greater investment of public funds for sporting facilities. The report also calls for reform of the way in which football is governed and for the Executive to finalise its audit of Scotland's sporting facilities.
6 December: the Environment and Rural Development Committee has asked for more information before reaching a decision on the general principles of the Environmental Levy on Plastic Bags (Scotland) Bill. The Bill proposes that retailers and other businesses must charge customers a levy (currently proposed to be 10p) for each plastic bag provided. The levy is to be collected by local authorities and spent on environmental projects.
7 December: the Edinburgh Tram (Line Two) Bill Committee stated that it is satisfied that an appropriate balance has been struck between the rights of those who will be adversely affected by the Bill and the tram's likely benefit to the wider community.
9 December: the Health Committee re-launched its inquiry into implementation of the Executive's free personal care for the elderly policy. It will also be examining the Care Commission's inspection regime.
13 December: Scotland's Futures Forum organised the parliamentary event 'Tomorrow Network in Scotland' to consider issues such as the potential benefits from Scotland having an ageing workforce and how these could affect our social and economic structures.
13 December: publication of MSP allowances expenditure for 2004-05 in a new format, as part of its programme of fuller disclosure of MSP allowances expenditure.
14 December: publication of a report by the Finance Committee relative to the Executive's Draft Budget for 2007-07. The Finance Committee asks the Executive to look again at the efficiency savings it has set for its own departments and to look again at its approach of imposing budget cuts in areas that affect front-line services, such as local government and health.
14 December: the Enterprise and Culture Committee called for written evidence from interested parties on the general principles of the Bankruptcy and Diligence etc. (Scotland) Bill.
22 December: the Communities Committee launched a call for evidence from interested parties on the general principles of the Planning etc. (Scotland) Bill.
The Scottish Parliament has a budget for commissioning research for Parliamentary committees and holds a database of researchers interested in tendering for committee research. Anyone wishing to be included in the database should complete the on-line form on the Parliament website at
Scottish Executive publications can be accessed on the Scottish Executive website at www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/recent.aspx
Some of those published in December 2005 include:
1 December: Consolidated Resource Accounts for the Year Ended 31 March 2005: Scottish Executive Consolidated Resource Accounts for the year ended 31 March 2005.
2 December: The Scottish Health Survey 2003: report.
14 December: Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 - One year on: A consultation on the operation of the Act after one year in force.
21 December: Helping Homeless People: Homelessness Statement: Ministerial Statement on Abolition of Priority Need by 2012.
Should you have any comments or enquiries please do not hesitate to contact Margaret MacPherson at the Institute of Governance.
This page was published on 29 October 2008