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The Week Ahead in 60 Seconds

Katie Reardon

Kicking off a busy week in Westminster on Monday, the Treasury Committee continues its examination of the Autumn Statement by placing Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, in the hot seat for the afternoon.

Moving on to Tuesday at Holyrood we’ll see Cabinet Secretary for Education & Skills, John Swinney, delve further into the ever-controversial subject of education, setting out the Government’s improvement plan in a Ministerial Statement. He is expected to respond to the publication of attainment figures for Curriculum for Excellence. Rounding up plenary business for the day, a Scottish Government Debate will take place on welcoming international migrants to Scotland and Members’ Business will focus on walking initiatives.

On the Committee agenda, Economy, Jobs & Fair Work will continue its investigation into Draft Budget Scrutiny with an energy and fuel poverty focus, while Environment, Climate Change & Land Reform will be holding an extensive session on deer management. Over in CR5 we can expect more eloquent evidence from the Auditor General, Caroline Gardner, as she appears before the Justice Committee to explain preparations for scrutiny of the Draft Budget.

Moving on to Wednesday, the Local Government & Communities Committee will be considering the implications of leaving the EU while Education & Skills examines the role of education authorities. Cabinet Secretary for the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work, Keith Brown, will be providing an update on major transport and infrastructure investments at the Rural Economy & Connectivity session and the Finance & Constitution Committee looks set to hold a fairly brief session on HMRC and the Draft Budget.

We can expect the Wednesday afternoon plenary session to highlight some of the key issues set to be addressed in Thursday’s Draft Budget statement, with Finance and the Economy Portfolio Questions preceding a Conservative Party Debate on the economy. Switching focus, a Members’ Business Debate will be held on Scotland’s Climate Targets.

Meanwhile down in Westminster, Ian Blackford (Ross, Skye & Lochaber) (SNP) and Mike Weir (Angus) (SNP) will be putting questions to the Prime Minister at noon before Secretary of State for Scotland, David Mundell, appears before the Scottish Affairs Committee to discuss the Government’s approach to Brexit. Committee Chair, Pete Wishart, has publicly criticised Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, David Davis, for refusing to attend the Committee sessions, and reprimanded the UK Government for keeping the Committee “in the dark”, stating: “the time has come for them to set out their stall”. Expect some fierce exchanges at this session.

Returning to Holyrood, Thursday’s plenary session will be warmed up with General Questions, which are set to cover the Basic Payment Scheme, rural care homes, single market access and national parks. Following the FMQs showdown at high noon, we will finally see the big reveal of the Scottish Government Draft Budget 2017-18. Read our blog post on the Draft Budget Statement here.

Drawing the Parliamentary week to a close, a Members’ Business Debate on The Future of Edinburgh’s World Heritage Site will be followed up by a Government Debate on Food Waste, while the Social Security Committee consider Universal Credit.

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