Here at newsdirect we’d pretty pleased with how the return of the Scottish Parliament’s going: we’ve survived Programme for Government week; we’ve survived four ministerial statements on one day (thanks last Tuesday). So what has week three got in store?
Arguably the most interesting thing on the week’s agenda is Tuesday’s statement on social security, which should contain an announcement on where the new social security agency will be based, among other things. It will be followed by a statement on homelessness and a debate on human rights, led by the Scottish Government. The day ends with a members’ business on homophobia in sport. Away from the Chamber, the Economy, Jobs & Fair Work Committee begins its evidence sessions on economic data and whether there are improvements to be made to its accuracy, usefulness, interpretation and scrutiny. The Health & Sport Committee has a packed agenda as it takes evidence, over three panels, on NHS Governance and the Draft Budget 2018-19.
Wednesday’s main item of business is a Labour debate on finance, which will be the first debate led by Alex Rowley in his role as interim Labour Leader. There’s a lot that broad title could cover and I’d expect that to be narrowed down when the motion is published on Tuesday. The debate will be bookended by Portfolio Questions on Justice, Culture, Tourism & External Affairs and a members’ business on tax collection and justice. However, of all Wednesday’s sessions I’d expect eyes to be on Mike Russell’s appearance at Culture, Tourism, Europe & External Relations Committee where he will discuss the EU (Withdrawal) Bill and the Scottish Government’s LCM, which does not recommend approving the Bill.
We end the parliamentary week with an interesting set of committees. The Social Security Committee will discuss the Social Security Bill further with human rights and poverty experts; Equalities & Human Rights continues its scrutiny of the Gender Representation on Public Boards (Scotland) Bill; and the Public Audit & Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee takes evidence on the NHS workforce planning report.
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