Thursday, 28 October 2010
FMQs 28 October 2010
The economy was the main feature today. All party leaders concentrated on how money was distributed.
Iain Gray, in an attempt to galvanise support from his party for their conference this coming weekend, returned, for the umpteenth time, to the question of the surplus of newly qualified teachers currently without employment. The First Minister responded by stating, among other facts, that it was mainly Labour councils who were reducing teacher numbers. A weak effort from the Labour leader.
The Tory leader Annabel Goldie and the LibDem leader Tavish Scott both made good points. The Tories want to know if the Scottish Government plan to introduce some form of contribution from university students. Alex Salmond replied a decision would be made once the inquiry and other investigations relating to university funding, reported their findings next year. A clever side-step from the FM because these reports will not be available until after the May elections.
Tavish Scott is after those NHS bureaucrats who earn more than £50,000 a year. He wanted to know what the FM was doing about reducing the number of them. This was today's question which certainly sent the FM into full waffle-flow. He didn't know why the numbers had increased but insisted the increase in NHS staff had been in front line services. Mr Scott knew better and Mr Salmond knew it. I hope the LibDems keep banging the drum on this one because there has to be a reduction in NHS bureaucracy if moral of front line staff is to be upheld.
Other questions included the worries about the Moray bases and the serious allegations of abuse in a care home in Margaret Curran's constituency.
Some good information this week if you listen between the lines.
Democracy Live hasn't uploaded the video as yet although it ought to be online at HolyroodTV by this evening. The General Question Time, prior to today's FMQs, may interest some of you. Subjects discussion included broadband throughout Scotland and the Carbon Trust. Unfortunately the video will not download but you can view it here.