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Summary

  1. The environment committee takes evidence on wildlife crime from the police and SSPCA
  2. A statement on the future of fisheries
  3. MSPs debate the fair work action plan
  4. A Green MSP leads a debate on land ownership

Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live

    QEUH

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Tuesday 12 March 2019.

    Health Secretary Jeane Freeman insisted reports of a £50m repair bill for the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital reports were "inaccurate".

    Ms Freeman said NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde did not recognise this figure, which was cited in a report in the Herald on Sunday.

    The health secretary was responding to a question from Tory MSP Annie Wells who accepted the £50m figure had not been recognised by the board.

    Ms Wells did point out there were 300 maintenance jobs outstanding at the QEUH and sought further information on how much it would cost to repair the older parts of the hospital.

    Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman
    Image caption: Health Secretary Jeanne Freeman
  2. Land reform agenda must be based on transparency says minister

    Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes

    Our land reform agenda has got to be based on simple and transparent understanding of land, Digital Economy Minister Kate Forbes states.

    The minister says she is currently investigating how other countries make data the government collects more available, such as how Ireland uses non-domestic rates information to be transparent on valuations.

    Green MSP Andy Wightman asks about plans around fee orders to access the land information.

    Ms Forbes says in coming months citizens will be able to purchase a copy of property information from ScotLIS for £3, down from the current £30.

    Regarding public body targets, she says Registers of Scotland is working on a programme of keeper-induced registration.

  3. Background: Limits on land ownership suggested by former minister

    The Scottish Land Commission has commissioned discussion papers on land reform
    Image caption: The Scottish Land Commission has commissioned discussion papers on land reform

    Putting a limit on the amount of land in Scotland that one person can own has been suggested by former Scottish Labour minister Peter Peacock.

    Mr Peacock has put forward the idea in a discussion paper, one of a number commissioned by the Scottish Land Commission on land reform.

    In Land: For the many, not the few?, he argues that half of all privately-owned land is held by fewer than 500 people.

    He said huge estates created local land monopolies.

    Read more here.

  4. Owners who are a 'dead hand' over the land need to be removed - Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
    Image caption: Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says owners who are a "dead hand" over the land need to be removed.

    However, until that can happen we need to know who owns the land, Ms Grant argues.

    She says she has tried, with constituents, to find who owns land and found it to be impossible.

    The Labour MSP points out that what is good enough for the crofter should be good enough for the land-owner too, citing the recently introduced crofter register.

    Already too many overseas land owners cannot be traced, she says.

    Ms Grant asks how landowners can be held accountable if they cannot be traced.

  5. Background: Community Land Scotland (Towards Land Ownership Transparency)

    Land

    The Community Land Scotland (Towards Land Ownership Transparency) report provides an assessment of the state of transparency in land ownership in Scotland.

    The framework primarily sought to understand policy around beneficial land ownership, but in doing so required a more fundamental examination of the broader state of transparency in land ownership.

    The report first gives an overview of Scotland’s land tenure system and policy context.

  6. Government must use 'carrot and stick' to speed up local authority action

    Tory MSP Finlay Carson

    Tory MSP Finlay Carson explains he largely concurs with Mr Wightman's concerns around transparency.

    He also says the land register should be able to adapt to new technologies, questioning why postal contact is preferred over email.

    Local authorities are way behind schedule on the land register and the government must use the carrot and stick approach to get back on track, Mr Carson insists.

    The Tory MSP goes on to express concerns about the publication of the full details of land owners in England and Wales, which has led to protests in front of farmers' properties.

    He highlights there is no plan to make full details accessible in Scotland but he also seeks assurances that farmers will not be threatened because of the land they own or what they do with it.

  7. Background: ScotLIS

    ScotLIS
    Image caption: ScotLIS

    ScotLIS is the source of land and property data for Scotland.

    Its website says you can search for property sales information held on the Land Register for free.

  8. Green MSP argues ScotLIS 'is next to useless'

    Green MSP Andy Wightman begins by saying the information on Scottish land is poor by international standards.

    Mr Wightman emphasises that land information is about much more than just ownership.

    It is difficult and time consuming to obtain information about land and property, he says.

    Green MSP Andy Wightman

    The Green MSP argues we were far better informed in 1872.

    Mr Wightman points out England and Wales are making better progress on this issue and asks who is responsible for information about land and property.

    He argues ScotLIS, the source of land and property data in Scotland does not commit on the government commitment of 2015, in fact it is "next to useless".

  9. Here's the motion.....

    Here's the motion........
    Image caption: Here's the motion........
  10. 'Who Owns Scotland?' - debate next

    Green MSP Andy Wightman will use his expertise on land ownership to lead a member’s debate calling for more open and transparency.

    The title of the debate is Who Owns Scotland?.

  11. Greens amend government motion on fair work

    MSPs reject the Tory amendment (for 31, against 83) and the Labour amendment (24 for and 90 against), but the Green amendment passes (94 for to 20 against).

    The final government motion, as amended by the Greens, is agreed with 93 backing it and 21 voting against.

    Motion and amendments
  12. Scottish government would set minimum wage in line with real living wage

    Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn

    Fair Work Minister Jamie Hepburn says he does not pretend the fair work action plan has all the answers, which is why he is convening a roundtable which he hopes opposition members will take part in.

    Regarding the Conservative amendment, he says his party will not support it due to concerns raised by the Fair Work Convention on the Taylor review.

    But on disabled people, he says in the summer the Scottish government will set out its own recruitment plan with a target to increase the proportion of disabled people within its own staff.

    The minister agrees that not enough firms have taken up the Scottish business pledge, which is why it has been refreshed to reduce complexity of sign-up.

    He welcomes Richard Leonard confirming he backs the devolution of employment law and reiterates the Scottish government would look to set the minimum wage at the real living wage.

    He concludes by urging MSPs to back his motion.

  13. Tory MSP insists UK government's Good Work Plan will extend workers' rights

    Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst
    Image caption: Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst

    Tory MSP Gordon Lindhurst stresses the need for businesses to buy into the real living wage and the need to maintain competitiveness.

    Mr Lindhurst pivots to the UK government's Good Work Plan, which he says will extend workers' rights.

    The UK government commissioned Matthew Taylor to conduct a review of the UK employment framework, which led to the plan.

    At the heart of Matthew Taylor’s recommendations was an overarching ambition that all work should be fair and decent and for employers to offer opportunities that give individuals realistic scope to develop and progress.

    Mr Lindhurst calls for greater re-skilling for older workers and for the barriers to those with disabilities joining the workforce.

  14. Young people and women bear brunt of workers' rights erosion says Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says workers' rights are being eroded, with young people and women bearing the brunt.

    The Scottish government should use the "substantial powers" it has to do something about this, she states.

    Ms Grant says the government and its agencies have "enormous buying power" but it does not use it to benefit workers.

    The social care sector is not consistently delivering fair work and the workforce does not have the mechanism for an effective voice, the Labour MSP tells the chamber.

    She also says the Scottish government should have brought in "fairer" taxation.

    "We need fair work now for all workers today," she concludes.

  15. Background: Minimum wage rates

    Minimum wage rates
    Minimum wage rates
  16. Green MSP says a voluntary approach alone will not deliver fair work

    Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone points out a voluntary approach alone will not deliver fair work.

    Ms Johnstone highlights Dundee is to become the only city in the UK that is a fair work city.

    She praises the Scottish government for the progress that has been made and says she supports the call for the devolution of more powers in this area.

    The Green MSP points out that focusing solely on economic growth will lead to a climate and ecological breakdown and calls for a rapid transition to a low carbon economy.

    There can't be fair work without protecting the planet, she says.