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Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 09:29 GMT 10:29 UK
Warrant sales pledge
Microwave
Microwaves are to be exempted
Warrant sales and poindings are to be abolished by the end of 2002, Scotland's Justice Minister, Jim Wallace, has promised.

Before then, televisions, telephones, computers and microwaves are to be exempted from the range of items that sheriff's officers can seize for re-sale to pay for debts.

Mr Wallace made a statement to parliament on the issue, in which he insisted that people who do settle their debts should not have to subsidise those who do not.

Tommy Sheridan
Tommy Sheridan: Bill supported
He told MSPs that a cross-party working group, including the socialist MSP Tommy Sheridan, would meet for the first time later this month to look for an alternative method of debt recovery.

Mr Sheridan introduced a Bill into parliament to scrap poindings and warrant sales, which has attracted significant support.

The executive suffered an embarrassment in April when it was forced to withdraw a motion against the Bill because of the strength of feeling among Labour MSPs.

Ministers said they agreed in principle with the scrapping of poindings, but wanted to come up with an alternative system before taking action to abolish the current practice.

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See also:

28 Apr 00 | Scotland
Moves to quell bill rebellion
27 Apr 00 | Scotland
Green light for warrant sales Bill
10 Sep 99 | Scotland
Warrant sales 'should stay'
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