Page last updated at 13:15 GMT, Wednesday, 3 September 2008 14:15 UK

Scots legislation plans reaction

The Scottish Government has set out its legislative programme for the next year. Here is some of the reaction to the plans:

CATHY JAMIESON, SCOTTISH LABOUR'S ACTING LEADER

"Alex Salmond's plans for a local income tax are so discredited that even the SNP are ashamed to mention its name. Instead, it is transformed into the Abolition of Council Tax Bill.

"Whatever Alex Salmond decides to call them, the SNP's tax plans will simultaneously make Scotland the highest taxed part of the UK and damage local services.

"That's why they are opposed by virtually almost everyone in Scotland, from the STUC to the CBI.

"It would have been far better if this legislative programme was used to increase investment in health, provide jobs for newly-qualified teachers and end automatic early release for prisoners."

MURDO FRASER, SCOTTISH CONSERVATIVE DEPUTY LEADER

"Too many rural schools have been closed in Scotland in recent years and I believe that we must change the law to safeguard those which remain.

"Closing rural schools is not just an education issue.

"A closure affects the health of a rural community and in the past, when schools have closed, we have seen a wider decline in a rural area, as young families are reluctant to settle there.

"In addition, school buildings are often the hub of community activities, extending well beyond formal education."

TAVISH SCOTT, SCOTTISH LIBERAL DEMOCRAT LEADER

"Food costs rise by 30 a month, headline inflation up to the highest for 16 years.

"It's times like this that people want to hear how people are working together to make their lives easier.

"What is happening beyond re-announcing money either side of the border to make buying and renting more affordable?

"What evidence can he give us that he will put action to tackle the rising cost of living ahead of his need to make a political point?"

PATRICK HARVIE, SCOTTISH GREEN PARTY MSP

"Although the SNP have more of a focus than their Labour and Liberal predecessors ever achieved, a lot of hard work will be required from all the parties at Holyrood to improve this legislative programme and make it fit for Scotland's needs.

"Overall, their economic vision remains limited and centrist, and they clearly do not yet grasp what 'sustainable' means.

"The Climate Change Bill in particular needs a lot of work even to bring it up to the commitments made by the SNP in their last manifesto.

"Annual targets make ministers responsible, while a 2050 target is a licence for inaction."

DR RICHARD DIXON, WWF SCOTLAND'S DIRECTOR

"We welcome the prioritisation of three new bills to tackle a number of pressing environmental measures.

"The climate change bill could be the most important piece of Scottish legislation we will see in our lifetimes.

"It could lead the world, if it addresses all our emissions including those from international aviation and shipping.

"It is vital the Government sticks to their manifesto commitment by including all Scotland's greenhouse gas emissions, not just carbon dioxide in their targets."

CORRINE EVANS, FRIENDS OF THE EARTH SCOTLAND
"We look forward to the publication of the Scottish Climate Change Bill.

"Ministers' rhetoric on climate change has been world leading, they must now ensure the legislation is too.

"To do this it must include all greenhouses gasses and effective carbon targets to ensure we are cutting emissions fast enough, and it also requires powerful incentives and tough sanctions.

"We need to act urgently to avoid dangerous climate change - it is imperative that we get this bill right first time."

DAVID LONSDALE, CBI SCOTLAND'S ASSISTANT DIRECTOR

"We are wholly opposed to the local income tax, as it would undermine the competitiveness of Scots-based firms, increase their costs, and burden them with yet more red tape.

"Furthermore, it would do nothing to attract or retain the talent and corporate headquarters that Scotland needs.

"Business in Scotland looks forward to working with the devolved government to ensure that this bill delivers a credible framework to manage the transition to a low carbon economy, one that encourages environmental improvements but also recognises the global nature of climate change and business competition."

SEE ALSO
Scots legislation plans unveiled
03 Sep 08 |  Scotland

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