David Stewart MSP

Apology demanded by North MSP from Environment Minister over misleading Parliament

03 February 2009

A Highlands and Islands regional MSP is calling for an apology from the Environment Minister after incorrect information about jobs with the Forestry Commission was announced in Parliament.
David Stewart had highlighted the fears of Forestry Commission staff that there will be a threat to jobs and the future of Scottish forests in a recent debate.
Mike Russell had commented that 1,000 jobs had been lost in the Forestry Commission when the previous Labour-Liberal Democrat administration was in control.
“From information I have received from people in industry and from figures released in Parliament it is clear that these figures are patently false.
“There is a responsibility on ministers not to give inaccurate or misleading information in Parliament.
“I am calling on the Minister to retract the information and apologise for the comments,” said Mr Stewart.
He added: “This kind of attack is less than helpful when we are trying to have meaningful debate about the future of forestry in Scotland.
“The principle of leasing off huge areas of forestry owned by the tax payer, devaluing the land and passing profits to a private company is a nonsense.
“The comparatively small amount of money this would bring in doesn’t make sense when control over our forests is lost.
“It looks like the SNP’s plans are actually Rothschild’s brainchild – given that the government has sought the advice of Mrs Thatcher’s favourite privatisation consultants – the City of London merchant bankers Rothschild.
“The Minister did not confirm or deny that it was their idea that 75-year leases were the best way of selling off the management rights to Scotland’s national forests.
“Labour maintains its commitment from the 1997 manifesto to keep forests in public ownership”


Written by davidstewart

February 4, 2009 at 8:22 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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