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Scottish Parliament Weekly Round-Up

Find out what happened this week at Holyrood....

The week began with the publication of the criminal justice social work statistics for 2020-21. On the back of this publication, the Justice Secretary announced that funding to support recovery in justice social work services will increase to £15million next year.

This was followed by the responses to the consultation for a National Care Service being published, although the analysis report is not available yet.

Chamber businesses started on Tuesday with a Topical Question by Graham Simpson MSP on administration problems being experienced by some people when applying for the under-22 free bus travel scheme.  

The First Minister then gave her weekly update to parliament on the coronavirus situation, where she confirmed that wearing of face masks and other ‘baseline measures’ will remain until the next review. The First Minister also highlighted that a new sub variant of Omicron has been discovered but that it is no cause for alarm at this stage.

The Education Secretary also gave a statement to the chamber where she confirmed that the SQA will provide revision support to help young people to prepare for their exams.

Meanwhile, the Criminal Justice, Health and Social Care and Social Justice and Social Security Committees held a joint meeting to consider the work being taken to implement the recommendations of the Scottish Drug Deaths Taskforce.

On Wednesday, the Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care announced a new £1million fund to support projects which look after the wellbeing of staff working in adult social work and social care.

Back in the chamber, the Deputy First Minister was grilled by MSPs during Portfolio Questions on a number of issues relating to Covid-19, including measures contained in the Covid Recovery Bill and how the government will support disabled people to vote in person during the local council elections.

Afterwards, the Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government led a debate in the chamber on the prevention of homelessness duties following the publication of the latest homelessness statistics. The statistics can be found here.

At FMQs on Thursday, the First Minister was questioned by opposition leaders and backbenchers on issues such as ventilation requirements in schools, increases in energy prices, the mental health crisis and support for people suffering from long covid.

Rounding off the business for the week, Jackie Baillie MSP led a debate on the pressures being faced by households due to rising inflation, increasing food and fuel prices and high energy bills. Ms Baillie called on the Scottish and UK Governments to take action.