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Scottish Parliament Weekly Round-Up

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

MSPs returned to parliament on Tuesday following the February recess. The week began with the First Minister confirming details of the government’s proposed staged approach to easing protective coronavirus measures. The new framework sets out how the country will manage the virus primarily through public health advice, vaccination and treatment rather than restrictions.

Alongside this development, the government also announced that children aged 5-11 will be offered vaccination appointments in community clinics from 19th March.

Later in the afternoon, the parliament debated the proposed changes to UK asylum and immigration legislation set out in the UK Government’s Nationality and Borders Bill.  Ahead of the debate, SASW added its name to a joint statement of more than 60 Scottish organisations urging MSPs to withhold consent to this law. MSPs voted in favour of refusing legislative consent for the Bill by 94-29.

Away from the chamber, the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee took evidence on issues facing Scotland’s social care sector. This followed a report by Audit Scotland last month which highlighted critical issues in the delivery of services.

Meanwhile, the Equalities, Human Rights and Civil Justice Committee held a family law roundtable focusing on the law applying to disputes between parents and the care of their children.

On Wednesday, the Conservatives used part of their opposition day debate to scrutinise the government’s proposed Workplace Parking Levy. SASW has been calling for social work workplaces to be exempt from the proposals.

In the committee rooms, the Criminal Justice Committee took evidence on stage one of the Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) Bill while the Education, Children and Young People Committee continued its inquiry into the Scottish Attainment Challenge.

Returning to the chamber that evening, Karen Adams MSP brought forward a Member’s Business debate in celebration of LGBT History Month.

On Thursday, the Social Justice and Social Security Committee held a roundtable evidence session on improving support for kinship carers.

At FMQs, the First Minister faced scrutiny from opposition leaders and backbench MSPs on issues such as the NHS recovery plan, student poverty and inequalities in the social care workforce.

Each party leader also gave a statement to the chamber on the unfolding terrible situation in Ukraine. BASW has also released a statement and our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine, including social work colleagues, those in health and welfare services, and all those who have loved ones in Ukraine who will be understandably deeply worried.