Scotland politics

Week ahead: Ministers to announce crackdown on fireworks

fireworks display Image copyright PA

Ministers will set out a plan to tackle fireworks misuse this week.

It follows a Scottish government consultation which demonstrated strong support for tighter regulations.

Community Safety Minister Ash Denham is to make a statement to Holyrood at 2:20pm on Tuesday.

While legislation on the sale of fireworks is a reserved matter, ministers can tighten up regulations around their use.

The consultation was announced after emergency service workers were attacked with fireworks last year.

Other concerns about the impact on animals and older people were also raised.

What else is happening at the Scottish Parliament this week?

Tuesday - disability assistance

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The afternoon begins with topical questions on human trafficking, the link between professional footballers and brain disease and then on overcrowding in Scottish prisons.

After the fireworks statement, MSPs will turn to a debate on welfare payments for disabled people.

The Scottish government has given a commitment to establishing a person-centred system when powers over disability assistance are devolved, with ministers arguing the current approach taken by the UK government does not work.

Clear eligibility criteria and a simplified application form are part of the measures to be introduced by the Scottish government.

But there have been concerns about the time it will take for Scotland's Social Security Agency to take on all disability claimants. It was confirmed in February that the transfer of claimants from the DWP would not be completed until 2024.

The evening member's debate will be led by Labour MSP Pauline McNeill on changers to Asda employment contracts.

In the morning, Holyrood Live will be covering the economy committee as it takes evidence on the Consumer Scotland Bill.

It would see the establishment of a new consumer rights and advocacy body, but concerns have been raised about a lack of enforcement power and the impact the new body could have on Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS).

MSPs will be hearing from CAS and representatives of citizens advice bureaux.

Wednesday - Glasgow School of Art fire

Image copyright PA
Image caption The blaze could be seen across the city

The culture committee is calling for a full public inquiry into the 2018 fire that destroyed the Glasgow School of Art.

In a report published earlier this year, the committee concluded that there had not been adequate risk management following the fire in 2014.

The report on the cause of the fire has not yet been published by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, though investigations are said to be in the final phases.

MSPs will call for an inquiry with judicial powers to ex amine the 2014 and 2018 fires, though the Scottish government has said the fire service must complete its investigation because it considers such a move.

The debate will be bookended by health and local government questions, and a debate on the voluntary sector led by Tory MSP Margaret Mitchell.

We begin the day with the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee taking evidence from Scottish government minister Paul Wheelhouse on digital connectivity.

Thursday - emissions targets

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Image caption Climate change campaigners have staged protests in Edinburgh

The annual emissions target report will be published this week, accompanied by a statement to the Scottish parliament on Thursday afternoon.

Earlier this year, it was confirmed the Scottish government officially missed its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in 2017.

But the parliament set stronger emissions targets last month, aiming to offset all emissions by 2045.

After the statement MSPs will mark the centenary of the Forestry Commission.

The Scottish government proposed to abolish the body last year and create a government department to oversee forestry instead.

But this was halted by MSPs during the passing of the Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Bill.

Nicola Sturgeon will be quizzed during First Minister's Questions at noon as usual.

We begin early at 8.15am with coverage of Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell giving evidence on Brexit to the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee.

The Social Security Committee will be taking evidence from Shirley-Anne Somerville and the chief executive of Social Security Scotland on the performance of the welfare system.

Audit Scotland warned earlier this year that there was no clear understanding of what is needed to deliver welfare payments to Scotland's expected 1.4 million claimants.

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