Three Labour MSPs have lodged draft proposals for members' bills in the Scottish Parliament, each contending that the normal consultation process need not be gone through before their bill is introduced, due to similar proposals having been consulted on in the last Parliament.
Rhoda Grant wants to take forward the Right to Food (Scotland) Bill proposed in the last Parliament by Elaine Smith. That proposal received sufficient support for a bill to be introduced, but there was no time for that before the May election. Supported by the Scottish Human Rights Commission, the bill would enshrine a right to food in Scots law and place a responsibility on the Scottish Government for policy making to further that right, with measurable targets on food security.
In her statement of reasons why further consultation should be unnecessary, Ms Grant says the wide range of responses to the previous consultation "remain relevant to my proposal and provide a credible resource to help inform the drafting of the bill and its accompanying documents. I believe that repeating the consultation process for, in effect, the same proposed piece of legislation originally proposed and consulted on by Elaine Smith just last year would be an unnecessary duplication of work. Repeating the consultation would slow down the progress of a vital piece of legislation and ultimately would add little value to the development of my bill".
Pam Duncan-Glancy, who is herself disabled, is taking up the Disabled Children and Young People (Transitions to Adulthood) (Scotland) Bill proposed in the last Parliament by Johann Lamont, which got as far as stage 1 hearings. The bill would provide for a National Transitions Strategy to assist young people with a disability to achieve independent living, with each individual young person having a right to a personal transitions plan. Ms Duncan-Glancy has made minor changes to strengthen the consultation arrangements, as proposed during hearings on the previous bill, but otherwise her bill would be the same. She too believes that further consultation would duplicate effort and incur unnecessary cost.
Finally, Mark Griffin has again put forward a proposal for a Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council Bill. He made a similar proposal last November which was consulted on but could not be finalised before the election. The new council set up by the bill would "research, shape and scrutinise the social security available to people injured in the course of their employment", with a continuing duty to advise and recommend changes to the support system. Mr Griffin also argues that further consultation is unnecessary so soon after the last exercise, and his bill should be allowed to go forward.
Each proposal will be considered by a committee of MSPs, who will decide whether it should be allowed to be finalised for introduction as a bill without further consultation.