MSP has her say on physical punishment of youngsters

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Linlithgow MSP Fiona Hyslop has stated that she is behind the bill which looks likely to outlaw the smacking of children within a year.

The Gazette asked Ms Hyslop for her view on the legislation which hit the headlines last week.

The moves to bring in a new ruling stem from a Members Bill lodged by MSP John Finnie.

The retired policeman argued that children should be given “the same legal protection from assault that adults enjoy.”

Ms Hyslop said that the Scottish Government was “minded to support a ban” –and that this was very much in line with the SNP’s Programme For Government blueprint of last week.

She added: “The relevant minister Maree Todd has also state in regard to John Finnie’s bill, that this sends a clear signal that all physical punishment of children is wrong.

“Evidence shows that this can lead to aggressive and problematic behaviour into adolescence and adulthood.”

Holyrood looked at proposals to ban smacking in 2002, but these were abandoned amid a growing political outcry.

Now MSPs across the political spectrum have voiced their support for the move but the Conservatives argue that present legislation “works well because it is based on common sense and is based on what most parents want.”