The glossary provides definitions for parliamentary terms to help you understand the Parliament and how it works.  The terms are arranged alphabetically so select a letter to find the term you would like to have explained.


tax-varying resolution

A resolution of the Parliament to change the basic rate of income tax for Scottish taxpayers by up to 3p, or to cancel any previous such resolution.

temporary convener

A member of a parliamentary committee which does not have a deputy convener, and who is chosen by that committee to carry out the functions of deputy convener.


A word sometimes used to describe the period in the parliamentary calendar between two recesses.

Time for Reflection

The period when an invited speaker addresses a meeting of the Parliament for up to 4 minutes.

Topical Question

See Topical Question Time.

Topical Question Time

A period of time each week when MSPs ask questions, lodged for oral answer, of a topical nature. To be topical, questions should deal with a specific issue in relation to which there has been a recent development, address an issue of national relevance for which the Scottish Government has general responsibility, or, if addressing a local issue, have wider than local significance.

Tower buildings

The Parliament buildings that provide office space for committee clerks, Scottish Executive Ministers and their staff.

Treaty of Union

The international treaty between the 2 independent kingdoms of Scotland and England which led to their union as the new state of Great Britain in 1707. The treaty was ratified by Acts of the two Parliaments (Acts of Union).

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