As-it-happened: First Minister's Questions on Thursday, 27 September, 2012

Key points

  • Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was in the hot seat at FMQs as Alex Salmond is in America for golf's Ryder Cup tournament.
  • She faced questions from Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont and Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, as well as backbenchers.
  • In political news this week, Ms Lamont delivered a speech in which she called for an "honest debate" on free-for-all public services.

Live text

Reporting:

  • Doug Kennedy 
  • Deirdre Kelly 
  • Mona McAlinden 

Last updated 27 September 2012

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Hello and welcome to our live page coverage of First Minister's Questions. Today Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will be in the hot seat as Alex Salmond is away on business in the US.

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General questions are being answered by a number of cabinet ministers, ahead of FMQs.

TWEET

@littlegrumpyG Lovely to show Higher Modern Studies pupils from @Stirling_High round @ScotParl - I hope they enjoy their #fmq experience

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Brian Taylor, Political editor, Scotland

"Much talk both at Holyrood and on the fringe of the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton anent the emerging deal on an independence referendum. Follow more from my blog......."

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Minister Fergus Ewing is speaking about his concerns about redundancies at under-threat Remploy.

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Mr Ewing said the workers will be supported "however they can".

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Ms Lamont talks of the Christie Commission. She quotes his words on universal entitlement to benefits. (Ms Lamont spoke about the issues in Edinburgh yesterday) She said spending choices needed to be fair for people in Scotland before the referendum.

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Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs Ms Sturgeon said her party would be proud to protect the council tax freeze, free personal care and bus travel

Ms Sturgeon questions why Ms Lamont has set up a commission to report after an independence referendum. "I agree with Campbell Christie," Nicola Sturgeon tells the chamber. "We will be proud to protect the council tax freeze, free personal care and bus travel," she adds.

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"What I said was, we need an open and honest debate, just like John Swinney said," Ms Lamont goes on. She then quotes the Beveridge report which says key benefits may not be affordable. She adds that that report called for a debate on looking at those who could afford to pay.

TWEET

@HolyroodPatter #fmq Johann Lamont walked into that "before/after referendum" line