As-it-happened: First Minister's Questions on Thursday, 30 May, 2013

Key points

  • First Minister Alex Salmond answered questions on a range of subjects including the baby ashes scandal and local courts cuts.
  • A post-independent Scotland was raised during the half-hour Q&A with a focus on corporation tax and currency arrangements.
  • Members of parliament are due to take part in a Scottish government debate on the future of Scotland's railway system.

Live text

Reporting:

  • Deirdre Kelly 
  • Doug Kennedy 
  • Emma Ailes 

Last updated 30 May 2013

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Hello and welcome to our weekly First Minister's Questions text and video coverage. Alex Salmond is due in the chamber at 12 noon. Currently his ministers are answering general questions from backbench MSPs.

STANDARD Information

The independence debate continues to dominates political news in Scotland. The money experts have been at loggerheads with the Treasury saying a shared currency deal in the event of a "yes" next year would not work, while the Scottish government's fiscal commission saying keeping the pound is the best option.

STANDARD Analysis

Glenn Campbell, BBC Scotland news

"I spoke to the chairman of the Scottish government's council of economic advisers Crawford Beveridge on the subject of a post-independence currency. When I asked him if he thought Chancellor George Osborne was bluffing over his insistence that the rest of the UK would reject a currency union with Scotland, Mr Beveridge said 'yes'. Have a look at what else the former chief executive of Scottish Enterprise had to say....... Osborne 'bluffing' over 'yes' currency."

STANDARD Information

Tricia Marwick Tricia Marwick is on sick leave

One regular face missing for FMQs is Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick. She will absent from Holyrood until after the summer recess as she will be undergoing bowel surgery. Replacing her today is her deputy John Scott. Fellow deputy Elaine Smith will also be stepping in while Ms Marwick recuperates.

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Alex Neil is answering health questions. He is addressing the screening of pregnant women.

TWEET

If you want to follow the debate on social media, use #FMQ or #FMQs

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Johann Lamont for Labour asks about Chancellor George Osborne and corporation tax. Should he cut the tax further, she asks? Alex Salmond says the policy of his government should be to control corporation tax and then set a competitive rate which is then collected.

TWEET

@AngusCMillar Did anyone outside the PLP get the Campbelltown bus journey reference? #FMQs #FMQ

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Johann Lamont

Ms Lamont dismisses Mr Salmond's answer. She points to Mr Salmond's real opinion that he would cut corporation tax. "There would be less tax to evade in Scotland," she tells the chamber.

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Mr Salmond said Gordon Brown cut corporation tax - he didn't just talk about cutting it. He repeats his first answer to Ms Lamont. The non-collection of the tax did not start under George Osborne but started under Labour at Westminster.