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  1. Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney presents budget plan
  2. A new tax to replace stamp will be fairer to property buyers, says Mr Swinney
  3. Homebuyers won't pay tax on properties costing less than £135,000
  4. Borders to Edinburgh railway: track laying gets under way
  5. 'Five stores a week' close in Scotland
  6. Andy Murray bows out of Shanghai Masters

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Marianne Taylor, Louise Sayers and Graham Fraser

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good night

    Graham Fraser

    BBC Scotland

    That is it for today's Scotland Live blog. Thanks for all of your comments.

    Join the team tomorrow from 08:00 for all the latest Scottish news, sport, weather and travel.

  2. NHS budget

    The budget for NHS Scotland is to rise by £288m to over £12bn, Finance Secretary John Swinney has said.

    The announcement was part of a package of funding measures set out by Mr Swinney in his budget statement to MSPs.

    He also announced funding for infrastructure, schools, housing and energy efficiency.

    Labour and the Conservatives accused Mr Swinney of failing to protect NHS funding in successive budgets.

  3. Torturer jailed

    A man who tortured a robbery victim has been jailed for five years.

    Stewart Bain - along with accomplice David Brown - attacked Martin Gillett in Larkhall, South Lanarkshire.

    The two men subjected the victim to a violent attack including beating him repeatedly and robbing him.

    Mr Gillett suffered severe injuries and permanent disfigurement.

  4. Swinney's budget - your views

    Lew in Edinburgh: 250k is not a wealthy person's house - to have to pay 10% tax is very unreasonable. Will certainly hit the housing market and new builds.

  5. Thief's jail sentence quashed

    An Edinburgh hotel manager who stole £18,000 from his employers has had his jail sentence quashed and been ordered to pay compensation.

    Le Monde

    Mark Flay, 26, was given a 12-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to stealing from Le Monde hotel between October 2012 and March 2013.

    CCTV footage showed the 26-year-old opening a till and taking cash.

  6. 'Middle income families will benefit'

    Mr Swinney told BBC Scotland's Newsdrive his new property tax would help "middle income families".

    "We said we'd make the tax progressive, related to the ability to pay. 90% of people will pay less, or the same as what they would have paid under stamp duty," he said.

    "This will help more low-income families to get into the property market.

    "Average property prices in every area in Scotland - including Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire - are significantly lower than 325,000.

    "There will be tax savings for middle income families looking to move on."

  7. Budget video

    Watch Finance Secretary John Swinney deliver part of his draft budget, which he announced in the Scottish Parliament earlier today.

    John Swinney

    Mr Swinney's statement marks the first time Scottish Parliament has levied taxation since 1707.

  8. Glasgow hit-and-run

    Police are attempting to trace a man who injured a 36-year-old woman after driving his car at her in Glasgow.

    The hit-and-run took place as the woman was crossing Broomfield Road, close to Broomfield Court, in the Springburn area on Tuesday night.

    The suspect is described as an Asian man, aged 20 to 30.

  9. 'PM should lead debate'

    SNP MP Pete Wishart has written to the prime minister demanding that he leads next week's Westminster debate on further devolution for the Scottish Parliament.

    Mr Wishart said: "David Cameron has a responsibility to lead the debate.

    "He is - after all - the prime minister who signed the vow on behalf of the Westminster government.

    "He has an opportunity next week to show good faith and ensure that the further powers Scotland demands are met in full and as quickly as promised by him so publicly.

    "It is also gives him the perfect opportunity to explain how he sees the role of English MPs on purely Scottish matters evolving at Westminster."

  10. Get involved - the budget

    Text 80295

    John Delaney: Can we refuse to pay the new property tax, in the expectation that the SNP will write off all arrears in a few years?

    Al in Rutherglen: At Last, a government willing to force the rich to pay their fair share in tax. Well done John Swinney and the SNP.

    Norman in the Borders: Meanwhile council tax freeze punishes poorest proportionately and nothing done to build council houses for rent.

  11. 'Crowd pleaser'

    The average housebuyer - those paying less than £325,000 - will pay less tax than at present, property expert Alan Cook tells the BBC.

    Asked whether there will be an impact on market, Mr Cook, who works for Pinsent Mason, added: "Those at the lower end of the market won't want to buy until after 01 April, those at the upper end will want to complete before the end of March.

    "After that, it remains to be seen."

    "It's certainly a crowd pleaser," he adds.

  12. Get involved

    What do you think of John Swinney's budget Are you a winner or a loser?

    Tweet using #ScotlandLive, email here or text 80295.

  13. Post update

    RBS Economic Insight tweets: New stamp duty tax for Scottish property in one (fairly) simple chart.

    Property tax chart
  14. Post update

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: For a home costing just over £1m: stamp duty of £40k replaced by LBTT of £77,300 #ScotBudget

  15. Out of the Woods?

    Ross County have signed former Barnsley midfielder Martin Woods until the end of January.

    Martin Woods

    The 28-year-old, who has also played for Sunderland, Rotherham and Doncaster, has been without a club since leaving Oakwell at the end of last season.

    Woods joins a side bottom of the Scottish Premiership, with just four points from nine matches.

  16. Boyd spared ban

    Kris Boyd has been spared a two-game ban after a Scottish FA disciplinary panel delivered a "not proven" verdict on a violent conduct charge.

    The Rangers striker was accused of "head-butting or attempting to head-butt" an opponent.

    Kris Boyd

    The incident took place during a 3-1 home defeat to Hibernian last month.

  17. Listen live

    For more reaction to finance secretary John Swinney's budget, tune in to Newsdrive - which has just started - by clicking the icon at the top of the Scotland Live page (screenshot below).

    Scotland Live screenshot
  18. Back to Scotland Live...

    Marianne Taylor

    BBC Scotland news

    Right, we're moving back to Scotland Live for now, though we'll continue to bring you reaction to John Swinney's budget statement as it comes in.

  19. 'Devo max budget'

    The BBC's political editor Brian Taylor says this was a "budget for devo max as opposed to the budget for independence Mr Swinney was hoping to deliver".

    The BBC's business correspondent David Henderson describes Mr Swinney's statement as "a budget for votes".

    He adds that the Scottish government is in an "interim period" in terms of leadership, as First Minister Alex Salmond steps down and Nicola Sturgeon is expected to take over.

  20. End of budget questions

    And that's the end of questions on the budget statement. You can watch the rest of the day's business in the Scottish Parliament on the BBC's Democracy Live website.

  21. Tories call for more tax bands

    The Conservatives' Jackson Carlaw calls for more "progressive bands" of property transaction tax on properties valued between £250,000 and £1m.

    Mr Swinney says this is a draft budget and Mr Carlaw can put forward his arguments during its consideration in Parliament.

  22. First-time buyers

    Speaking to the BBC, commentator Alf Young says those trying to get a foot on the housing ladder will benefit from Mr Swinney's new property tax regime.

    The first £135,000 will be tax free for everyone, he points out, not just first-time buyers.

    The average price of a house in Scotland is just over £162,000.

  23. Budget - Your Views

    Tweet using #ScotlandLive

    Lani Baird: @scottishlabour object to a budget that protects our NHS and against the bedroom tax...why? #scotbudget

    Roger Mullin: Particularly pleased to see increased funding for housing in John Swinney's budget. Much needed priority.

    Stuart Wilson: @JohannLamont Just write to John Swinney - apparently he's got £86,000,000 which he's happy to plough into Scotland's NHS. Taxi for Lamont!

  24. 'Regressive' tax

    Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Green Party, says local government budgets should not be constrained by the central Scottish government budget.

    He calls the council tax "regressive" and urges "creative debate" on its replacement.

    Mr Swinney says he shares some of Mr Harvie's reservations about the council tax.

  25. '£400 funding gap'

    Health journalist Penny Taylor tells the BBC the extra funding for the NHS announced by Mr Swinney does not cover the £400m "funding gap" that was alleged by senior NHS figures just before last month's referendum.

    Penny Taylor
  26. Budget - Your Views

    @bbcscotlandnews using #ScotlandLive

    John Corbett: And as the #ScotBudget debate mentions "the vow" for the 4th time, I give up and am going to eat chocolate buttons and watch World War Z.

    Joan Forbes: #scotbudget promotes fairness, protects NHS & against Westminster bedroom tax, how can Scottish Labour object?

    Gerri Peev: Independence may not have wrecked Scotland's economy or chased out every wealth creator. But John Swinney's property taxes just might.

  27. 'Mitigation'

    Mr Swinney responds that the legislation to allow the Scottish government to mitigate the so-called bedroom tax is still going through parliament.

  28. Swinney 'backsliding'

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says Mr Swinney is "backsliding" on his promise to mitigate the so-called bedroom tax, and that people are currently being threatened with eviction.

  29. Barnett formula

    SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says the UK government has not set out how the block grant of public funds given to Scotland would be affected.

    Mr Swinney says the UK government "has advanced a mechanism that would alter the Barnett formula" on public spending, which the Scottish government opposed.

    This was "contradicted" by the "vow" of more powers made by the main pro-Union parties during the referendum campaign, he adds.

  30. Budget - Your Views

    Tweet using #ScotlandLive

    Hannah Bettsworth: Was there a need to shoehorn the constitution into that answer? #scotbudget

    Mark Keegan: Willie Rennie can't even defend the coalition with a straight face! #ScotBudget

    Jennifer McKiernan: Handbags as @JohnSwinney says he needs to check figures from @JennyMarra as @scottishlabour figures "generally pretty dodgy" #scotbudget

  31. Commitments 'fulfilled'

    Mr Swinney questions Ms Marra's figures, and says his government has fulfilled their commitments to further education.

  32. College 'cuts'

    Labour MSP Jenny Marra claims more than 800 young people couldn't get a place on engineering courses at Dundee and Angus College because of the SNP's cuts.

  33. 'Progressive' taxes

    Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie welcomes "the progressive nature of the taxes, based on the ability to pay".

    Holyrood chamber

    However, he says that spending on childcare and mental health has lagged behind in the past.

  34. Budget - Your reaction

    Tweet using #ScotlandLive

    Severin Carrell (The Guardian): .@JohnSwinney sets far higher 12% on house sales over £1m = a mansions tax after all? #sp4 #ScotBudget How many homes to sell for £999k now?

    Fiona King: Oooo @AlexSalmond told to stop heckling at #scotbudget debate. FM is de-mob happy.

    Andy Wightman: LBTT & landfill tax not 1st taxes set by ScotParl since 1706. Non-domestic rates been set since 1999 as a centralised tax. #scotbudget

  35. 'No worse off'

    He repeats his claim that 90% of taxpayers will be "better or no worse off" under the new regime.

  36. 'Fair judgements'

    Mr Swinney insists he has made "fair judgements" on the rates of the new property transaction tax.

  37. Budget speech - Your Reaction

    Tweet using #ScotlandLive

    James Corbett: Is it me or does John Swinney's delivery make it virtually impossible to tell when he's announcing something new?

    Taylor James Scott: I like John Swinney but I really dislike three-button suits; especially when you only button the middle button. Disappointed John. #ScotBudget

  38. 'Eyewatering' tax rate

    Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown calls the 10% tax on houses over the value of £250,000 "eyewatering".

    He says that cities like Edinburgh have many houses over that value.

    The tax rate is "difficult to justify", he argues.

  39. Winner or loser?

    On the BBC's Politics Scotland programme, former Herald journalist Alf Young says it will be difficult for people to work out whether they will be "winners or losers" after hearing Mr Swinney's statement.

    Alf Young
  40. NHS private spending

    Mr Swinney responds that spending by the NHS on private provision "has gone up from 0.8% to 0.9%".

    This is hardly "spiralling up", he quips.

  41. NHS cuts claim

    Use of the private sector in the NHS has "spiralled", Mr Gray argues, also claiming that cuts are planned.

  42. NHS cuts

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Internal managers' discussion of "£450m NHS cut" was wrong: NHS gets £288m more, incl capital spend: above £12bn for first time. #ScotBudget

  43. Labour response

    Labour's Iain Gray, responding to the budget statement, says Mr Swinney has "made history" by setting the first tax rates for 300 years.

    Mr Gray argues that it shows that "we can have" a "powerful" Scottish Parliament within the UK.

  44. NHS budget

    The finance secretary announces an increase of £288m in the health budget.

    "Scotland's NHS is properly funded and will be kept in public hands," he says.

    The total NHS budget will be £12bn for the first time ever, he adds.

  45. Housing sector support

    Mr Swinney announces £125m of financial support for the housing sector this year.

    Finance Secretary John Swinney
  46. Budget - Your reaction

    @bbcscotlandnews using #ScotlandLive

    Shauny Boy: Budget is set by WM. Rocket science this is not. **swinney head-to-desk**

    Adam Evans: John Swinney to announce details of new Land and Building Transaction Tax during today's Scottish Budget. A blueprint for future Welsh SDLT?

  47. Early years funding

    More early years funding is promised, including "a package of support for care leavers".

  48. Welfare cuts

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    John Swinney says he's putting £81m into offsetting the effects of UK welfare cuts. #ScotBudget

  49. Business rates

    Mr Swinney announces business rate relief for "more than half" of business premises.

  50. 'Most taxpayers better off'

    The new replacement for stamp duty will mean 90% of taxpayers are either better off or no worse off, says Mr Swinney, adding that 5,000 transactions will be taken out of tax altogether.

  51. Education investment

    There will a £1bn investment in higher education to "keep free tuition at the core of education," the finance secretary says.

    He also announces funding of £526m for further education.

  52. Post update

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    Buying a house in Scotland for more than £1m? Brace yourself for a 12% transactions tax/'mansion tax'. #ScotBudget

  53. Land and buildings tax rates

    Land and buildings transactions tax rates will have a higher threshold of £135,000, compared to £125,000 for stamp duty.

    "Nobody will pay tax on the first £135,000 of their house purchase," Mr Swinney says.

    Sold sign

    There will be a marginal rate of 2% for house purchases between £135,000 and £250,0000, while a 10% rate will apply from £250,000 to £1m.

    There will be a top rate of 12% on houses over £1m in value.

  54. New tax powers

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    In #ScotBudget, new tax powers to be used without raising or lowering total tax take. Stamp duty replacement: threshold up from £125k to £135,000: 5k more transactions pay no tax. Down for 44k sales, sub-£325,000.

  55. Landfill tax rates

    "I have decided that the taxes raised should be revenue-neutral," the finance secretary says.

    The landfill tax will have an high rate of £82.60 per tonne and a low rate of £2.60 per tonne.

  56. New tax rates

    Mr Swinney says that this is the first budget in which he can set tax rates, indeed the first time since 1706, that tax rates have been set in Scotland for Scotland.

    Under legislation agreed at Westminster two years ago, the Scottish government can raise a new property transaction tax - to replace stamp duty - and a landfill tax.

  57. 'Benefits of growth'

    Mr Swinney says the year ahead is set to see the highest growth since the financial crisis.

    "It is essential that the benefits of economic growth must be maintained as well as shared," he argues.

    "Scotland's budget must strive to meet Scotland's needs in the face of UK austerity," he adds.

  58. Swinney speech starts

    Finance Secretary John Swinney is just beginning his statement on the draft budget for 2014-15.

    John Swinney
  59. Budget statement

    Finance Secretary John Swinney is about to begin his budget statement.

    We'll be bringing you live text and video coverage from Holyrood.

  60. Kelli Ferris search scaled back

    The search for missing Aberdeen woman Kelli Ferris is being scaled down.

    Kelli Ferris

    She has a medical condition, and has been missing since 10 September.

    Police Scotland said officers would continue searching of CCTV.

  61. Holyrood pups

    The SNP tweeted this picture of Alex Salmond playing with the guide dog puppies who gate crashed Holyrood this afternoon.

    Alex Salmond with guide dog puppy

    The puppies were invited by David Torrance MSP to raise awareness for guide dogs week.

  62. Tune in...

    Reporting Scotland with Sally Magnusson is on air on BBC One Scotland at 13:30.

    Finance Secretary John Swinney's upcoming budget announcement, the referendum effect on house sales, and the latest retail figures, are among the stories making the headlines.

    You can watch the programme live here.

  63. Your Views

    Text 80295

    Iain, IVY Property: The property tax is currently called Stamp Duty Land Tax, not just stamp duty.

  64. Fire Crews

    Reevel Alderson

    BBC Scotland's social affairs correspondent

    Sending fire crews rather than an ambulance to attend to some heart attack victims could save lives, according to a report. The Chief Inspector of Fire Services says in many cases fire crews, equipped with defibrillators, can reach the victim more quickly.

    This is by no means a radical idea; it happens in about a third of fire brigade areas in England. But the report says since half of fire appliances carry defibrillators, and many crews are trained in enhanced first aid, sending them to help heart attack victims could prove critical.

  65. Your Views

    Lisa Gribbin tweets: Can Salmond not bring himself to say #UK #UnitedKingdom or #GreatBritain lol Interesting how he always seems to say "these Islands". now #FMQs

  66. Scotland's Euro 2016 qualifiers

    Jane Lewis

    BBC Scotland

    Steven Naismith says #Scotland should be more attacking against #Georgia on Saturday. He says he'd fancy partnering Steven Fletcher up front.

  67. Man admits guilt over crash deaths

    A bricklayer has admitted causing the deaths of two colleagues by dangerous driving in a head-on crash in Argyll.

    Robert Brown, 65, overtook traffic and smashed his van into a concrete mixer on the A83 at Cairndow, near Loch Fyne, on 12 February last year.

    He suffered a spinal injury but Scott Prior, 20, and 24-year-old Mark McColl died at the scene from head injuries.

    At the High Court in Glasgow, sentence on Brown was deferred. He was granted bail and ordered not to drive.

  68. Hyslop warning on human rights

    The UK's moral authority would be "completely and utterly diminished" if it withdraws from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), External Affairs Secretary Fiona Hyslop has told MSPs.

    The Conservatives have promised to scrap the Human Rights Act if they win the next election, and have hinted they may pull the UK out of the ECHR. The Scottish government strongly opposes such a stance.

    Speaking at the Scottish Parliament's European and external relations committee, Ms Hyslop said: "To remove or to walk away from human rights and the ECHR, and its application within this country, would send out a signal that would further marginalise the UK, not just in Europe but further afield.

    "It completely and utterly diminishes any moral authority that they have."

  69. Party allies

    Alex Salmond says Johann Lamont's "Better Together allies", the Conservatives, do not support public sector railways.

    He says the current deal is better than "waiting and hoping" for a change in their position.

  70. Tourist spending up

    Following on from the increase in overseas visitors, it seems they are spending more too - up 13% on the same time last year.

    Domestic spend stayed the same, however.

    Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing welcomed the "impressive" overseas visitor and spend figures.

    "The people at Scottish tourism's front-line, the staff in our hotels, cafes, restaurants and tourist attractions, are delivering results and providing a memorable experience for visitors from home and abroad," he said.

    VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead added: "This year has taken Scotland's profile and reputation to great heights and we are determined to make the most of this for the future."

  71. Professor Adam Tomkins, University of Glasgow


    tweets: Fitting tributes to the late Angus Macleod at the start of #FMQs.

  72. Abellio earns franchise

    Dutch rail operator Abellio has won the £6bn franchise to run ScotRail services for the next decade, beating the current Aberdeen-based operator, FirstGroup.

    Reaction has been mixed, with unions arguing that ministers should have delayed a decision in the hope that the railways to be brought back into public ownership.

  73. US visitor numbers up

    Tourist numbers from North America rose by 32% in the year to the end of June but the total number of visitors to Scotland dropped, figures show.

    There were 510,000 visitors from the US and Canada in 2013/14 compared to 385,000 the previous year, according to the Office for National Statistics.

    The increase contributed to an 18% overall rise in overseas holidaymakers - up from 2.2 million to 2.6 million - but domestic visitor numbers declined by 7%.

    Eilean Donan castle

    Taking domestic and overseas travellers together, the total number of visitors to Scotland dropped by 4%.

  74. Tune in...

    First Minister's Questions is getting under way at Holyrood. Follow the BBC's live text commentary here and we'll include updates as and when.

    We'll devote our attention to John Swinney's budget announcement later.

  75. Your Views

    Text 80295

    Greg, amateur photographer from Edinburgh: Will Danny MacAskill be doing any more stunts in Edinburgh? It would be amazing to get the chance to photograph him at work.

  76. Danny MacAskill


    tweets: Going to be on the Fred Macaulay show on @BBC Radio Scotland in 20mins talking about #TheRidge

  77. Clydesdale owner increases PPI costs

    The owner of the Clydesdale Bank has announced it is putting aside £420m to redress the mis-selling of financial products such as payment protection insurance (PPI) - £345m more than it originally forecast.

    Clydesdale Bank logo

    In August, National Australia Bank, which also owns Yorkshire Bank, said it would put aside £75m to deal with PPI.

    The bank is also reserving £250m to deal with interest rate hedging products sold to small businesses - up from the £170m it previously announced.

  78. Priest suspends duties

    The priest at St Bride's Roman Catholic Church in Cambuslang is suspending his parish duties, while police investigate an allegation of historical sex abuse.

    Police Scotland say they began the investigation after receiving a complaint about Father Paul Morton. Their inquiries are at an early stage.

    A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Scotland says that, as a result of the police inquiry, Father Morton will not undertake any public ministry or live in the parish house.

  79. Naismith: Scots 'are ready'

    Scotland forward Steven Naismith says "the boys are ready" ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia at Ibrox.

    Steven Naismith

    The Everton marksman believes Scotland boss Gordon Strachan has a welcome selection headache with so many attacking options at his disposal.

    On playing at Ibrox, the former Rangers forward says he's looking forward to returning to a ground that holds so many great memories.

    Scotland lost their opening qualifier in Group D against world champions Germany, and will be aiming to bounce back in the double header against Georgia and Poland.

  80. Your reaction - Favourite literary characters

    Giovanna Stefani: I am puzzled that someone voted for Homer Simpson. I am unaware of that character being literary - I think it's a cartoon...

  81. Literary heroes - Your views

    Get involved: Email, text 80295, or tweet #scotlandlive.

    Paul in North Ayrshire: My favourite literary characters are Ryan and Rachel Law from a series of books by Heather Atkinson. The books are called The Dividing Line series and, although she has never been published, she has a large following as an E-BOOK author on kindle.

    Roy Keane
    Image caption: Keane to make an impression?

    Tom Watson: #scotlandlive my favourite fictional hero is the protagonist portrayed in Roy Keane's latest book.

  82. On this day...

    In 1995 the Scottish Conservative politician, Sir Alec Douglas-Home, died.

    The aristocrat, who entered Number 10 from the House of Lords and lasted less than a year, was the last Premier to "emerge" from a mysterious system of consultations dubbed the "Magic Circle".

    The late Sir Alec Douglas-Home

    His short-lived period of office, from October 1963 to October 1964, spanned the period of the assassination of US President, John F. Kennedy.

  83. Political expenses

    Andrew Black

    Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    MSPs' expenses rose to more than £12.5m last year - up by about £250,000 on 2012-2013 figures. Scottish Parliament bosses said the rise of more than 2% reflected the effect of inflation on office costs and on staff salaries.

  84. Literary Heroes - Get Involved

    Simon Fairburn: My hero is Admiral Lord Thomas Cochrane. Born in 1775 at Annsfield, Scotland, his daring exploits during the Napoleonic Wars and subsequent fight with the establishment provided a great deal of material for Patrick O'Brian's 'Jack Aubrey' character in t he magnificent series of maritime novels.

  85. Apple grows core business

    Apple has announced it will open a new store in Edinburgh next week.

    Apple Store

    The Princes Street premises will open at 10:00 on Saturday 18 October.

    It will be their 38th in the UK and 106th in Europe.

  86. Literary Heroes - Your Views

    Text 80295

    Gordon, Kincardine: Favourite literary character? Para Handy. He epitomises, for me, the West Highlands and Islands of my childhood.

    Anon: My literary hero is Professor Branestawn by Norman Hunter. Never lets reality get in the way of his dreams.

    Which fictional character leaves you starry-eyed? Email here, text 80295 or tweet using #ScotlandLive with your choice.

  87. MV Parida safely docked

    MV Parida, a ship carrying nuclear waste which was left adrift off the coast of Wick after getting into difficulty, has been towed to safety.

    MV Parida

    It's now secure at the Port of Cromarty Firth and Police Scotland say repairs are under way.

    The nuclear decommissioning authority say the vessel's radioactive cargo, which was being transported from Dounreay in Caithness to Belgium, is rated at the lowest level of safety concern.

    Neither the integrity of the vessel or the cargo is thought to have have been affected by the incident on Tuesday evening.

  88. Shanghai Shuffle

    Andy Murray's chances of qualifying for the season-ending ATP Finals suffered a setback as he lost 2-6 6-1 6-2 to David Ferrer in the third round of the Shanghai Masters.

    Andy Murray

    Murray, 27, made an impressive start, losing just four points on his serve in a brilliant display in the first set.

    However, Ferrer then capitalised on the Scot's inconsistent second serve.

  89. Your favourite literary characters

    Text 80295

    Christine in Glasgow: One of my favourite characters is Smilla in 'Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow' by Peter Hoeg. She has a strong sense of justice and self belief. I admire her and re-read parts of the book when I need inspiration.

    Anon: Steven Stelfox from 'Kill Your Friends' by John Niven. For his upstanding moral character, tolerance and loyalty.

    Peter: Lewis Grassic Gibbons's 'Spartacus' is a good read and well researched. Katherine Stewart's Country Diaries is inspiring of country life.

  90. Childcare costs - Your Views

    Text 80295

    Gill in Perth: Working parents pay tax, stay at home parents don't: that's the difference. Working parents generate income for the country.

    Anon: What I find outrageous is the way in which people have children and then expect everyone else to help fund their upbringing. Why should I go out to work and pay tax in order to pay for other people's children when I've never had any of my own?

  91. Fictional Heroes - Get Involved

    Morning Call wants to know who your favourite literary character is and why do they inspire you?

    Composite - Homer Simpson, Scarlett O'Hara, Harry Potter

    Brooner in Newtonhill says Homer Simpson, Lillian in Oban says Scarlet O'Hara from Gone with the Wind, while Arwen in Aberdeen has gone for Harry Potter.

    Get in touch and let us know your favourite! Email here, text 80295 or tweet using #scotlandlive to offer your choice.

  92. Retail blow

    Five stores a week closed across some of Scotland's largest towns and cities in the first half of this year, according to a study.

    A total of 140 stores brought down the shutters with only 133 new ones opening, a net reduction of seven.

    Sale sign in shop

    Aberdeen, Glasgow, Paisley and Perth, however, reported a net increase over the six months.

    Scotland's high streets also performed relatively well compared to other parts of the UK.

  93. Childcare costs - Your Views

    Text 80295

    Kim: A lot of people say they would like free childcare but they don't say that when their kids grow up and they have to pay the high tax rates. No easy answer to it.

    Norrie: I object to my taxes being spent on childcare just to allow parents to go to work. If they want to have kids then don't work and allow other unemployed people the chance to get off the dole. Children should be looked after by their mothers and fathers.

  94. Post update

    BBC Scotland Travel


    Glenrothes: A92 A poor wee injured deer at A911 at Preston Roundabout. Delays both ways. SSPCA are en-route.

  95. Ebola crisis

    Ben Webster, head of disaster response for the Red Cross, has told Good Morning Scotland that a "multi-pronged approach is required" to tackle the Ebola crisis.

    "We do need to scale up the treatment centres with expert health capacity, but there is also locally and culturally appropriate messaging, communication and education that is required," he said.

    "There are strong cultural practices involved in the burial procedures which need to be changed in a culturally sensitive way. It is not about international workers saving the day."

  96. Royal Oak

    Events marking the sinking of a battleship at Scapa Flow in Orkney during World War Two will get under way today.

    The Royal Oak was torpedoed by a German U-boat in 1939.

    Royal Oak

    Most of the 1,200 crew were asleep below deck at the time of the attack, and more than 800 - including many boy sailors - died.

  97. Coming up....

    Louise White

    Presenter, Morning Call

    This morning we're talking about childcare. Labour's Johann Lamont yesterday proposed capping costs at 10% of average family income.

    I'm asking: How big a difference would a reduction in childcare costs make to you?

    We'll also be discussing farming: why are so many people are leaving the industry?

    Lines are open now. Call 0500 92 95 00, text 80295 or email here.

  98. 'A budget for devo-max'

    BBC Radio Scotland

    Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, the Daily Record's political editor, David Clegg, says that while last year's budget was "badged as a budget for independence", today's draft budget will be a "budget for devo-max".

    The draft budget statement for 2015-16 will be delivered by Finance Secretary John Swinney this afternoon.

    It'll outline the first Scottish tax rates in more than 300 years - including plans to replace stamp duty and for a Scottish landfill tax.

    Listen live to GMS here.

  99. Read all about it...

    The latest news on Ebola dominates the front pages, with schools and universities placed on alert and Scottish soldiers deployed in Sierra Leone.


    The Daily Record and Scottish Sun focus on Rangers and Newcastle owner Mike Ashley's bid to take control of the Ibrox club's crest in return for an emergency loan.

    Read the rest of our paper round-up here.

  100. Post update

    Chris McLaughlin

    BBC Sport

    Another day of intrigue, claim and counter claim awaits. Murray/Letham/King have shown their hand. How will Mike Ashley respond? #Rangers

  101. Rangers latest

    Former Rangers director Paul Murray says he is holding talks with the Ibrox board about investing in the club.

    Paul Murray
    Image caption: Former Rangers director Paul Murray says he is holding investment talks with the club

    Murray claims South African businessman Dave King is part of a consortium aiming to provide Rangers with a funding package.

    King had earlier told BBC Scotland that he's not involved in a takeover of the Championship outfit.

    Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley yesterday called for an extraordinary meeting of Rangers shareholders to remove chief executive Graham Wallace.

  102. Grab Rihanna's umbrella...

    BBC Scotland Weather


    A mixed start across the country, with some heavy showers across much of the south-west and some showery rain stretching from Angus to the north-east.

    The showers will become more isolated, with some sunny intervals breaking through.

    Much of the west coast, Argyll and the West Highlands will stay dry and once any fog has cleared these areas should enjoy the best of today's sunshine.

    After a chilly start, temperatures will pick up to about 14C for large parts of the country.

  103. Katie Morag boost to Lewis

    Children's TV show Katie Morag could boost visitor numbers to Lewis, in the same way Balamory drew tourists to Mull, according to VisitScotland.

    Katie Morag

    Adapted from Mairi Hedderwick's books of the same name, 26 episodes of Katie Morag were shot on Lewis and shown on CBeebies and BBC Alba last year.

    A second series has been commissioned for CBeebies and CBBC.

    VisitScotland said Balamory increased passenger numbers on ferries to Mull by 15.5% for three consecutive years from 2005.

  104. Travel latest

    BBC Scotland Travel


    Disruption to trains through Glasgow Central because a crew member is 'unavailable'. Volunteers form an orderly queue!

  105. Budget boost?

    Andrew Black

    Political reporter, BBC Scotland

    Homebuyers could be in for a boost when Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney announces details of a new tax to replace stamp duty.

    It will come as he sets out the first annual budget to make use of new tax powers, due to kick in next year.

    John Swinney

    Mr Swinney said Scotland's economy was back to pre-recession levels, but still faced a squeeze on public spending.

    The stamp duty replacement - to be called the Land and Building Transactions Tax - will be the first time the Scottish Parliament has levied taxation since the Act of Union in 1707.

  106. Welcome

    Thomas McGuigan

    BBC Scotland News

    Good morning and a warm welcome from the Scotland Live team as we bring you a comprehensive round up of the latest news, sport, travel and weather between now and 18:00.