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Summary

  1. 2pm: Portfolio questions
  2. 2.40pm: Scottish Labour debate: Tackling Sectarianism
  3. 3.50pm: Scottish Labour debate: Living Wage
  4. 5.05pm: Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Carol Duncan

All times stated are UK

  1. Parliament adjourned.

    The parliament is now adjourned.

  2. Public Health Minister

    Public Health Minister says the debate is important and very worthwhile and congratulates the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society for the launch of the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014 in cooperation with the Islamic Unity Society and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

    Public Health Minister

    Mr Matheson says blood donation is one of the great acts of human kindness, a remarkable act of generosity.

    The Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society quotes the Holy Qur'an on its campaign web page:

    "..And whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind…"

    The society calls on Scottish Muslims to donate blood.

  3. Imam Hussain

    Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, is remembered by Shia Muslims during the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram, which begins on 26 November.

    Religious procession

    During the holy month of Muharram, large processions are formed and devotees parade through the streets holding banners and carrying models of the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Hussain who fell at Karbala in 680 AD.

  4. Blood donor campaign

    Labour MSP Hanzala Malik also praises the blood donor campaign and says he wishes the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society well.

    Blood bag

    Mr Malik says he hopes the campaign will be a success in Edinburgh and would like to see it come to Glasgow.

    If it did the Glasgow MSP says he would like to get involved.

  5. 'Concerted effort'

    Scottish Conservative MSP Nanette Milne says a concerted effort must be made to reach out to as many communities as possible to provide Scotland with the blood it needs and the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign achieves just that.

  6. 4% give blood

    Jim Eadie says: "We need more regular blood donors from all backgrounds, religions and cultures in Scotland."

    There are 139,000 active blood doors in Scotland which is 4% of the eligible population with the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service needing 800 donors every day.

  7. Campaign launch

    Mr Eadie says the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014 is a result of cooperation between the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society, the Islamic Unity Society and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.

    Jim Eadie

    The campaign will be launched with blood donation sessions in Edinburgh on 6 and 8 November 2014 at the blood transfusion centre in Lauriston Place in Edinburgh.

  8. Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014

    SNP MSP Jim Eadie is leading a debate highlighting the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014.

    Mr Eadie's Motion:

    That the Parliament congratulates the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society on the launch of the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014 in cooperation with the Islamic Unity Society and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service; notes that the campaign will be launched with blood donation sessions in Edinburgh on 6 and 8 November 2014, and acknowledges what it sees as a constructive effort to encourage Muslim residents of Edinburgh and the Lothian region to become more active in donating blood to help save lives, while also marking the near-at-hand Islamic New Year, which is known as Muharram.

  9. Decision time

    MSPs vote to pass the Scottish government amendment from the tackling sectarianism debate and then pass the amended motion from the debate.

    68 MSPs back the amendment with 49 voting against it.

    The motion from the Labour debate on the living wage was also amended by the Scottish government before being passed.

  10. Coming up

    We are now approaching decision time where MSPs will vote on the motion and amendments from Labour's debates on tackling sectarianism and the living wage.

  11. Atlantic Quay

    Ms Marra says cleaners at Atlantic Quay for the Scottish government will not get the living wage.

    Ms Constance says the problem is the national minimum wage is lower than the living wage and cites European law as the blocking factor.

  12. Labour closing

    Labour MSP Jenny Marra says Ms Constance confuses power with political will to make change happen.

    Jenny Marra

    There needs to be political will and economic and social analysis to raise wages and make social change, says Ms Marra.

    She calls on the Scottish government to use the power they have, via procurement, for the living wage to be paid within government and for a living wage strategy.

  13. Government closing

    Closing for the Scottish government, Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance says whether in the public or the private sector she calls on all organisations to pay the living wage.

    Angela Constance

    "I do of course bitterly regret that this parliament doesn't have the powers to make this happen." Says the minister.

    The Scottish government is the first government, the only government to pay its staff the living wage, she says.

  14. Conservative closing

    Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says he supports the living wage but his party will bring its understanding of the economy and will make sure "no-one is left behind".

  15. Childcare and care home sectors.

    Ms Scanlon says the Scottish Conservatives also welcome the new living wage of £7.85

    Mary Scanlon

    The Highlands and Islands MSP highlights the childcare and care home sectors.

    Ms Scanlon says for too long these sectors have been poorly paid leading to difficulty recruiting and retaining staff.

  16. Conservative amendment

    In the name of Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon: The Living Wage-As an amendment to motion S4M-11398 in the name of James Kelly (The Living Wage), leave out from first "believes" to end and insert "encourages businesses and the public sector to recognise the economic and social value of paying the living wage to employees and sub-contracted staff; supports organisations that choose to pay the living wage but also acknowledges pressures to keep costs down and to remain competitive; understands that over 400,000 people in Scotland still earn less than the living wage, but commends the work of the independent Low Pay Commission and the UK Government in bringing the first real-terms increase in the national minimum wage since 2008 while overseeing historic levels of employment."

  17. Scottish government amendment

    The Scottish government amendment:

    As an amendment to motion S4M-11398 in the name of James Kelly (The Living Wage), leave out from "welcomes the pledge" to end and insert "welcomes the fact that the Scottish Government is the first government in the UK to pay the living wage to all staff and those covered by its pay policy, including the NHS; notes the efforts of the Scottish Government to engage with the European Commission on including the living wage as a condition of procurement; further notes that neither the Department of Energy and Climate Change nor the London Assembly includes the living wage as part of commercial tenders; welcomes the success of the Scottish Government in securing the payment of the living wage in public contracts as demonstrated in both the new ScotRail contract and the Scottish Government catering contract, which will benefit 50 staff who were previously paid the national minimum wage; further welcomes the report of the Working Together Review, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government, and the announcement by the First Minister of the establishment of the Fair Work Convention; notes that the Scottish Government is producing new guidance that will help all public bodies focus on how workforce-related matters, including the living wage, can be included in contracts, and shares the concern of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation about the Labour Party's inappropriate announcement of a minimum wage level for 2020 and that the Labour proposals will, based on estimates of inflation, not even meet living costs in 2020."

  18. 'Mischevious and misleading'

    "I am pig sick of the Labour party always asking this government to do things that are illegal." Says Ms Constance.

    The minister says to Labour "stop being mischievous and misleading", adding "where we have the powers to act we do act".

  19. Public pay policy

    Youth Employment Secretary Angela Constance says it is the position of the Scottish government that, unequivocally, paying the living wage should be the expectation.

    Ms Constance says the budget confirmed the Scottish government's commitment to the living wage.

    Angela Constance

    She highlights Finance Secretary John Swinney has backed the new level of the living wage at £7.85.

    The Scottish Government is the first and only government to make the living wage an integral part of its public pay policy, adding that it: "Goes beyond any measure the UK government has put in place for the poorly paid."

  20. Living wage unit

    The Rutherglen MSP calls for the creation of a proper living wage unit and a living wage strategy from the Scottish government.

    The living wage is an idea whose time has come says Mr Kelly, who calls on the Scottish government to act.

  21. Deafening silence

    Mr Kelly says Youth Employment Secretary Angela Constance has been talking of cutting corporation tax but on the issue of the living wage the "silence has been deafening".

  22. 'Smokescreen'

    Mr Kelly says people are trying to get by on a wage that is not adequate.

    He says the Scottish government has put themselves forward as enthusiastic proponents of the living wage, but adds the SNP voted down the chance to extend the living wage to everyone on public contracts in the Procurement Bill.

    James Kelly

    The Labour MSP says the SNP argument that it could not insist on the living wage for all public body sub-contractors due to EU law is just a smokescreen.

  23. Labour living wage motion:

    Mr Kelly says he wants to ensure more people in Scotland are paid the living wage.

    His motions says:

    "That the Parliament welcomes the rise in the living wage to £7.85 per hour; believes that payment of the living wage should be the expectation, not the exception, and notes that more than 400,000 workers in Scotland still earn less than the living wage; recognises the benefits to both businesses and their staff of paying the living wage; believes that the payment of the living wage in the private sector should be supported and actively promoted; welcomes the pledge from the Department of Energy and Climate Change that all of its staff, including sub-contracted staff, will be paid at least the living wage, and calls on the Scottish Government to pledge the same and extend the payment of the living wage to all public sector contractors."

  24. Living wage debate

    Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly is leading a debate on the living wage.

    In his motion, Mr Kelly says the living wage should be "the expectation not the exception".

    The living wage is the amount of money thought to be enough to provide a decent standard of living and is paid voluntarily by some employers.

    At £7.85, the living wage is more than £1 an hour higher than the national minimum wage, which is currently set at £6.50 for over-21s.

  25. 'Hidden and secret shame'

    Scottish Labour MSP Graeme Pearson says Scottish Labour will continue to bring the "hidden and secret shame" of sectarianism to the chamber.

    Mr Pearson says the failure at the heart of the government was that they sought to legislate and criminalise and calls for further widespread engagement.

    Police anti-sectarian initiative
    Image caption: Police anti-sectarian initiative

    The former senior police officer says the minister should give assurances in public she prepared to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act when the evidence shows it has failed.

  26. Community safety minister

    Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham says the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act is currently being reviewed.

    Community Safety Minister
    Image caption: Community Safety Minister

    Ms Cunningham says the suggestion the Act be repealed is a "bizarre" one, adding the statistics suggest the act is working.

  27. 'Illiberal and confused'

    Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says "sectarianism is the problem of a small minority and we should stop damning the majority" and calling it "Scotland's shame".

    Mr Fraser says the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act is nonsensical, illiberal and confused.

  28. Nil by Mouth

    Nil By Mouth and other organisations had been working to raise awareness of religious bigotry revolving around the Old Firm footballing rivals Celtic and Rangers.

    Celtic celebrate as they beat Rangers 3-0 in April 2012
    Image caption: Celtic beat Rangers 3-0 the last time the sides met in April 2012

    The first Old Firm derby in more than two years will take place on 31 January or 1 February at a neutral venue when Rangers and Celtic meet in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.

    Evidence shows that incidences of domestic violence increase after an Old Firm game.

  29. Social challenges

    Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes highlighted the role of organisations beyond law enforcement bodies in tackling the problem: "Sectarianism is linked to so many other social challenges with which local authorities are involved."

    Alison McInnes

    Ms McInnes added she was surprised that so few local authorities have a hard-wired response to dealing with the issue given: "It impacts on community cohesion, safety, diversity and well being."

  30. Christine Grahame

    Justice Committee convener Christine Grahame says the complex, sensitive issue of sectarianism should have been debated in the chamber without motion and amendment.

    Christine Grahame

    SNP MSP Ms Grahame says this debate is a "diversionary tactic" and accuses the Labour party of "cheap party political tricks on the back of anything you can find."

  31. Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act

    The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act was introduced in March 2012:

    The act gave police and prosecutors powers to tackle sectarian songs and abuse at and around football matches, as well as threats posted on the internet or through the mail.

    Offences are punishable with a range of penalties up to a maximum of five years in prison and an unlimited fine.

    Police being briefed before an Old Firm game
    Image caption: Police being briefed before an Old Firm game

    A special policing unit, The National Football Policing Unit, was set up to deal with sectarian crime in 2011.

    Codes of conduct for players and commitments to reschedule key matches were also introduced as part of a package of measures to tackle sectarianism.

    Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar, said in March 2014, that the party would scrap the "unpopular and ineffective" law if it wins the next election.

  32. Scottish government amendment

    Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham moved the following amendment to the Labour motion on tackling sectarianism:

    Leave out from "considers" to end and insert "welcomes the report and its recommendations, which require action from groups and organisations across civic Scotland; awaits the final report of the advisory group in 2015 and welcomes the scrutiny given to last year's report by the Equal Opportunities Committee and the committee's ongoing interest in this issue; agrees that education and prevention are the best ways of tackling sectarianism, and looks forward to the statutory report on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, which the Scottish Government will lay before the Parliament next year."

  33. 'Vague catchall offences'

    Ms Mitchell says the bill was "railroaded through by the Scottish government" in the face of opposition party criticism.

    The legislation only created "vague catchall offences", in other words the SNP response to this complex problem was to introduce legislation that only created confusion, she says.

  34. 'Bad legislation'

    Scottish Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell says : "Sectarian divisions frequently manifests itself in abuse and banter" but any legislation should not the focus on football alone but should take a wider view.

    Margaret Mitchell

    Ms Mitchell said The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act: "Is fundamentally bad legislation, poorly drafted, constituting a knee-jerk reaction."

  35. 'Political football'

    The community safety minister says the Scottish government says the advisory group do not want their report to become a "political football".

    Ms Cunningham says: "We are and always have been committed to tackling sectarianism."

    She says she looks forward to the advisory group's final report.

  36. 'Interim report'

    Ms Cunningham says no anti-sectarianism project has any right to assume their funding will continue without assessment.

    The minister says it is important to be clear time is needed for projects to deliver their initiatives and for research to be concluded.

    She wholeheartedly welcomes the report from the advisory group, but says Ms Murray missed out the fact it was an interim report only.

  37. Community safety minister

    Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham says there are decreases in offences of religious hatred which means the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act is working.

    Roseanna Cunningham

    Ms Cunningham says the Scottish government has invested £9m over three years to tackle the "scourge" of sectarianism.

    The minister says there will be a further investment of £3m to tackle the issue, which is detailed in the budget.

  38. More research needed

    Elaine Murray says the Scottish government seems reluctant to have shown leadership in taking matters forward.

    Elaine Murray

    The timing of the report found that further research is needed into understanding sectarianism, Ms Murray says "Organisations and institutions at all levels must take responsibility for sectarianism."

  39. Scottish Labour 'Tackling Sectarianism' debate

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray leads a debate on tackling sectarianism.

    Ms Murray's motion is below:

    "That the Parliament notes that, in December 2013, the Advisory Group on Tackling Sectarianism in Scotland published its report, Independent Advice to Scottish Ministers and Report on Activity 9 August 2012 - 15 November 2013; considers that the report's recommendations require action from groups and organisations across civic Scotland; regrets that neither this report nor the Scottish Government's response of February 2014 has been debated in the Parliament or scrutinised in depth by a parliamentary committee; agrees that education and prevention are the best ways of tackling sectarianism, and believes that the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, which was railroaded through the Parliament by the Scottish Government, is flawed and should be repealed."

  40. Community charge

    The issue of of the community charge arrears is raised by SNP MSP Marco Biagi, who asks if local authorities should have the power to begin pursuit of tax debt up to 20 years after the liability arose.

    Responsibility for collecting local taxes lies with local authorities says Local Government Minister , however the Scottish government intends to bring forward legislation which will cancel out debts from the defunct community charge he says.

  41. EU

    SNP MSP Christina McKelvie asks what impact exiting the EU would have on the Scottish economy.

    EU flag

    Mr Swinney says it would be a "foolish move" by the UK government if it left the EU.

  42. Energy bills

    Energy Minister Fergus Ewing says higher energy bills in the Highlands and Islands cannot be tackled adequately by the Scottish Parliament because it is a reserved matter.

    Fergus Ewing

    The energy minister said spending on energy efficiency in low income homes in England is £3.52 compared to £36.48 in Scotland.

    Mr Ewing said fuel poverty of this type is a "failure of the regulatory framework."

  43. John Swinney

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says the information pertaining to the NPD model can be found in the draft budget 2015/16.

    Ms Murray says there is a total of £2.5bn NPD pipeline in the budget but how many projects have been completed under the model?

    Finance Secretary John Swinney

    Mr Swinney says a number of projects have been completed since the NPD model got underway and there is over £750m in projects underway at the moment.

  44. NPD model

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray asks how much the government has spent under the non-profit distributing model and on how many projects.

  45. Carbon assessment

    Labour MSP Claudia Beamish asks about the Carbon Assessment of the 2015-16 Draft Budget.

  46. 'Ability to pay'

    Local Government Minister Derek MacKay says the government will consult later in the parliamentary term on a fairer and more progressive tax based on the ability to pay.

  47. Portfolio questions begins

    Green MSP Alison gets us underway by asking the Scottish government what plans it has to meet the opposition parties to discuss the reform of local government taxation.

  48. Portfolio questions

    Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth

    1. Alison Johnstone: To ask the Scottish government what plans it has to meet the opposition parties to discuss the reform of local government taxation. (S4O-03631)

    2. Claudia Beamish: To ask the Scottish government what discussions the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth had with the Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Food and the Environment regarding the Carbon Assessment of the 2015-16 Draft Budget. (S4O-03632)

    3. Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish government what communication it has received from the UK Government regarding the extra £100 million of funding to be available for household energy efficiency. (S4O-03633)

    4. George Adam: To ask the Scottish government how many active business improvement districts there are. (S4O-03634)

    5. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish government when it last met Scottish Enterprise. (S4O-03635)

    6. Elaine Murray: To ask the Scottish government how much has been spent under the non-profit distributing model and on how many projects. (S4O-03636)

    7. Dave Thompson: To ask the Scottish government what its position is on people in the Highlands and Islands having to pay a 2p-per-unit electricity transmission surcharge. (S4O-03637)

    8. Fiona McLeod: To ask the Scottish government what its response is to the latest figures on manufactured exports in Scotland. (S4O-03638)

    9. Christina McKelvie: To ask the Scottish government what impact exiting the EU would have on the Scottish economy. (S4O-03639)

    10. Mike MacKenzie: To ask the Scottish government how it is taking forward the proposals in Empowering Scotland's Island Communities. (S4O-03640)

    11. Stuart McMillan: To ask the Scottish government what action it is taking to increase employment opportunities in the west of Scotland. (S4O-03641)

    12. Marco Biagi: To ask the Scottish government whether it considers that local authorities should have the power to begin pursuit of tax debt up to 20 years after the liability arose. (S4O-03642)

    13. Graeme Dey: To ask the Scottish government what impact air passenger duty is having on Scotland's tourism sector. (S4O-03643)

    14. John Lamont: To ask the Scottish government what analysis it has carried out of the impact of the recently announced Land and Buildings Transaction Tax on domestic and non-domestic property sales in the Scottish Borders. (S4O-03644)

    15. David Stewart: To ask the Scottish government what its position is on recent reports regarding the additional cost in energy prices for people in the Highlands and Islands. (S4O-03645)

    16. Hanzala Malik: To ask the Scottish government what impact budget reductions in the college sector will have on the Scottish economy. (S4O-03646)

    17. Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish government what its position is on the chief economist of the Bank of England's comment that the fall in real wages since their pre-recession peak is "unprecedented since at least the mid-1800s." (S4O-03647)

    18. Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish government how much Registers of Scotland has spent on IT since April 2014. (S4O-03648)

    19. Margaret McDougall: To ask the Scottish government what discussions the Minister for Energy, Enterprise and Tourism has had with EDF regarding its application to transport radioactive waste to Hunterston for storage. (S4O-03649)

    20. Jayne Baxter: To ask the Scottish government what discussions the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth had with the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning regarding the proposals for college funding that have been set out in the 2015-16 draft budget. (S4O-03650)

  49. Chamber business

    Welcome back, the afternoon business in the chamber will begin with portfolio questions with the focus on finance, employment and sustainable growth.

    Then Labour have the floor and will begin with a debate on tackling sectarianism.

    Scottish Parliament debating chamber
    Image caption: Scottish Parliament debating chamber

    They will then lead a debate on the living wage.

    Finally, SNP MSP Jim Eadie will lead a debate entitled 'Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014

  50. Committee ends

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume says: "If only money did grow on trees" to groans from some around the table.

    Loch Faskally

    That concludes our coverage of the Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee, you can watch the on demand videos of the sessions at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website shortly.

    We'll be back at 2pm with portfolio questions, until then have a nice lunch.

  51. Tree health

    Scottish Labour MSP Cara Hilton brings up the issue of tree health and threats posed by tree diseases, is the size of the budget for tree health is sufficient.

    Acute oak decline symptoms

    Mr McGhee says: "No it is not sufficient and yes it should be increased".

  52. 'Outdated' Forestry Act

    Willie McGhee says: "The Forestry Act is 50 years old and is no longer fit for purpose. Scotland should have its own act."

    Galloway Forest Park

    Mr McGhee proposes the idea of starter forests which could sit alongside the Forestry Commission's starter farms.

    The Forest Policy Group member also suggests wood lots for leasing of areas of Forestry Commission land in six pilots across Scotland.

  53. Public benefit

    Jo O'Hara from the Forestry Commission says the estate is run for the benefit of the people of Scotland and any money from sales goes back to produce more public benefit.

  54. Tree hee

    Jo O'Hara says the Forestry Commission is there as a state forest service to deliver net public benefit.

    MS O'Hara says operating costs in the Commission's accounts means "we can't say if one part of the Forestry Commission estate is truly commercial", although they do try to do so

    Jo O'Hara

    Jamie Farquhar from ConFor says he is familiar with the "lightweight" document Ms O'Hara is waving around.

    Committee convener Rob Gibson jokes that the Forestry Commission accounts require a lot of trees to produce.

  55. 'Marginal land'

    SNP MSP Nigel Don asks if anyone has looked at a map of Scotland and asked where trees should be planted.

    Pine forest

    Mr McGhee says forestry goes where forestry can and agriculture has dominated in terms of finance and allocation, forestry was forced into the more marginal land.

  56. Commercial forests

    Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson says of the £36m woodland grants in the budget, £30m is going to new planting.

    Queen Elizabeth Forest Park

    Jo O'Hara from the Forestry Commission says tree health support will be available next year.

    She says the issue of what is a truly commercial forest is a particularly tricky one.

  57. Long-term forestry

    Jo O'Hara, from Forestry Commission Scotland, says: "Forestry is a long term business."

    Willie McGhee says there is an imbalance in the budget between farming and forestry and says there should be a greater incentive for hill farmers to get trees into the ground.

    Trees in Scottish Borders

    Mr McGhee says he would target arable farmers.

  58. Alex Fergusson

    Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson says it is up to the private sector to invest in and manage the commercial forestry expansion under the Scottish forestry strategy.

    Mr Fergusson says ConFor have said consistently the funding will not allow the planting targets in the strategy.

    He says there is £36m in woodland grants for next year and there might be an underspend next year.

    Jo O'Hara from the Forestry Commission says £36m is a reasonable amount for the budget, but says the planting targets are "really challenging".

  59. Budget balance

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey asks whether the government has got the balance right between funding for forestry and funding for agriculture.

    NFU Scotland's Nigel Miller says he is perfectly happy with the balance and points out every sector has felt pain.

    Jamie Farquhar agrees and says the balance is an inevitable one at the moment.

  60. Land value

    Jo O'Hara from the Forestry Commission Scotland says the national forest estates are introducing starter farms, its not farming versus forestry its all land use in the end, its about getting the best value for the limited land as we can.

    Jo O'Hara
  61. Soil types

    Willie McGhee, of the Forest Policy Group, says different types of soil will determine what type of forestry planting can be carried out.

    Willie McGhee

    Soil type and planting has implications for climate change: "A native woodland in poor upland soil will take a lot longer to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere."

  62. Planting productive conifers

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume brings up the impact of missing Scotland's planting targets and missing climate change targets too.

    Mr Farquhar says the forestry commission is doing an exceptional job on raising awareness in the farming community on using wood fuel.

    Jamie Farquhar

    This makes farmers aware of the asset they sit on, but when it comes down to meeting climate change targets there is no better way than planting productive conifers.

  63. Land mass juggle

    Mr McGhee from the Forestry Group says new areas of woodland would benefit farmers by diversifying and adding to their income making them more resilient.

    Nigel Miller from NFU Scotland says we have to be smart and look at ways to work together, but in the present moment there are some outstanding priorities like climate change targets and maintaining the critical mass of jobs in the sector.

    Nigel Miller

    He says if we don't get the planting rate up then there will be more pressure on our land.

    We have to juggle a very tight land mass, concludes Mr Miller.

  64. Rural funding

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey says do Willie McGhee from the Forestry Group and Jamie Farquhar from ConFor, who want to see the forestry budget enhanced, know from where in the rural pot the funding would come from.

    Mr McGhee says not to take money away from farmers but to move money around and integrate agriculture and forestry better.

  65. Holyrood twitter

    Holyrood's presiding officer, Tricia Marwick, has tweeted for the first time.

    Tricia Marwick
    Image caption: Presiding officer Tricia Marwick admits to being a 'geek' when it comes to the running of Holyrood

    She used her first message to announce an apprenticeship scheme for twenty young people.

    The presiding officer, who chairs proceedings in parliament, is a fortnight behind the Queen in taking to Twitter.

    In her third tweet Ms Marwick urges BBC Scotland's political editor, Brian Taylor, to post his first message on the social media site.

  66. Forestry commission funding

    Mr Gibson asks the witnesses what they think of the overall level of forestry commission funding in this draft budget.

    Loch Faskally

    Willie McGhee from the Forest Policy Group believes it will do the job but it should be set higher, possibly at £60m.

    Jamie Farquhar from ConFor says the Scottish government is supporting our sector very well, but the way the budget fails is asking the private sector to take on all the planting.

    Jo O'Hara from Forestry Commission Scotland says we are particularly concerned about increasing productive woodland, the figure for next year is a fair allocation.

  67. The committee reconvenes

    The convener introduces Jamie Farquhar fromConFor; Willie McGhee from the Forest Policy Group; Jo O'Hara from Forestry Commission Scotland and Nigel Miller from National Farmers Union Scotland, who will give evidence on the Scottish government's Draft Budget 2015-16.

  68. Five minute recess

    Committee convener Rob Gibson thanks the minister for the detailed answers he gave to MSPs and moves the committee into a five minute recess.

    When it comes back, the committee will take evidence on the Scottish government's Draft Budget 2015-16 from Jamie Farquhar from ConFor; Willie McGhee from the Forest Policy Group; Jo O'Hara from Forestry Commission Scotland and Nigel Miller from National Farmers Union Scotland.

  69. SSPCA

    SNP MSP Angus MacDonald syas Police Scotland are not convinced the SSPCA should have extra powers and says the concerns that SSPCA officers could overstep the mark are addressed.

    Mr Wheelhouse says he has not yet made his mind up about giving SSPCA further powers, he is waiting for the analysis report.

    Scottish SPCA

    If further powers are given to the SSPCA they would have to be proportionate and the minister hopes positive proposals on the issue will be forthcoming.

  70. Sea eagle

    Mr Wheelhouse highlights the loss of a sea eagle recently which had been impossible to map what happened to it.

    Sea eagle

    He reminds the committee about the PAW Scotland wildlife crime reporting app which lets people take a picture of a carcass of a bird of prey.

    The minister says people should not touch or move the carcass of a bird of prey, as it is evidence and may be poisonous to them.

  71. NFU Scotland

    Committee convener Rob Gibson asks whether NFU Scotland should be part of PAW Scotland.

    Mr Wheelhouse says discussions are underway to see if it is possible for NFU Scotland to join the taskforce.

  72. Paw Scotland

    Labour MSP Claudia Beamish asks if people are aware of the investigative options open to the public in relation to wildlife crimes.

    That is an important point, says Mr Wheelhouse, who says PAW Scotland have an excellent media adviser in Louise Batchelor.

    PAW Scotland - Partnership for Action Against Wildlife Crime in Scotland - includes the police, land managers, conservationists and the Scottish government who come together to fight wildlife crime.

    Buzzard
    Image caption: Buzzard

    PAW Scotland says wildlife crime can involve anything from poisoning a golden eagle to smashing open freshwater pearl mussels.

    Rare species are put at risk, more familiar ones, like the badger or deer, suffer cruel torture and death.

  73. 'Remoteness and inaccessibility'

    The minister says: "One of the biggest challenges we face are the remoteness and inaccessibility of where these crimes take place."

    Some landowners are happy to have cameras on their land but some are not, explains Mr Wheelhouse

    He says these crimes are difficult to prosecute and we need every resource available to tackle these crimes.

  74. Conservation of wild birds

    The General Licences for Scotland, issued by Scottish Natural Heritage on behalf of the Minister for Environment, authorise the control of certain bird pest species including crows, gulls and pigeons.

    The control can be for a number of reasons, typically most being for the conservation of wild birds or the prevention of damage to agricultural interest.

    Golden eagle

    As detailed in the wildlife crime priority chapter on Raptor Persecution, this includes the development of a mechanism to restrict the use of general licences where SNH has evidence that wild birds have been killed or taken, or where there was intention to do so, other than in accordance with a licence.

    This will result in exclusion of the area of land on which such evidence is found from General Licences, based on a civil standard of proof, and where SNH consider it to be a proportionate response to the continuing problem of unlawful persecution.

  75. General licence

    Mr Wheelhouse says "we are trying to take an approach where we are proportionate", if there is evidence of a wildlife crime, it is fair a very light touch form of regulation is removed and replaced with more stringent regulation.

    He says there is an appeals process which SNH will look at, when a general licence removal is proposed the landowner is given the chance to contradict the evidence.

    There are checks and balances says the minister, but if in all likelihood a wildlife crime has taken place it is not unreasonable to make life a little bit more difficult for the landowner.

  76. Poisoned raptors

    Mr Wheelhouse says trying to find a poisoned raptor can be like "searching for a needle in a haystack".

    Red kite
    Image caption: Red kite

    He says the government is stepping up measures to tackle raptor crime.

    "Some crimes are easier to detect, if you catch somebody poaching, it's a fair cop guv", but catching poisoners is more difficult, says the minister.

  77. 'Tip of the iceberg'

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume asks what the minister's view is on the detection of wildlife crime, asking are we just detecting the "tip of the iceberg".

    Mr Wheelhouse say it certainly is an area where he would like to see more work done, some species are just not in perfect habitats where they would be expected, which is worthy of investigation.

    He says: "My gut feel tells me there are crimes being committed which are not recorded."

  78. Poaching

    Committee convener Rob Gibson asks why all poaching offences are not covered in detail in the report, like deer poaching.

    Deer

    The minister says poaching is a serious matter and he says he hopes to see improvements in the data.

  79. Licence restrictions

    The Environment and Climate Change Minister says one of the most talked about measures to deal with wrongdoing against wildlife is the introduction of new restrictions on the use of a general licence by Scottish Natural Heritage in cases where there is a strong reason to suspect wildlife crime is taking place.

  80. 'Unacceptable levels'

    The second Scottish Government Annual Report on Wildlife Crime in Scotland covers the calendar year 2013.

    In his introduction to the report, Mr Wheelhouse says wildlife crime is still taking place at unacceptable levels in our countryside.

    Paul Wheelhouse

    He says crucially, there is a real risk to the conservation status of some of our most important species.

    While poaching is the most commonly recorded offence, crimes against pearl mussels and birds of prey remain the most serious in terms of damage to Scotland's natural environment.

  81. Raptor crime

    Mr Wheelhouse says he shares the revulsion of many people at crimes against raptors in the 21st century.

  82. Wildlife crime

    Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse is giving evidence on Scotland's second annual report into wildlife crime.

  83. Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee

    The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee is underway and will begin by taking evidence on the Sulphur Content of Liquid Fuels (Scotland) Regulations 2014.

    It will then take evidence on the Scottish government's Wildlife Crime in Scotland - 2013 Annual Report: The Committee from Environment and Climate Change Minister Paul Wheelhouse.

    Finally it will take evidence on the Scottish government's Draft Budget 2015-16 from Jamie Farquhar fromConFor; Willie McGhee from the Forest Policy Group; Jo O'Hara from Forestry Commission Scotland and Nigel Miller from National Farmers Union Scotland.

  84. Coming up

    It looks like being another busy day in the parliament today.

    Red kite
    Image caption: Red kite

    The Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee will shortly take evidence from Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse on wildlife crime.

    It will then take evidence on the budget from the NFUS amongst others.

    In the afternoon portfolio questions will focus on finance, employment and sustainable growth.

    Then Labour have the floor and will begin with a debate on justice.

    They will then lead a debate on social justice.

    Finally, SNP MSP Jim Eadie will lead a debate entitled 'Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014

  85. Good morning

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of the Scottish Parliament.

    Scottish Parliament building
    Image caption: Scottish Parliament