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Summary

  1. Next: Celebrating the work of Home-Start in North Glasgow and across Scotland debate
  2. 2.30pm: Protecting employee rights and access to justice debate

Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    And that concludes our live coverage from the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 11 June 2015.

    Holyrood at night

    Remember you can catch up on business from Holyrood at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

    We will be back on Tuesday 16 June, until then have a good weekend.

  2. Decision time

    MSPs voting

    MSPs pass the Scottish government motion, unamended, with 60 MSPs backing it, 18 against and with 31 abstentions.

  3. Debate ends

    The minister concludes saying "she is not quite sure where she is" in relation to time left.

    Cash

    Ms Ewing says the Scottish government has promoted a fair work agenda which is good for workers rights, businesses and the Scottish economy.

  4. Tribunal lottery

    Ms Ewing says with the devolution of tribunals the Scottish government will be able to be innovative and to ensure awards are enforced.

    She says at the moment achieving justice through the tribunal service has become a lottery.

  5. Government closing

    Youth and Women's Employment Minister Annabelle Ewing says it is indeed a scandal that the UK government intends to introduce legislation that will undermine workplace democracy.

    Youth and Women's Employment Minister Annabelle Ewing
    Image caption: Youth and Women's Employment Minister Annabelle Ewing

    Ms Ewing calls for the UK government to address the issues raised and devolve power over employment law, wages and health and safety.

  6. 'Poverty of ambition'

    Mr Henry says the Scottish government should have insisted that contractors winning public service contracts must pay the living wage.

    He accuses the Scottish government of having a "poverty of ambition".

  7. 'Democratic absurdity'

    Mr Henry says what is happening in relation to industrial tribunals is a disgrace.

    He says people cannot now afford to exercise their rights.

    The Labour MSP says it is a democratic absurdity that you can have a government elected on the basis of a third or less of the total electorate, yet when it comes to trade unions they must have 50% voting for any action according to Tory plans.

  8. Labour failure

    Scottish Labour MSP Hugh Henry says the number of people who have left the Labour party points to a failure in the Labour party.

    Labour MSP Hugh Henry
    Image caption: Labour MSP Hugh Henry

    Mr Henry says it is right to chastise the party for having moved away from its roots and DNA, but equally he says we need to reflect on the pedigree of the SNP.

    The SNP has not always been a party that stands up for human rights he says.

  9. Conservative closing

    Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie says she heard echoes of returning to practices abandoned by most modern economies.

    Ms Goldie says businesses do not have to operate in the UK or Scotland and the rights of trade unions must be balanced with tax-payers.

    Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie

    She says if these practices are permitted it will create an unattractive business environment.

    The former Scottish Conservative leader says introducing a 50% threshold for strike ballots means there will be less disruption from strikes.

  10. Disputes

    Independent MSP John Finnie urges the Scottish government to redouble its efforts to sort out the dispute at the National Museum.

    Independent MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Independent MSP John Finnie

    In relation to the industrial action by the porters at Ninewells, Mr Finnie says he is "inherently suspicious" of any employer that does not engage with ACAS.

  11. BACKGROUND: Tribunal fees

    The introduction of fees for employment tribunals has stopped thousands of Scots from challenging rogue employers, according to a charity.

    The Citizens Advice Bureau in Scotland said fees had "altered the balance of power" between workers and employers since they were introduced in 2013.

    Tribunals
    Image caption: Tribunals

    People face fees of up to £1,200 for their claims to be heard by a tribunal.

    The UK Ministry of Justice said fee waivers were available for those who could not afford to pay.

  12. Priced out of justice

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone says since the introduction of tribunal fees there has been an 81% drop in applications which is very worrying.

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Ms Johnstone says the people who most need justice in terms of their employment are being priced out of getting it.

  13. BACKGROUND: National Museum and Porters disputes

    In April staff at the National Museum of Scotland walked out in a dispute over pay.

    The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) said it followed a break-down in talks with museum management.

    National Museum of Scotland staff are in a long-running dispute over pay
    Image caption: National Museum of Scotland staff are in a long-running dispute over pay

    The union said the museum was being "intransigent" over its decision to remove weekend working allowances. They walked out at 13:30.

    It said talks with the management and the Scottish government had failed.

    Also in April, Porters at Dundee's Ninewells Hospital went on strike after last-ditch talks with NHS Tayside failed.

    Porters at Ninewells Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee have gone on strike
    Image caption: Porters at Ninewells Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital in Dundee have gone on strike

    The Unite union claimed staff were owed millions of pounds in back pay after being wrongly graded 10 years ago, something the health board disputes.

    Following a series of one-day strikes, more than 100 staff are on continuous strike, demanding an independent review of wages.

  14. 'Pointless boundaries'

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume says constitutional change will not improve the situation of employment rights.

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume
    Image caption: Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume

    Mr Hume says it would not help to put up "pointless boundaries".

  15. Powers

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay accuses the SNP back benches of being a "shower of sheep who do whatever they are told".

    Mr Findlay says he is convinced now that the employment law powers should be devolved, but says it is what the Scottish government does with the powers it has and will get that matters.

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay
    Image caption: Labour MSP Neil Findlay

    He says the Scottish government could settle the disputes at the National Museum and Ninewells hospital and end its attack on colleges, right now.

    Mr Findlay says it could support a bill to to support shopkeepers and hold companies to account over blacklisting.

    He says the government could set up a living wage unit.

  16. BACKGROUND: Strike proposals

    UK Business Secretary Sajid Javid has said there will be "significant changes" to strike laws under the new Conservative government.

    A strike affecting essential public services will need the backing of 40% of eligible union members under government plans, he said.

    Strike

    Currently, a strike is valid if backed by a majority of those balloted.

    Unions said the plans "will make legal strikes close to impossible".

  17. 'The right to full employment'

    Mr Johnstone says the Conservatives also have concerns about the issue of blacklisting.

    He says: "The most important right is the right to full employment."

  18. 'Robust economic plan'

    Mr Johnstone says great effort was put in to make sure employment rights and access to justice was carried out in such a way as not to destroy public services.

    He says the Conservatives have an exceptionally good record and have sought to liberalise the workplace.

    The Tory MSP says there is high employment due to the government's "fiscal discipline and robust economic plan".

    He says he believes employment law should remain reserved.

  19. 'Economic failure'

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone reminds the chamber of the 1970's when "big industries were brought to their knees" by strikes.

    Nurses
    Image caption: Winter of discontent

    Mr Johnstone says industrial relations made this country an "economic failure".

  20. Reserved matters

    The Conservative MSP says he supports the Smith Commission recommendation that, while the underlying reserved rights and duties of tribunals will continue to be reserved, the management and operation of reserved tribunals will be devolved and agrees that while good relations between employers and employees are good for the workforce and good for the economy, the rights of trade unions require to be balanced with the rights of hardworking taxpayers.

    He says he agrees that businesses should pay the living wage when it is affordable for them to do so, and welcomes that the UK government has legislated to ban exclusivity clauses in zero-hours contracts, ensuring that workers throughout the UK get a fairer deal and greater flexibility in choosing a work pattern suited to their individual needs.

  21. Conservative view

    In his motion Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says he recognises that more than two million new private sector jobs were created over the course of the last UK Parliament and that the employment rate in Scotland has increased by 42,000 over the past year alone.

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone

    Mr Johnstone attributes high employment rates across the UK and Scotland to the UK government's fiscal discipline and robust economic plan over the last five years and supports the conclusion of the all-party Smith Commission that employment law should remain reserved to the UK Parliament within a UK-wide framework.

  22. Killed at work

    Ms McMahon says Labour want a Scottish Hazard Centre to be created as backed by the charity Scottish Hazards.

    She says each year more people are killed at work in wars.

  23. Call for a public inquiry

    Ms McMahon tells the chamber how vital it is that we have trade unions and says she is a proud trade unionest.

    She says the Conservative government's proposals to restrict industrial action are abhorrent and do not belong in a democratic society.

    The Labour MSP calls for a public inquiry into the miner's strike.

  24. Miners strike

    The Labour MSP also calls on the Scottish government to deliver genuine improved access to justice by committing to a Scottish inquiry into the blacklisting of construction workers and the awarding of public contracts to contractors that are alleged to have been complicit in such practices and a review of the convictions of miners arrested during the 1984-85 strike.

    Miners strike

    Finally she calls for the creation of a Scottish hazards centre, an improved fatal accident inquiry process, a review of culpable homicide legislation and action to use fully the powers of the Scottish Government to address bogus self-employment and its abuses by agencies.

  25. Strike restriction

    She says higher turnouts in industrial ballots are as desirable as higher turnouts in any other democratic election but rejects entirely the UK government's suggested approach, which makes no attempt to support overdue reforms such as the introduction of online balloting, which might achieve this aim, and rejects the thresholds proposed for ballots

    She calls for the devolution of other workplace protections, including the power to abolish the employment tribunal fees regime.

  26. BACKGROUND:

    Only 10 of the 50 biggest employers in Scotland said they pay all staff working for them the living wage, according to a BBC investigation.

    The living wage is a voluntary hourly rate that is calculated according to the basic cost of living in the UK.

    At £7.85 an hour, it is 21% higher than the legally-set minimum wage of £6.50.

    The BBC research also showed that most Scottish Premiership football clubs were paying some of their off-pitch staff less than the living wage.

    Payslip

    The living wage has been adopted by more than 1,000 employers across the UK.

    Firms who have signed up to the voluntary scheme include Barclays, Standard Life and the National Portrait Gallery, as well as many local councils and charities.

  27. Good industrial relations

    Ms McMahon says good industrial relations should be considered essential to a more productive economy and to more satisfying work in which employees are properly rewarded for their labour.

    This should come through the extension of collective bargaining, for example in sectors such as independent social care or contract cleaning, and stronger action on the living wage with the creation of a unit in the Scottish Government to actively promote the payment of the living wage, including via public procurement she says.

  28. Trade unions

    Ms McMahon says there are a number of views held by individual trades unions, the STUC, TUC and others on the issue of further devolution.

    STUC

    The Labour MSP says the UK government has indicated its intention to further restrict the ability of trades unions and individual employees across the UK to access redress to legitimate industrial grievance with a continuation of attacks on fundamental employment rights, including the right to strike.

  29. Labour view

    Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon
    Image caption: Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon

    Labour's youth and women's employment spokesperson Siobhan McMahon uses her amendment to welcome the wide-ranging debate that is taking place about the pros and cons of the devolution of employment rights and the potential impact on working people.

  30. Living wage

    The cabinet secretary says the Scottish government is trying to promote and share some of the experiences of employers who pay the living wage

    She calls for powers over the minimum wage.

    money

    Ms Cunningham says she will not accept either amendment.

  31. Opposition

    The minister says joining a trade union is a right and it is key to safeguard that right.

    She says the UK government Trade Unions Bill is highly regressive and the Scottish government opposes the measures set out in this bill.

  32. Economy

    The cabinet secretary says the Scottish government will be looking at new ways to improve fairness at work.

    Economy

    Ms Cunningham stresses the importance of employment rights, saying they strengthen our workforce, work places and economy as a whole.

  33. Call for further devolution

    Ms Cunningham says the Scottish government will continue to oppose spending reductions of the speed and scale the UK government has suggested.

    She calls for the powers over business taxes, employment law, the minimum wage, health and safety and welfare to be devolved to Scotland to help lift people out of poverty.

  34. 'Difficult task'

    Ms Cunningham tells the chamber there should be a progressive approach in the area of employment rights.

    The minister says it is a difficult task as the Scottish Parliament does not have powers over employment law.

    Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
    Image caption: Fair Work Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

    She says a gradual erosion of employment rights has been seen under the UK government.

  35. 'Fair, equitable and inclusive Scotland'

    Employment contract

    The cabinet secretary says that this should be underpinned by the powers to deliver better employment services and fair access to employment tribunals in Scotland with the support of active and involved trade union representation in a fair, equitable and inclusive Scotland.

  36. Zero-hours contracts

    She encourages employers to pay the living wage and supports effective tackling of unacceptable employment practices, such as exploitative zero-hours contracts.

    Zero-hours contracts have become increasingly popular in the UK
    Image caption: Zero-hours contracts have become increasingly popular in the UK

    Ms Cunningham also supports the work of the Fair Work Convention to produce a blueprint for fair work in Scotland that will help to deliver a better deal for workers.

  37. Right to strike

    In her motion, Ms Cunningham calls for the full and swift devolution of powers over employment law to ensure the protection and promotion of the rights and responsibilities of workers in Scotland

    BBC Strike
    Image caption: The UK Government's plans to further restrict the right to strike.

    The fair work, skills and training secretary opposes the UK Government's plans to further restrict the right to strike.

  38. Welcome back : Protecting Employee Rights and Access to Justice debate

    Welcome back to BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of Holyrood on 11 June 2015.

    Fair Work, Skills and Training Secretary Roseanna Cunningham is leading a debate entitled 'Protecting Employee Rights and Access to Justice'.

  39. That's lunch

    Holyrood

    And that's lunch, we'll be back at 2.30pm.

  40. Ministerial close

    Learning Minister Alasdair Allan says Home-Start is a charity whose activities give confidence and support to families and it deserves to be celebrated in parliament today.

    Mr Allan says the third sector are essential in addressing issues of inequality and the needs of the disadvantaged.

    Learning Minister Alasdair Allan
    Image caption: Learning Minister Alasdair Allan

    The Scottish government supports the third sector to the tune of £8m in 2015-16.

  41. Confidence

    Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson says he will be "unashamedly parochial" in his speech, in which he praises Home-Start Wigtonshire.

    Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson

    Mr Fergusson says the home visits made by volunteers are absolutely vital in giving back confidence to some people who have none.

  42. BACKGROUND: Home-Start

    Home-Start's 2014 impact report shows that 18,422 volunteers are supporting 29,170 families and 63,308 children.

    Home Start

    The research for this report shows that with the support of a Home-Start volunteer families experience a significant increase in their ability to cope in four key areas:

    • Parental health and well being
    • Children's health and well being
    • Parenting skills
    • Family management
  43. Transformative effect

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says we should not lose sight of the vulnerability of people who Home-Start volunteers help.

    Mr McArthur highlights the transformative effect Home-Start can be, highlighting two volunteers from the Alloa area who had originally sought help from Home-Start.

    Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur
    Image caption: Liberal Democrat MSP Liam McArthur

    He says Home-Start tailors its service to fit the location as Home-Start in Orkney has done.

  44. 'Wonderful job'

    Home-Start Dunfermline

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton praises Home-Start in Dunfermline for their efforts to provide health homes for families.

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton
    Image caption: Labour MSP Cara Hilton

    Ms Hilton says the volunteers at Home-Start are doing a "wonderful job".

  45. BACKGROUND:

    Home-Start Glasgow North is a voluntary organisation set up to increase the confidence and independence of families with at least one child under five years old who are experiencing difficulties.

    Home Start Glasgow North

    It supports families over the North West and North East areas of Glasgow, having recently expanded to cover the North East following the receipt of statutory funding for the purpose.

    It selects, train and support volunteers who:

    • Visit families in their own homes
    • Offer support, friendship and practical assistance
    • Encourage the parents' strengths and emotional well-being for the ultimate benefit of the children
    • Encourage families to widen their network of relationships and to use effectively the support and services available within the community.

    The scheme currently has 8 members of staff.

  46. 'Specific needs'

    Mr Doris says the charity is a UK-wide organisation and tailors each of its 32 Scottish locations to meet the specific needs of each community that it serves.

    He says its work in its new priority areas in Glasgow, such as in the north of the city, has allowed vulnerable families to get support.

    SNP MSP Bob Doris
    Image caption: SNP MSP Bob Doris

    The SNP MSP says that over the last year it has successfully helped 108 families in north Glasgow and that despite its limited funding, it has made excellent progress in offering aid to young and struggling families.

    He hopes that Home-Start is successful in its aim to continue to bring about positive social change in Scotland's communities.

  47. 'Advice and support'

    Mr Doris says he that it does this by promoting resilience and confidence and by providing advice and support that enables families to cope better and successfully move on and congratulates the charity on helping more than 2,000 families and around 4,000 children in Scotland.

  48. 'Difficult times'

    In his motion Mr Doris commends the charity, Home-Start, on its work with families across Glasgow and Scotland who are going through difficult times.

  49. Home-Start in North Glasgow

    SNP MSP Bob Doris is leading a debate to celebrate the work of Home-Start in North Glasgow and across Scotland.

  50. Post update

    Mark Diffley tweets: Love @JohnSwinney 's formal approach at #FMQs - Mr, Ms, Miss etc

  51. That ends FMQs

    Mr Swinney says the government is focused on full time courses as it helps people to get back into work.

    And that ends first minster's questions for another week. We expect Nicola Sturgeon to be back in the hot seat next Thursday.

  52. Compulsory redundancies

    The deputy first minister says ministers have done all in their power to encourage college principals to avoid compulsory redundancies.

    Mr Swinney thanked those in the sector who had dealt with the challenging conditions of college reforms.

  53. College redundancies

    Conservative MSP Liz Smith asks whether the Scottish government met its 2011 pledge that there would be no compulsory redundancies in colleges throughout the college merger process.

  54. BACKGROUND: Personal and Social Care

    According to a report in the Herald, councils face a mounting crisis with thousands of disabled people unable to meet their bills for social and personal care.

    The paper says more than 14,000 people facing bills for personal and social care are in arrears.

    Campaigners told the Herald the levels struggling to pay now rival those when the organised campaign of Poll Tax non-payment was at its height.

  55. Talks with Cosla

    Mr Swinney says local authorities set the bills for personal and social care.

    He says those in the last six months with a terminal illness do not pay for care and the government is having talks with Cosla to tackle the issue.

  56. Social care arrears

    Labour MSP Ken Macintosh asks what action the Scottish government will take following reports that more than 14,000 people facing bills for personal and social care are in arrears.

  57. Income tax

    Mr Swinney says the Scottish government believes the budget reduction is utterly unacceptable.

    He has called on the chancellor to reconsider and provide an alternative.

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says she shares the concerns and asks whether Mr Swinney will raise taxes.

    Mr Swinney says he has used the borrowing powers he can already to the tune of £304m. He says the Scottish Rate of Income Tax will require all three tax bands in unison.

    • The Chancellor George Osborne announced £3bn in savings for this financial year, the consequence for Scotland will be a drop of £107m in the Scottish government's budget.
  58. Post update

    Omar tweets: If ruling parties could not plant questions, that would be great. It's awful when the Tories do it, and it's awful when the #SNP do it #FMQs

  59. Budget revisions

    SNP MSP Mark McDonald asks what the impact of the Chancellor's in-year budget revisions will be on Scotland.

  60. Post update

    Stu Mckechnie tweets: I thought the libdems wanted federalism (ffa)? Seems willie rennie has changed his mind! #FMQs

  61. 'Pass the parcel'

    Willie Rennie

    Mr Rennie says the SNP are all over the place on full fiscal autonomy, they started playing the hokey cokey and ended up playing "pass the parcel".

    He says Mr Swinney should accept that full fiscal autonomy would be a "silly thing to do".

    The deputy first minister says the Lib Dems do not have enough people to play pass the parcel.

  62. 'It'll take time'

    The deputy first minister says what Tommy Sheppard was doing was explaining the approach the government set out in its manifesto where "we made clear full fiscal autonomy would have to take place over time".

    Mr Swinney says the Calman powers were published in 2010 and only in the Spring of next year will "we see the devolution of income tax powers".

  63. 'FFA - a disaster'

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie asks what SNP MP Tommy Shepherd meant when he said "full fiscal autonomy would be a disaster".

  64. BACKGROUND: The Arches

    Glasgow's Arches venue is to go into administration after losing its nightclub licence.

    The Arches board said there was "no other choice" after Glasgow Licensing Board's decision hit revenue by over 50%, making the business "untenable".

    All events scheduled at the Glasgow venue have been cancelled
    Image caption: All events scheduled at the Glasgow venue have been cancelled

    The licensing board imposed a midnight closing time after police complaints about drug and alcohol incidents.

    The move was opposed by almost 40,000 people in an online petition and 400 arts figures in a letter of protest.

  65. The Arches

    SNP MSP Sandra White raises the issue of the closure of the Arches in Glasgow.

    Mr Swinney says Creative Scotland are working hard with the organisation to look at the future.

    He says the government will do all that it can do to safeguard the future of the Arches.

  66. BACKGROUND: Ninewells

    The chief medical officer is to visit Dundee's Ninewells Hospital after whistleblowers claimed that surgeons are prevented from seeing A&E patients to speed up waiting times.

    The doctor at Dundee's Ninewells Hospital told BBC Scotland that surgical teams were barred from seeing patients to manipulate figures.

    Ninewells Hospital
    Image caption: NHS Tayside has one of the best waiting times records in the country

    And a second whistleblower said the system was putting patients at risk.

    NHS Tayside said patient safety was its "overriding priority".

  67. Ninewells Hospital

    Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser raises the issue of of the whistleblower in NHS Tayside and his claim about waiting time manipulation.

    Mr Swinney says patient safety is critical at Ninewells Hospital and in terms of mortality levels and it is improving faster than any other hospital.

  68. National performance framework

    Mr Swinney says the government's position is not to introduce onerous national testing.

    He says the first minister has said Scotland needs a new national performance framework.

  69. Post update

    Kirsty Strickland tweets: So Labour don't want FFA, but they want the SNP to want it, and when they say they do want it - they say they shouldn't want it? #fmqs

  70. National testing

    Ruth Davidson

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson says literacy and numeracy in primary schools is falling.

    Ms Davidson says there is not enough data and calls for national testing so policy makers have a far clearer picture how pupils progressing at every stage.

  71. Post update

    Martin McCluskey tweets: Another week, another rant from the Government about @scottishlabour rather than any policy. #FMQs

  72. 'Negative language'

    Mr Swinney says Ms Dugdale uses negative language and it won't work for the Labour Party.

    He says full fiscal autonomy is about building on the powers Scotland has and on the improving economic situation here.

    The finance secretary says it is about enabling this parliament to make its own decisions.

  73. 'Economic suicide''

    Kezia Dugdale says Mr Swinney is running scared of the consequences of his own policy.

    She says full fiscal autonomy has been called by his own colleague in West Lothian "economic suicide"

    Shouldn't he just abandon this disastrous plan for full fiscal autonomy?

  74. Post update

    Graeme Sneddon tweets: Hallmarks of that dodgy #bettertogether "secret dossier" there. #FMQs

  75. 'Politics of fear'

    John Swinney

    The deputy first minister says Ms Dugdale is peddling the "politics of fear" which did not work for Labour in the election and won't work for them now.

  76. Oil price

    Ms Dugdale goes on to say Labour have calculated that an oil price of $200 would be required to balance the books if Scotland had full fiscal autonomy.

  77. BACKGROUND: Full Fiscal Autonomy

    The SNP has submitted an amendment to the Scotland Bill calling for the Scottish Parliament to be able to introduce full fiscal autonomy.

    The party's Westminster leader Angus Robertson said the proposals for more devolved powers "do not go far enough".

    Full fiscal autonomy would allow Scotland to have control of all areas of tax and spending except defence and foreign affairs
    Image caption: Full fiscal autonomy would allow Scotland to have control of all areas of tax and spending except defence and foreign affairs

    He added: "We are also seeking to amend the Scotland Bill to give the Scottish Parliament the ability to introduce full fiscal autonomy."

    The current Bill includes plans for Holyrood to control income tax.

  78. Full fiscal autonomy

    Ms Dugdale says again there is no date for the bulletin. She asks what the oil price would be under full fiscal autonomy.

  79. Government's tax bulletin

    Mr Swinney says once the taxation changes and their implications have been analysed the Scottish government will publish the oil and gas tax bulletin.

  80. Oil and gas bulletin

    Kezia Dugdale

    Scottish Labour deputy leader Kezia Dugdale asks when an updated oil and gas bulletin be published?

  81. Post update

    Melisandreilidh tweets: Grab the popcorn, get yourself sitting comfortably & head to the hashtag for shameless partisans. #FMQs

  82. Police Scotland

    Labour MSP Jayne Baxter asks the Scottish government what its position is on Police Scotland introducing charges for community events in Fife.

  83. Ministerial response

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing says he shares the concerns about the impact of the bank branch closures on local communities.

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing
    Image caption: Business Minister Fergus Ewing

    Mr Ewins says it is essential banking is accessible to communities.

  84. BACKGROUND:

    The Royal Bank of Scotland has announced the closure of several branches across Scotland.

    They include Brae in Shetland, Edinburgh's Goldenacre and Tollcross, and West Blackhall Street in Greenock.

    Branches in Invergordon, Lochinver and Lybster in the Highlands and Stromness in Orkney will also shut this year.

    RBS said it taken the "difficult decision" to close the branches
    Image caption: RBS said it taken the "difficult decision" to close the branches

    RBS said it had taken the "difficult decision" to shut the offices and would be offering its customers alternatives ways of using its services.

  85. BACKGROUND:

    Bank of Scotland has announced plans to close more than a dozen branches in Scotland this year.

    The bank said that a total of 13 branches in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Paisley and Aberdeen would shut by 18 September.

    The move follows a strategic review of the business which was announced in October last year.

    BOS

    The bank said there would be no redundancies as a result of the decision.

    Four of the branches are in Glasgow (Duke Street, Muirend, Glasgow Cross and Hillhead), seven are in Edinburgh (Marchmont, Blackhall, Fairmilehead, St James, Holyrood, Murrayfield and Sighthill) and one is in Aberdeen (Torry).

  86. RBS

    SNP MSP George Adam asks the Scottish government what its position is on the recent branch closures announced by the Bank of Scotland and RBS.

  87. Coming up.....fmqs

    We will shortly bring you extensive coverage of first minister's questions, with Deputy First Minister John Swinney standing in for Nicola Sturgeon, who is in the USA.

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney
    Image caption: Will Deputy First Minister John Swinney need safety wear for his first fmqs?

    This will be Mr Swinney's first time in the hot seat and we will bring you all the social media reaction to his performance from noon today.

  88. Road networks

    SNP MSP Bruce Crawford asks the Scottish government how important the condition of local road networks is to the success of the economy.

  89. Legislative rights

    Housing Minister Margaret Burgess says the government has put in place strong legislative rights relating to homelessness.

    Housing Minister Margaret Burgess
    Image caption: Housing Minister Margaret Burgess

    Ms Burgess says homelessness has fallen across Scotland and in Glasgow.

  90. Homelessness

    SNP MSP Bob Doris asks the Scottish government how it works in partnership with Glasgow City Council to tackle homelessness and help sustain tenancies.

  91. Rail services

    SNP MSP Willie Coffey asks the Scottish government how it plans to improve rail services to and from Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley.

    Train
  92. Ministerial response

    Transport Minister Derek Mackay
    Image caption: Transport Minister Derek Mackay

    Transport Minister Derek Mackay says the government supports the principle of the bill and will give it careful consideration to ensure the best way forward for the legislation.

  93. BACKGROUND:

    A bill banning parking on pavements has been introduced to the Scottish Parliament for the third time.

    Under the current law, only driving on the pavement is prohibited unless councils have passed specific traffic regulations.

    The bill would give traffic wardens the right to ticket vehicles causing an obstruction
    Image caption: The bill would give traffic wardens the right to ticket vehicles causing an obstruction

    SNP MSP Sandra White hopes her proposals will stop vehicles blocking walkways, a particular issue for people with mobility problems.

    But it is unclear whether Holyrood or Westminster has the power to legislate.

  94. Parking on pavements

    Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm asks the Scottish government what discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding the Scottish Parliament being able to legislate on parking on pavements and related issues.

  95. Ministerial response

    Community Safety Minister Paul Wheelhouse says the Scottish government takes child safety issues very seriously and has cross-cutting policies and engages in partnership working to prevent tragic accidents.

    Community Safety Minister Paul Wheelhouse
    Image caption: Community Safety Minister Paul Wheelhouse
  96. Child safety

    SNP MSP Clare Adamson asks the Scottish government what action it is taking to promote child safety.

  97. General questions

    MSPs are questioning Scottish government ministers during general question time.

    1. Clare Adamson: To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to promote child safety. (S4O-04448)

    2. Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding the Scottish Parliament being able to legislate on parking on pavements and related issues. (S4O-04449)

    3. Willie Coffey: To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to improve rail services to and from Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley. (S4O-04450)

    4. Bob Doris: To ask the Scottish Government how it works in partnership with Glasgow City Council to tackle homelessness and help sustain tenancies. (S4O-04451)

    5. Bruce Crawford: To ask the Scottish Government how important the condition of local road networks is to the success of the economy. (S4O-04452)

    6. George Adam: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the recent branch closures announced by the Bank of Scotland and RBS. (S4O-04453)

    7. Jayne Baxter: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on Police Scotland introducing charges for community events in Fife. (S4O-04454)

    8. Linda Fabiani: To ask the Scottish Government when it last met South Lanarkshire Council. (S4O-04455)

    9. John Finnie: To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has for rail freight hubs. (S4O-04456)

    10. Chic Brodie: To ask the Scottish Government when it last carried out a general survey of the country's mineral and rare earth resources. (S4O-04457)

  98. Coming up

    We will shortly bring you extensive coverage of first minister's questions, including social media reaction to the week's political clashes.

    Nicola Sturgeon

    As ever it will kick off at midday but with Nicola Sturgeon in the USA, Deputy First Minister John Swinney will be in the hotseat.

  99. Committee ends

    And that ends our live coverage of the European and External Affairs Committee.

    We will be back at 11.40am with general questions followed as ever by first minister's question time from midday.

  100. Brussels Bulletin

    The committee are now discussing the Brussels Bulletin.

  101. Brief suspension

    Committee Convener Christian McKelvie thanks the witnesses for attending and briefly suspends.

    Committee
  102. Connected to the world

    Janet Archer from Creative Scotland says the organisation was fully engaged in the development of the Scottish government's refreshed international framework.

    Janet Archer from Creative Scotland
    Image caption: Janet Archer from Creative Scotland

    Ms Archer says they want Scotland to be a distinctive creative nation connected to the world.

  103. BACKGROUND: Scotland's international framework

    According to the Scottish government:

    "Scotland's International Framework sets the direction for Scotland's international activity.

    "The world is increasingly global, and Scotland must remain internationally relevant.

    Scottish government promoting Scotland abroad
    Image caption: Scottish government promoting Scotland abroad

    "Our people must have the skills and attitudes to seize new opportunities and participate in a global world.

    "This is integral to building a stronger, fairer and more prosperous Scotland.

    "The Framework was developed collaboratively and identified the need for a shared understanding of internationalisation and strategic objectives to help align and prioritise international work."

  104. Important components

    Stuart Turner from EventScotland says there are three important components to the strategy which are:

    • International relations- he says we have to influence people who might want to bring events to Scotland or come to events here
    • Profile - making sure big events are projected internationally - whether it is television coverage, online or other means
    Stuart Turner from EventScotland
    Image caption: Stuart Turner from EventScotland
    • People - The people that come to the events such as officials, judges, media and the audience
  105. Sportscotland

    Mary Allison from Sportscotland says there are huge amounts of international exchange taking place.

    Mary Allison from Sportscotland
    Image caption: Mary Allison from Sportscotland

    Ms Allison says more could be done.

  106. Positioning

    Stew Fowlie from Scottish Student Sport says an interesting thing to keep in mind is where we try to position Scotland.

    Stew Fowlie from Scottish Student Sport
    Image caption: Stew Fowlie from Scottish Student Sport

    Mr Fowlie says it is in how much we try to join up the different areas represented such as sport, education and culture.

    He says there is a lot of good stuff going on but it is not necessarily tied together.

  107. Profound affect

    Liam Sinclair from the Scottish Dance Theatre says foreign tours have a profound affect on those who go abroad.

    Liam Sinclair from the Scottish Dance Theatre
    Image caption: Liam Sinclair from the Scottish Dance Theatre

    Mr Sinclair says international engagement takes time and there are opportunities to shape further engagement.

  108. Home and Away

    Dr Lloyd Anderson from British Council Scotland says government strategy is to promote Scotland abroad and create an international mind set at home.

    Dr Lloyd Anderson from British Council Scotland
    Image caption: Dr Lloyd Anderson from British Council Scotland
  109. 'The best of Scotland'

    Committee convener Christina McKelvie says Scotland is well known around the world for things like the play the Blackwatch or the Commonwealth Games.

    Ms McKelvie asks how culture and sport make Scotland recognisable around the world.

    Neil Murray from the National Theatre of Scotland
    Image caption: Neil Murray from the National Theatre of Scotland

    Neil Murray from the National Theatre of Scotland says it is not just the big one off events but smaller ones can create a ground swell.

    Mr Murray says the NTS only takes the shows that work abroad, so they tend to see the best of Scotland.

  110. Committee welcome

    Committee Convener Christina McKelvie opens the meeting and introduces the witnesses.

    Committee

    The committee will taken evidence from Mary Allison from Sportscotland, Dr Lloyd Anderson from British Council Scotland, Janet Archer from Creative Scotland, Stew Fowlie from the Scottish Student Sport, Neil Murray from the National Theatre of Scotland, Liam Sinclair from the Scottish Dance Theatre and Stuart Turner from EventScotland.

  111. BACKGROUND:

    In autumn 2014, the European and External Relations Committee agreed to conduct an inquiry into "Connecting Scotland: how Scotland can engage most effectively in a globalising world".

    Scotland

    The inquiry will have four strands—

    • How the Scottish Government and its agencies engage internationally - view oral and written evidence
    • How Scottish organisations engage internationally - view oral and written evidence
    • Scotland's physical, virtual and social connectivity with the world
    • The value of membership of international organisations to Scotland and Scotland's relationship with them.

    - See more here:

  112. Comnig up

    First up this morning we have the European Committee which is taking evidence on Connecting Scotland from a raft of witnesses.

  113. Good morning

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland Democracy Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 11 June 2015.

    Holyrood