Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  2. MSPs took evidence on the fiscal framework deal from John Swinney and then from Scottish Secretary David Mundell and Chief Secretary to the Treasury Greg Hands
  3. Nicola Sturgeon was quizzed by opposition party leaders during first minister's questions
  4. Labour MSP and former senior policeman Graeme Pearson led a debate on support for families affected by murder and culpable homicide
  5. The Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Bill was debated for the final time before being passed unanimously at decision time

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all folks

    That concludes Holyrood Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament this week, which means an early bath for our team.

    Holyrood at night

    We're back next Tuesday, until then have a lovely weekend.   

  2. Decision Time

    MSPs vote to bring decision time forward. 

    Tricia Marwick
  3. Call for unanimous vote

    The public health minister says the voice equipment is so wide ranging now, so that people can have access to the right equipment at the right time.

    Ms Watt concludes saying the "bill will ensure that no-one in Scotland will die without a voice".

    She calls on the chamber to pass the Health (Tobacco, Nicotine etc. and Care) (Scotland) Bill unanimously.

  4. Minister says wilful neglect law will not prevent transparency

    Ms Watt says the bill strikes the right balance on NVPs.

    She says the legislation will increase transparency in our health and care services.

    Man vaping

    It will also encourage apologies where mistakes are made, she says.

    The minister says that she does not believe that the law on wilful neglect will prevent transparency.

  5. Minister says Health Bill is a milestone

    Public Health Minister Maureen Watt says almost all of the experts who gave evidence to the Health Committee said the Health Bill was necessary.

    Ms Watt says the bill is a milestone and will help people in Scotland live longer healthier lives.

    Public Health Minister Maureen Watt

    She says: "We absolutely don't want to stigmatise people using NVPs."

    However the government is committed to preventing under-18s accessing NVPs.

    That's why there will be no billboard or poster advertising, she says.

  6. Call for national strategy for neurological disorders

    Ms Grant says the duty to provide voice communication equipment should only be part of how care for those with neurological disorders is looked at and calls for a national strategy. 

  7. Duty of candour

    Rhoda Grant says there was a lot of discussion about the duty of candour which is an important part of patient care.

    Carer with a woman in wheelchair

    The Labour MSP says any apology must be meaningful.

    This is about keeping patients informed, she says. 

  8. Labour MSP says we must be careful about NVPs

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant says there were concerns about putting NVPs on the same register as tobacco products and she welcomes amendments to address that.

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Ms Grant says we have to be careful about the use of NVPs as, despite the benefits, as they may cause health problems all of their own.

  9. Offence of wilful neglect

    Dr Nanette Milne says even when wilful neglect has been proved the perpetrator is able to go on and work in care elsewhere.

    The RCN have serious reservations about the new offence as it may work against a culture of candour.

    However the Scottish Conservatives will be backing the bill.

  10. Closing speeches now............

    Dr Milne is back to close for the Scottish Conservatives.

    Carer with her arm around elderly man

    She says a culture of openness among staff in health and care services is essential.

    The Tory MSP says it should be possible to be open about mistakes, referring to the duty of candour provision.

  11. Background: Scotland to ban smoking in cars with children

    Scotland is to ban smoking in cars that are carrying children after MSPs voted unanimously in favour of a change in the law in December.

    The legislation will mean fines of up to £100 for anyone who smokes in a car which has a passenger under the age of 18.

    Person smoking in car with child in the back seat

    It aims protect children from the harmful effects of second-hand smoke.

    The Smoking Prohibition (Children in Motor Vehicles) Bill was introduced by Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume.

    Mr Hume's mother died of cancer caused by second-hand smoke.

  12. Lib Dem MSP supports more research on NVPs

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume says he supports more research on NVPs.

    Mr Hume says they should be provided for those who want to stop smoking and not used to encourage people to start.

    Lib Dem MSP Jim Hume

    He says the passage of his own member's bill in December was to protect children's health and he does not want to see them starting vaping.

  13. Conservatives will vote to pass the Health Bill at decision time

    Dr Milne says communication is essential for well-being and welcomes the voice equipment provisions.

    Nanette Milne

    She says the Scottish Conservatives will support the Health Bill at decision time.

  14. Background: Ban on using electronic cigarettes in hospital grounds

    In December five health boards in Scotland were considering lifting their ban on using electronic cigarettes in hospital grounds. 

    Health chiefs in Ayrshire and Arran, the Borders, Dumfries and Galloway, Lanarkshire and Tayside are reviewing their policies on "vaping" devices. 

    It came after NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said it would change its policy. 

    Man vaping
    Image caption: Four health boards are reviewing their policy on 'vaping' in hospital grounds

    The board announced it would allow e-cigarettes after new evidence showed they can help smokers quit. 

    Tobacco smoking was banned from the grounds of all hospitals, health centres and GP surgeries in Scotland last April. 

    Each health board was given discretion over whether to allow "vaping" in outside areas. At the time NHS Lothian was the only one of the 13 health boards to allow their restricted use. 

    The great e-cigarette war.

    Are e-cigarettes safe? 

    Should we switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes? 

  15. Tory MSP says the Health Bill will 'prevent vaping becoming a gateway to smoking'

    Scottish Conservative MSP Nanette Milne says there is a growing body of anecdotal evidence that e-cigarettes or NVPs have helped people quit smoking.

    There are concerns, however, that there are efforts to get non-smokers to vape says the former GP.

    She says the proposed restrictions on marketing, particularly towards young people, will help to prevent vaping becoming a gateway to smoking. 

  16. Background: Health Bill provisions relating to equipment for loss of voice

    The NHS will have a duty to provide equipment and support to people who lose their voices if legislation passes parliament today.

    There are a range of health conditions and illnesses that could result in a person losing their voice. 

    By providing equipment and support, NHS boards can help people to continue to communicate if their condition takes away their ability to speak.

  17. Praise for Gordon Aikman

    Ms Grant praises Gordon Aikman for his tireless campaigning on behalf of MND sufferers and welcomes the provision of a duty to provide voice equipment. 

  18. Background: Hospital smoking ban plan 'petty', Holyrood committee told

    In September plans to make smoking in hospital grounds a statutory offence were branded " by a pro-smoking group. 

    Simon Clark from Forest made the remark while giving evidence to Holyrood's health committee. 

    No smoking sign

    Hospitals have banned smoking in their grounds, but it is being flouted. 

    Sheila Duffy, from anti-smoking group Ash Scotland, said in a 2014 survey, 73% of Scottish adults agreed smoking around hospitals should be outlawed. 

    She added that smoking continued to cause the early deaths of 13,000 people.

  19. Background: School pupils 'exposed to e-cigarettes'

    In September more than half of secondary school pupils questioned in a study said they had been exposed to e-cigarette marketing. 

    The Scottish government-commissioned survey found 60% of pupils questioned had seen e-cigarettes for sale in shops, shopping centres or stalls.

    Man smoking e-cigarette

    About a quarter (26%) had seen outdoor poster adverts. 

    And 23% of the 2,016 11 to 18-year-olds questioned had seen or heard adverts on TV or radio in the past week. 

    Although 16% had used an e-cigarette, most had only tried them "once or twice", the survey found. 

    Only 5% of pupils who had never smoked tobacco had tried e-cigarettes. 

    Curiosity was the main driver for use, sometimes motivated by seeing a friend or family member trying them, the report found.