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Summary

  1. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR LIVE TEXT COVERAGE
  2. Nicola Sturgeon was quizzed by opposition party leaders during first minister's questions
  3. SNP MSP Dave Thompson led a debate on more electric car rapid charge points
  4. MSPs debated the Lobbying (Scotland) Bill for the last time before it was passed at decision time
  5. The Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill was passed after its final debate

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. Holyrood Live's coverage this week ends

    That ends Holyrood Live's coverage of the Scottish Parliament on 10 March 2016.

    Scottish Parliament
    Image caption: Scottish Parliament

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

  2. BreakingScottish Fiscal Commission Bill and Lobbying Bill passed

    MSPs pass the Lobbying Bill without demur. 

    Chamber

    They also pass the Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill unanimously.

  3. Warm praise for Gavin Brown from deputy first minister

    Mr Swinney says he hates to end on a discordant note with Mr Brown, especially when it is his last speech.

    Although he concedes, Mr Brown did not know this, the finance secretary says the Tory chief whip told him that was the case. 

    Gavin Brown and John Swinney
    Image caption: Finance Secretary John Swinney wished Conservative MSP Gavin Brown well

    He says the Conservative MSP has been a creditable and commendable adversary in this parliament and also a friend.

    Parliament will be poorer for not having Mr Brown and the Conservatives will be weaker without him, says Mr Swinney.

  4. Minister says long term sustainability of the public finances lies with parliament

    Mr Swinney says he accepted the forecasting role of the SFC to secure a fiscal framework deal.

    He says his original position against forecasting was robust.

    GBP coins and notes

    The deputy first minister says on the issues of long term sustainability of the public finances and the financial rules.

    He says the question of whether the government is observing the financial rules is a matter of fact.

    The finance secretary says the issue of long term sustainability ultimately lies with parliament.

  5. Estimates and forecasts must be appropriate and dependable says Swinney

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says the government would be in dereliction of its duty if it did not satisfy itself that the SFC had come to the correct forecasting judgement.

    Finance Secretary John Swinney

    Mr Swinney says the government must satisfy itself the estimates and forecasts are appropriate and dependable.

    He says it is correct that the government can properly exercise its duties to the Scottish people.

  6. Lack of measuring the performance against fiscal rules and sustainability is a 'great pity'

    Dr Simpson says the rejection of Jackie Baillie's amendment on measuring the performance against fiscal rules and sustainability is a great pity. 

    GBP bank notes

    He very much welcomes the changes to the appointments process and the improving of relations between the OBR and the SFC.

    The Labour MSP says his party will support the bill tonight.

  7. Labour MSP says having independent forecasts is much better

    Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson says he welcomes the bill.

    Labour MSP Dr Richard Simpson

    Dr Simpson says putting the SFC on a statutory basis is considerably more helpful and the forecasting role is welcome.

    The Labour MSP says having independent forecasts is a much better way of doing it. 

  8. Sustainability of the public finances

    Mr Brown says the committee says as the powers increase it is critical that someone other than the government to look at the sustainability of the public finances and review performance.

    Scottish piggy bank
  9. Tory MSP uses 'last speech' to highlight growing importance of SFC

    Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith wishes Gavin Brown well as this is his last speech before stepping down at election.

    There is applause for the Conservative MSP, which turns to laughter when he says he did not know this was his last speech.

    Gavin Brown

    Mr Brown, closing for his party, says the SFC is necessary as we already have financial powers and we are going to get considerably more. 

    With income tax, domestic rates and a portion of VAT there is more of a chance of getting it wrong and for that reason the SFC becomes even more important. 

  10. Over emphasis on 'checking' - Labour MSP

    Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm says he  is pleased there is an enhanced role for the commission.

    Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm

    Mr Chisholm says he is concerned that there will be an over emphasis on checking with the Scottish government checking the commissions forecasts. 

  11. SNP MSP says a commission without forecasting powers is the 'norm internationally'

    SNP MSP John Mason says he welcomes the fact there is now a strengthened fiscal commission in place.

    SNP MSP John Mason

    Mr Mason says Scotland has the opportunity to lead the way in devolved countries having an independent commission. 

    The SNP MSP says he was "convinced that the normal international model of an independent commission commenting on or endorsing forecast was the best model".

  12. Why the change of mind? Asks Tory MSP

    Mr Brown asks why some SNP MSPs on the FInance Committee changed their mind on the issue of forecasting.

    SNP MSP John Mason, who speaks next and sits on the committee, was not one of them having consistently opposed forecasting powers.

  13. Tory MSP 'welcomes hugely' the forecasting amendments passed today

    Scottish Conservative MSP Gavin Brown says he hopes the Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill will be passed.

    Scottish Conservative MSP Gavin Brown
    Image caption: Scottish Conservative MSP Gavin Brown

    Mr Brown says the legislation is now "considerably better" than it was when Mr Swinney did not want the commission to have forecasting powers.

    He says he "welcomes hugely" the forecasting amendments passed today. 

  14. Background: GERS figures shows deficit up as oil revenue falls

    Scotland's public spending was almost £15bn more than its tax revenue in the last financial year, new figures show.

    The amount spent per head was £1,400 per person higher than the UK figure, according to the Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) bulletin for 2014-15.

    Scottish government spend 2014-15 infographic

    The deficit ran to almost 10% of Scotland's output - nearly double the level for the UK as a whole.

    Ministers insisted the foundations of the Scottish economy remained strong.

  15. Labour MSP welcomes the SFC being given forecasting powers

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says yesterday the GERS figures were published, but had to be revised three times because the Scottish government got its figures wrong.

    Ms Baillie says the GERS figures show a staggering £15bn gap in our public finances.

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

    The Labour MSP welcomes the SFC being given forecasting powers.

    She says the Finance Committee had originally called for the commission to forecast, but some SNP MSP members changed their mind at the 11th hour and then changed their mind again after the fiscal framework deal.

  16. Call to back the Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill

    Mr Swinney moves that parliament agrees to pass the Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill at decision time.

    That's at 6.15pm this evening.

  17. Background: Scottish and UK governments agree deal

    The Scottish and UK governments reached a financial deal enabling new powers for Holyrood last month. 

    Negotiations over the fiscal framework had been going on since March 2015, with a lengthy deadlock over the issue of Scotland's block grant.

    Holyrood
    Image caption: The fiscal framework is the financial deal underpinning new powers being devolved to Scotland

    Confirming a deal had been done, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said "not a single penny" would be taken from the Scottish government's budget.

    Part of the deal was that the Scottish Fiscal Commission take on a forecasting role and the amendments that have been passed today deliver that. 

  18. SFC must be given time says deputy first minister

    Mr Swinney says it is important to allow the SFC enough time to put its forecasting role in place.

    Crystal ball
    Image caption: The SFC is to be given forecasting powers

    The finance secretary says when the current Scotland Bill is enacted, the SFC will be required to produce forecast.

    He says his amendments met the terms of the fiscal framework agreement and built in safeguards to underpin a forecast model.

  19. Minister is sure the commission will be able to carry out robust forecasts

    Mr Swinney says he was originally against giving the SFC forecasting powers but gave ground to secure the fiscal framework deal.

    The finance secretary says he is sure the commission will be able to carry out robust forecasts.

    GBP currency

    Labour MSP Malcolm Chisholm asks about the resources for forecasting.

    Mr Swinney says he intends to maintain the resources within government. 

  20. Minister says the bill safeguards the SFC's independence

    Mr Swinney says the bill safeguards the SFC's independence and he commends the legislation to parliament.

    John Swinney

    The finance secretary says the bill delivers the strongest possible arrangements to safeguard the forecasts that underpin the Scottish budget.