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Summary

  1. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR LIVE TEXT COVERAGE
  2. MSPs unanimously passed a motion of condolence for the victims of the Brussels attack
  3. Labour MSP Alex Rowley led a debate on water safety in Scotland
  4. Nicola Sturgeon was quizzed by opposition MSPs for the final first minister's questions before dissolution
  5. Scotland's party leaders debated a motion of thanks, the final item of business of this parliamentary session

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

That ends the fourth Scottish Parliamentary term

As the skirl of the pipes echoes through Holyrood, the fourth Scottish Parliamentary term comes to an end.

Ballot box and Holyrood
BBC/Scottish Parliament

No rest for the MSPs though as there is the small matter of the 5th of May to consider!

We'll be back with the new batch of politicians and the new parliamentary session, until then have a lovely election. 

MSPs piped out of the chamber

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan leads the MSPs playing the bagpipes
BBC
SNP MSP Stuart McMillan leads the MSPs playing the bagpipes

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan now leads out all the MSPs playing the bagpipes, bringing to an end this fourth session of the parliament.  

SNP MSP Stuart McMillan leads the MSPs playing the bagpipes
BBC

The chamber rises to give huge applause to Ms Marwick

Ms Marwick says it has been an hounour to serve you and the parliament as the presiding officer

"I have cherished every moment of it."

"I am going to spend more time with my wonderful grandchildren."

The chamber rises to give huge applause.

MSPs applaud Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick as she closes her last meeting of Parliament
BBC
MSPs applaud Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick as she closes her last meeting of Parliament

Marwick Station

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick says she remembers the reopening of the Borders Railway.

Borders railway
BBC
Borders railway

Ms Marwick says: "I claim Stow station as my own."

She suggests the station could be named Marwick Station.

Tributes from Ms Marwick

Ms Marwick pays tribute to Sir Paul Grice for his work.

The presiding officer pays tribute to staff, family and friends for their help.

Gallery
BBC
The gallery watches on as Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick gives her valedictory speech

She also pays tribute to her deputies Elaine Smith and John Scott. 

Ms Marwick says she has been proud to represent her constituency .

Presiding officer role has been the most fulfilling experience of Ms Marwick's life

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick says there is a rumour there is sweepstake for when she will start crying, but she is determined no-one will win. 

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick
BBC

Ms Marwick pays tribute to the MSPs who have passed away since 2011.

The presiding officer goes on to say the role has been the most fulfilling experience of her life.

Decision time

MSPs unanimously agree the motion of condolence for Brussels.

Chamber
BBC

MSPs then also agree unanimously to the motion of thanks to the presiding officer.

Green MSP pays tribute to the departing MSPs

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie pays tribute to the late MSPs from this term.

Mr Harvie pays warm tribute to the presiding officer. 

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie
BBC

He says Ms Marwick recognised that reform was needed and she recognises that it is still needed. 

The Green MSP concludes paying tribute to the departing MSPs.

Lib Dem MSP pays tribute to Ms Marwick

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie also pays tribute to the MSPs who died since 2011.

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie
BBC

Mr Rennie moves on to the presiding officer, saying she has been a Fifer at the heart of the parliament, addiing "I like that".

He says she performed with distinction.

Ms Davidson pays tribute to the presiding officer

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson also pays tribute to the MSPs lost to the parliament, whose contributions enriched this place.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson
BBC

Ms Davidson thanks the presiding officer for her work and says she leaves the parliament with our thanks.

She too refers to Ms Marwick's trademark "wheesht" and thanks her for her sevice.

Background: Outgoing MSPs

Scotland goes to the polls on 5 May to elect a new cohort of MSPs - and some of the current crop will be bowing out.  

There are not many MSPs left from the first Scottish Parliament elected in 1999
Robin Gillanders
There are not many MSPs left from the first Scottish Parliament elected in 1999

Sincere thanks to all the MSPs standing down today

Ms Dugdale praises Ms Marwick for her time as presiding officer.

She sends sincere thanks to all the MSPs standing down today. 

Parliamentary memories

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale says people might remember this session for when the parliament united in condolence for Brussels and France.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale
BBC

Ms Dugdale pays tribute to the late Brian Adam, David McLetchie, Margo MacDondald and Helen Eadie.

She says this parliament shattered the glass ceiling with five female leaders and the first female presiding officer.

First minister ends by praising the 'history making presiding officer'

Ms Sturgeon says the growth in status in of the Parliament should inspire the next and she says the 24 MSPs standing down today should take pride in that.

Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick with Deputies Elaine Murray and John Scott
BBC
Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick with Deputies Elaine Murray and John Scott

She ends by praising the "history making presiding officer".

First minister wishes Ms Marwick and her family all the very best for the future

Ms Sturgeon says there is no doubt the presiding officer will be a huge loss to this parliament but its loss will be her grandchildren's gain.

She wishes Ms Marwick and her family all the very best for the future. 

Ms Marwick has been an 'outstanding and pioneering presiding officer'

Ms Sturgeon now pays warm tribute to Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick saying it is a pleasure and an honour to do so.

Nicola Sturgeon and Tricia Marwick
BBC

The first minister says Ms Marwick has been an outstanding and pioneering presiding officer.

Praise for Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland

The first minister pays tribute to departing MSPs, including Tricia Marwick and Alex Salmond.

Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland
BBC
Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland

Ms Sturgeon also pays tribute to departing Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland.

This recieves widespread applause. 

Motion of thanks

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pays tribute to the four MSP elected in 2011 who have sadly died.

Ms Sturgeon pays tribute to David McLetchie, Brian Adam, Margo McDonald and Helen Eadie.

Tribute to Rob Gibson

The first minister pays warm tribute to SNP MSP Rob Gibson for his efforts on land reform and wishes him well in his next career. 

Background: The modernisation of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919 Scottish Green party

According to reports in the Sunday Herald: 

"A land revolution is being planned for Scotland which would see huge swathes of countryside taken from rich private landowners and handed over to ordinary people. 

"Campaigners - spearheaded by the Scottish Greens - say a law passed to give land to Scottish soldiers returning from the First World War can be repurposed to reverse what they believe is the most inequitable land ownership in the western world. 

"More than half of Scotland is owned by fewer than 500 people or businesses. Now campaigners want to use the long-forgotten 1919 Land Resettlement (Scotland) Act to even the scales."

Green MSP calls on Scotland's land to be unlocked

Patrick Harvie
BBC

Ms Sturgeon says the Land Reform Bill just passed will create a fairer Scotland.

Mr Harvie says he recognises the value of the legislation just passed.

The Scottish Green Party co-convener says there are hugely concentrated patterns of land ownership in Scotland and calls for the power of land to be unlocked. 

Ms Sturgeon says she is happy to consider if a reformed Land Settlement Act is necessary, if re-elected. 

Question on the modernisation of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919.

Green MSP Patrick Harvie asks what the government's position is on the modernisation of the Land Settlement (Scotland) Act 1919. 

Devolution to the rest of Scotland highlighted

Mr Smith says local government in Scotland should be restored.

The first minister says there is an opportunity in the next parliament to decide what powers can be devolved to the rest of Scotland.

Question on calls from COSLA to strengthen local democracy

Labour MSP Drew Smith asks what the government's position is on the call from COSLA for a constitutional convention to restore and strengthen local democracy. 

First minister says chancellor's polices 'too cruel for IDS'

Mr Stewart says the Tories are the "nasty party" who have attacked the disabled.

Ms Sturgeons states that when the chancellor's policies were "too cruel and a step too far" for Iain Duncan Smith, then you know how far the Tories have gone.

First minister says new welfare powers will create a better and fairer Scotland

Ms Sturgeon says the chancellor has had to backtrack on his deeply misguided cuts to disabled people.

The first minister says that is in stark contrast to her government.

She says she will use the new welfare powers to create a better and fairer Scotland. 

Question on creating a fairer Scotland

SNP MSP Kevin Stewart asks what actions the government can and will take to create a fairer Scotland, in light of recent UK government decisions. 

Is education not worth a penny more, asks Mr Rennie?

Mr Rennie says his party's penny for education works and asks if the first minister says teachers and pupils are not worth a penny more.

Ms Sturgeon says her party's tax proposals over the life of the next parliament will raise an additional £2bn to invest in public services. 

Analysis: The tax battle lines have been drawn

Douglas Fraser

Scotland business & economy editor

Now we know the more important tax choices being set out by political leaders ahead of the Holyrood election.

Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney have long argued that they need the levers of power at Holyrood. And having got powers over income tax, it seems they're barely going to touch them.

Council tax goes reformed - a bit, but not that much.

GBP bank notes and coins
BBC
Scotland's political parties are setting out their approach to using new tax powers

The SNP leaders' calculation appears to be a safety-first, cautious appeal to the part of the electorate that pays taxes, as well as those looking to the state for public services.

From the SNP's position of electoral and polling strength, some - such as the Scottish Trades Union Congress - argue there's no better time to be courageous.

Scottish Lib Dem leader says SNP tax plans are timid

Willie Rennie
BBC

Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says the first minister's big idea on tax is the status quo and to do nothing at all, saying she has been timid.

Ms Sturgeon says her party are putting forward fair and balanced tax policies that will "not clobber working people across the country".

First minister again says scheme is an entitlement

Ms Sturgeon says the named person scheme will be universally available but is an entitlement not an obligation.

Scottish Tory leader says named person legislation is unpopular

Ruth Davidson
BBC

Ms Sturgeon says when it comes to protecting our children we should ensure the right support services are in place and are available to every child.

Ms Davidson says that was anything but clear.

The Scottish Conservative leader says her party's amendments offering an opt out were voted down by the SNP.

The Tory MSP says named person legislation is so sweeping and now so unpopular that it is not a surprise the first minister is trying to spin her way out of this.

Background: Scottish government's 'named person' plan faces Supreme Court challenge

A legal challenge against Scottish government plans to appoint a "named person" for every child in Scotland is being heard at the Supreme Court.

Four charities and three individuals have lodged an appeal against the scheme, which is due to come into force in August.

Child holding adult's finger
BBC
The named person plan would see a professional such as a teacher or health visitor look out for the welfare of children under 18

The plan is part of the Children and Young People (Scotland) Act 2014.

Ministers believe it will help protect children, but critics have said it will create a "nanny state".

The scheme would allow the named person - usually a senior teacher - to provide advice, information or support where appropriate to promote, support or safeguard the wellbeing of youngsters under the age of 18.

First minister says named person scheme is an entitlement, not an obligation

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson raises concerns about the named person scheme.

She asks if parents can withdraw from the scheme.

The first minister insists the scheme is an entitlement, not an obligation.

First minister 'proud of tax proposals'

Ms Sturgeon says her party's tax proposals will provide an additional £2bn for public service.

She says the public will choose her party to continue governing this country.

Kezia Dugdale: 'FM uses Holyrood as a conveyor belt for Tory cuts'

Ms Dugdale says the first minister refuses to use the powers to stop the cuts.

She says the first minister won't ask the richest 1% to protect education.

The Scottish Labour leader says Ms Sturgeon uses this parliament as a "conveyor belt for Tory cuts".