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Summary

  1. The Education Committee take evidence from the Deputy First Minister John Swinney
  2. Health Secretary Shona Robison gives e a ministerial statement responding to the Audit Scotland NHS 2016 report
  3. Next up the Scottish Conservatives lead a debate calling for the repeal of the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012
  4. The Tories lead a debate on the NHS in Scotland 2016, saying the health service is in crisis
  5. SNP MSP Sandra White leads this evening's member's debate on the Welfare Conditionality Study

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

That's all from us tonight...

Holyrood
PA

That brings our coverage of the parliament to a close for the evening.

We'll be back tomorrow with that Social Security session with the UK government minister, which kicks off at 10pm.

Until then, have a good night. 

Minister says work programmes should be voluntary

Jamie Hepburn
BBC

The employability minister says the expert group formed by the Scottish government ahead of the independence vote did call for some conditionality.

Mr Hepburn says it is about the proportionality of the conditionality and the UK government and the DWP has got it wrong.

He concludes the debate on welfare conditionality saying attendance of work programmes should be voluntary and there should be no threat of sanctions hanging over them.

Damien Green
BBC
Works and Pensions Secretary Damien Green will appear before the Social Security Committee tomorrow.

Mr Hepburn says Work and Pensions Secretary Damien Greene will appear before the Social Security Committee and you can watch it with us here.

Minister says the sanctions regime is a ludicrous system

Job Centre
Getty Images

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn says Oxford University found that when sanctions increase so do the rate of food bank use.

Mr Hepburn says the sanctions regime is a ludicrous system.

Sanctions come as a 'shock' to most - minister

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn says this debate has heard a number of desperate examples of how sanctions affect people in society.

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn
BBC

Mr Hepburn says sanctions come as a shock to most people because they do not realise they are coming. 

He says research is pointing to the impact of sanctions on young and vulnerable people. 

SNP MSP says the sanctions regime is discredited and broken

SNP MSP Clare Adamson
BBC

SNP MSP Clare Adamson says it is not the job of the Scottish tax payers to fund the discredited and broken sanctions regime.

Green MSP tweets from this debate on welfare conditionality

Sanctions system has 'lost its way and needs to be changed'

Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeil says the Scottish Tories are out of touch if they do not at least appreciate that the sanctions system is becoming more topical by the day.

Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeil
BBC

Ms McNeil says the problem with the sanctions system is that it is so disproportionate. 

She says the sanctions system "has lost its way and needs to be changed" and that is what this debate is all about.

From football to poppies ..............

Tory MSP ponders pardons for those convicted under the OBAF act

Green MSP says lack of funding to help those with disabilities into work

Green MSP John Finnie says social security support should be person centred.

Green MSP John Finnie
BBC

Mr Finnie says individual packages of care should be provided.

He says there is not sufficient funding to help those with disabilities into work.

Here's a link to the BBC story about the government defeat over the OBAF act...

Philip Sim spots a potential rebellion in the SNP ranks....

Beneft sanctions 'consciously cruel' - SNP MSP

SNP MSP Clare Haughey
BBC

SNP MSP Clare Haughey says benefits sanctions are "consciously cruel".

The former social security officer says the system must build dignity and respect back into the system.

Background: Ken Loach takes on welfare system in I, Daniel Blake

I, Daniel Blake stars Dave Johns and Hayley Squires
Joss Barratt
I, Daniel Blake stars Dave Johns and Hayley Squires

Two years ago he suggested he would be retiring from film-making, but instead 79-year-old director Ken Loach has won the coveted Palme D'Or award for the second time at the Cannes Film Festival.

The winning film, I Daniel Blake, marks the 13th time that Loach, the director of more than 50 movies, has competed at the event. It's also exactly 10 years since he won the same prize for his 2006 Irish drama The Wind That Shakes The Barley, starring Cillian Murphy..

Ken Loach
BBC
Ken Loach

Loach uses I, Daniel Blake to expose the welfare system in the UK, and says he wants the film "to break audience's hearts, but also to make them angry".

Daniel Blake, played by stand-up comedian Dave Johns, is an older man living in Newcastle who, because of a heart attack, can no longer do his job

Will Gompertz went to meet the film's director Ken Loach and you can watch the interview here.

Sanctioning often 'disproportionate to the so called crime'

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Bibby says there is an increasing awareness of the impact of sanctions.

Scottish Labour MSP Neil Bibby
BBC

Mr Bibby says there is important considerations as to how this parliament will operate the social security system now that the powers are being handed over.

The Labour MSP says the loss of income via sanctioning is generally disproportionate to the so called crime.

He says claimants can often end up without money for weeks meaning they are unable to pay for food.

This can also affect claimants families such as their children. 

Mr Bibby says the new film 'I, Daniel Blake' shines a light on benefit sanctions.  

Background: Citizens Advice Scotland: Welfare system 'not working'

The most vulnerable people in Scotland are falling into destitution because the benefits system is "simply not working", according to a charity.

Child wearing ripped trainers
Thinkstock

In July, Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) called for urgent government action as it revealed a 47% increase in food bank inquiries on its services.

It said it provided advice on emergency food providers 7,400 times in 2014/15.

The UK government said the report failed to recognise that poverty in Scotland was at a record low.

Key findings: Social security in Scotland overview

According to the Welfare Conditionality study:

  • Most respondents report negative experiences of conditional welfare interventions. 
  • The impacts of benefit sanctions are universally reported by welfare service users as profoundly negative
  • Harsh, disproportionate or inappropriate sanctioning created deep resentment and feelings of injustice among WSUs
  • Most WSUs reported negative experiences of support from Jobcentre Plus or the Work Programme
Jobcentre Plus
BBC
  • There was limited evidence to date of welfare conditionality bringing about positive behaviour change
  • Poor communication meant some respondents did not understand the reasons for sanction
  • Some WSUs were broadly supportive of welfare rights being linked to specified responsibilities. 
  • Many were critical of welfare conditionality in principle and in practice  

'Sanctions are and have always been part of the welfare system' says Tory MSP

Scottish Conservtive MSP Adam Tomkins says sanctions are and have always been a part of the welfare system.

Scottish Conservtive MSP Adam Tomkins
BBC

The Conservative MSP says the number of people sanctioned is "tiny".

He says there has to be some kind of conditionality.

The Tory MSP says work is the best way to get people out of poverty.

Scottish social security system must put people at the heart of it - SNP MSP

SNP MSP Sandra White says research shows that the fundamentals of the benefit sanctions system is flawed because people want to work.

Ms White says people entering the job centre are made to feel like criminals and that it is demeaning.

SNP MSP Sandra White
BBC

The SNP MSP says the sanctions regime is dehumanising and pushes some into food banks. 

She says the Scottish social security system must put people at the heart of its policies and not make the same mistakes as the UK government.

Ms White asks what sort of society we want to live in and says she will always pick one that supports people in need. 

Scottish government reaction to its defeat at decision time

Following the government's defeat over the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 at decision time, Minister for Community Safety Minister Annabelle Ewing says 

“Today’s vote threatens to set us back as a country in our efforts to effectively combat prejudice, hate crime and sectarianism and ultimately to drive such behaviour out of Scottish society.

“The result of the vote sends completely the wrong message about how serious Parliament as a whole is about doing so – but the Scottish Government remains absolutely committed to that objective.

fans
PA
Fans Against Criminalisation staged a rally against the football act in George Square in 2013

  “Evidence shows strong public support for this legislation, the repeal of which would leave a significant gap in effectively prosecuting hate crime.  

“The removal of the Section 6 offence on threatening communications would create a serious gap in the law and leave Scotland lagging behind the rest of the UK – where threats intended to stir up religious hatred have been criminalised since 2006 – yet still those opposing it offer no viable alternatives."

Welfare Conditionality Study debate begins

Man walking into job centre
Getty Images

SNP MSP Sandra White leads this afternoon's members debate on the Welfare Conditionality Study.

Welfare conditionality member's debate motion

Here's SNP MSP Sandra White's motion:

Welfare debate motion
Scottish Parliament

Labour MSP demands government repeal football act urgently

Labour MSP James Kelly gets to his feet to raise a point of order.

Labour MSP James Kelly
BBC

Mr Kelly says he rises to his feet to make the point of order under rule 8.17 under standing orders.

He says the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act is dead in the water and says the government must repeal it urgently.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh says the vote is not binding but the voice of he parliament has been heard.

The Conservative motion as amended by the government is agreed to

The Scottish Conservative motion on NHS in Scotland 2016 as amended is agreed to.

Tory motion
Scottish Parliament
Government amendment
Scottish Parliament

To the health debate now and the Scottish government amendment is agreed to

The Scottish government amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Scottish government amendment on NHS in Scotland is rejected, with 69 MSPs backing it, the amendment from Labour falls.

BreakingThe Conservative motion is agreed to, meaing defeat for the government

The Scottish Conservative motion on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 is agreed to, with 64 MSPs backing it and 63 against.

The Scottish Conservative motion
Scottish Parliament
Football fans
BBC
Opposition parties unite to defeat the government on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012

BreakingGovernment amendment from the football act debat is rejected

The Scottish government amendment on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012 is rejected, with 63 MSPs backing it and with 64 against.

Scottish government amendment
Scottish Parliament

Tory MSP calls on all opposition MSPs to call the government to account over NHS

nurses
Science Photo Library

Scottish Conservative MSP Brian Whittle says the government acts as if they know better than everyone else.

Mr Whittle says the damning Audit Scotland report shows the Scottish government must be responsible for more than constitutional change.

He calls on all opposition MSPs to call the government to account.

Diabetes, cardiovascular issues and strokes causing strain on NHS finances

Scottish Conservative MSP Brian Whittle says effective budgeting and planning is what is required in the NHS.

Mr Whittle says funding is needed in a number of key areas. 

Scottish government MSP Brian Whittle
BBC

He says the explosion in diabetes cases cases along with cardiovascular issues and strokes are causing a strain on NHS finances. 

Health secretary says NHS performance stands up well to scrutiny

Ms Robison says the government has a plan for elective centres that will have a direct impact on minor surgery waiting times.

GP
BBC

The health secretary says Scotland's auditor general said Scotland's NHS performance stands up well to scrutiny and comparisons with the rest of the UK.

The minister says 90% of inpatients have rated their care as good or excellent.

Minister says commitment to Vision of the Vale remains

Health Secretary Shona Robison says the government stood on a platform in the last election with the most funding for the NHS and it was elected.

Jackie Baillie and Shona Robison
BBC

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says the SNP promised to save the services at the Vale of Leven in the last election.

Ms Robison says the government's commitment to the Vision of the Vale remains.

Audit Scotland report is like 'groundhog day' - Labour MSP

Scottish Labour MSP Colin Smyth says this debate has allowed MSPs to reflect on ten years of NHS management under the SNP.

Mr Smyth says the Audit Scotland report is like "groundhog day".

Scottish Labour MSP Colin Smyth
BBC

The Labour MSP says the government have very little to show for their decade in charge.

He says the government have said they are "pouring money into the NHS" but the simple fact is that the level of investment has not matched the level of demand.

Mr Smyth says the government's "nasty and vindictive attacks" on local government budgets will make it difficult to cope with the shift of care to the community. 

Green MSPs support Shelter Scotland campaign at Holyrood

Lib Dem MSP says the Audit Scotland report was excoriating of the SNP

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton says the SNP government is failing on many of the tests of looking after the sick.

Mr Cole-Hamilton says the Audit Scotland report was excoriating of the SNP.

Green MSP says spending on NHS is not matching public demand

Green MSP Alison Johnstone
bbc

Green MSP Alison Johnstone welcomes the Audit Scotland report and its call for three year financial frameworks for health boards.

Ms Johnstone says she hopes to see this recommendation included in government plans.

She says: "The report says spending is not matching public demand."

The Green MSP says the Royal College of Nursing calls the pace of transition "painfully slow".

Audit Scotland report was a 'watershed for the NHS in Scotland' says Labour MSp

Labour MSP Neil Findlay
bbc
Labour MSP Neil Findlay

Labour MSP Neil Findlay says the Audit Scotland report was a "watershed for the NHS in Scotland".

Mr Findlay says ministers respond to concerns with "robotic statements".

He says the concerns are not scaremongering they are simply the reality being experienced by NHS staff and patients.

The Labour MSP says the SNP cite record funding, but means the Audit Scotland report is a damning indictment of the management of that funding. 

He says the irony of the Tory party lecturing anyone about the NHS is beyond satire.

Challenges facing the health service are not unique to Scotland says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Ash Denham
BBC

SNP MSP Ash Denham says the challenges facing the health service are not unique to Scotland.

Ms Denham says the NHS budget for this year is £12.2bn showing the commitment of the SNP to health.

She also points to the increased staffing levels in the NHS.