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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. Scottish budget recap: Derek Mackay delivers first key finance statement

    Derek Mackay
    Image caption: Derek Mackay delivered his first Scottish budget

    The Scottish government has pledged a funding increase of £240m for local services as he set out his draft budget. 

    But opposition parties said the amount of cash going direct to councils will be cut in real terms. 

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay also confirmed he would not change income tax rates or bands - and would also not not replicate the UK Treasury's tax cut for higher earners. 

    This means the 40% income tax rate will start at £43,430 in Scotland. But it will start at £45,000 elsewhere in the UK. 

    The finance secretary also said £120m of government money would be given directly to schools, with head teachers deciding how the money will be spent. 

    The funding is replace plans to council-tax revenues to tackle the attainment gap, with Mr Mackay instead stating local authorities will keep extra cash raised as a result of council-tax reforms.

  2. Scottish Land Commissioners and the Tenant farming Commissioners motion is agreed to unanimously

    The motion on the appointment of Scottish Land Commissioners and the Tenant farming Commissioners is agreed to unanimously.

    Gov motion
  3. The government motion on Scotland's food waste target, as amended, is agreed to

    The government motion on Scotland's food waste target, as amended, is agreed to unanimously

    Gov motion
    Tory amendment
  4. The Labour amendment on Scotland's food waste target is not agreed to

    The Labour amendment on Scotland's food waste target is not agreed to

    Labour amendment
  5. The Tory amendment on Scotland's food waste target is unanimously agreed to

    The Tory amendment on Scotland's food waste target is unanimously agreed to

    Tory amendment
  6. MSPs now will vote on the motion and amendments from the food waste debate

    Food

    Scotland has been wasting 1.35 million tonnes of food and drink annually, according to Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS).

    Households were responsible for 600,000 tonnes of the waste, while businesses generated about 740,000 tonnes.

    The amount of food dumped would, according to ZWS, fill 17 million wheelie bins.

    The figure, calculated from detailed information gathered in 2013, will be used as the baseline to measure future improvements.

    The Scottish government has set itself the target of reducing food waste by one third by 2025.

  7. Scottish budget reaction: Deloitte tax consultancy view

    Ian McCall, from Deloitte tax consultancy, said the Scottish government's decision to introduce a tax differential in the UK for the first time will lead to employers reviewing their "employee population" north and south of the border.

    From 2017/2018, the higher rate tax threshold will be £43,430 in Scotland compared to £45,000 in other parts of the UK. 

    Mr McCall said 420,000 people in Scotland would be paying £314 more tax in 2017/18 than their equivalents in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

    Quote Message: Employers north and south of the border might want to review their employee population to identify any Scottish taxpayers and consider whether any amendments to their existing payroll, tax processes, and policies for these employees need to be made.” from Ian McCall Deloitte
    Ian McCallDeloitte
  8. Decision time fast approaches, so to whet your appetite ........

    Thinkstock

    In February we learned Scottish households throw away the equivalent of 26 million beefburgers a year, according to food waste campaigners.

    Zero Waste Scotland said the total value of meat and fish discarded annually was about £190m.

    The group estimates reducing food waste could save every household £460 a year.

    It has joined forces with an Ayrshire-based butchers chain in promoting leftover recipes and tips to encourage people to discard less food.

    Zero Waste Scotland said research carried out for the sustainable economy group WRAP revealed the extent and value of wasted food:

    • 2,900 tonnes of beef alone discarded annually
    • 22,000 tonnes of beef, lamb, poultry and pork thrown away each year, worth £140m
    • £5m worth of food wasted because it is not used in time
  9. Scottish budget reaction: Unite union view

    The Unite union says it is "shocked and disappointed" over plans to slash council budgets in Scotland.

    It insists that the budget takes Scotland further down the austerity road towards social crisis in Scotland.

    Quote Message: Despite having new powers over taxation, the Scottish Government continues to follow Westminster’s austerity road." from William McGonigle Unite regional officer
    William McGonigleUnite regional officer