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Summary

  1. The Social Security Committee takes evidence on the Scottish government's Draft Budget 2017-18 from the Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman.
  2. The Economic Trade Agreement, the Scottish budget and higher-rate taxpayers are all raised during general questions
  3. Nicola Sturgeon is quizzed by opposition MSPs during first minister's questions

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

  1. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Holyrood Live

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Holyrood Live, XMAS montage

    If you have not had enough politics yet click here to view our amazing review of the Holyrood year.

    Otherwise have a lovely holiday season and see you in 2017.

  2. Presiding officer wishes everyone a peaceful and merry Christmas

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey asks the first minister to welcome a recent community buyout of a forest.

    The first minister says that community trust working with the Woodland Trust made this happened.

    Nicola Sturgeon and Ken Macintosh

    Ms Sturgeon ends by wishing the presiding officer a very happy Christmas.

    Festive spirit restored and Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh wishes everyone a very peaceful and merry Christmas.

  3. Ding dong around Christmas trees and forestry

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she is delighted there are two home grown trees in Bute House.

    Ms Sturgeon urges people to buy a Scottish grown tree.

    The first ministry says the forestry industry is very important.

    Nicola Sturgeon and Christmas tree

    Mr Mountain says he is delighted Ms Sturgeon has bought two Scottish grown trees.

    He says there is more to do for the Christmas tree industry and the forestry industry.

    A little lack of yuletide spirit as the Tory MSP says the SNP has missed their planting targets for the last three years.

    Ms Sturgeon says the Tory spending requests are mounting up today but they rely on Santa to fund them.

    The first minister says she hopes everyone enjoys their Christmas tree.

  4. Christmas tree industry raised

    Christmas Tree

    Scottish Conservative MSP Edward Mountain asks what action the Scottish government is taking to support the Christmas tree industry.

  5. 'A sad fact that there will be many people sleeping rough on our streets in Scotland' - Labour MSP

    Ms McNeill says there is a dramatic increase in rough sleeping in Scotland.

    The Labour MSP adds there is a severe shortage of emergency accommodation for women.

    She goes on to say that a model of housing first should be adopted which wraps services around an individual.

    The first minister thanks Ms McNeill for her constructive suggestions and says she will consider them.

    Ms Sturgeon says some local authorities already use a model quite like the housing first model.

    She says people who find themselves rough sleeping have very complex needs.

  6. Issue of destitute people sleeping on Scotland's streets this Christmas raised

    Scottish Labour MSP Pauline McNeill asks what the Scottish government's position is on the number of destitute people sleeping on Scotland's streets this Christmas.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says as long as there is one person sleeping rough then that is one person too many.

    Ms Sturgeon says the statistics are going down but adds she wants more robust data on rough sleeping.

  7. Background: Who actually runs Scottish education?

    The political debate around education has intensified in recent weeks.

    Scotland was classed as "average" for the first time in a major international study of education.

    classroom

    Meanwhile, the Scottish government is carrying out a major review of school governance.

    So just how are schools and the education system run at the moment?

  8. First minister says she will consider all responses to its review of education governance

    Scottish Conservative MSP Liz Smith asks what the Scottish government's response is to the call by the Association of Headteachers and Deputes in Scotland for the extension of powers to headteachers.

    The first minister says the Scottish government will consider all responses to its reveiw of education governance. 

    She says the government has made it very clear that it desires more powers to go to headteachers.

  9. Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh plays the Christmas Grinch

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell is told he can't ask his supplementary.

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh plays the Christmas Grinch.

  10. Background: British oath plans branded 'gimmick politics'

    Plans to require public servants to swear an oath to British values have been described as "absolute gimmick politics".

    Communities Secretary Sajid Javid
    Image caption: Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has proposed introducing an oath to British values

    New councillors, school governors and civil servants would be expected to say the oath, the UK Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has proposed.

    He said it would highlight values of democracy, equality and free speech.

    But Scottish Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said there was no place for the oath in British society.

  11. British values oath - should it be introduced, Ms Sturgeon is asked

    SNP MSP John Mason asks what discussions the Scottish government has had with the UK government regarding the proposal by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local government that holders of public office should swear an oath to uphold "British values".

    The first minister says she respects the work being carried out on this issue and it deserves proper consideration and the UK should consider this.

    She says the oath idea has a danger of excluding people and not integrating them.

  12. Question on NHS changes

    Scottish Labour MSP Elaine Smith asks if the first minister will respect the vote of this parliament on NHS service changes.   

    The first minister says the government takes all of the NHS service changes seriously, in response of Labour MSP Elaine Smith.