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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison, Andrew Southwick, Nasim Asl and Catherine Lyst

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live on draft budget day!

    Derek Mackay arrived in the Holyrood chamber alongside First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ahead of his budget speech
    Image caption: Derek Mackay arrived in the Holyrood chamber alongside First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ahead of his budget speech

    That's all from Holyrood Live on 14 December, better known as draft budget day.

    Today the Scottish government announced income tax changes that will see higher earners pay more than elsewhere in the UK - and lower earners pay less.

    The country's finance secretary, Derek Mackay, announced a new tax band of 21p for those earning more than £24,000.

    The higher rate of tax will be increased from 40p to 41p and the top rate from 45p to 46p.

    But a starter rate of 19p in the pound will also be introduced, Mr Mackay confirmed in his draft budget.

    Mr Mackay said the move will mean no one earning less than £33,000 in Scotland will pay more tax.

    Income tax
  2. Writers to the Signet Dependants’ Annuity Fund Amendment (Scotland) Bill debate

    MSPs participate in the final stage proceeding of the Writers to the Signet Dependants’ Annuity Fund Amendment (Scotland) Bill.

    The Bill deals with a fund for dependants of members of the WS Society (an independent association of solicitors).

    The legislative regime governing the fund is based on primary legislation.

    Conservative MSP Alison Harris
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alison Harris

    The trustees to the Fund consider that two aspects of this legislation needs updating.

    The Bill therefore proposes removing the requirement that the 'collector' (i.e. administrator) of the Fund is a also contributor to the Fund. The aim being to widen the pool of persons eligible to be a collector

    In addition, the Bill proposes amending the definition of 'actuary' in the legislation to reflect the merger of the Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland and the Institute of Actuaries in 2011.

    Read more about the Bill here.

    MSPs vote to unanimously back the Bill.

  3. Minister welcomes appetitie for debate on tackling inequalities

    Equalities Secretary Angela Constance
    Image caption: Equalities Secretary Angela Constance

    Equalities Secretary Angela Constance says it is "welcome and grateful that there is an appetite for continued debate".

    Ms Constance praises Labour MSP Anas Sarwar's contribution as "excellent".

    She says: "The facts of the matter are very harsh.

    "Ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be unemployed."

    The minister adds: "We know ethnic minority women are hit hardest by austerity."

    Labour MSP Kezia Dugdale raised the issue of Sikh women, and says they are one of the most marginalised people in Scotland.

    Ms Dugdale asks if the minister will meet with Sikh Sanjog.

    Ms Constance says she will try to engage with Sikh organisations.

    On indigenous groups, she says Scotland has not done enough to help and says "If you're going to change something, you have to own it, you have to address it."

  4. Tory MSP says resources should be prioritsed to tackle inequalitiies

    Tory MSP Jamie Greene
    Image caption: Tory MSP Jamie Greene

    Tory MSP Jamie Greene says to the people to whom this debate really matters this is more important than the budget.

    Mr Greene says resources should be prioritsed to tackle inequalitiies.

    The Tory MSP says: "Are we blinded by talking about how open we think we are?"

  5. Background: Prejudice of all types 'falling across Scotland'

    Rainbow flag

    In September 2016 we reported prejudice based on age, disability, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity or religion was falling, a study for the Scottish government has suggested.

    The report said 70% of Scots believed everything possible should be done to rid Scotland of prejudice of all kinds.

    It showed a 50% drop since 2010 in those who would be unhappy about a relative in a same-sex relationship.

    The Scottish government said the figures "show clearly that Scotland is becoming a more tolerant place".

    The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey: Attitudes to Discrimination was commissioned by the Scottish government and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

    It was carried out by the Scottish Centre for Social Research.

  6. Labour MSP hopes budget does not overshadow important debate

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin
    Image caption: Labour MSP Mark Griffin

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin calls it a "momentous day in the chamber" and says it would be a shame if the budget overshadows the debate.

    He says: "It is alarming that ethnic groups are more likely to be in poverty than their white peers, but have a lower rate of benefit uptake."

  7. Background: Economic forecasts

    • The Scottish Fiscal Commission published its first economic and fiscal forecasts
    • The economy is predicted to grow 0.7% this year and next, and 2.2% in 2022
    • Wages will increase by 2%, 2.3% and 3.1% in 2017, 2018 and 2022, respectively
    • Employment is forecast to grow 1.6% this year, but will slow to 0.6% in 2018 and 0.1% by 2022
    • Productivity growth will remain slow this year (0.2%), before speeding up slightly to 0.5% in 2018 and 1% in 2022
  8. Conservative MSP welcomes news of a new ministerial working group

    Alexander Stewart

    Conservative MSP Alexander Stewart welcomes the new joint ministerial working group.

    He says: "We need to focus our efforts on working together, making communities feel safe, and supporting individuals."

  9. Draft budget: Councils/police/carers

    • Core funding for councils will increase by £94m - resource budgets are to be protected in cash terms, while capital budgets are increased in real terms
    • £20m of additional investment will go to the police to protect revenue budgets
    • A specific figure has not been attached to the new benefits yet, but there was a pledge to provide in-year funding for the new carers allowance to begin in summer 2018
  10. Draft budget: Transport

    • £1.2bn for transport infrastructure, including road and rail developments
    • A transition to electric vehicles, including green buses, is supported by £20m
    • £4bn worth of infrastructure for active and sustainable travel as part of a £20bn investment plan over the lifetime of this parliament
  11. Decision to exit the EU has 'emboldened the far right' - Alex Cole-Hamilton

    Lib Dems MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton
    Image caption: Lib Dems MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton

    Lib Dems MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton says that: "The 121 action points recommended by the plan show the distance we still have to travel as a nation."

    He says: The calamitous decision to exit the EU has embolden the far right."

    Referring to the committee last week with members of the Gypsy/Traveller community, including Davie Donaldson, he says "I am not overstating things when I say it amounted to two of the most informative hours of my career."

  12. Background: Scottish Gypsies still face 'acceptable racism'

    Davie spent much of his childhood on Traveller sites around Scotland
    Image caption: Davie spent much of his childhood on Traveller sites around Scotland

    Discrimination against Gypsy/Travellers in Scotland has become the last form of "acceptable racism", a young campaigner claims.

    Davie Donaldson, 19, said the public's view of Gypsy/Travellers had "remained stagnant" since the 1980s.

    He said travellers faced discrimination in education and were often being prevented from setting up camps.

    The Scottish Parliament's Equalities Committee was marking Human Rights Day 2017 by focusing on the issue.

    Davie Donaldson is a campaigner for Travellers rights
    Image caption: Davie Donaldson is a campaigner for Travellers rights

    Read more here.

  13. 'No-one should be marginalised or discriminated against'

    Scottish Green MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Scottish Green MSP John Finnie

    Scottish Green MSP John Finnie says he very much welcomes this debate and says no-one should be marginalised or discriminated against.

    Mr Finnie says his amendment, calling for more progress in tackling the discrimination faced by Gypsy/Travellers, was not selected for this debate.

    He says there is limited data and information so he says he will back the Tory amendment.