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Summary

  1. The Social Security Committee takes evidence on the Scottish welfare fund
  2. The first minister faces questions during FMQs
  3. An SNP MSP leads a debate on perinatal mental health
  4. A ministerial statement on veterans health and wellbeing
  5. Final debate on the LBTT (Relief from Additional Amount) Bill

Live Reporting

By Louise Wilson and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live this week

    Nicola Sturgeon during FMQs

    That is all from us on the Holyrood Live team on Thursday 17 May 2018.

    The first minister confirmed the suicide prevention strategy will look at the better signposting of support in light of increasing numbers of websites encouraging people to take their own lives.

    The issue was raised by SNP MSP Clare Haughey during first minister's questions.

    It follows her colleague Gillian Martin MSP backing a mother who lost her daughter to suicide calling for internet providers to take a tougher stance.

    Ms Sturgeon said: "Search engine providers should always take responsibility for preventing access to any form of dangerous content."

  2. Point of order

    Ken Macintosh

    Labour MSP Daniel Johnson raises a point of order in relation to civil servants working on the Scottish government named person policy.

    Mr Johnson says civil servants have allegedly made inappropriate requests to clerks.

    Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh says he will inform the chamber of his decision next week.

    SNP MSP James Dornan asks why this is not a matter for him to deal with, as Education Committee convener and accuses Mr Johnson of "grandstanding".

    Mr Macintosh again says he will deliberate on this issue.

  3. Greens to back the Bill

    Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie
    Image caption: Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie says he has learned something in this debate, something that he never thought to hear, that someone has a sense of affection for LBTT.

    Mr Harvie regards it as a small step in a more progressive direction, but fails to address the need for a tax policy to unlock the cash in the property marker.

  4. Labour will back Bill

    Labour MSP James Kelly
    Image caption: Labour MSP James Kelly

    Labour MSP James Kelly backs the Bill, saying it is right the parliament is addressing the anomaly.

    Two issues to be aware of going forward are ensuring people know about the change and the impact it will have on the Budget, he says.

  5. Background: Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Relief from Additional Amount) (Scotland) Bill

    Houses for sale

    The Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Relief from Additional Amount) (Scotland) Bill seeks to amend the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Scotland) Act 2013.

    The Act has not been not working as intended in relation to economic units and the ability to reclaim tax after a former main residence has been sold.

    An order came into effect in June 2017 to ensure that, when the additional dwelling supplement is paid, it can be reclaimed when a main residence is being replaced.

    However, this did not apply retrospectively. This bill seeks to change this to ensure relief can be claimed retrospectively.

  6. Tories to back the Bill

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser warmly welcomes the Bill before the chamber today.

    Mr Fraser points out that there are no amendments at Stage 3 and there were no amendments at Stage 2.

    "The shortest Stage 2 I can ever remember."

    The Tory MSP says given the sunshine all members will welcome the opportunity to end early, particularly the minister who he believes has an allotment to attend!

    Mr Fraser says the legislation was necessary to address an oversight that left couples being charged an additional dwelling supplement in the scenario that only one of them had their name on the property being sold.

    In conclusion, Mr Fraser says the Tories will support the Bill at 4pm.

  7. Background: MSP back general principle of Bill

    Cash in saltire purse

    MSPs unanimously agree to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Relief from Additional Amount) (Scotland) Bill at stage 1 in March.

    Look back at the debate on Holyrood Live.

    Finance Minister Derek Mackay said the Bill will deliver parity for all taxpayers regardless of when the transaction took place.

    It was welcomed by Tory finance spokesperson Murdo Fraser and Labour finance spokesperson James Kelly.

  8. Bill will fix 'unintended consequences' of original legislation

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
    Image caption: Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay says the Bill addresses unintended consequences and only applies retrospectively to those not covered by a 2017 Order.

    Revenue Scotland will publish figures a year after the law comes into effect, he says.

    Noting issues in identifying taxpayers who are eligible for repayment, the cabinet secretary confirms there will be a wide range of communication and activity on the issue.

    Regarding other concerns raised by stakeholders during the passage of the Bill, Mr Mackay states the government does not intend to bring forward further legislation on the additional dwellings supplement.

  9. Stage 3 debate on LBTT Bill begins

    For sale sign

    MSPs will now take part in the final debate on the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (Relief from Additional Amount) (Scotland) Bill.

    Rather unusually, there were no amendments lodged on this Bill at stage 2, nor are there any at stage 3.

  10. Lib Dem MSP says veterans most likely to end up homeless

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

    Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole- Hamilton says it is a source of collective shame that veterans are more likely than most to join the ranks of the homeless.

    Mr Cole-Hamilton asks what action is being taken to help homeless veterans.

    Ms Robison replies that the Scottish Veterans Fund has given £1.3m to 150 projects and organisations supporting veterans across Scotland, some of which has gone toward homelessness prevention.

  11. Green MSP asks about early service leavers

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell
    Image caption: Green MSP Mark Ruskell

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell asks about early service leavers and ensuring they have access to the best quality of care.

    Ms Robison agrees such people are a particularly vulnerable group.

    She says a key part of helping them is about sharing information and offering peer support.

  12. Minister says Scottish government have pressed MOD for full medical records

    Health Secretary Shona Robison
    Image caption: Health Secretary Shona Robison

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey says it is essential the MOD pass on full and accurate medical records when requested.

    The health secretary says the Scottish government has been pressing the MOD on this issue for some time.

    Labour MSP David Stewart raises the issue of PTSD.

    Ms Robison says a range of treatments are available on the NHS for PTSD.

  13. Labour MSP requests info on action plan

    Labour MSP Anas Sarwar
    Image caption: Labour MSP Anas Sarwar

    Labour MSP Anas Sarwar notes the recommendation from the Commissioner's report on an action plan.

    He raises concerns about geographic inequalities in services and a lack of understanding about veterans' specific needs by NHS staff.

    What will be the time frame for the action plan, he asks.

    Ms Robison responds that the recommendations are being looked at in detail and the action plan will be taken forward through the network on veterans' health.

    They will bring forward a time scale, she adds.

    She also highlights specialist services are available through the NHS.

  14. Background: Veterans service Grampian branch closed

    Video content

    Video caption: Veteran Jack Dunlop told BBC Scotland's Fiona Stalker of his fears before the closure was confirmed

    The Grampian branch of a service which provides support to former service men and women has closed.

    Eight Veterans First Point centres were set up in Scotland using cash from the UK government's Libor fund.

    But that money is running out and local health boards are now covering costs - with help from the Scottish government.

    However the Aberdeen centre folded after NHS Grampian said it was unable to pick up the running costs.

    Read more.

  15. Concerns about closure of Veterans First Point centres in Grampian and Highland

    Tory MSP Maurice Corry
    Image caption: Tory MSP Maurice Corry

    Tory MSP Maurice Corry welcomes the recommendations in the report.

    The Tory MSP highlights a YouGov survey for SSAFA which found 34% veterans felt overwhelmed by their feelings and that 27% admitted to having suicidal thoughts after finishing their military service.

    He calls on the government to do more for the mental health of veterans.

    Mr Corry says Veterans First Point is begin considered for cuts in some health areas and he highlights the loss in of Veterans First Point in Grampian and Highland.

    Ms Robison says that when Libor funding came to an end last year, the government offered partnership funding to Veterans First Point.

    The health secretary says she has nothing to suggest the remaining Veterans First Points' funding arrangements will change.

    She says the government provides £835,000 to support the Veteran's First Point centres, in match funding with health boards.

  16. Minister warns against complacency

    Ms Robison ends by thanking Eric Fraser for this important work in highlighting how to continue providing high quality services for veterans.

    "We have much to be proud of, but cannot be complacement."