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  1. Scottish Finance Secretary John Swinney presents budget plan
  2. A new tax to replace stamp will be fairer to property buyers, says Mr Swinney
  3. Homebuyers won't pay tax on properties costing less than £135,000
  4. Borders to Edinburgh railway: track laying gets under way
  5. 'Five stores a week' close in Scotland
  6. Andy Murray bows out of Shanghai Masters

Live Reporting

By Thomas McGuigan, Marianne Taylor, Louise Sayers and Graham Fraser

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Graham Fraser

BBC Scotland

That is it for today's Scotland Live blog. Thanks for all of your comments.

Join the team tomorrow from 08:00 for all the latest Scottish news, sport, weather and travel.

NHS budget

The budget for NHS Scotland is to rise by £288m to over £12bn, Finance Secretary John Swinney has said.

The announcement was part of a package of funding measures set out by Mr Swinney in his budget statement to MSPs.

He also announced funding for infrastructure, schools, housing and energy efficiency.

Labour and the Conservatives accused Mr Swinney of failing to protect NHS funding in successive budgets.

Torturer jailed

A man who tortured a robbery victim

has been jailed for five years.

Stewart Bain - along with accomplice David Brown - attacked Martin Gillett in Larkhall, South Lanarkshire.

The two men subjected the victim to a violent attack including beating him repeatedly and robbing him.

Mr Gillett suffered severe injuries and permanent disfigurement.

Swinney's budget - your views

Lew in Edinburgh: 250k is not a wealthy person's house - to have to pay 10% tax is very unreasonable. Will certainly hit the housing market and new builds.

Thief's jail sentence quashed

An Edinburgh hotel manager who stole £18,000 from his employers

has had his jail sentence quashed and been ordered to pay compensation.

Le Monde

Mark Flay, 26, was given a 12-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to stealing from Le Monde hotel between October 2012 and March 2013.

CCTV footage showed the 26-year-old opening a till and taking cash.

'Middle income families will benefit'

Mr Swinney told BBC Scotland's Newsdrive his new property tax would help "middle income families".

"We said we'd make the tax progressive, related to the ability to pay. 90% of people will pay less, or the same as what they would have paid under stamp duty," he said.

"This will help more low-income families to get into the property market.

"Average property prices in every area in Scotland - including Edinburgh, Aberdeenshire, East Renfrewshire and East Dunbartonshire - are significantly lower than 325,000.

"There will be tax savings for middle income families looking to move on."

Budget video

Watch Finance Secretary John Swinney deliver part of his draft budget, which he announced in the Scottish Parliament earlier today.

John Swinney

Mr Swinney's statement marks the first time Scottish Parliament has levied taxation since 1707.

Glasgow hit-and-run

Police are attempting to trace a man who injured a 36-year-old woman after driving his car at her in Glasgow.

The hit-and-run took place as the woman was crossing Broomfield Road, close to Broomfield Court, in the Springburn area on Tuesday night.

The suspect is described as an Asian man, aged 20 to 30.

'PM should lead debate'

SNP MP Pete Wishart has written to the prime minister demanding that he leads next week's Westminster debate on further devolution for the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Wishart said: "David Cameron has a responsibility to lead the debate.

"He is - after all - the prime minister who signed the vow on behalf of the Westminster government.

"He has an opportunity next week to show good faith and ensure that the further powers Scotland demands are met in full and as quickly as promised by him so publicly.

"It is also gives him the perfect opportunity to explain how he sees the role of English MPs on purely Scottish matters evolving at Westminster."

Get involved - the budget

Text 80295

John Delaney: Can we refuse to pay the new property tax, in the expectation that the SNP will write off all arrears in a few years?

Al in Rutherglen: At Last, a government willing to force the rich to pay their fair share in tax. Well done John Swinney and the SNP.

Norman in the Borders: Meanwhile council tax freeze punishes poorest proportionately and nothing done to build council houses for rent.

'Crowd pleaser'

The average housebuyer - those paying less than £325,000 - will pay less tax than at present, property expert Alan Cook tells the BBC.

Asked whether there will be an impact on market, Mr Cook, who works for Pinsent Mason, added: "Those at the lower end of the market won't want to buy until after 01 April, those at the upper end will want to complete before the end of March.

"After that, it remains to be seen."

"It's certainly a crowd pleaser," he adds.

Get involved

What do you think of John Swinney's budget Are you a winner or a loser?

Tweet using #ScotlandLive,

email here or text 80295.

RBS Economic Insight tweets: New stamp duty tax for Scottish property in one (fairly) simple chart.

Property tax chart

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

tweets: For a home costing just over £1m: stamp duty of £40k replaced by LBTT of £77,300 #ScotBudget

Out of the Woods?

Ross County have signed former Barnsley midfielder Martin Woods until the end of January.

Martin Woods
Getty Images

The 28-year-old, who has also played for Sunderland, Rotherham and Doncaster, has been without a club since leaving Oakwell at the end of last season.

Woods joins a side bottom of the Scottish Premiership, with just four points from nine matches.

Boyd spared ban

Kris Boyd has been spared a two-game ban after a Scottish FA disciplinary panel delivered a "not proven" verdict on a violent conduct charge.

The Rangers striker was accused of "head-butting or attempting to head-butt" an opponent.

Kris Boyd
SNS Group

The incident took place during a 3-1 home defeat to Hibernian last month.

Listen live

For more reaction to finance secretary John Swinney's budget, tune in to Newsdrive - which has just started - by clicking the icon at the top of the Scotland Live page (screenshot below).

Scotland Live screenshot

Back to Scotland Live...

Marianne Taylor

BBC Scotland news

Right, we're moving back to Scotland Live for now, though we'll continue to bring you reaction to John Swinney's budget statement as it comes in.

'Devo max budget'

The BBC's political editor Brian Taylor says this was a "budget for devo max as opposed to the budget for independence Mr Swinney was hoping to deliver".

The BBC's business correspondent David Henderson describes Mr Swinney's statement as "a budget for votes".

He adds that the Scottish government is in an "interim period" in terms of leadership, as First Minister Alex Salmond steps down and Nicola Sturgeon is expected to take over.

End of budget questions

And that's the end of questions on the budget statement. You can watch the rest of the day's business in the Scottish Parliament on the BBC's

Democracy Live website.

Tories call for more tax bands

The Conservatives' Jackson Carlaw calls for more "progressive bands" of property transaction tax on properties valued between £250,000 and £1m.

Mr Swinney says this is a draft budget and Mr Carlaw can put forward his arguments during its consideration in Parliament.

First-time buyers

Speaking to the BBC, commentator Alf Young says those trying to get a foot on the housing ladder will benefit from Mr Swinney's new property tax regime.

The first £135,000 will be tax free for everyone, he points out, not just first-time buyers.

The average price of a house in Scotland is just over £162,000.

Budget - Your Views

Tweet using #ScotlandLive

Lani Baird: @scottishlabour object to a budget that protects our NHS and against the bedroom tax...why? #scotbudget

Roger Mullin: Particularly pleased to see increased funding for housing in John Swinney's budget. Much needed priority.

Stuart Wilson: @JohannLamont Just write to John Swinney - apparently he's got £86,000,000 which he's happy to plough into Scotland's NHS. Taxi for Lamont!

'Regressive' tax

Patrick Harvie of the Scottish Green Party, says local government budgets should not be constrained by the central Scottish government budget.

He calls the council tax "regressive" and urges "creative debate" on its replacement.

Mr Swinney says he shares some of Mr Harvie's reservations about the council tax.

'£400 funding gap'

Health journalist Penny Taylor tells the BBC the extra funding for the NHS announced by Mr Swinney does not cover the £400m "funding gap" that was alleged by senior NHS figures just before last month's referendum.

Penny Taylor

Budget - Your Views

@bbcscotlandnews using #ScotlandLive

John Corbett: And as the #ScotBudget debate mentions "the vow" for the 4th time, I give up and am going to eat chocolate buttons and watch World War Z.

Joan Forbes: #scotbudget promotes fairness, protects NHS & against Westminster bedroom tax, how can Scottish Labour object?

Gerri Peev: Independence may not have wrecked Scotland's economy or chased out every wealth creator. But John Swinney's property taxes just might.


Mr Swinney responds that the legislation to allow the Scottish government to mitigate the so-called bedroom tax is still going through parliament.

Swinney 'backsliding'

Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says Mr Swinney is "backsliding" on his promise to mitigate the so-called bedroom tax, and that people are currently being threatened with eviction.

Barnett formula

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson says the UK government has not set out how the block grant of public funds given to Scotland would be affected.

Mr Swinney says the UK government "has advanced a mechanism that would alter the Barnett formula" on public spending, which the Scottish government opposed.

This was "contradicted" by the "vow" of more powers made by the main pro-Union parties during the referendum campaign, he adds.

Budget - Your Views

Tweet using #ScotlandLive

Hannah Bettsworth: Was there a need to shoehorn the constitution into that answer? #scotbudget

Mark Keegan: Willie Rennie can't even defend the coalition with a straight face! #ScotBudget

Jennifer McKiernan: Handbags as @JohnSwinney says he needs to check figures from @JennyMarra as @scottishlabour figures "generally pretty dodgy" #scotbudget

Commitments 'fulfilled'

Mr Swinney questions Ms Marra's figures, and says his government has fulfilled their commitments to further education.

College 'cuts'

Labour MSP Jenny Marra claims more than 800 young people couldn't get a place on engineering courses at Dundee and Angus College because of the SNP's cuts.

'Progressive' taxes

Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie welcomes "the progressive nature of the taxes, based on the ability to pay".

Holyrood chamber

However, he says that spending on childcare and mental health has lagged behind in the past.

Budget - Your reaction

Tweet using #ScotlandLive

Severin Carrell (The Guardian): .@JohnSwinney sets far higher 12% on house sales over £1m = a mansions tax after all? #sp4 #ScotBudget How many homes to sell for £999k now?

Fiona King: Oooo @AlexSalmond told to stop heckling at #scotbudget debate. FM is de-mob happy.

Andy Wightman: LBTT & landfill tax not 1st taxes set by ScotParl since 1706. Non-domestic rates been set since 1999 as a centralised tax. #scotbudget

'No worse off'

He repeats his claim that 90% of taxpayers will be "better or no worse off" under the new regime.

'Fair judgements'

Mr Swinney insists he has made "fair judgements" on the rates of the new property transaction tax.

Budget speech - Your Reaction

Tweet using #ScotlandLive

James Corbett: Is it me or does John Swinney's delivery make it virtually impossible to tell when he's announcing something new?

Taylor James Scott: I like John Swinney but I really dislike three-button suits; especially when you only button the middle button. Disappointed John. #ScotBudget

'Eyewatering' tax rate

Conservative finance spokesman Gavin Brown calls the 10% tax on houses over the value of £250,000 "eyewatering".

He says that cities like Edinburgh have many houses over that value.

The tax rate is "difficult to justify", he argues.

Winner or loser?

On the BBC's Politics Scotland programme, former Herald journalist Alf Young says it will be difficult for people to work out whether they will be "winners or losers" after hearing Mr Swinney's statement.

Alf Young

NHS private spending

Mr Swinney responds that spending by the NHS on private provision "has gone up from 0.8% to 0.9%".

This is hardly "spiralling up", he quips.