The parliament is now adjourned.
- 2pm: Portfolio questions
- 2.40pm: Scottish Labour debate: Tackling Sectarianism
- 3.50pm: Scottish Labour debate: Living Wage
- 5.05pm: Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014
Public Health Minister says the debate is important and very worthwhile and congratulates the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society for the launch of the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014 in cooperation with the Islamic Unity Society and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.
Mr Matheson says blood donation is one of the great acts of human kindness, a remarkable act of generosity.
The Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society quotes the Holy Qur'an on its campaign web page:
"..And whoever saves one life, it is as if he saved the whole of mankind…"
The society calls on Scottish Muslims to donate blood.
Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad, is remembered by Shia Muslims during the first month of the Islamic calendar, Muharram, which begins on 26 November.
During the holy month of Muharram, large processions are formed and devotees parade through the streets holding banners and carrying models of the mausoleum of Hazrat Imam Hussain who fell at Karbala in 680 AD.
Labour MSP Hanzala Malik also praises the blood donor campaign and says he wishes the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society well.
Mr Malik says he hopes the campaign will be a success in Edinburgh and would like to see it come to Glasgow.
If it did the Glasgow MSP says he would like to get involved.
Scottish Conservative MSP Nanette Milne says a concerted effort must be made to reach out to as many communities as possible to provide Scotland with the blood it needs and the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign achieves just that.
Mr Eadie says a mere three teaspoons of blood can save the life of a premature baby.
He says blood donations are required in trauma situations, child birth and surgery but also to help people suffering leukaemia.
The Edinburgh Southern MSP concludes by thanking theEdinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society, the Islamic Unity Society and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service for launching the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014.
Jim Eadie says: "We need more regular blood donors from all backgrounds, religions and cultures in Scotland."
There are 139,000 active blood doors in Scotland which is 4% of the eligible population with the Scottish Blood Transfusion Service needing 800 donors every day.
Mr Eadie says the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014 is a result of cooperation between the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society, the Islamic Unity Society and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service.
The campaign will be launched with blood donation sessions in Edinburgh on 6 and 8 November 2014 at the blood transfusion centre in Lauriston Place in Edinburgh.
SNP MSP Jim Eadie is leading a debate highlighting theImam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014.
Mr Eadie's Motion:
That the Parliament congratulates the Edinburgh Ahlul Bayt Society on the launch of the Imam Hussain Blood Donation Campaign 2014 in cooperation with the Islamic Unity Society and the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service; notes that the campaign will be launched with blood donation sessions in Edinburgh on 6 and 8 November 2014, and acknowledges what it sees as a constructive effort to encourage Muslim residents of Edinburgh and the Lothian region to become more active in donating blood to help save lives, while also marking the near-at-hand Islamic New Year, which is known as Muharram.
MSPs vote to pass the Scottish government amendment from the tackling sectarianism debate and then pass the amended motion from the debate.
68 MSPs back the amendment with 49 voting against it.
The motion from the Labour debate on the living wage was also amended by the Scottish government before being passed.
We are now approaching decision time where MSPs will vote on the motion and amendments from Labour's debates on tackling sectarianism and the living wage.
Ms Marra says cleaners at Atlantic Quay for the Scottish government will not get the living wage.
Ms Constance says the problem is the national minimum wage is lower than the living wage and cites European law as the blocking factor.
Labour MSP Jenny Marra says Ms Constance confuses power with political will to make change happen.
There needs to be political will and economic and social analysis to raise wages and make social change, says Ms Marra.
She calls on the Scottish government to use the power they have, via procurement, for the living wage to be paid within government and for a living wage strategy.
Closing for the Scottish government, Youth Employment Minister Angela Constance says whether in the public or the private sector she calls on all organisations to pay the living wage.
"I do of course bitterly regret that this parliament doesn't have the powers to make this happen." Says the minister.
The Scottish government is the first government, the only government to pay its staff the living wage, she says.
Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says he supports the living wage but his party will bring its understanding of the economy and will make sure "no-one is left behind".
Ms Scanlon says the Scottish Conservatives also welcome the new living wage of £7.85
The Highlands and Islands MSP highlights the childcare and care home sectors.
Ms Scanlon says for too long these sectors have been poorly paid leading to difficulty recruiting and retaining staff.
In the name of Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon: The Living Wage-As an amendment to motion S4M-11398 in the name of James Kelly (The Living Wage), leave out from first "believes" to end and insert "encourages businesses and the public sector to recognise the economic and social value of paying the living wage to employees and sub-contracted staff; supports organisations that choose to pay the living wage but also acknowledges pressures to keep costs down and to remain competitive; understands that over 400,000 people in Scotland still earn less than the living wage, but commends the work of the independent Low Pay Commission and the UK Government in bringing the first real-terms increase in the national minimum wage since 2008 while overseeing historic levels of employment."
The Scottish government amendment:
As an amendment to motion S4M-11398 in the name of James Kelly (The Living Wage), leave out from "welcomes the pledge" to end and insert "welcomes the fact that the Scottish Government is the first government in the UK to pay the living wage to all staff and those covered by its pay policy, including the NHS; notes the efforts of the Scottish Government to engage with the European Commission on including the living wage as a condition of procurement; further notes that neither the Department of Energy and Climate Change nor the London Assembly includes the living wage as part of commercial tenders; welcomes the success of the Scottish Government in securing the payment of the living wage in public contracts as demonstrated in both the new ScotRail contract and the Scottish Government catering contract, which will benefit 50 staff who were previously paid the national minimum wage; further welcomes the report of the Working Together Review, which was commissioned by the Scottish Government, and the announcement by the First Minister of the establishment of the Fair Work Convention; notes that the Scottish Government is producing new guidance that will help all public bodies focus on how workforce-related matters, including the living wage, can be included in contracts, and shares the concern of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation about the Labour Party's inappropriate announcement of a minimum wage level for 2020 and that the Labour proposals will, based on estimates of inflation, not even meet living costs in 2020."
"I am pig sick of the Labour party always asking this government to do things that are illegal." Says Ms Constance.
The minister says to Labour "stop being mischievous and misleading", adding "where we have the powers to act we do act".
Youth Employment Secretary Angela Constance says it is the position of the Scottish government that, unequivocally, paying the living wage should be the expectation.
Ms Constance says the budget confirmed the Scottish government's commitment to the living wage.
She highlights Finance Secretary John Swinney has backed the new level of the living wage at £7.85.
The Scottish Government is the first and only government to make the living wage an integral part of its public pay policy, adding that it: "Goes beyond any measure the UK government has put in place for the poorly paid."
The Rutherglen MSP calls for the creation of a proper living wage unit and a living wage strategy from the Scottish government.
The living wage is an idea whose time has come says Mr Kelly, who calls on the Scottish government to act.
Mr Kelly says Youth Employment Secretary Angela Constance has been talking of cutting corporation tax but on the issue of the living wage the "silence has been deafening".
Mr Kelly says people are trying to get by on a wage that is not adequate.
He says the Scottish government has put themselves forward as enthusiastic proponents of the living wage, but adds the SNP voted down the chance to extend the living wage to everyone on public contracts in the Procurement Bill.
The Labour MSP says the SNP argument that it could not insist on the living wage for all public body sub-contractors due to EU law is just a smokescreen.
Mr Kelly says he wants to ensure more people in Scotland are paid the living wage.
His motions says:
"That the Parliament welcomes the rise in the living wage to £7.85 per hour; believes that payment of the living wage should be the expectation, not the exception, and notes that more than 400,000 workers in Scotland still earn less than the living wage; recognises the benefits to both businesses and their staff of paying the living wage; believes that the payment of the living wage in the private sector should be supported and actively promoted; welcomes the pledge from the Department of Energy and Climate Change that all of its staff, including sub-contracted staff, will be paid at least the living wage, and calls on the Scottish Government to pledge the same and extend the payment of the living wage to all public sector contractors."
Scottish Labour MSP James Kelly is leading a debate on the living wage.
In his motion, Mr Kelly says the living wage should be "the expectation not the exception".
The living wage is the amount of money thought to be enough to provide a decent standard of living and is paid voluntarily by some employers.
At £7.85, the living wage is more than £1 an hour higher than the national minimum wage, which is currently set at £6.50 for over-21s.
Scottish Labour MSP Graeme Pearson says Scottish Labour will continue to bring the "hidden and secret shame" of sectarianism to the chamber.
Mr Pearson says the failure at the heart of the government was that they sought to legislate and criminalise and calls for further widespread engagement.
The former senior police officer says the minister should give assurances in public she prepared to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act when the evidence shows it has failed.
Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham says the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act is currently being reviewed.
Ms Cunningham says the suggestion the Act be repealed is a "bizarre" one, adding the statistics suggest the act is working.
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says "sectarianism is the problem of a small minority and we should stop damning the majority" and calling it "Scotland's shame".
Mr Fraser says the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act is nonsensical, illiberal and confused.
The first Old Firm derby in more than two years will take place on 31 January or 1 February at a neutral venue when Rangers and Celtic meet in the Scottish League Cup semi-final.
Evidence shows that incidences of domestic violence increase after an Old Firm game.
Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes highlighted the role of organisations beyond law enforcement bodies in tackling the problem: "Sectarianism is linked to so many other social challenges with which local authorities are involved."
Ms McInnes added she was surprised that so few local authorities have a hard-wired response to dealing with the issue given: "It impacts on community cohesion, safety, diversity and well being."
Justice Committee convener Christine Grahame says the complex, sensitive issue of sectarianism should have been debated in the chamber without motion and amendment.
SNP MSP Ms Grahame says this debate is a "diversionary tactic" and accuses the Labour party of "cheap party political tricks on the back of anything you can find."
TheOffensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act was introduced in March 2012:
The act gave police and prosecutors powers to tackle sectarian songs and abuse at and around football matches, as well as threats posted on the internet or through the mail.
Offences are punishable with a range of penalties up to a maximum of five years in prison and an unlimited fine.
A special policing unit, The National Football Policing Unit, was set up to deal with sectarian crime in 2011.
Codes of conduct for players and commitments to reschedule key matches were also introduced as part of a package of measures to tackle sectarianism.
Labour deputy leader Anas Sarwar, said in March 2014, that the party would scrap the "unpopular and ineffective" law if it wins the next election.
Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham moved the following amendment to the Labour motion on tackling sectarianism:
Leave out from "considers" to end and insert "welcomes the report and its recommendations, which require action from groups and organisations across civic Scotland; awaits the final report of the advisory group in 2015 and welcomes the scrutiny given to last year's report by the Equal Opportunities Committee and the committee's ongoing interest in this issue; agrees that education and prevention are the best ways of tackling sectarianism, and looks forward to the statutory report on the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012, which the Scottish Government will lay before the Parliament next year."
Ms Mitchell says the bill was "railroaded through by the Scottish government" in the face of opposition party criticism.
The legislation only created "vague catchall offences", in other words the SNP response to this complex problem was to introduce legislation that only created confusion, she says.
Scottish Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell says : "Sectarian divisions frequently manifests itself in abuse and banter" but any legislation should not the focus on football alone but should take a wider view.
Ms Mitchell said The Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act: "Is fundamentally bad legislation, poorly drafted, constituting a knee-jerk reaction."
The community safety minister says the Scottish government says the advisory group do not want their report to become a "political football".
Ms Cunningham says: "We are and always have been committed to tackling sectarianism."
She says she looks forward to the advisory group's final report.
Ms Cunningham says no anti-sectarianism project has any right to assume their funding will continue without assessment.
The minister says it is important to be clear time is needed for projects to deliver their initiatives and for research to be concluded.
She wholeheartedly welcomes the report from the advisory group, but says Ms Murray missed out the fact it was an interim report only.
Community Safety Minister Roseanna Cunningham says there are decreases in offences of religious hatred which means the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act is working.
Ms Cunningham says the Scottish government has invested £9m over three years to tackle the "scourge" of sectarianism.
The minister says there will be a further investment of £3m to tackle the issue, which is detailed in the budget.
The Labour MSP says the parliament should be considering the report on sectarianism, given theOffensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act was rushed through Holyrood.
Ms Smith says the bill was "unnecessary and unhelpful" and an "inadequate knee jerk reaction".
Elaine Murray says the Scottish government seems reluctant to have shown leadership in taking matters forward.
The timing of the report found that further research is needed into understanding sectarianism, Ms Murray says "Organisations and institutions at all levels must take responsibility for sectarianism."