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Summary

  1. Next: Scottish government's programme for government 2014-15 debate
  2. Next: Members' Business: Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality, Oxfam's New Report and Campaign

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Rachael Connors

All times stated are UK

That's all folks

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon, holds up drum sticks during a visit to The Kabin community learning centre
Getty Images
Nicola Sturgeon drums up support for her government programme for 2014-15.

That's all from us on the day when First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined her government programme at Holyrood.

Welfare Minister responds

Housing and Welfare minister Margaret Burgess responded to the debate by saying it reflected the Scottish government's programme for the coming year, with tackling inequality at its heart.

Margaret Burgess
BBC

She says there have been some improvements in Scotland and there has been a "real earnings rise", compared to a "real terms reduction" across the UK.

She says the Scottish government fully supports the living wage and agrees work should be a route out of poverty.

Ms Burgess recalls the first minister's announcement to appoint an independent advisor on inequality to hold the government to account on its performance.

Joseph Stiglitz

Oxfam quotes Professor Joseph Stiglitz from Columbia University, winner of Nobel Prize for Economics on their website.

Economist Joseph Stiglitz
AP
Economist Joseph Stiglitz

"The extreme inequalities in incomes and assets we see in much of the world today harms our economies, our societies, and undermines our politics. Whilst we should all worry about this it is of course the poorest who suffer most, experiencing not just vastly unequal outcomes in their lives, but vastly unequal opportunities too. Oxfam's report is a timely reminder that any real effort to end poverty has to confront the public policy choices that create and sustain inequality."

'Inequality crisis'

In

Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality Oxfam presents new evidence that the gap between rich and poor is growing ever wider and is undermining poverty eradication.

The charity says if India stopped inequality from rising, 90 million more men and women could be lifted out of extreme poverty by 2019.

Oxfam says: "This report delves into the causes of the inequality crisis and looks at the concrete solutions that can overcome it.

Malawian family on a bicycle
Getty Images
Many Malawians depend on subsistence agriculture but the land is under pressure from population growth

"Drawing on case studies from around the world the report demonstrates the impact that rising inequality is having on rich and poor countries alike and explores the different ways that people and governments are responding to it.

"The world has woken up to the gap between the rich and rest and are already demanding a world that is fairer. This report supports a new campaign to join this growing movement to end extreme inequality and Even it up."

Conservative

Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says if we are determined to maintain our high standards of living then someone else will have to carry the can.

Alex Johnstone
BBC

Mr Johnstone says the government at Westminster has committed to exceed the 0.7% of national income target for international aid.

He says he still sees the government attacked despite this.

Jackie Baillie

Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says "in childcare, in health and in education", the Scottish government has powers to change things in Scotland now.

She says it will be judged on its actions not its words.

She says there are now fewer beds in Scottish hospitals, fewer college places and an underfunded council tax freeze.

Jackie Baillie
BBC

She says committing to the living wage, expanding childcare, and tackling in work poverty is all in the government's powers

Talk is cheap, she says.

Oxfam

Oxfam says from Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

Oxfam sign
BBC

It says extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth.

It exacerbates gender inequality, and causes a range of health and social problems. It stifles social mobility, keeping some families poor for generations, while others enjoy year after year of privilege. It fuels crime and even violent conflict. These corrosive consequences affect us all, but the impact is worst for the poorest people.

The motion in full

A child beggar receives food in Kano, Nigeria (Archive shot)
AFP
Absolute poverty is measured by those who can afford only the bare essentials

Ken Macintosh: Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality, Oxfam's New Report and Campaign-That the Parliament welcomes Oxfam's latest report, Even it up: Time to end extreme inequality; notes that the report highlights that, in 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality is worse than 30 years ago; further notes that the report states that extreme inequality is a barrier to poverty reduction, that economic inequality hurts everyone, including people in East Renfrewshire, and drives inequalities in health, education and life chances while compounding inequality between women and men; recognises that poverty and inequality are not inevitable but the result of policy choices; understands that a diverse range of people and organisations, from Pope Francis to the International Monetary Fund, are speaking out on the issue of inequality; welcomes the call from Oxfam that, with the right political and economic choices that redistribute money and power, people can help reduce economic inequality; notes the recommendations in the report, which include calls to close tax loopholes, introduce progressive taxes, pay workers a living wage, establish pay ratios, achieve universal free public services for all by 2020, implement a universal social protection floor and promote women's economic equality and women's rights, and wishes Oxfam continued success with its campaign.

End extreme inequality

Its about balance and reasonableness and taking action to reduce inequality, says Mr Macintosh.

If we want to truly become a progressive beacon it needs more than warm words, he says.

Oxfam has highlighted a programme we can all sign up to, says the Labour MSP.

"Now is the time to end extreme inequality."

Foodbanks

Mr Macintosh says the Oxfam report "fascinates and horrifies but hopefully will inspire us into action too."

Oxfam highlights the number of billionaires in the world has doubled since the financial crisis, the Labour MSP says.

He says the Trussell Trust has highlighted the number of Scots going to foodbanks has almost doubled since last year.

Food bank
BBC
Food banks provide support for families on the breadline

"Such inequality is offensive and morally repugnant and damaging to us all."

'Haves and have nots'

Mr Macintosh says the gap between rich and poor, "the haves and the have nots", has increased.

MSP Ken Macintosh
BBC

The Labour MSP says the difference in life expectancy between affluent women and those worst off has reached seven and a half years.

'End extreme poverty debate' begins:

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh is on his feet to lead his member's debate entitled

'Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality, Oxfam's New Report and Campaign'.

"This report from Oxfam is a stark and timely portrait of the growing inequality which characterises much of Africa and the world today... It contains many examples of success to give us inspiration. I hope that many people from government officials, business and civil society leaders, and bilateral and multilateral institutions will examine this report, reflect on its recommendations and take sustained actions which will tackle the inequality explosion."

Graça Machel, Founder of the Graça Machel Trust

Oxfam says from Ghana to Germany, Italy to Indonesia, the gap between rich and poor is widening. In 2013, seven out of 10 people lived in countries where economic inequality was worse than 30 years ago, and in 2014 Oxfam calculated that just 85 people owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.

It says extreme inequality corrupts politics and hinders economic growth.

Coming up

That concludes the first part of the debate on the Scottish government's programme for government.

Labour MSP Ken Macintosh will shortly lead a debate on 'Even it Up: Time to End Extreme Inequality, Oxfam's New Report and Campaign'

Education Secretary

Education and Lifelong Learning Secretary Angela Constance says the debate has been a "colourful" one.

She recounts the unanimity from across the chamber agreeing over the Human Trafficking Bill and Clare's law.

Angela Constance
BBC

Rightly so, she says, the debate has focussed on childcare.

She says it is "a foundation stone for our economy."

Those 12 bills agan

Land Reform Bill banning business rates exemptions for shooting and deerstalking estates'

Community Charge Debt Bill end collection of debts from non-payment of the poll tax

An Education Bill to give new rights to children who may have additional support needs

Higher Education Governance Bill to ensure that the governing bodies of universities are transparent, democratic and accountable

Public Health Bill strengthen ability to reduce the attractiveness and availability of tobacco products and e-cigarettes and duty of candour where people have suffered from ill treatment or neglect

Carers Bill, to give carers support and a say in the planning and delivery of services

Community Justice Bill to transfer responsibility to 32 community planning partnerships, will consult on domestic abuse offence and on revenge porn

Budget Bill

Fatal Accidents Inquiries Bill

Succession Bill

Harbours Bill

Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill to strengthen ability to help victims and bring offenders to Justice

Christine Grahame MSP

SNP MSP Christine Grahame talks about "older people" and says concessionary bus passes are a huge asset.

Seventy thousand pensioners receive care because of this parliament, she says.

Christine Grahame
BBC

Ms Grahame continues by saying she welcomes the pensioners fund and says pensioners are "a major economic force", not a problem.

Community engagement is important to the individual, she says.

Sarah Boyack MSP

Scottish Labour MSP sarah Boyack says she welcomes a review of council tax.

Sarah Boyack
BBC

She says it is a "critical issue."

A challenge, she says, is the council tax freeze doesn't benefit disadvantaged and vulnerable, who find support services are cut back.

Ms Boyack says she hopes the new cross-party commission doesn't look at council tax in isolation but local government funding in general.

George Adam MSP

SNP MSP George Adam says he agrees that investment in childcare is one of the best investments to make for Scotland's future.

George Adam
BBC

He says further devolution of tax and benefits would contribute to bringing "transformational change."

He's accuses Westminster of going back to "business as usual."

Murdo Fraser MSP

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser
BBC
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser debates govenment programme 14/15

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says he struggles to find any measures in the programme to boost the economy.

Mr Fraser also criticises the lack of anything new in the childcare measures.

SUMMARY

The land reform legislation was part of a series of 12 bills Ms Sturgeon announced to parliament, including;

A Community Charge Debt Bill to end collection of debts from non-payment of the poll tax

An Education Bill to give new rights to children who may have additional support needs.

A Higher Education Governance Bill to ensure the governing bodies of universities are transparent, democratic and accountable

A Public Health Bill to strengthen the ability to reduce the attractiveness and availability of tobacco products and e-cigarettes and a "duty of candour", where people have suffered from ill treatment or neglect

A Carers Bill to give carers support and a say in the planning and delivery of services

SUMMARY

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans to take action against landowners who pose a "barrier" to development.

She also said business rate exemptions for shooting and deerstalking estates would be scrapped as part of a series of "radical" land reforms.

Nicola Sturgeon
Getty Images
Nicola Sturgeon announced her programme for government in the Scottish Parliament

Ms Sturgeon's comments came as she outlined her government's latest plans.

She also set out plans to look again at alternatives to the council tax, which has been frozen in Scotland since 2007.

The government will next week begin consulting on proposals for a new Land Reform Bill.

Scottish Greens

Green MSP Alison Johnstone says there is much to welcome in the government programme, including extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds, trying to end in work poverty, writing of poll tax debts, tackling domestic abuse and the human trafficking legislation.

Alison Johnstone
BBC
Green MSP Alison Johnstone responds to the government programme 2014/15

She says what is missing is a way to introduce a step change in energy efficiency and address fuel poverty

Lib Dems

Mr Rennie says there is one important omission in the programme and that is mental health services.

There are "indefensible" waiting times for people with mental health, he says.

Lib Dems

Liberal democrat leader Willie Rennie says "the right foundations have been set" to secure a sustainable set of powers when the Smith Commission reports tomorrow.

He says the victors from the independence referendum were 16 and 17 year olds and the islands.

Lib Dem Willie Rennie
BBC

Mr Rennie says he supports plans for the voting age to be lowered.

He wants a Scotland that strives for a fairer society with a strong economy, with real local power and protection of the environment.

Health and Economy

Ms Davidson says Barnet Consequentials on health have not always been passed to the health service, but she welcomes Ms Sturgeon's increase in funding of the NHS.

She says the government programme economically is "underwhelming".

Support

Ms Davidson says she supports votes for 16 year olds, increasing increasing apprenticeships, introducing Clare's law and the human trafficking bill.

Conservative

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson says it was simply wrong to tackle the scrapping of corroboration and she has a great opportunity to revisit the "fudge" of the parliamentary fix.

Ruth Davidson
BBC
Ruth Davidson responds to government programme 2014-15

"We need the wholesale review of the law of evidence."

Ms Davidson calls for the ending of automatic early release.

NHS

Hospital beds are dissapearing faster in Scotland than anywhere in the Western world, says Ms Baillie.

She says six thousand beds were withdrawn from Scottish hospitals in the last 10 years.

She continues as our NHS "teeters on the brink" this government's response is not good enough.

And she says it is time for a Beveridge report for the 20th century.

Fuel poverty

The Labour MSP says as winter approaches for 900,000 Scots living in fuel poverty it means challenges and large bills.

She says the government's target to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016 will not be met.

The first minister, she says, in the spirit of the new consensus should support Labour's proposal to freeze energy prices.

Childcare

Jackie Baillie says the current childcare policy isn't working.

Childcare
Thinkstock

The government's ambition for 16 hours of childcare for 27% of 2 year olds is positive, but it means lagging behind England, says Ms Baillie.

This programme doesn't have the bill to match the childcare ambitions, which would have had her "full support", she says.

Poverty

Jackie Baillie says the Scottish government has a shameful record on housing.

Social housing is at a level now not seen since the second world war, says the Labour MSP.

She says 23 thousand homes lie empty, and Scottish government figures show a 22% drop in social housing completions in the last year.

Ms Baillie says the government must tackle this in order to tackle poverty.

Labour

Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie says Scotland has changed and "changed utterly."

She says she wants cutting inequality to be at the heart of everything we do

Jackie Baillie
BBC
Jackie Baillie responds to government programme

"Social justice should not be an empty slogan." she says.

Ms Baillie continues: "The first minister is a woman and that is cause for celebration."

But she says Ms Sturgeon has the power to change things on gender balance now, to have 50 50 on public bodies now, and not wait for the 2020 target she outlined.

Human trafficking

The first minister concludes by introducing the Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill, which will be introduced shortly, which will clarify the rights of victims of traffickng and bring perpetrators to justice.

Many victims of human trafficking suffer from Stockholm Syndrome
BBC
Many victims of human trafficking suffer from Stockholm Syndrome

Social care

Gordon Aiken meets Nicola Sturgeon
PA
Mr Aikman received a special judges' award at the Scottish Politician of the Year Awards

Ms Sturgeon says she has met campaigner Gordon Aikman to talk about social care charging and she wants to make very clear today her expectation no terminally ill person in the last six months of their live charged for care.

She has agreed to examine the provision of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) care following a meeting with a dying campaigner.

Gordon Aikman has launched

a five-point fightback plan after being diagnosed with the terminal condition.

He wants research funding to be doubled, benefits to be fast tracked and a cancellation of care charges.

Ms Sturgeon said she had been moved by Mr Aikman's campaign.

Vale of Leven

Vale of Leven hospital
bbc
C. diff played a role in the deaths of 28 people at Vale of Leven Hospital

Ms Sturgeon says in light of the publication of the findings into an inquiry investigating the C.diff outbreak at the Vale of Leven hospital, the government will legislate in the coming year to give the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate the power to order the closure of hospital wards on the grounds of patient safety.

12 new bills

Land Reform Bill banning business rates exemptions for shooting and deerstalking estates'

Community Charge Debt Bill end collection of debts from non-payment of the poll tax

An Education Bill to give new rights to children who may have additional support needs

Higher Education Governance Bill to ensure that the governing bodies of universities are transparent, democratic and accountable

Public Health Bill strengthen ability to reduce the attractiveness and availability of tobacco products and e-cigarettes and duty of candour where people have suffered from ill treatment or neglect

Carers Bill, to give carers support and a say in the planning and delivery of services

Community Justice Bill to transfer responsibility to 32 community planning partnerships, will consult on domestic abuse offence and on revenge porn

Budget Bill

Fatal Accidents Inquiries Bill

Succession Bill

Harbours Bill

Human Trafficking and Exploitation Bill to strengthen ability to help victims and bring offenders to Justice

NHS budget

Ms Sturgeon says she will increase the revenue budget of NHS by more than inflation for the remainder of this parliament .

NHS hospital
SPL
The number of hospital patients being treated within 18 weeks of being referred by their GP has fallen below 90 per cent for the first time

The first minister says: "If we are returned to government we will ensure real term rises for every year after."

She challenged all parties to match that commitment.

Higher education

Ms Sturgeon says she will double the funding to help the disadvantaged to go to university.

The first minister sets a "challenging long term target" to eradicate the inequality of access to higher education.

Students
BBC
Students

She says she will establish a commission on widening access to advise on the practical steps to meet that ambition.

Childcare

Ms Sturgeon outlines a pledge for a major expansion of childcare

Childcare sign
Thinkstock

She says from august next year 27% of 2year olds will receive 16 hours as well as 3 and 4 year olds.

Next year we are planning to commit to almost double that by the end of next parliament from 16 to 30 hours, she says.

Ms Sturgeon says a great level of affordable childcare is one of "the best investments in Scotland's future."

"It ensures we provide ALL of Scotland's children with the best start in life. "

Gender balance

Ms Sturgeon says her government doesn't have the power to legislate for gender quotas.

But she outlines a partnership for change pledge called 50-50, which challenges businesses and boards to have gender balance.

The first minister says his will lead to stronger leadership.