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Summary

  1. PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR TEXT COVERAGE OF THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT ON 9 JUNE 2016
  2. MSPs quiz ministers during general questions
  3. Nicola Sturgeon answers questions on university access, NHS staffing and Sports Direct during first minister's questions
  4. The Treaty of Perth is debated with a contribution in Norwegian from the minister
  5. MSPs agree an amended motion from the debate on disability benefits backing increasing disability benefits at least in line with inflation

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

That's all from Holyrood Live

That's all from Holyrood Live on Thursday 9 June 2016, when first minister's questions featured NHS staffing, university access, Sports Direct working practices and the Queensferry Crossing, amongst other issues.

MSPs agreed an amended motion from the disability debate backing increasing disability benefits at least in line with inflation.

Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament/Andrew Cowan
Scottish Parliament

We'll be back on Tuesday 14 June with more live coverage of the Scottish Parliament.

Until then have a lovely weekend,

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh adjourns the parliament

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh
BBC

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh promptly adjourns the parliament after the vote.

Scottish government motion, as amended by Labour, agreed to

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance's motion, as amended by Labour, is agreed to with 88 MSPs backing it and 29 against.

SNP motion
Scottish Parliament

Scottish Labour amendment agreed to

Scottish Labour MSP Mark Griffin's amendment is agreed to with 88 MSPs backing it and 29 against.

Scottish Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

Scottish Conservative amendment rejected

Scottish Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins sees his amendment rejected.

29 MSPs backed it but 88 voted against it.

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Minister tells Tory MSP he can 'get on his bike'

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance says if Tory MSP Adam Tomkins wants consensus after the welfare cuts he can "get on his bike".

New system must have insight and humility says social security secretary

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance says mental illness is sometimes terminal.

Ms Constance says mental illness can be invisible and it cannot be seen by others.

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance
BBC

The social security secretary says there will have to be the insight and humility to get a system right that supports people suffering from mental illness. 

She says in debating the system there has to be more than "warm words" and the government will continue to work with key stakeholders.

Blaming the UK government no longer acceptable says Tory MSP

Conservative MSP Annie Wells says: "With these new powers blaming the UK government is no longer appropriate or even acceptable".

Annie Wells
BBC

Ms Wells says it is necessary to make the social security system personalised.

She says administration of that system should be straightforward.

'Nothing dignified' about aspects of current welfare system says Labour MSP

Ms McNeill says there is nothing dignified about aspects of the current welfare system.

Disabled person with walking aid
BBC

Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins intervenes saying it was not his party that brought in ESA and signed the contracts with ATOS, that was Labour.

The Labour MSP hits back asking what Mr Tomkins thinks about disabled people losing benefits.

She says the powers coming to Holyrood come at a crucial time and there is a chance to put the dignity back into the social security system. 

Labour MSP details anger over UK government's welfare reform

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill says the goal to have a life while caring is where we want to be and Carers Week reminds us that without carers our society could simply not function.

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill
BBC

Ms McNeill says putting dignity and respect at the heart of the new social security system should be the ground on which it is founded.

The Labour MSP says there is anger out there and in here that aspects of the welfare system have not given disabled people a dignified life.

She says she has never felt so angry watching the impact of the reforms of the UK government.

Current UK government approach unjust and mean spirited says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson says behind the wording of the government motion is a fundamental question which is how can we support the most vulnerable in society in a more compassionate way than the Westminster government.

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson
BBC

Mr Macpherson says he believes in the Scottish government to provide a fairer more transparent system.

The SNP MSP says the current UK governments approach to social security is unjust and "mean spirited".

New Social Security Committee to meet next week........

Labour MSP lambasts 'ideologically driven cuts to benefits'

Labour MSP Neil Findlay says: "This debate is key to how we see ourselves as a society."

Mr Findlay says 100,000 disabled people have lost out due to "ideologically driven cuts to benefits" by the UK government.

Labour MSP Neil Findlay
BBC

He says over 40 benefits have been cut affecting the poorest, most needy people in our communities

Mr Findlay says: "What I find most offensive about that is the relish and glee with which it has been done."

He says he finds it "truly sickening" to see a Tory cabinet of millionaires cut their own tax while removing the safety net from the most vulnerable.

Philip Sim waxing lyrical......

MND sufferers should receive a lifetime award of high level PIP says SNP MSP

People with MND should receive a lifetime award of high level PIP so that they do not need to contend with a renewal process.

Christina McKelvieSNP MSP

Social security system must do more to support injured armed forces personnel and veterans - Tory MSP

Conservative MSP Maurice Corry pays tribute to the armed forces and those who sustain injuries resulting in disabilities whilst serving their country.

Mr Corry says there is an impact on those injured in action and their families and the social security system should do more to support them.

Conservative MSP Maurice Corry
BBC

Social Security Minister Kevin Stewart intervenes to ask if Mr Corry agrees that the MOD could be doing more.

Mr Corry responds saying he does agree with that.

The Tory MSP says armed forces veterans are less likely to access welfare as they may not understand changes and are left with a "feeling of failure".

He says there is research to show that veterans do not believe the benefits system supports them. 

Current system a 'barbaric' way to treat the most vulnerable in society - SNP MSP

SNP MSP Maree Todd says one of her main reasons for entering politics was because of the failures of the welfare system.

Ms Todd says the current system is a "barbaric" way to treat the most vulnerable in society.

SNP MSP Maree Todd
BBC

The SNP MSP says she has also worked with suicidal people who feel they have nowhere else to turn after dealing with the welfare system.

The clinical pharmacist says there is substantial evidence that the coalition Westminster government have failed people with mental health issues in terms of welfare.

She says the government must work with service users and their colleagues to ensure they get it right for people.

Lib Dem MSP pays tribute to the 'army of carers' that are Scotland's 'unsung heroes'

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton says his party fought on common ground with the SNP, Labour and the Greens with the need to improve the lives of those affected by disability.

Mr Cole-Hamilton says his party will support the government motion and the Labour amendment.

The Lib Dem MSP pays tribute to the "army of carers" that are Scotland's "unsung heroes" and in particular the young carers across Scotland. 

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton
bbc
Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton

Mr Cole-Hamilton, who used to work for a charity that helped children with disabilities, stresses the importance of getting the help to families and the information that they require.

The Lib Dem MSP says political rhetoric must be married up with actions, for "it is action that absolutely matters most".

Tories cannot 'act like the good guys' says SNP MSP

SNP MSP George Adam says the Conservatives cannot dress up the "heartache" caused by welfare reform.

Conservative social security spokesman Adam Tomkins intervenes to say PIP has been increased since the Tories have been in charge at Westminster. 

Mr Adam responds saying the Conservatives cannot "act like the good guys" after what they have done.

George Adam
BBC

The SNP MSP says everyone knows he is his wife Stacey's carer but she has done a good job of keeping him on the straight an narrow.

He says today is his wedding anniversary and he remembers his wife walking down the aisle.

"If she did that now Mr Tomkins she'd probably fail her PIP assessment", he says. 

Mr Adam says, although his wife has MS and needs support, he has help from the rest of his family to ensure he can still go out to work and achieve things but not all carers have that support network.

Tory MSP warns against the demonising of any politician in this debate

Conservative MSP Liam Kerr says no one should fall into the basic error of demonising any of the contributors to this debate.

SNP MSP Sandra White asks if the UK government cuts to disability monies was the right thing to do.

Mr Kerr says it has gone up according to his understanding.

Sandra White, Johann Lamont and Liam Kerr
bbc
Interventions suggest Liam Kerr may not be successful in his plea

He warns again against alienating anyone in taking the debate forward.

Labour MSP Johann Lamont says some of Mr Kerr's colleagues in the Conservative party using terms like "shirkers or workers".

Mr Kerr says no-one has used those terms at Holyrood.

Current social securty system 'completely failing' those with mental health issues says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Sandra White says the problem is that the current social security system is "completely failing" those with mental health issues.

She says SAMH carried out a study and 98% of the respondents suffered from welfare reform and "the most startling statistic" is that six actually tried to take their own lives as the research was being carried out. 

SNP MSP Sandra White
BBC

Ms White says the system must be more transparent and clear.

The SNP MSP says benefit cuts concerns are being raised more and more in her constituency and she's sure it is the same across the board.

She says "it has a devastating affect on people" to be told they don't meet the criteria for certain benefits. 

Scottish Green MSP encouraged by government response to Young Carer's Allowance policy

Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone says the current benefits system leads to people feeling lost and powerless and as if the system is out to defeat them. 

Ms Johnstone says: "We must do better and the Scottish Greens believe we can do better."

The Green MSP says there must be "clear defined rights", as well as respect and dignity, at the core of the new social security system.

Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone
bbc
Scottish Greens social security spokesperson Alison Johnstone

She encourages the Scottish government to pursue the idea of a Young Carer's Allowance, which the new social security minister pledged to do in her opening speech.

Ms Johnstone welcomes the supportive words from the minister.

The Green MSPs says there are 44,000 carers under the age of 16 in Scotland and the Green policy of a Young Carer's Allowance would be a step towards providing the support they need.

Background: Carers Week

Carers Week
Carers Week
Carers Week

Carers Week is an annual campaign to raise awareness of caring, highlight the challenges carers face and recognise the contribution they make to families and communities throughout the UK. 

The campaign is brought to life by thousands of individuals and organisations who come together to organise activities and events throughout the UK, drawing attention to just how important caring is. 

This year the campaign is focusing on Building Carer Friendly Communities. 

Communities which support carers to look after their loved ones well, while recognising that they are individuals with needs of their own. 

Fighting for benefits is central to recipient's lives says Labour MSP

Labour MSP Johann Lamont says carers have punched well above their weight since this parliament began and it is time they were rewarded.

"This is a challenge we must rise to", she says, and it is appropriate that this debate falls during Carer's Week. 

Ms Lamont says supporting carers is not something that should just be talked about on the campaign trail but is central to what parties must do now.

Labour MSP Johann Lamont
BBC

She says fighting for benefits is something that is central to recipient's lives.

The Labour MSP says her party has always been for the right to employment and disabled people must have the right to this too.

Ms Lamont says we buiild barriers for disabled people trying to get into employment and then denounce them for not working. 

UK government have victimised some of the most vulnerable says SNP MSP

The UK government have victimised and demonised some of the most vulnerable in society.

Bob DorisSNP MSP

Disability benefits must help people to 'be all they can be'

Mr Balfour says everyone agrees there needs to be disability benefits but they should be "focused on the individual and be there to help that person and their family to be all the can be".

Tory MSP says PIP has bedded down and works well

Scottish Conservative MSP Jeremey Balfour says it is a great honour to be elected to this parliament and represent the Lothians.

Mr Balfour pays warm tribute to the late David McLetchie.

Scottish Conservative MSP Jeremey Balfour
BBC

He puts on record his thanks to the staff of the Royal Infirmary who looked after him for days during the campaign due to a heart problem.

The Conservative MSP says for 22 years he served as a disabled member that heard tribunals on PIP and DLA.

Mr Balfour says he is personally in receipt of PIP, previously DLA.

He warns against unnecessary unsettling of people with change and stress that PIP has bedded down and works well. 

Dignity is not a word to be used with disdain says SNP MSP

SNP MSP Gillian Martin says, with disability benefits being devolved, this is an opportunity to do things differently to the Westminster government.

Ms Martin says dignity is not a word to be used with disdain but it is what every disabled person wants and something that has been missing under the UK's Department of Work and Pensions.

SNP MSP Gillian Martin
BBC

The SNP MSP says a substantial number of disabled people are cared for by their children and if they miss an appointment and are sanctioned under the UK system this affects their children as well as them, 

She says getting welfare right can impact on young carers perusing further and higher education and therefore will have an impact on another of the government's priorities, the attainment gap. 

SNP and Labour unite to say disability benefits must rise at least in line with inflation

Just to recap here's the Labour amendment that will receive the backing of the government and thus pass at decision time: 

Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament

Call for all parties to work together to create Scotland's social security system

Mr Griffin concludes calling on all parties to come together to create the new social security system.

Minister confirms the government will back Labour's amendment

Jeanne Freeman
BBC
Social security minister says the government will back Labour's amendment

Social Security Minister Jeanne Freeman intervenes to tell Mark Griffin that the government will back his amendment calling for disability benefits to increase at least in line with inflation.

Labour MSP calls for disability benefits to increase at least in line with inflation

Labour MSP Mark Griffin says the devolution of social security powers will be "groundbreaking".

Labour MSP Mark Griffin
BBC

Mr Griffin says we should be "humbled by the challenge that lies ahead of us".

He says his amendment seeks to assure the financial assistance provided keeps pace with inflation.

The Labour MSP says there is expectation building in Scotland's communities, where campaigners will watch closely how the new powers are used.

Scottish Labour's social security plans

Kezia Dugdale and a guide dog
PA
Kezia Dugdale set out her plans for the welfare powers that are being devolved during the election

During the election campaign, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale pledged to:

  • create Scotland's own social security agency 
  • abolish the bedroom tax 
  • new employment agency in Scotland

Scottish Labour amendment

Scottish Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

Here's Labour MSP Mark Griffin's amendment.

Tory MSP says 'PIP is a significant improvement on DLA'

Mr Tomkins says the introduction of PIP has faced difficulties but the government has worked hard to address backlogs.

He says: "PIP is a significant improvement on DLA."

The Conservative MSP asks about the timetable for the devolution of social security powers and the role of local authorities.

'Dignity of the paypacket'

Mr Tomkins points to the "dignity of the paypacket".

The Conservative MSP says there is a lot of understandable concern about sanctions.

Purse with money
BBC

Those that cannot work are not sanctioned, only those able to undertake work are he says.

Mr Tomkins quotes the new UK work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb for adopting a new approach to disabled people.

Respect and dignity not new in social security

Housing Minister Kevin Stewart intervenes to ask why the UK government is delivering an 87% cut to the work programme funding.

Mr Tomkins says the Work Programme is being devolved in full to this parliament.

Kevin Stewart and Adam Tomkins
BBC
Housing Minister Kevin Stewart intervenes during Mr Tomkins speech

The Conservative MSP says the ideas of respect and dignity in social security are not new and everyone agrees with it.

He insists this is already enshrined in law.

Mr Stewart intervenes again calling for Mr Tomkins to condemn language like scivers and strivers.

Mr Tomkins insists he will use his own words.

Tories welcome government move to bring Carer's Allowance into line with Jobseeker's Allowance

Scottish Conservative social security spokesman Adam Tomkins says his amendment welcomes the government's move to bring Carer's Allowance into line with Jobseeker's Allowance as his party asked.

Scottish Conservative social security spokesman Adam Tomkins
BBC

Social Security Secretary Angela Constance intervenes to say this was a government pledge before it was a Scottish Conservative one.

Mr Tomkins says this is an unfortunate intervention given all the talk from the government about working with the other parties and consensus.

Scottish Conservative's social security plans

Ruth Davidson and a depressed man in the dark
Thinkstock
Ruth Davidson pledged to personalise the welfare system

During the election campaign, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson pledged to :

  • increase the rate of carers allowance to JSA level 
  • devolve welfare powers further to local authorities 
  • welfare system should be flexible and personalised 
  • it should give those who can and want to work the opportunities and support to do so

Scottish Conservative amendment

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Here's Scottish Conservative social security spokesman Adam Tomkins' amendment.