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Summary

  1. MSPs take evidence on legislation that will lift the time bar preventing child abuse victims taking civil action against the individuals or institutions that abused them
  2. The Scottish government delivers a ministerial statement on the National Review of Maternity and Neonatal Services
  3. The Scottish government gives another ministerial statement on support for business and the economy
  4. MSPs vote to set separate Scottish income tax rates and bands for the first time, as set by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.
  5. The member’s debate comes from Tory MSP Annie Wells who celebrates LGBT History Month Scotland 2017

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

That's all from Holyrood on an historic day

Scottish Parliament
Scottish Parliament

That's all from Holyrood on 21 February 2017, the day Holyrood made history by voting to set separate Scottish income tax rates and bands for the first time.  

Have a lovely evening, we're back with the Europe Committee tomorrow morning from 10am.

'We can, we should and we will commit to doing more'

Jeane Freeman
BBC

Ms Freeman says she remembers the days when the best you could expect as a Lesbian was that your female friend was not talked about too much.

The social security minister says we can and should be proud of the role we might have played in progressing equality in Scotland.

"We can, we should and we will commit to doing more," she says. 

Minister says the government is a strong and persistent advocate for LGBTI equality

Social Security Minister Jeanne Freeman says the 2015 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey still show that lesbian, gay and bi-sexual people continue to experience discrimination every day.

It is worse for Trans people she says, citing again the survey.

The minister says attitudes and fear of difference can start but be stopped with young people.

Crowds turn out for Pride Edinburgh
PA
Crowds turn out for Pride Edinburgh

She praises the TIE Campaign.

Ms Freeman says: "We should be proud to say we are who we are regardless of our sexuality or our gender identity."

She says the government is a strong and persistent advocate for LGBTI equality.

'It is important the we continue to recognise LGBT history month'

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman
BBC
Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman says she is privileged to close this debate for the government.

Ms Freeman says this year's history month has the theme of heritage in recognition of the contribution LGBTI people have made in society.

The social security minister says equality and human rights matter but they are only real when they are enjoyed by all.

"It is important the we continue to recognise LGBT history month," she says.

Tory MSP says we must proactively stamp out discrimination

Tory MSP Ross Thomson
bbc
Tory MSP Ross Thomson

Tory MSP Ross Thomson says sadly there are still too many places in the world where sadly LGBTI rights are not progressing.

Mr Thomson says it is our duty to shed light on these countries.

He says the fight for LGBTI equality permits no room for complacency.

The Tory MSP says we must proactively stamp out discrimination.

Background: TIME FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION (TIE)

TIE
TIE
TIE

Many MSPs have praised the efforts of TIME FOR INCLUSIVE EDUCATION (TIE).

Here's what they do in their own words: 

"Since the repeal of Section 28 (Clause 2a in Scotland) sixteen years ago, there is still a culture of silence around LGBTI issues, identities and histories in many schools across the country.

Our research has found that while 90% of LGBTI people experience homophobia, biphobia and transphobia at school - 97% believe that it would have helped if their school had been LGBTI inclusive.

​As such, we believe that the contributions of the LGBTI community to our history, culture and society and the issues affecting LGBTI pupils, should be recognised and taught within all schools.

​Our aim is to eradicate homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes and behaviours among young people by adopting an educational approach; embedding LGBTI topics and issues into school curricula and social teaching.

SNP MSP praises the TIE Campaign, Jordan and Liam

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie
BBC
SNP MSP Christina McKelvie

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie says she knows many people who have discovered they are gay and have felt alone and isolated.

Ms McKelvie says movements like the TIE Campaign are very important because they bring clarity to people's lives. 

The SNP MSP says support groups like LBGT Youth Scotland provide somewhere for young people to belong.

She praises the TIE Campaign, Jordan and Liam. 

Green MSP tells of his coming out stor

Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie says he once worked for a gay men's project in Glasgow.

Mr Harvie says they used timelines and the earliest was of a cave drawing in 8,000 BC of a same sex couple in an embrace.

He says Russia saw decriminalistation in 1993, but later there was a backlash of bigotry, homophobia and transphobia deliberately supported by

Green MSP Patrick Harvie
bbc
Green MSP Patrick Harvie

The Scottish Green MSP says: "My own coming out story began when Section 28 was introduced and repeal seemed a long, long way away."

He says it took the Scottish Parliament to repeal Section 28.

Mr Harvie says how we are judged as people is not just by our best actions but by our worst.

'It is our duty to change minds wherever we have influence'

Labour MSP Pauline McNeil
BBC
Labour MSP Pauline McNeil

Labour MSP Pauline McNeil commends Annie Wells for her personal courage in the way she spoke.

Ms McNeil says "it is our duty to change minds wherever we have influence."

She says a total of 73 countries have laws against gay sex and there are at least 10 countries where it carries the death penalty.  

Mr McNeil says there are 40 countries that have "a gay panic clause" which comes about when someone commits a crime against someone who is gay. 

Background LGBT History Month Scotland

LGBT History Month Scotland 2017
LGBT History Month Scotland 2017
LGBT History Month Scotland 2017

"LGBT History Month takes place in Scotland every February. "It is an opportunity to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer lives and culture, and to recognise the significant contribution LGBT people have made to our country and the world at large. It is also an opportunity for learning, discussion and debate around the continued fight for LGBT liberation."Every year we work in partnership with groups and organisations all over Scotland to programme a range of arts, cultural and educational events. 

"LGBT History Month is for everyone: individuals, community groups, organisations, service providers, LGBT and non-LGBT people alike."We’re here to help you get involved whether you want to run your own event, find out what’s on in your area, or just find out more about LGBT history and culture."LGBT History Month Scotland is co-ordinated by LGBT Youth Scotland."

More powerful personal testimony, this time from Tory MSP Jamie Greene

Tory MSP Jamie Greene
bbc

Conservative MSP Jamie Greene says he was proud to march with a cornucopia of colour on the Gay Pride marches.

Mr Green says when he was at school being gay was, and sadly still is, an insult.

He says LGBT History Month is very personal to him as he recalls being 17 saying if he had had a boyfriend then it would have been against the law.

Mr Green says of that, he was guilty, and he says there are serious messages behind LGBT History Month.

He says let us celebrate LGBT History Month but remember that many cannot.

Background: LGBT bullying at 'high rate' in Scotland's schools

The charity said strong leadership on LGBT bullying was needed from schools and local authorities
AFP
The charity said strong leadership on LGBT bullying was needed from schools and local authorities

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) pupils are still experiencing high rates of bullying in schools, according to campaigners.

LGBT Youth Scotland said the pupils were also not confident about reporting abuse to staff.

The charity called for strong leadership from schools and local authorities on the bullying.

The Scottish government said a new anti-bullying strategy had been developed with LGBT organisations.

Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying at school can have a devastating impact on young people's mental health and cause them to leave education early, according to the charity's research.

LGBT Youth Scotland said its study went on to show transgender youngsters have a particularly difficult time at school and face even higher levels of bullying than their LGB peers.

'Scotland is doing well at promoting equality for LGBTI people'

Ms Wells says she has been supportive of the TIE campaign.

The Tory MSP says she is pleased to see the Gender Recognition Bill coming to Parliament this year. 

She commends the work of LGBT groups in Scotland. 

Ms Wells says this Friday she will show her support for Purple Friday which celebrates equality. 

"Scotland is doing well at promoting equality for LGBTI people" she says. 

Tory MSP shares moving personal testimony

Ms Wells says she did not have the environment or support she needed as a child and says she came out at the age of 13 at an all girls Catholic school, only to be told it was only a phase.

The Tory MSP says inside she did not know what she wanted or who she was.

She says when she got to 16 years old she left school as it was merging with a boys school.

Tory MSP Annie Wells
bbc
Tory MSP Annie Wells

Ms Wells says four years later she married the father of my son and entered the darkest years of her life, saying she did not know what to say or do.

She says things got so bad she sought help to try and come to terms with her sexuality.

Ms Wells says she finally came out, for the second time, in 1997 age 25 and after family tension could lead the life she should be living.

The Tory MSP says if the right education had been in place it could have given her the confidence to listen to what she truly wanted and says the issue is intertwinded with mental health.

Background: LGBT Youth Scotland

LGBT Youth Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland
LGBT Youth Scotland

LGBT Youth Scotland is the largest youth and community-based organisation for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people in Scotland. 

The charity's mission is to:

“empower lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people and the wider LGBT community so that they are embraced as full members of the Scottish family at home, school and in every community.”

An opportunity to celebrate progress yet to be made says Tory MSP

Tory MSP Annie Wells
BBC
Tory MSP Annie Wells

Tory MSP Annie Wells says this event is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution LGBT people make to society and progress yet to be made.

Ms Wells says attitudes are changing towards same sex marriage.

The Tory MSP says the Scottish Parliament is diverse with the majority of its party's leaders identifying as LGBT. 

Ms Wells uses her motion to highlight the aims of LGBT History Month Scotland 2017

Conservative MSP Annie Wells uses her motion to say LGBT History Month Scotland 2017 is a nation wide event  coordinated by LGBT Youth Scotland every February.

Ms Wells says the event is aimed at promoting equality and diversity in society with the specific goals of increasing the visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their lives.

It also aims to raise awaress of their history and experiences in educational, political and cultural institutions as well as the wider community.

LGBT Youth Scotland ribbon
LGBT Youth Scotland
Friday 24th February is… Purple Friday. To mark the last Friday of LGBT History Month, it is asking people to wear purple to show support for the LGBTI community and stand up against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.

The Tory MSP highlights the importance of raising awareness of the issues effecting LGBTI+ people so that every individual reaches their full potential and leads a fulfilling life.

She says LGBT Youth Scotland is encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the full programme of events, which will be delivered by a wide range of people, partners, community groups, schools, universities, colleges and local authorities.

Here is the motion for the debate:

Motion for the debate
Scottish Parliament

Decision time

MSPs agree to the Scottish government's appointments to the Scottish Fiscal Commission unanimously.

Here are the government's nominees to the Scottish Fiscal Commission

Professor Alasdair Smith and David Wilson
BBC
Professor Alasdair Smith and David Wilson

The two nominations to the Scottish Fiscal Commission are: 

  • Professor Alasdair Smith from the Competition and Markets Authority 
  • David Wilson from International Public Policy Institute

Background: Scottish Fiscal Commission

The Scottish Fiscal Commission was established in June 2014 as a non-statutory body to provide independent scrutiny of Scottish Government forecasts of receipts and economic determinants from taxes devolved to Scotland.

The Fiscal Framework agreed by the Scottish and UK Governments to accompany the Scotland Act 2016 changed the remit of the Scottish Fiscal Commission. whereby it will become responsible for the production of forecasts from April 2017.

Scottish Fiscal Commission nominations debate

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay will now call for MSPs to back the Scottish government's nominations to the Scottish Fiscal Commission. 

BreakingThe Scottish Rate Resolution is agreed to

The Scottish Rate Resolution is agreed to with 61 MSPs backing it and with 55 against and with 6 abstentions.

Motion
Scottish Parliament

Minister concludes calling for MSPs to back the Scottish Rate Resolution.

Saltire purse
PA

The finance secretary says a great deal of Tory hypocrisy has been exposed in this debate.

Mr Mackay says the government will not pass on the Tory tax cuts.

He says the SNP believes in public services and a fairer society.

The minister concludes calling for MSPs to back the Scottish Rate Resolution and not to put at risk £11.9bn.

'Our package feels like the right one to support a greater number of people'

Derek Mackay
BBC

Mr Mackay says the government's position on the NHS is that it was offering more than any other party during the election.

The finance secretary says there are huge financial risks due to Brexit and this must be considered.

Mr Mackay says Patrick Harvie and his party have worked constructively with the government.

"Our package feels like the right one to support a greater number of people," he says. 

He says he is watching with interest as Labour-led local authorities who said they required more funding are declining the option of increasing council tax.

'I think it is a very fair proposition'

Getty Images
Getty Images

Mr Mackay says he believes the proposition he is putting forward on income tax is the best deal for Scotland.

The finance secretary says it allows investment in the social contract and not passing on the Tory tax cut for the richest.

He says: "I think it is a very fair proposition."

The minister says it is just not true to say Scotland is the highest taxed part of the UK, when everything is taken into account.

Useful debate ahead of 'historic vote' - Derek Mackay

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
BBC
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay says this has been a useful debate ahead of what will be a "historic vote".

The finance secretary says the Tories are going to have to do better than constantly referring to "Mackay's magic money tree."

Mr Mackay says it is important to move forward and give taxpayers the certainty they require.

The Tories will be voting against the Scottish Rate Resolution

Tory MSP Dean Lockhart
bbc
Tory MSP Dean Lockhart

Mr Lockhart says Mr Mackay has a magic money tree where he can find money whenever he needs it.

The Tory MSP says if you increase tax in Scotland there is a danger that you will dilute the tax base and end up with less revenue.

He says the Tories will be voting against the Scottish Rate Resolution. 

'You cannot tax your way to prosperity'

Mr Lockhart says this tax increase is just the latest example of the SNP's complete misunderstanding of how the economy works.

The Tory MSP says: "You cannot tax your way to prosperity."

This is why, he says, the Tories are against policies that will make Scotland the highest part of the UK. 

'We are not talking down Scotland we are highlighting the damage of this SNP government'

Tory MSP Dean Lockhart
BBC
Tory MSP Dean Lockhart

Tory MSP Dean Lockhart says this new tax policy will increase the tax burden for police, health workers and teachers.

Mr Lockhart says the SNP tax increase will further damage the economy.

The Tory MSP says Scotland has the highest rate of economic inactivity compared with anywhere else in the UK.

"We are not talking down Scotland we are highlighting the damage of this SNP government," he says. 

Labour MSP calls for rejection of the motion on the table and to reopen budget discussions

Labour MSP James Kelly
bbc
Labour MSP James Kelly

Mr Kelly says this is a time to be bold as a parliament and look at the powers that are there at our disposal.

The Labour MSP says it is time to stand up for communities and reject the motion on the table and reopen budget discussions. 

'The Greens were bought off very cheaply'

Mr Kelly says the SNP government has "gone week at the knees" at using the tax powers available to it. 

The Labour MSP says there are "contradictory positions" on the SNP benches.

He says he is puzzled by the Greens approach to this because they have consistently argued for higher tax rates for top end earners. 

"The Greens were bought off very cheaply," he says.

Mr Kelly says surely it would be better to reject this proposal. 

Scottish Greens Co-convener Patrick Harvie intervenes to say that would result in more public service cuts.

Mr Kelly says it would have been better to reject the proposal and return to negotiate further for less cuts.