Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. The Finance and Constitution Committee takes evidence from Brexit Minister Mike Russell on the EU Withdrawal Bill
  2. The Local Government Committee will take evidence from young people who have experienced homelessness
  3. Justice and the law officers ministers and culture tourism and external affairs ministers take portfolio questions
  4. Scottish Labour lead a debate on finance calling for income tax increases to allow more investment in public services
  5. SNP MSP Linda Fabiani leads this evening's member's debate on fighting for tax jobs in HMRC centres

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live

Holyrood
PA

That's all from Holyrood Live for Wednesday 20 September 2017.

We'll be back tomorrow.

Have a good night.

Local communities will be affected by the closures

Jamie Hepburn
BBC

Mr Hepburn says local communities will be affected by the closures.

The employability minister says the PCS reports questions whether the tax office in Scotland should become the legislative responsibility of the Scottish government and he would support that.

He says he welcomes the PCS report and it is unfortunate that they have had to do so.

Minster thanks the PCS union for its report on HMRC plans

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn says the second largest single site affected is located in his own constituency.

Mr Hepburn thanks the PCS for the report they have laid before the Scottish and UK governments.

He says Bill Bowan's contribution to the debate was extraordinary as to suggest the PCS report was extreme is one of the most extraordinary things he has ever heard in his time at Holyrood.

Mr Hepburn says PCS is representing its members not presenting a radical agenda.

Review must be questioned due to the loss of tax expertise

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn
BBC

Employability Minister Jamie Hepburn says he regrets that this debate is necessary.

Mr Hepburn says there is almost cross-party consensus on this issue.

The employability minister says he would not disagree that HMRC has the right to review its business model but it must be questioned when it will result in the loss of tax expertise.

Tory MSP Graham Simpson says what he is saying is that it is right to allow any organisation to review its business model but he disagrees with the outcome of that review.

Mr Hepburn says he does accept that is what Mr Simpson was saying and he accepts there is a difference between his contribution and Mr Bowman's.

Tory MSP says language in motion and PCS report is 'extreme and the tone hostile'

Tory MSP Bill Bowman
bbc
Tory MSP Bill Bowman

Tory MSP Bill Bowman says HMRC employs over 500 people in Dundee, but unfortunately it will close one office in the city.

Mr Bowman says it is perfectly reasonable for HMRC to look at how it operates and review its business model.

SNP MSP Clare Haughey intervenes to ask if it is perfectly reasonable how HMRC have been treating staff.

He says it is right to raise questions about the process and and about areas of concern.

Mr Bowman says the language in the motion and the PCS report is political and is "extreme and the tone hostile".

Too late for jobs in the Highlands

SNP MSP Maree Todd
BBC

SNP MSP Maree Todd says she wishes PCS all the best in their negotiations with HMRC but unfortunately it is too late for the jobs in the Highlands.

Ms Todd says the nearest offices to her will be Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast.

The SNP MSP says she hopes the folk of East Kilbride can be spared the human cost of this centralisation and if so it will give some comfort to their colleagues in the north.

'Dismantling Our Future'

Green MSP Alison Johnstone
bbc
Green MSP Alison Johnstone

Green MSP Alison Johnstone says the HMRC proposals should be called "Dismantling our Future" not "Building our Future".

Ms Johnstone says: "The lack of consultation is quite frankly breath taking."

She says the health and wellbeing of staff has been completely disregarded.

There are no SNP members in the PCS parliamentary group

Labour MSP Neil Findlay
BBC

Labour MSP Neil Findlay says the UK government's policy is impacted communities from Wick to Brighton.

"You don't build the future by destroying a vital public service," he says.

Mr Findlay says the consequences for closures in West Lothian will be "grim."

The Labour MSP says public sector jobs are being decimated across the board because of UK government measures compounded by Scottish government measures.

He says there are no SNP members in the PCS parliamentary group.

Tory MSP the plan to close the East Kilbride centre by 2025 is misguided

Tory MSP Graham Simpson
bbc
Tory MSP Graham Simpson

Tory MSP Graham Simpson says he lives in East Kilbride and says he was instrumental in setting up the East Kilbride Taskforce when he was a councillor.

Mr Simpson says the huge HMRC set up in East Kilbride is going to be shut down and he says he will back any campaign keep it there but will only observe banner waving.

He says the plan to close the East Kilbride centre by 2025 is misguided.

17 offices closed will be replaced by just two regional office

SNP MSP Clare Haughey
BBC

SNP MSP Clare Haughey says the 17 offices closed will be replaced by just two regional office affecting hundreds of jobs in East Kilbride.

Ms Haughey says tax collection and administration of the system will be disrupted.

The SNP MSP says the under staffing of HMRC is one of the reasons for tax avoidance.

'Stay in EK'

Linda Fabiani
bbc

Ms Fabiani says the same respect should be shown to Scotland and to East Kilbride as has been shown to other tax offices in the UK.

She calls HMRC plans are wrong headed and she asks the Scottish government to urge the UK government not to carry on regardless but to respect the call to "Stay in EK"

Background: HMRC to move in Edinburgh office deal

HMRC
PA

The UK government is to relocate 2,900 civil servants to a new hub in Edinburgh city centre by 2020.

Staff from departments, including HMRC, will move to the New Waverley development, near the city's main train station.

The move is part of plans to reduce the number of HMRC offices in Scotland to two.

Ministers announced last year that 170 tax offices across the UK would be replaced with 13 regional centres.

Read more here.

'The plans are wrongheaded and disrespectful to our town'

Linda Fabiani
BBC

Ms Fabiani says, as far as East Kilbride is concerned, there has been no impact assessment.

The SNP MSP says one in four jobs in East Kilbride will be affected if plans go ahead and there will be a hit to the local economy.

She says there are concerns that these plans will cause disruption to HMRC's business.

Ms Fabiani says to stay in EK is not event an option that is being considered.

"The plans are wrongheaded and disrespectful to our town," she says.

Background: Major job losses with HMRC Scottish office closures

HMRC
PA

In November 2015 we reported that HMRC plans to consolidate its UK network of offices in a move which could see more than 2,000 jobs lost in Scotland.

More than 8,000 were then employed at the agency's 18 Scottish offices, including major centres in Dundee, Cumbernauld and East Kilbride.

HMRC said by 2021, a maximum of 6,300 staff would be based at new regional centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

A smaller unit will be retained at the national crime campus in Gartcosh.

Read more here.

'East Kilbride is being dumped'

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani
BBC

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani welcomes the PCS report 'Fighting for Tax Jobs, Fighting for Tax Justice'.

Ms Fabiani says she does not welcome that this debate is required due to the UK government slashing tax expertise from offices including those in East Kilbride.

"East Kilbride is being dumped," she says.

She says it is all very well to make assumptions about staff being able to relocate to central offices in Glasgow but there has been no attempt by HMRC or the UK government to consider the logistics.

Fighting for Tax Jobs, Fighting for Tax Justice

HMRC
Getty Images

SNP MSP Linda Fabiani uses her motion to welcome the PCS report, Fighting for Tax Jobs, Fighting for Tax Justice.

Ms Fabiani highlights the view that UK government's Building Our Future plans will seriously damage Scotland’s economy by:

  • undermining its capacity to collect taxes effectively
  • decimating and destroying a skilled and experienced workforce
  • overestimating the benefits and underestimating the costs of digitisation
  • failing to take account of the challenges posed by Brexit
  • neglecting the support needs of the most vulnerable in society, including poor, disabled and older people
  • affecting disproportionately communities such as East Kilbride, which it believes will bear the heaviest job losses and knock-on effects for the local economy

Here is the motion. for the debate 'Fighting for tax jobs, fighting for tax justice'

Motion
Scottish Parliament

BreakingThe Labour motion on income tax is agreed to

The Labour motion is agreed to with 33 MSPs backing it, 30 against and with 61 abstentions.

Labour motion
Scottish Parliament

The Lib Dem amendment is not agreed to

The Lib Dem amendment is not agreed to with 5 MSPs backing it 59 against and with 60 abstentions.

Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Green amendment is not agreed to

The Green amendment is not agreed to with 6 MSPs backing it, 58 against and with 60 abstentions.

Green amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Tory amendment is not agreed to

The Tory amendment is not agreed to with 30 MSPs backing it and 94 against.

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

The government amendment is not agreed to

The government amendment is not agreed to with 61 MSPs backing it and 63 against.

Gov amendment
Scottish Parliament

Decision time

We now move to decision time.

'It is a case of answers on a postcard to Derek Mackay care of St Andrew's house'

James Kelly
BBC

Mr Kelly says the reality is that Derek Mackay has "an army full of civil servants" but he is looking to other parties for ideas on tax.

"It is a case of answers on a postcard to Derek Mackay care of St Andrew's house," he says.

The Labour MSP says the Tories would quite happily cut taxes back to the bare minimum because they are not interested in investing in public services.

Mr Kelly says the way to cut the skills gap is to invest more in schools and education.

He says this is a debate about what sort of country we want Scotland to be.

Lack of fairness around taxation policies being looked at by the SNP says Kelly

Labour MSP James Kelly says there is a real issue about the fairness aspect of the taxation policies being pursued by the SNP government.

He says millionaires are only paying £2 more in tax a week.

The Labour MSP says there is a lack of fairness around the taxation policies being looked at by the SNP.

SNP MSP Joan McAlpine asks why Labour councils have not raised council tax rates to address the issues he describes.

Mr Kelly hits back saying councils all across Scotland have faced £170m of cumulative cuts because of the votes of the SNP benches here today.

Government 'sitting on the fence'

Labour MSP James Kelly
BBC

Labour MSP James Kelly says what we raise in taxes has a direct impact on public services.

Mr Kelly says most of the parties have set out their position but it has been disappointing that the government are "sitting on the fence."

The Labour MSP says the SNP have "backed out" from answering the question.

There is still an opportunity to oppose the dodgy DUP deal and austerity says minister

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
bbc
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

Mr Mackay says the government should be involved in an evidence based debate on taxation as the SNP manifesto proposal would not win on a vote due to the minority government.

The finance secretary says there is still an opportunity to oppose the dodgy DUP deal and austerity ahead of the UK budget.

The relationship between tax in the UK and tax in Scotland is important

Mr Mackay says the relationship between tax in the UK and tax in Scotland is important.

The finance secretary asks if it is still the Conservative position to cut taxes for the rich.

Minister says it is important that the impacts of tax proposals are understood

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
bbc
Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay says over the course of the last budget he found over £900m of extra expenditure on Scotland's public services.

Mr Mackay says the opposition parties called on him to listen to their positions on tax and now they are saying how dare the SNP listen to the opposition parties on tax.

He says it is important that the impacts of tax proposals are understood so his discussion paper will be evidence based.

Labour MSP Johaan Lamont asks if now the minister is willing to enter into a fair debate that he accepts it was not fair before and she calls on him to apologise.

Mr Mackay says there was a serious debate on how to use Scotland's powers and how to give stability to the Scottish economy.

Growing the Scottish economy will generate more taxes

Dean Lockhart
BBC

Mr Lockhart says growing the Scottish economy will generate more taxes.

The Tory MSP says a higher tax rate in Scotland could result in some taking their business elsewhere.