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Summary

  1. The Justice Committee takes evidence on the Offensive Behaviour at Football Repeal Bill
  2. Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse announces an "effective ban" on fracking
  3. The government will seek Holyrood's endorsement for the ban in a vote following the October recess
  4. Education Secretary John Swinney gives a statement on education reform
  5. The Scottish government leads a debate on the roll-out of Universal Credit

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Colin Bell

All times stated are UK

Goodnight from Holyrood Live

Holyrood
PA

That brings an end to our coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday 3 October 2017.

We will be back tomorrow morning at 10am as the Education Committee takes evidence on the Children and Young People (Information Sharing) Bill.

Have a good night.

Scotland has made significant progress in land reform

Roseanna Cunningham
BBC

Ms Cunningham says Scotland has made significant progress in land reform and a collaborative approach will drive this forward.

The land reform secretary says funding has been approved for 40 groups which shows there is a drive for community ownership across Scotland.

She says the land fund is important but that funding comes from other sources such as HIE and the Big Lottery Fund.

Ms Cunningham says the government want to encourage a more diverse picture of land ownership.

UPSUM: Holyrood demands the immediate halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit

Holyrood has demanded the immediate halt to the roll-out of Universal Credit -- claiming its damaging recipients.

The SNP, Labour, the Greens and the Liberal Democrats all backed the motion -- with the Conservatives voting against.

During the debate, the Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman argued the policy was "fundamentally flawed" and was delivered with "incompetence".

However, the Tory MSP Adam Tomkins said it was the "right thing to pursue" as the current system trapped people in poverty.

Minister says she is absolutely passionate about land reform

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham
bbc
Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham

Land Reform Secretary Roseanna Cunningham congratulates the Garbh Allt Community Initiative.

Ms Cunningham commends the Sutherland estate and says once apon a time she would never have considered that.

She says land refom is important to the Scottish government.

The land reform minister says she is absolutely passionate about land reform.

Reaction of GACI chairwoman

Last June, with the funding secured, Anne Fraser, chairwoman of the Garbh Allt Community Initiative (GACI) said: "We are absolutely delighted to have secured this funding from Beatrice.

"We will now be moving forwards with the owner, Sutherland Estates, to complete the purchase.

"We are excited that we can, at last, put our plans into action."

She added: "We will soon be advertising for a development officer and we will be holding information events in the area to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to hear what we're proposing and to have their say in the plans for the future of the GACI area."

Helmsdale owners excited to invest in the land

Maree Todd
BBC

Ms Todd says new owners are really excited to invest in the land and make it a more attractive place to live.

The SNP MSP says this buyout just outside Helmsdale is of historical significance given the violent evictions of many during the Highland clearances.

She says while the Helmsdale buyout is small, it will hopefully lead to an expansion and she looks forward to a bright future in community ownership.

Importance of example of Isle of Eigg highlighted

Eigg was taken over by its residents in a community buyout 20 years ago
bbc
Eigg was taken over by its residents in a community buyout 20 years ago

SNP MSP Maree Todd says she will focus on the Garbh Allt Community Initiative.

Ms Todd agrees with her colleague Kate Forbes about the importance of Eigg's example on increasing the population of the island.

Eigg has more than 100 residents for the first time in the tiny island's recent history.

A baby born in January is among the people to have helped push the population up to 105 this year.

In 1997, when islanders made their historic community buyout of Eigg after years of issues with absentee landlords, there were 64 people.

Eigg is one of the Small Isles, which lie south of Skye. The other islands are Rum, Muck and Canna.

Read more here.

Government targets one million acres of land to be community owned by 2020

SNP MSP Maree Todd
BBC

SNP MSP Maree Todd says Scotland's land is one of our greatest assets and it is only right everyone benefits from it.

Ms Todd says Scotland's land is currently owned by too few people.

The SNP MSP says community ownership of land can reap benefits.

She says people living on community owned land feel more empowered and the government targets one million acres of land to be community owned by 2020.

Garbh Allt Community Initiative

Ms Todd uses her motion to celebrate the Garbh Allt Community Initiative achieving its funding target for a community buy-out of the Sutherland Estate land at Portgower, Gartymore, West Helmsdale and Marrel, as well as the hill land.

She says this is of historic significance as these townships only came into existence following people being cleared from the Strath of Kildonan.

The SNP MSP congratulates the Countess of Sutherland and the members of the community initiative on getting funding from both the Scottish Land Fund and the Beatrice Partnership Fund for the buy-out.

Background: Community to buy out 3,000 acres in Sutherland

Directors of the community group GACI
GACI
Directors of the community group GACI

The final tranche of funding has been secured for a community buyout of 3,000 acres of land in Sutherland.

Garbh Allt Community Initiative (GACI) is to purchase Marrel, West Helmsdale, Gartymore and Portgower common grazing townships.

Common grazings are traditionally areas of land shared by crofters to raise livestock.

The initiative has secured £29,918 in matched funding from a fund linked to a massive offshore wind farm project.

The £6m Beatrice Partnership Fund is related to the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited (Bowl), a renewable energy scheme being constructed in the Outer Moray Firth at a cost of £2.6bn.

Garbh Allt Community Initiative debate

SNP MSP Maree Todd will now lead a debate celebrating the Garbh Allt Community Initiative reaching its funding target.

Here is Ms Todd's motion.

The motion for the debate
Scottish Parliament

The government motion on the rollout of UC as amended is agreed to

The government motion on the rollout of Universal Credit, as amended, is agreed to with 75 MSPs backing it and with 23 against.

Government motion
Scottish Parliament
Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament
Green amendment
Scottish Parliament
Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Lib Dem amendment is agreed to

The Lib Dem amendment is agreed to with 75 MSPs backing it and 23 against.

Lib Dem amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Green amendment is agreed to

The Green amendment is agreed to with 75 MSPs backing it and 23 against.

Green amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Labour UC amendment is agreed to

The Labour Universal Credit amendment is agreed to with, 75 MSPs backing it and 23 against.

Labour amendment
Scottish Parliament

The Tory UC amendment is not agreed to

The Tory Universal Credit amendment is not agreed to, with 23 MSPs backing it and 75 against.

Tory amendment
Scottish Parliament

Decision time

MSPs will now vote on the motion and amendments from the Scottish government debate on the rollout of Universal Credit.

Minister concludes calling for the halt of the rollout of Universal Credit

Ms Freeman says the list of organisations saying loud and clear that Universal Credit should be paused until the problem fixed, is ignored in the Tory amendment.

The minister says as Holyrood votes to halt the rollout of Universal Credit will the Scottish Conservatives put the people first.

Ms Freeman is told off for a second time for using the word "you" repeatedly.

She concludes calling for the halt of the rollout of Universal Credit.

Minister says Tories not recognising system flaws

Jeane Freeman
BBC

Ms Freeman says if Mr Balfour is genuinely concerned about moving disabled people into work then he will oppose cuts to employment support and mobility vehicles.

The social security minister says she is certain Mr Briggs is a very nice man but he failed to address the point that there are systemic flaws in the current system.

Presiding Officer Ken Macintosh asks the minister to stop referring to members as "you" and to use their titles.

Government supports the Labour, Green and Lib Dem UC amendments

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman says she does support a genuine simplified system that is genuinely accessible and helps people into work.

Ms Freeman says the UK government's welfare system aims to save money on the backs of those who can least afford it.

She says she will support the Labour, Green and Lib Dem amendments.

'Social security should be there to help and support when needed'

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman
BBC

Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman says the debate has heard from real evidence of constituents struggling with this system.

Ms Freeman says the DWP have admitted that one in four new claimants wait longer than six weeks.

"Social security should be there to help and support when needed," she says, adding that it should never penalise.

The social security minister says she is happy to support the Labour and Lib Dem amendments.

Claimants will get a payment on the same day in the case of an emergency says Tory MSP

money
Getty Images

Tory MSP Maurice Golden says now claimants will get a payment on the same day in the case of an emergency.

Mr Golden says he was pleased to hear Work and Pensions Secretary David Gauke say he would not rush UC.

Benefit claimants struggling to pay their bills will be able to get cash advances upfront, Mr Gauke has said.

He said he recognised concerns that people moving on to Universal Credit had to wait six weeks to be paid.

The UK minister told the Conservative conference those needing a cash advance would get one within five days - or on the same day in emergency cases.

But he said he was committed to the system and its rollout would go ahead.

'It is no longer sufficient just to offer criticisms and this parliament must offer solutions'

SNP MSP Maree Todd asks if the member believes terminally ill people are better off working.

Mr Golden says the member does herself a disservice in bringing that up.

The Tory MSP says his party have supported the changes to make the system better.

He says: "It is no longer sufficient just to offer criticisms and that this parliament must offer solutions."

Mr Golden says it is only right to recognise that the UK government are looking for solutions.

Tory MSP says 'we are all in agreement over the underlying aim of Universal Credit'

Tory MSP Maurice Golden
bbc
Tory MSP Maurice Golden

Tory MSP Maurice Golden says: "We are all in agreement over the underlying aim of Universal Credit to get people of benefits into work and out of poverty."

Mr Golden says the strength of feeling is not strong across the chamber saying other parties are not present in great numbers.

Labour MSP Mark Griffin says many colleagues are in their offices dealing with concerns from constituents over UC.

Mr Golden says if they care about the issue they should be in the chamber

UC is a simpler system that encourages work and supports aspiration, he says.

'Universal Credit must be halted and redesigned'

Mr Griffin says there was an assurance given originally that no-one would be given a reduction in benefits because of this system.

The Labour MSP says he agrees with some of what Mr Tomkins says but the sincerity of work always pays would be more convincing if in-work-benefits were not being cut.

"Universal Credit must be halted and redesigned," he says.

Labour MSP says to continue rolling out UC is 'cruel and indefensible'

Labour MSP Mark Griffin
bbc
Labour MSP Mark Griffin

Labour MSP Mark Griffin says Universal Credit is policy designed with lofty ambitions with no basis in or knowledge of the people living with social security, surviving week to week.

Mr Griffin says CAS have reported a 15% increase in rent arrears due to UC.

He says there has been a big increase in people seeking advice on foodbanks.

The Labour MSP says the Tory government's plan to continue rolling out UC is cruel and indefensible.

'We really have to halt the rollout of this system'

Green MSP Alison Johnstone
BBC

Green MSP Alison Johnstone says her party will support the government motion and Labour and Lib Dem amendments.

Ms Johnstone calls on the Tories to say in closing how UC is going to help poverty.

The Green MSP says those who are terminally ill or even more vulnerable have to wait five weeks which is just "not good enough".

She says "we really have to halt the rollout of this system."

Ms Johnstone says payment must arrive at the proper time in order for the system to work, "we can and we must do better."

'We are harming people and its time to stop'

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

Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton says when social policy hurts those we seek to help we should pause and reflect.

Mr Cole-Hamilton says: "We are harming people and its time to stop."

He welcomes the government motion, the Labour and Green amendments.

The Lib Dem MSP says the Tories have been shown unequal to the task of rectifying the problems with the rollout of UC.

'Universal Credit is causing real and significant distress'

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson
BBC

SNP MSP Ben Macpherson says by assuming the worst in people by default UC causes harm and actually misses its aim.

Mr Macpherson says although UC might seem like a good idea, the way it is being rolled out is causing real problems.

The SNP MSP says rent arrears created because of UC has resulted in landlords advertising properties as "no UC".

He says: "Universal Credit is causing real and significant distress."

The worst wait reported for Universal Credit in East Lothian was six months

Labour MSP Iain Gray
BBC

Labour MSP Iain Gray says the idea of UC seems to have been around for a longtime and its development has been painfully slow.

Mr Gray says you would think the Tory government would have got it right and his constituency of East Lothian was one of the first in Scotland to roll it out.

The Labour MSP says for him the rollout has not seemed "painfully slow" but just painful.

He says the net affect of the change to UC is a reduction in living standards for the vast majority of those accessing the system.

Mr Gray says the worst wait reported for UC in East Lothian was six months.

Background: Universal Credit wait a key factor in rent arrears, says DWP report

Universal credit reaction: Citizens Advice and claimant

A five-week wait for Universal Credit has been a major factor in pushing some claimants into rent arrears, the government's own research has found.

Universal Credit merges six existing benefits into one and is being introduced gradually across the UK.

Citizens Advice has criticised the initial wait for payments, calling for a suspension in the roll-out.

But the government said monthly payments reflected the way many working people were paid.

Debate

Universal Credit combines existing benefits such as tax credits, housing benefit, income support, Jobseeker's Allowance, and employment and support allowance. By 2022, more than seven million households will receive Universal Credit - at least half of which will be in work.

A major rollout of the scheme begins soon, following a series of delays. The system was originally scheduled to be fully in place this year.

SNP MSP says continuing Universal Credit roll out is 'scandalous'

SNP MSP Maree Todd
bbc
SNP MSP Maree Todd

SNP MSP Maree Todd says if UC continues foodbanks won't be able to catch everyone that falls, according to the Trussell Trust.

Ms Todd says the Tories are just ignoring charity after charity calling for the halt to the rollout of UC.

She says this week the UK government's own backbenchers demanded the pause of the national rollout.

Ms Todd says: "What will it take for the UK government to finally notice the devastating impact that Universal Credit is having on people?"

She says it is "scandalous".

Background: Universal credit may 'take decades to perfect'

UC
BBC

The architect of the troubled universal credit (UC) system says it could take "decades" to get it working at its most effective level.

Lord Freud defended the system to MPs holding an urgent session over fresh concerns many claimants were being pushed into rent arrears and eviction.

UC collapses all benefits into one and is being rolled out in Britain.

Work and Pensions Committee chairman Frank Field said some claimants were having their lives wrecked by UC.

He challenged Lord Freud over his claim that many UC claimants who were in rent arrears after being transferred from old-style benefits had brought their arrears with them.

Read more here.

While everyone is calling for a halt, the UK government are accelerating UC

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill
BBC

Labour MSP Pauline McNeill says the way Universal Credit is being rolled out is pushing people into poverty.

Ms McNeill says she will vote with Scottish Labour interim leader Alex Rowley and the other parties in the chamber other than the Tories.

The Labour MSP says every member other than the Tories have called for the halt of this system so that it can be fixed.

She says lets see whether the five day payment resolves any of the issues because it is the only measure that has been brought forward.

Ms McNeill says, while everyone is calling for a halt, the UK government are accelerating Universal Credit.

Figures emerging show increases in rent arrears, crisis loans and the use of foodbanks

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie
BBC

SNP MSP Christina McKelvie asks what you do if you do not come from a family who can bail you out, saying your life descends into chaos.

Ms McKelvie says the figures emerging show increases in rent arrears, crisis loans and the use of foodbanks.

The SNP MSP says she has a constituent who is unable to leave his home and is reliant on various drugs. She says he cannot even leave his wheelchair and has been told to go and stack on supermarket shelves.

She says local authorities are picking up the pieces of people's lives using money which has been cut by Westminster.