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Summary

  1. The Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee took evidence on homelessness in Scotland.
  2. MSPs questioned finance ministers during portfolio questions.
  3. Working Together, Progressive Workplace Policies in Scotland ministerial statement.
  4. Nicola Sturgeon led the welfare debate.
  5. 'A Message for Dearest Scotland' member's debate

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Carol Duncan

All times stated are UK

  1. Post update

    Parliament is now adjourned. Thank you for joining us for our coverage of Holyrood today, we're back at 9:30am tomorrow morning with the Equal Opportunities Committee looking at homelessness.

  2. Post update

    Fiona Hyslop

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop congratulates the Dearest Scotland organisers.

  3. Post update

    Bill Kidd

    SNP MSP Bill Kidd's member's debate is the final item of business at Holyrood today.

  4. Post update

    Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop is closing the member's debate on Dearest Scotland.

  5. Post update

    Anne McTaggart, Scottish Labour MSP for Glasgow, is quoting from a 'Dearest Scotland' letter.

  6. Post update

    Dearest Scotland is based in Glasgow Clyde College and run from the Cardonald campus.

  7. Members' Business: A message for dearest Scotland

    SNP MSP Bill Kidd is leading a member's debate called the 'A message for dearest Scotland' campaign.

    The campaign was set up to allow the opportunity for people of all ages, from across Scotland and beyond, to write a love letter to Scotland.

  8. Welfare motion passed

    The motion from Nicola Sturgeon is passed with 65 MSPs voting for it and 44 against.

  9. Post update

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone's amendment also fell with 17 MSPs backing it and 92 against.

  10. Post update

    MSPs did not pass the amendment from Labour's Jackie Baillie with 27 MSPs voting for it and 82 voting against.

  11. Decision time

    MSPs are voting on amendments and the motion from the welfare debate.

  12. Post update

    Ms Burgess concludes by saying the only way to get a welfare and social security system that is fair is to vote "Yes" in the referendum.

  13. Post update

    Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess

    The minister begins by criticising Labour saying "the reality is they support the Tory welfare system".

  14. Post update

    Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess is closing the debate.

  15. Post update

    Mr McMahon, the Welfare Reform Committee convener says welfare reform is having a disgracefully disproportionate impact on Scotland's disabled people.

  16. Post update

    Labour MSP Michael McMahon

    Labour MSP Michael McMahon is delivering his party's closing speech.

  17. Post update

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

    Mr Fraser says if the other parties believe in welfare reform they must reveal their proposals for cutting the welfare budget.

  18. Post update

    Murdo Fraser is closing for the Scottish Conservatives.

  19. Post update

    Labour MSP Siobhan McMahon says for too many people the benefits system has failed them.

  20. Post update

    Alison Johnstone MSP

    Scottish Green MSP Alison Johnstone points out that women are being hit disproportionately by welfare reforms.

  21. Post update

    SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn tells the chamber "We know Scotland can afford a better system" of welfare.

  22. Post update

    Alex Rowley

    Mr Rowley says " We must be tough on poverty and tough on the causes of poverty."

  23. Post update

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley is making his speech.

  24. Post update

    Next up is SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing.

  25. Post update

    Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur says: "This debate is not really about welfare, its all about the referendum."

  26. Post update

    It is now the turn of SNP MSP John Mason to have the floor.

  27. Post update

    Ken MacIntosh is the first Scottish Labour MSP to speak in open debate.

  28. Post update

    SNP MSP Kevin Stewart is first to speak after the opening speeches, calling the UK government's welfare reforms "horrendous".

  29. Post update

    The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) began a rollout of the PIP in Scotland in January. Existing claimants of the disability living allowance (DLA) have been assessed for their eligibility for the PIP.

  30. Post update

    Alex Johnstone

    Mr Johnstone says the change in disability benefits will actually benefit some 90,000 Scots who are most disabled and a significant part of the 100,000 moving from disability living allowance will go on to Universal Credit.

  31. Post update

    Scottish Conservative welfare spokesman Alex Johnstone is calling for support of the UK government's welfare reform.

  32. Post update

    "No costs, no detail, just vague promises of how it will all be better", is the summation of the Scottish government's welfare plans according to Jackie Baillie.

  33. Post update

    Ms Baillie says it is "criminal" if the Scottish government do not use the powers they have at the moment and accuses it of having an "obsession" with independence.

  34. Post update

    Jackie Baillie

    Scottish Labour welfare spokesperson Jackie Baillie says she "will take no lessons from Nicola Sturgeon" as she can not tell us what currency the benefits will be paid in, in an independent Scotland.

  35. Post update

    Only with the full powers of independence can the UK government welfare cuts be halted says Ms Sturgeon.

  36. Post update

    The deputy first minister says that by 2018, thousands of disability living allowance (DLA) claimants in Scotland will lose some or all of their disability benefits as a result of the replacement of DLA with the personal independence payment.

  37. Post update

    Ms Sturgeon says an additional 100,000 children will be pushed into poverty, after housing costs, by 2020 as a result of Westminster policies.

  38. Post update

    A "No vote" will mean "we will be unable to stop the rise in poverty that Westminster polices will bring", with the vulnerable hit worst says the deputy first minister.

  39. Post update

    Nicola Sturgeon

    Ms Sturgeon says it is a "democratic outrage" that the so-called "bedroom tax" was introduced in Scotland and calls for the powers to abolish it.

  40. Post update

    Go to today's BBC Scotland story on welfare here.

  41. DWP line

    The DWP has claimed: "The majority of existing DLA claimants won't be re-assessed until 2015 or later, after DWP has considered the findings of the first independent review in 2014."

  42. Background

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has claimed more than 100,000 people in Scotland will lose disability benefits under UK-wide welfare changes

    Ms Sturgeon said the personal independence payment, which replaces disability living allowance, would result in thousands losing benefits.

  43. Post update

    The final question to Ms Constance comes from Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

  44. Post update

    Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP will be leading the debate.

  45. Coming up

    Coming up next: The Scottish government led debate on welfare.

  46. STUC comment

    Outwith the chamber, Grahame Smith, STUC General Secretary and member of the Working Together Review Group has said:

    "Having considered the evidence from Scotland and elsewhere, the Review Group, made up of unions, employers and academics, is convinced that the challenges we face and the opportunities available in Scotland are more likely to be addressed successfully in an environment where unions play their full part in economic, social and civil life, mirroring the norm in many successful social democratic countries.

    "I hope that the findings of the review will dispel some of the myths about the role of unions today and the nature of industrial relations in Scotland and will provoke action by government, employers and unions that will develop and extend the considerable amount of good practice that already exists to fully realises the many benefits to be gained by workers, and organisations in the private, public and third sector in Scotland."

  47. Post update

    Ms Constance says the government is investing more in education than any previous government and defends the target of reducing young people's unemployment by 40%.

  48. Post update

    Labour MSP Jenny Marra says it is difficult to square the laudable words of the government on vocational training and its funding choices, with regard to colleges.

  49. Post update

    The review was chaired by former Enterprise Minister Jim Mather MSP, and makes recommendations on:

    • Opportunities for innovation in the workplace which will enhance productivity, workplace development and build more secure and resilient labour market;
    • Existing good practice, the benefits good workplace relations deliver and how they might be more widely adopted and secured;
    • Opportunities to promote collective bargaining, workplace democracy, diversity and equality, including the participation of women.
  50. Post update

    Angela Constance

    Angela Constance is addressing the chamber.

  51. Post update

    The review brought trade unions, businesses and academics to work together with the Scottish government to try to create better working environments.

  52. Review publication

    Ms Constance welcomes the publication of the independent review of workplace policies.

  53. Ministerial statement

    Training, Youth and Women's Employment Secretary Angela Constance is making a ministerial statement on "Working together, progressive workplace policies in Scotland".

  54. Coming next

    A ministerial statement on "Working together, progressive workplace policies in Scotland" follows shortly.

  55. Post update

    John Swinney

    Finance Secretary John Swinney is taking questions from MSPs.

  56. Post update

    Will the Scottish government provide an update on its position on the set-up costs for an independent Scotland, asks Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes.

  57. Post update

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says the arguments and advantages around a currency union are well stated and plain to see.

  58. Post update

    SNP MSP James Dornan asks about the comments by the former RBS chief executive and chairman, Sir George Mathewson, that the Better Together campaign's claims on banking and currency in an independent Scotland are "nonsense".

  59. Likely questions

    Here, from the Scottish Parliament's Business Bulletin, are today's questions:

    Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth

    1. Margaret McCulloch: [Not Lodged]

    2. Roderick Campbell: To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to address demographic impacts on the economy in an independent Scotland. (S4O-03462)

    3. Lewis Macdonald: To ask the Scottish Government whether the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth has allocated sufficient budget to meet in full the costs of revenue funding arising from capital investment in the proposed new cancer centre and women's hospital in Aberdeen. (S4O-03463)

    4. Dennis Robertson: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Scottish Enterprise annual review for 2013-14. (S4O-03464)

    5. Kezia Dugdale: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the recent report by Fiscal Affairs Scotland. (S4O-03465)

    6. Mark McDonald: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the N56 report on oil and gas. (S4O-03466)

    7. James Dornan: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the comments by the former RBS chief executive and chairman, Sir George Mathewson, that the Better Together campaign's claims on banking and currency in an independent Scotland are "nonsense". (S4O-03467)

    8. Margaret McDougall: [Not Lodged]

    9. Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on its position on the set-up costs for an independent Scotland. (S4O-03469)

    10. Colin Beattie: To ask the Scottish Government what progress it has made in its discussions with the UK Government regarding reinstating coal levies to Scotland. (S4O-03470)

    11. Kenneth Gibson: To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the latest figures from the Scottish Index of Manufactured Exports, which show that there has been strong growth in Scottish-manufactured exports over the last year. (S4O-03471)

    12. Colin Keir: To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of future local government finance following the result of the referendum. (S4O-03472)

    13. Claire Baker: [Not Lodged]

    14. Graeme Dey: To ask the Scottish Government what information it has regarding the recent discoveries of oil and gas in the west of Shetland area. (S4O-03474)

    15. George Adam: To ask the Scottish Government what the impact on tourism has been of the various events across the country in 2014. (S4O-03475)

    16. Alex Johnstone: To ask the Scottish Government what steps the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth will take to ensure that sufficient funding is directed to the Help to Buy scheme so that it can meet demand. (S4O-03476)

    17. Annabelle Ewing: To ask the Scottish Government what impact the UK Government's proposed renewal of Trident will have on Scotland's public finances. (S4O-03477)

    18. Stewart Stevenson: To ask the Scottish Government what use is being made of the Business Tourism Bid Fund. (S4O-03478)

    19. Kevin Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government what analysis it has undertaken of the potential effect of the UK Government's bareboat charter tax on the oil and gas industry. (S4O-03479)

    20. Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Government whether the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth plans to have discussions with BAE systems in Glasgow Anniesland. (S4O-03480)

  60. Portfolio questions

    Before that we have portfolio questions, which will begin shortly and this week Finance Secretary John Swinney will be fielding the questions.

  61. Welcome

    Welcome back to our coverage of Holyrood, with the Scottish government led debate on welfare set to dominate the afteroon's proceedings.

  62. Coming up later

    That ends our coverage of the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee, you can watch the whole committee again, later today, by visiting BBC Scotland's Democracy Live .

  63. Post update

    The committee is now in private session.

  64. Post update

    MSPs agreed to write to the Scottish government to ask about what progress had been made on further guidance on the petition on blacklisting.

  65. Democracy Live: Public Petitions Committee

    You can view the evidence session of the petitioners here.

  66. Coming up

    The committee will consider a petition by Pat Rafferty, Harry Donaldson, and Harry Frew on behalf of Unite, GMB, & UCATT, on blacklisting in Scotland, Petition: PE1481.

  67. Post update

    The committee is suspended briefly to allow the witnesses to leave.

  68. Post update

    Increasing numbers of young families and families in general are spending time in the private rented sector, with less security of tenancy, says Rosemary Brotchie.

  69. Post update

    Scottish Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone asks about the proportion of homelessness applicants coming from the private rented sector.

  70. Post update

    Rosemary Brotchie of Shelter Scotland says homeless hubs have: "worked very well but is not enough on its own. We need strong national standards too".

  71. Post update

    The possible removal of housing benefit from people under 25 is causing "serious concern" to the witnesses.

  72. Post update

    Stopping people from becoming homeless can save thousands of pounds for local authorities, says Garry Burns.

  73. Post update

    SNP MSP Jim Eadie is asking about the dissemination of good practice across the country.

  74. Post update

    Ms Brotchie said: "We want to see national standards for temporary accommodation that all local authorities have to follow".

  75. Post update

    The "bedroom tax" has not helped the growth in the use of temporary accommodation, according to Robert Aldridge from Homelessness Action Scotland.

  76. Post update

    Labour MSP Mark Griffin is asking about the changes since the abolition of priority need in homelessness.

  77. Homelessness evidence session

    Homelessness evidence session

    Witnesses

    Witnesses giving evidence to the Infrastructure and Capital Investment Committee on homelessness in Scotland.

  78. Post update

    SNP MSP Maureen Watt, the committee convener, is putting the questions now.

  79. Post update

    Rosemary Brotchie: "In rural and island areas the options are very different" and went to say: "we need an understanding of options based on local understanding".

  80. Post update

    Garry Burns from the Govan Law Centre says there is "always a massive waiting list for young people".

  81. Post update

    Mr Aldridge said: "We want to ensure that housing options are interpreted the same way across Scotland".

  82. Post update

    Scottish Labour MSP Mary Fee asks how the practice of helping the homeless can be improved.

  83. Post update

    Rosemary Brotchie of Shelter Scotland says: "We need to look at the way service is delivered to make sure it's person-centred".

  84. Post update

    The focus of the discussion at the moment is on the definition of whether someone is "intentionally homeless".

  85. Post update

    Rosemary Brotchie from Shelter Scotland says homelessness is a serious crisis in people's lives and on the whole can be prevented.

  86. Post update

    SNP MSP Adam Ingram is now asking questions.

  87. Post update

    Garry Burns from Govan Law Centre and Rob Gowans from Citizens Advice Scotland have also given evidence now.

  88. Post update

    Rosemary Brotchie from Shelter Scotland is beginning her evidence.

  89. Post update

    Robert Aldridge from Homelessness Action Scotland fields the first question.

  90. Referendum campaign

    Fiona King
    Image caption: This latest campaign is the third time Shelter Scotland and the Electoral Commission have teamed up

    Homeless people in Scotland are being urged to register to vote ahead of September's independence referendum.

    The campaign - launched by Shelter Scotland and the Electoral Commission - targets the homeless, as well as people living in rented or temporary accommodation.

  91. Shelter Scotland submission

    According to the Shelter Scotland submission to the committee: From 2010-11 to 2013-14 there has been a 34% reduction in the number of homeless applications in Scotland.

    The charity says this marked decrease can be linked to the introduction of the Housing Options model and a renewed preventative approach adopted by councils, rather than any significant change in the underlying causes of homelessness.

  92. Post update

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of the Scottish Parliament.