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Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from us

    That concludes our coverage of the Scottish Parliament on 4 December 2014.

    Remember, you can watch all today's chamber proceedings and the Devolution Committee at your leisure this evening at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website.

    Holyrood at night
  2. 'Never ever tolerated'

    Ms Burgess concludes her speech by saying the message from this parliament should be loud and clear that domestic violence is never normal, never acceptable and never ever to be tolerated and justified.

    Abused woman

    The motion and amendments from the violence against women debate are unanimously agreed to at decision time.

  3. Government closing

    Housing and Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess says the chamber is united in condemning violence against women and searching for ways to tackle it.

    Ms Burgess praises the national organisations who support the victims.

    Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess
    Image caption: Welfare Minister Margaret Burgess

    She says the new first minister has committed to tackling gender inequality which can be the root cause of domestic abuse.

    The minister says: "We will always protect children who are in a family where there is domestic abuse."

    We have to a gendered analysis of violence against women, she says.

  4. Madonna criticised

    Ms Murray criticises "that silly exhibitionist Madonna, who apparently is taking her breasts out for photographers."

    Madonna
    Image caption: Madonna on tour two years ago

    "She does a total disservice to women by continuing to collude with that objectification of women.

    "That sort of behaviour needs to be condemned because it is doing women no good whatsoever."

  5. Sexual harassment

    Ms Murray says, shockingly, 59% of women aged 13 to 21 have experienced some form of sexual harassment.

  6. Labour closing

    Dr Elaine Murray praises the national advocacy and support agencies as well as the local groups many MSPs have mentioned.

    Ms Murray highlights Mr Matheson's motion, which commends the valuable contribution that voluntary and third sector organisations such as Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland and the Women's Support Project make to the shaping of Scotland's approach to violence against women.

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray
    Image caption: Labour MSP Elaine Murray

    It also praises the organisations for the vital support that they provide to women, children and young people who have experienced or are experiencing violence or abuse, and this year congratulates White Ribbon Scotland.

  7. Conservative closing

    Scottish Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon welcomes the tone in this consensual debate and says she is pleased the government has recognised the White Ribbon Campaign.

    In closing for the Conservatives, Ms Scanlon says the impact on children of witnessing domestic violence can be a wide range of serious problems and health issues.

    Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Mary Scanlon

    Most worryingly girls who witness domestic violence are more likely to pick a violent partner in the future, she says.

    What is being done to ensure that the children of domestic abuse victims are looked after, Ms Scanlon asks the cabinet secretary.

  8. White Ribbon Campaign

    MSPs from across the chamber have praised the White Ribbon Campaign which is run by a group of men "who know that there's never an excuse for violence against women".

    They pledge never to condone it, or to stand by when they know it's happening.

    "We're part of a worldwide movement. There are thousands of us. Join us. Stand with us."

  9. Catalogue of domestic abuse

    Cara Hilton replaced Ex-MSP Bill Walker after a by-election.

    Earlier this year Walker lost a bid to overturn his convictions for assaulting a woman during a catalogue of domestic abuse that earned him a jail sentence.

    Walker was jailed for 12 months last September after being found guilty of 23 assaults and one breach of the peace which spanned decades.

    Bill Walker

    His case was heard by three judges at the Appeal Court in Edinburgh.

    The 72-year-old was released from Dumfries Prison last month after serving six months of his sentence.

    Walker was jailed after he was found guilty of attacking three former wives, Maureen Traquair, Anne Gruber and Diana Walker and a teenage step-daughter.

  10. Cara Hilton

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton says "as MSP for Dunfermline I'm very conscious that I'm only here in Holyrood today because of the offences my predecessor committed against the women in his life".

    Labour MSP Cara Hilton
    Image caption: Labour MSP Cara Hilton

    She continues "and the fact that those women were finally brave enough to come forward and report the domestic abuse".

  11. Community Justice Bill

    Domestic abuse

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the Community Justice Bill which will include a consultation on creating a specific domestic abuse offence and an offence for revenge porn.

  12. Clare's father

    Clare Wood's father, Michael Brown, who is originally from Aberdeen, campaigned for the introduction of the law and welcomed the pilot's launch.

    He said: "It is not acceptable that domestic abuse exists in this day and age and the sooner people are helped to get out of that environment the better.

    Clare's father Michael Brown
    Image caption: Clare Wood's father Michael Brown

    "It not only affects the person who is being abused but their wider network including their parents, any children they may have and friends.

    "If Clare had known George Appleton's background she almost certainly wouldn't have become involved with him and if I had the knowledge I have now perhaps something could have been done and Clare would still be here today.

    "This scheme is another way to help people and I can only see it as a good thing. If it prevents just one child from growing up without a mother or a father it will be worth its weight in gold."

  13. Clare's law

    A scheme allowing people to find out whether their partner has a history of domestic violence, known as Clare's Law, is being piloted in Aberdeen and Ayrshire.

    Trials of the disclosure system began running from November.

    Clare Wood
    Image caption: Clare's Law is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in 2009

    It is named after Clare Wood, who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend in Salford, Greater Manchester, in 2009.

    A similar scheme was rolled out in England and Wales earlier this year.

    The Home Office said the pilots had provided more than 100 people with potentially life-saving information.

    Police recorded 60,080 incidents of domestic abuse in Scotland in 2012-13, up slightly from 59,847 in the previous year.

  14. Conservative view

    Conservative MSP Nanette Milne says women are still often portrayed as sexual objects, which is "not acceptable in 21st century".

    Ms Milne also makes reference to men who suffer domestic abuse and says "they are often forgotten because they are very much in the minority".

    Conservative MSP Nanette Milne
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Nanette Milne

    She also talks about female genital mutilation (FGM) and says it is "a brutal act of violence" and that she is appalled there has been no prosecutions in the nine years since the FGM Scotland Act 2005.

    The North East Scotland MSP concludes by saying she particularly welcomes Clare's law currently being piloted in Aberdeen.

  15. Dedication to murder victim

    Labour MSP Graeme Pearson dedicates his speech to a woman he met 43 years ago when he was still a police officer.

    Mr Pearson was director general of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency and also the head of the Violence Reduction Unit.

    The week before Christmas she was his first homicide inquiry.

    She had had the temerity to purchase Christmas presents for her children and her partner was so enraged he took off his shoes, put on boots and kicked her and stamped and punched her to death, says the Labour MSP

    Mr Pearson says in the 43 years since then there's been thousands of women in Scotland who have faced the same behaviour and died.

    Woman with head in hands

    In the last year we have records there were 60,000 incidents of domestic abuse in Scotland - women often suffer five times before the make official report he says.

    Mr Pearson raises the issue of domestic abuse cases being delayed in the courts and urges the cab sec to look at the reasons for these delays and ensure they are kept to a minimum.

  16. Labour's justice spokesperson Graeme Pearson

    Labour MSP Graeme Pearson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Graeme Pearson

    Labour MSP Graeme Pearson's amendment in full:

    Violence against Women-As an amendment to motion S4M-11789 in the name of Michael Matheson (Violence against Women), insert at end ", and encourages the Scottish Government to enhance its efforts to deal head-on with the prevailing culture, exacerbated by some media, music and internet content, which promotes the view of women as sexual objects rather than as human beings who are worthy of the same equal rights and respect as men".

  17. Revenge porn

    Justice Secretary Michael Matheson says the government is looking at creating a specific offence of domestic abuse which will enable our justice system better respond to abuse.

    Woman with head in hands
    Image caption: Women's aid charities have described revenge porn as being a form of domestic abuse

    The government will bring forward work to create a specific offence of revenge porn, a growing problem as social media becomes an integral part of Scottish life says Mr Matheson.

    He highlights the Scottish Women's Aid Stop Revenge Porn website.

    Scottish Women's Aid says it has become increasingly concerned about the use and abuse of technology to perpetrate domestic abuse.

    It is particularly concerned about the threat of or the actual distribution of sexual/intimate images.

    Commonly known as "revenge porn", it describes behaviour whereby images of a sexual/intimate nature are distributed non-consensually.

    In July, Scottish Women's Aid launched a website to raise awareness of revenge porn, the first of its kind in the UK.

  18. Equally Safe priorities

    Four key priorities are set out within the strategy:

    1. Scottish society embraces equality and mutual respect, and rejects all forms of violence against women and girls.

    2. Women and girls thrive as equal citizens: socially, culturally, economically and politically.

    3. Interventions are early and effective, preventing violence and maximising safety adn wellbeing of women and girls.

    4. Men desist from all forms of violence against women and girls and perpetrators of such violence receive a robust and effective response.

    While the strategy sets out some early commitments, it explains how a phased approach will help ensure that longer-term change is sustained.

  19. Equally Safe: Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls

    Equally Safe sets out Scotland's strategy to take action on all forms of violence against women and girls.

    While the overarching aim is to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls, it identifies key priority areas.

    Women looking scared

    While the strategy sets out some early commitments, it explains how a phased approach will help ensure that the longer-term change is sustained.

    The strategy has been produced by Scottish Government and COSLA, with input from key justice agencies (Police Scotland and COPFS) and from third sector agencies which support women.

    The overall aim of the strategy is to prevent and eradicate violence against women and girls, creating a strong and flourishing Scotland where all individuals are equally safe and respected, and where women and girls live free from such abuse - and the attitudes that help perpetuate it.

  20. Justice Secretary

    Justice Secretary Michael Matheson says it is "intolerable that violence against women is still a part of Scottish life".

    This debate is timely, he says, as it coincides with the annual 16 days of global action.

    Justice Secretary Michael Matheson
    Image caption: Justice Secretary Michael Matheson

    The aim of the 16 days of action is to raise awareness and trigger action to end the global scourge of violence against women and girls, the UN observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November.

    The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence which follow (ending on 10 December, Human Rights Day) are a chance to mobilize and raise awareness.

    Mr Matheson highlights the 365 days of action in Scotland , where "day in and day out police, prosecutors, courts and advocacy groups tackle the blight on our society that is violence against women".

  21. Violence against Women debate

    Justice Secretary Michael Matheson will now lead a debate focusing on violence against women.

    His motion is below, in full:

    S4M-11789 Michael Matheson: Violence against Women-That the Parliament affirms its commitment to ending violence against women and to supporting women, children and young people who are affected; supports the 24th year of the UN 16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence; welcomes the publication of Equally Safe, Scotland's strategy for preventing and eradicating violence against women and girls; endorses the inclusion of far-reaching priority actions in the programme for government to address domestic abuse and revenge pornography; welcomes the introduction of Police Scotland's pilot Disclosure Scheme for Domestic Abuse in Scotland; acknowledges the positive developments made collaboratively utilising partnerships across Police Scotland and the NHS and specialist services to eradicate honour-based violence, with the criminalisation of forced marriage and establishment of the Female Genital Mutilation Short-Life Working Group; commends the valuable contribution that voluntary and third sector organisations such as Scottish Women's Aid, Rape Crisis Scotland and the Women's Support Project make to the shaping of Scotland's approach to violence against women and for the vital support that they provide to women, children and young people who have experienced or are experiencing violence or abuse, and this year congratulates White Ribbon Scotland on its eighth anniversary of positive campaigning to ensure that men are part of Scotland's strategy to end gender-based violence.

    Man about to hit woman
    Image caption: MSPs debate how best to tackle violence against women
  22. Closing speech of human rights debate

    Independent MSP John Finnie, the Justice Committee Rapporteur to the SNAP process, says he is glad the SNAP process is up and running and congratulates them on a "first class annual report".

    The Rapporteur says it is encouraging to hear from Professor Miller that the approach taken in Scotland is perceived internationally as one of the most collaborative in Europe.

    Independent MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Independent MSP John Finnie

    Mr Finnie says he particularly welcomes the announcement from Mr Neil of the awareness raising campaign, which is "terribly, terribly important".

    The Rapporteur meets the Chair of the SNAP Leadership Panel twice a year to receive a briefing on the SNAP process, and to report back to the Committee after each such meeting.

  23. Scottish government

    Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil says Education Secretary Angela Constance will return to the chamber before the Christmas recess in relation to survivors of historic child sexual abuse.

    Mr Neil says this has been a short but good debate and when it comes to human rights we all need to be continually on our watch.

    Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights Secretary Alex Neil
    Image caption: Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights Secretary Alex Neil

    The cabinet secretary says he will seek meetings with human rights issues to make the Scottish government's opposition to withdrawing from the European Convention of Human Rights and the creation, by the Conservatives, of a British Bill of Rights.

  24. Labour closing

    Labour's Graeme Pearson says there is much work to be done on human rights and that work has to be led by this parliament.

    The work is absolutely vital if each of us are to be able to play a full part of in what a modern Scotland will be like in the future, says Mr Pearson.

    Labour justice spokesperson
    Image caption: Labour justice spokesperson

    He highlights the human rights of the disabled, children, prisoners, migrants, asylum seekers, victims of crime and survivors of historic child abuse.

    The idea of human rights can cause the heckles to rise in some part of our community says Mr Pearson and he recommends Alex Neil re-analyse our national approach to freedom of information.

  25. Conservative view

    Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell says last year members expressed their support for SNAP unanimously and that consensus remains.

    SNAP has made considerable progress, says the Tory MSP.

    Margaret Mitchell

    Ms Mitchell says SNAP has already attracted interest from around the world, which is testament to the Scottish Human Rights Commission.

  26. Stop and search

    Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes says SNAP has made an impact and good progress in the first year.

    Ms McInnes says she welcomes the announcement of the cabinet secretary of awareness raising campaign.

    Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes
    Image caption: Liberal Democrat MSP Alison McInnes

    She says that stop and search is intolerable and she is still astonished this government permits the police to conduct hundreds of thousands of these violations each year.

  27. European Court of Human Rights

    European Court of Human Rights
    Image caption: European Court of Human Rights
  28. Analysis

    Analysis by legal correspondent Clive Coleman

    The European Convention on Human Rights was concluded in the aftermath of World War Two, drafted by British lawyers and supported by Winston Churchill.

    Winston Churchill
    Image caption: Winston Churchill

    It enshrined human rights that applied equally to all, the good guys and the bad guys.

    The UK signed up to that and to a 'club', The Council of Europe, whose members work cooperatively on matters relating to human rights and the rule of law across Europe.

    A condition of membership is abiding by the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.

    These proposals address what is described as mission creep, decisions of that court into areas never intended.

    They amount to saying, we want to change the rules of the club as they apply to us and we want to be able to limit human rights in respect of some people who abuse their responsibilities.

  29. European Convention of Human Rights

    SNP MSP Rod Campbell says: "Whatever the intention of the Conservative party I believe there's a very limited appetite in Scotland to replace the European Convention of Human Rights with any British Bill of Rights."

    The Conservatives at Westminster have described their plans to stop British laws being overruled by human rights judgements from Strasbourg as "viable and legal".

    SNP MSP Roderick Campbell
    Image caption: SNP MSP Roderick Campbell

    Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said if the Tories won the 2015 election, a new Bill of Rights would give UK courts and Parliament the "final say".

    There should be no "legal blank cheque to take human rights into areas where they have never applied", he added.

    The Tories at Westminster have also said they would be prepared to exercise their right to withdraw from the European Convention if Parliament and the British courts could not veto laws from applying to the UK.

    The Council of Europe, comprising European Convention member states, said it was "inconceivable" that the UK, as a founding member, could leave.

    The European Court of Human Rights
    Image caption: UK ministers say the European Court of Human Rights is over-reaching itself

    But But former Attorney General Dominic Grieve - who was sacked as attorney general in July - questioned how such changes could be enforced in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  30. Conservatives

    Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell says SNAP's first annual report is "a very well crafted and structured report" and one that belongs to numerous organisations.

    The plan is "particularly impressive for its inclusive and collaborated approach", she says.

    This is no top down devised report where after a while it will gather dust on a shelf she insists.

    Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell

    "It is a live vibrant plan "

    Crucially the plan focuses on outcomes she says.

    During his evidence to the Justice Committee Professor Alan Miller indicated that an Apology Law is very much a part of the draft action plan concerning children who suffered historic abuse.

  31. Labour

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray says today we celebrate the first annual report from SNAP and highlights the benefits of a human rights approach to policy development.

    "We face many gaps in human rights in Scotland."

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray
    Image caption: Labour MSP Elaine Murray

    Ms Murray says SNAP is unusual and welcome as it is not government led, but involves 40 non governmental organisations.

    SNAP aims to provide justice to children, disabled people and the survivors of historic sexual abuse, amongst others.

  32. 'Much more to do'

    This parliament will this afternoon debate violence against women, says the cabinet secretary, which is a fundamental breach of human rights and which we want to eradicate from our society.

    Mr Neil highlights the problems of poverty, stigma around minorities and a lack of equality.

    There is much more to do to ensure the people of Scotland understand their rights, says the minister.

    He says the Scottish government will work with with the Scottish Human Rights Commission to create an awareness raising campaign to ensure greater understanding of why rights matter and how people can claim them.

  33. SHRC

    Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil says a modern inclusive Scotland protects and respects the human rights of all its citizens.

    Next week marks the first anniversary of SNAP and it is creating a collaborative partnerships to promote human rights across Scotland,he says.

    Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights Secretary Alex Neil
    Image caption: Social Justice, Communities and Pensioners' Rights Secretary Alex Neil

    Mr Neil praises the Scottish Human Rights Commission and commends the first SNAP report.

  34. Human rights

    Tribute to Mandela in sand

    We often take human rights for granted, until they are threatened, eroded or withdrawn says Ms Grahame.

    Human rights issues are considered by the Justice Committee all the time, she says.

  35. Chair of The Scottish Human Rights Commission

    On 18 February 2014, the Committee took evidence on SNAP from Professor Alan Miller, Chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission (SHRC) and Chair of the SNAP Leadership Panel.

    Professor Alan Miller
    Image caption: Professor Alan Miller has been chair of the Scottish Human Rights Commission since 2007

    Following that meeting, the Committee agreed to facilitate a parliamentary debate on human rights to coincide with the SNAP annual report being laid before the Parliament in late 2014.

    The Committee also agreed to appoint John Finnie MSP as Rapporteur to the SNAP process.

    The Rapporteur meets the Chair of the SNAP Leadership Panel twice a year to receive a briefing on the SNAP process, and to report back to the Committee after each such meeting.

  36. Justice Committee convener

    Justice Committee convener Christine Grahame emphasises that human rights are not separate, but should permeate all areas of public life.

    Justice Committee Convener Christine Grahame
    Image caption: Justice Committee Convener Christine Grahame

    Ms Grahame outlines the outcomes of SNAP as Better Culture, Better Lives and Better Worlds.

    The SNP MSP praises the SNAP report, saying it is informative and easy to read.

  37. SNAP

    According to the SNAP website:

    "Scotland's National Action Plan for Human Rights (SNAP) is a roadmap for the realisation of all internationally recognised human rights.

    "It is based on evidence and broad participation. It has been developed by a Drafting Group from across the public and voluntary sectors and overseen by an Advisory Council whose members reflect the diversity of Scottish civic life.

    "Our vision is of a Scotland in which everyone is able to live with human dignity.

    "SNAP will coordinate action by a wide range of public bodies and voluntary organisations towards achieving this vision.

    " It is not a traditional action plan but a transformative programme of action including agreed outcomes, priorities and a process for working together from 2013 - 2017 to progressively realise the potential of human rights in all areas of life."

  38. That's lunch

    The parliament is suspended until 2.30pm.

  39. Eat Better Feel Better

    The minister says there will be a malnutrition summit next year.

    The Scottish government has a focus on improving health and equalities, Ms Milne says.

    Public Health Minister Maureen Watt
    Image caption: Public Health Minister Maureen Watt

    She says the Eat Better Feel Better campaign intends to improve cooking skills across the country.

    The campaign is due to launch in January 2015 to inspire and support parents and families to make healthy changes to how they shop, cook and eat, with the aim of improving their health.

    Fiona McAndrew
    Image caption: Fiona McAndrew from Meal Makers
  40. Royal Voluntary Service

    Public Health Minister Maureen Watt congratulates Meal Makers for their work in improving nutrition for the elderly.

    Pans on hob

    Ms Watt says, as a child, she went with her mother to deliver meals for the WRVS, now known as RVS .

  41. Micronutrients

    Dr Simpson says it is important for the diet of an older person to be more micronutrient intense than the diet of those who are younger.

    Labour MSP Richard Simpson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Richard Simpson

    Meal Makers is certainly something that is very worthwhile which allows selfless volunteers to cook for the isolated and the elderly.

    Fruit and veg

    Dr Simpson suggests the chamber should host a debate on nutrition.

  42. Loss of interest

    SNP MSP Sandra White praises the staff and volunteers of the original Food Train, some of whom are in the gallery listening to the debate.

    The convener of the cross-party group on older people and ageing says she hopes the Meal Makers pilot project will be rolled out across Scotland.

    SNP MSP Sandra White
    Image caption: SNP MSP Sandra White

    Many older people living on their own lose interest in cooking, including Ms White's mother, she says.

    Some older men relied on their wives for their meals and are actually unaware of how to cook.

  43. Meals on Wheels

    Tory MSP Nanette Milne says for some, Meals on Wheels was the only human contact some elderly people got.

    Conservative MSP Nanette Milne
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Nanette Milne

    Ms Milne says the delivery of these hot meals each day was nutritionally and emotionally beneficial and preferable to frozen meals for the microwave.

  44. Food 'thrown away'

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray says in many households portions of food are often kept in the freezer and end up getting thrown away.

    Ms Murray says it is far better to share extra food with others who would benefit rather than throw it away.

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray
    Image caption: Labour MSP Elaine Murray

    She concludes Meal Makers is an "excellent initiative" and wishes them the best of luck.

  45. Preventing isolation

    Fiona has been cooking for pensioner Norman Quigg who lives alone in sheltered housing in Dundee.

    He does cook for himself but Fiona's weekly meal with its Spanish influence is introducing the retired cleaner to new tastes.

    "It gives me food I wouldn't normally be making for myself," he said. "I don't like fancy foods or spices or pizzas or anything like that, I prefer basic foods and that's the kind of food Fiona brings me and I think it's worked out quite well."

    Fiona McAndrew with Norman Quigg
    Image caption: Norman Quigg said Fiona's cooking is introducing him to new tastes

    But the Meal Makers project is about more than providing an occasional meal for older people. It also aims to prevent them becoming isolated.

    Norman appreciates the weekly visit from his cook.

    "The likes of Fiona coming from Spain, I find out wee tit bits about Spain," he said. "I just enjoy the company.

  46. Fiona McAndrew

    Meal Makers is a pilot project being run in Dundee to help tackle malnutrition among older people is proving so successful it is hoped it will extend across Scotland.

    The scheme matches a volunteer cook with an elderly person through a website.

    After checks are carried out, the cook prepares an extra portion of food once a week to take to the "diner" they have been paired with.

    Fiona McAndrew with Norman Quigg
    Image caption: Fiona McAndrew has been cooking meals for Norman Quigg

    The scheme will be rolled out in Glasgow in the new year.

    The Food Train charity, which runs it, hopes it will then extend across Scotland over the next two years.

    Art student Fiona McAndrew was the first cook to sign up to the scheme.

    "It's so easy to make a change in someone's life. So why not do it?" she said. "It just takes a couple of hours in your week.

  47. 'Delicious home cooked meal'

    Meal Makers is a project that connects people who like to cook and are happy to share an extra portion of a "delicious home cooked meal" with older neighbours living close by.

    "Like a local, community-led take-away, Meal Makers members serve up tasty, home-cooked food to their neighbours, getting more people eating and cooking fresh meals while strengthening local neighbourhood relationships with every bite."

    Cooks are required to sign up on the site and undertake a short safeguarding process before they can search and contact local Diners.

    pans on hob

    The Meal Makers team works with local organisations to help reach Diners, we also take direct referrals including from friends and relatives either through its contact number 0800 783 7770 or to hello@mealmakers.org.uk.

  48. Meal Makers

    Ms McAlpine says Food Train began by taking orders for shopping and chatting to clients.

    The idea came from conversations between volunteers and the elderly and the fact many old people do not cook.

    SNP MSP Joan McAlpine
    Image caption: SNP MSP Joan McAlpine

    Meal Makers helps people share extra portions of home cooked-food with others in their area who are not always able to cook for themselves.

  49. Meal makers tackle malnutrition in frail older people debate

    SNP MSP Joan McAlpine is leading a debate on tackling malnutrition in frail older people.

    In her motion Ms McAlpine congratulates the Food Train on its new project 'Meal Makers'.

    Ms McAlpine understands that the project aims to tackle the problem of malnutrition among frail older people by encouraging people to cook and share an extra portion of their home-cooked food.

    Elderly hands

    The pilot for this project is taking place in Dundee but that it will soon be rolled out across the six local authority areas that the Food Train operates in, including Dumfries and Galloway, where the charity is headquartered.

    The cooks make initial contact through a social media platform and are then put in contact with a local older person who finds cooking difficult.

    The SNP MSP believes that this pioneering project will help overcome some of the social barriers that cause malnutrition, including limited transport to local shops, social isolation and poverty, and wishes the Food Train every success as the project develops.

  50. FMQs ends

    That's it for first minister's questions.

  51. Post update

    Oliver Milne tweets: 20mins ago Nicola claimed to be more left wing the Ed Miliband. Now claiming to be 'more competitive' on business rates than Tory's. #fmqs

  52. Crime stats

    The Conservatives' Margaret Mitchell claims there are holes in the Scottish crime statistics because of the separation of crimes and offences. FM says that's the way it's been done for a very long time.

  53. BACKGROUND

    The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is a trade agreement that is presently being negotiated between the European Union and the United States.

    David Cameron pledged to put "rocket boosters" behind plans for an EU-US free trade deal.

    TTIP
    Image caption: A banner outside Parliament saying: "Hands off democracy #noTTIP"

    The UK prime minister said EU and US leaders had met and all agreed the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) "is a deal we want".

    Speaking at the G20 summit, he said arguments against TTIP were "weak" and fears over the NHS were "nonsense".

    Many opponents are concerned about TTIP giving firms power to sue governments if they are hit by policy changes.

  54. Strong opposition

    Labour's Neil Findlay asks about concern that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership negotiations between the EU and US could impact on the NHS. FM says she needs to see what the final deal is, but adds she strongly opposes any privatisation of the health service.

  55. Living Wage

    SNP's Clare Adamson asks about "in-work poverty". FM says action is being taken on the issue and is pressing for employers to pay "the living wage", even though Scotland does not have the powers to legally enforce it.

  56. Post update

    Nae Border tweets: Another #FMQs mention of consensus by Sturgeon gets a laugh, but for different reasons from different benches. #sycophantic #sceptical

  57. BACKGROUND

    The OECD estimates that a $20 drop in the price of oil adds a chunky 0.4% of GDP growth to developed economies after two years. And oil prices have more than halved since they peaked at nearly $150 (£96) per barrel in 2008.

    Oil rig

    Now both Brent and West Texas Intermediate have fallen to just above $60.

  58. Oil revenue

    Labour's Iain Gray says UK Office of Budget Responsibility forecasts of a drop in oil revenue has left the SNP's case for independence in "tatters". FM says the issues are "temporary".

  59. Post update

    Stewart Armstrong tweets: Twenty minutes into #FMQ and yet to hear a male voice. Leaders of three main parties plus presiding officer all female. How cool is that!

  60. Austerity cuts

    FM welcomes extra funding coming to Scotland as a result of the UK Autumn Statement. But, in response to the SNP's Kenny Gibson, she says it doesn't make up for Westminster austerity cuts.

  61. BACKGROUND

    George Osborne has dismissed "totally hyperbolic" coverage of future spending cuts following his Autumn Statement.

    The chancellor said arguments made against cuts in 2010 had been wrong.

    Forecasters predict public spending will fall to levels not seen since the 1930s, suggesting the loss of one million public sector jobs by 2020.

    George Osborne

    The statement revealed borrowing would be higher than forecast and unveiled an £800m stamp duty cut Mr Osborne said would benefit 98% of homebuyers.

    Labour has said the government's deficit reduction targets were "all in tatters".

    And Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable accused the Conservatives of wanting to reduce the deficit "brutally", saying his coalition partners' plans were "simply not realisable".

  62. 'Who pays more?'

    FM says RD is free to bring forward to ensure the top 20% of homeowners pay less, but should also say who should pay more.

  63. BACKGROUND

    George Osborne has said stamp duty will be cut for 98% of homebuyers in his Autumn Statement to the Commons.

    houses on Iona, Scotland
    Image caption: The new stamp duty system will be similar to that being introduced in Scotland

    The chancellor said that from midnight the current system, where the amount owed jumps at certain price levels, would be replaced by a graduated rate, working in a similar way to income tax.

    Finance Secretary John Swinney, in his budget, said homebuyers in Scotland will pay no tax on properties costing less than £135,000,

    And a 12% marginal rate for houses costing more than £1m will come into force next April, when stamp duty is replaced north of the border.

  64. Tax change

    RD says the FM "doesn't realise how isolated she is on this". Ms Davidson says Ms Sturgeon has now become "even more left-wing than Ed Miliband". Ms Davidson says her party will campaign for a change in Scotland's property tax policy.

  65. Post update

    April Cumming tweets: ha ha. Excellent. 'Class Warrior' Swinney. Certainly preferring the new FM's patter #FMQs

  66. Scottish circumstances

    FM sees John Swinney as an "unlikely candidate for class warrior". She says the Scottish government's property tax reforms reflect Scottish circumstances. Ms Sturgeon also says she's glad to see Westminster ministers following the SNP's example.

  67. 'Swinney tax'

    Ruth Davidson
    Image caption: Ruth Davidson begins her questioning by making reference to the Autumn Statement

    Conservative leader Ruth Davidson (RD) says the UK's Stamp Duty reforms will be eclipsed in Scotland by the SNP's own reforms to the system, which she calls the "left wing Swinney Tax" and an "attack" on the aspirations of middle class people.

  68. Post update

    Ali Stoddart tweets: Interesting that Dewar wished for a Hemicycle in design of @ScotParl to avoid punch & judy politics in #FMQs as seen in #PMQs Has it worked?

  69. Post update

    FM now giving advice to JB on how to ask questions in the chamber. Ms Sturgeon says there are more staff vacancies in the NHS because there are now more staff working in the service.

  70. Glasgow hospital

    JB says FM is "in denial" about the scale of the challenges facing the NHS, citing a report which today raised cleanliness issues at Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

  71. BACKGROUND

    One of Scotland's largest hospitals has been told to improve its cleanliness after inspectors saw patient equipment spattered with blood and body fluids.

    The failures at Glasgow Royal Infirmary were discovered during unannounced visits by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) in October.

    Glasgow Royal Infirmary
    Image caption: Glasgow Royal Infirmary is one of the busiest hospitals in Scotland

    Inspectors escalated their concerns to management after problems persisted over three inspections.

    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) said it had acted to address concerns.

    The inspection team carried out its first unannounced visits to the hospital on 7 and 8 October.

  72. Post update

    Michael Shanks tweets: "I'm not going to engage in a party political bunfight" = "I'm not going to attempt to answer your question". #fmqs

  73. 'Defend NHS'

    FM says: "We put our money where our month is and we will always defend our NHS."

  74. 'Political fight'

    FM says she's not getting into a "party political bun fight" and says JB is trying to sling as much mud as she can in the government's direction.

  75. 'Let down'

    Jackie Baillie is the current spokeswoman for Labour in the absence of a Scottish party leader
    Image caption: Jackie Baillie is the current spokeswoman for Labour at Holyrood in the absence of a Scottish party leader

    JB says NHS Grampian was let down by the government, adding that staff at the health authority worked hard to ensure patient safety, despite the challenges they faced.

  76. Post update

    David Gardiner tweets: The FM learned well from Salmond: an attack on her NHS policies is an attack on NHS staff, nurses, etc. #FMQs

  77. Fixing problems

    FM says JB is striking the wrong tone on the NHS (sparking cries of dismay from the Labour benches). Referring to a report on failings with NHS Grampian, Ms Sturgeon says action has been taken to fix the problems.

  78. BACKGROUND

    Three reports into health care in the north-east of Scotland have highlighted "extremely serious" issues and "make stark reading" for NHS Grampian.

    Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) conducted a review of Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and also an unannounced inspection of services for older people in acute hospitals in the NHS Grampian region.

    These three reports have highlighted a range of issues requiring immediate attention
    Image caption: The three reports highlighted a range of issues requiring immediate attention

    A separate review from the Royal College of Surgeons looked at General Surgery.

  79. Post update

    @SamShedden tweets: #FMQs time! Let's see how the Smith Commission Report burning is spun by both sides.

  80. Protected spending

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was answering questions on health spending
    Image caption: First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was answering questions on health spending

    FM says health spending has been protected and will continue to be if the SNP wins the 2016 election. JB says Labour will match and do better than that commitment.

  81. Health service

    And we're off with first minister's questions. Labour's Jackie Baillie (JB) tackles First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (FM) on the health service.

  82. RAF Leuchars

    SNP MSP Roderick Campbell asks the Scottish government when it last met the UK Government to discuss the future of RAF Leuchars.

    The 65th Leuchars Air show last year was the final one before the Fife base is transferred to the Army.

    Leuchars air show
    Image caption: Last year was the final Leuchars air show

    Defence Minister Dr Andrew Murrison confirmed that the event would be the last of its kind at the RAF station.

    Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown says the Scottish government is continually in touch with the UK government on this issue.

  83. Coming up

    Nicola Sturgeon looking pensive

    In just a few minutes we will begin our extensive coverage of first minister's questions, including the social media response to this week's answers.

  84. Disabled Rail Services

    SNP MSP Bob Doris asks what action the Scottish government is taking to improve access to rail services for disabled people.

    Man in wheelchair by a train

    Transport Minister Derek Mackay says the Scottish government continues to support substantial improvements to trains and stations and to disabled access.

    Mr Mackay points to the Access for All funding from the department for transport and says he will hold meetings in the future about improving disability access.

  85. Rogue traders

    SNP MSP Chic Brodie asks the Scottish government what action it can take to improve customer awareness of the dangers of rogue traders in the construction industry.

    Brick laying

    Infrastructure Secretary Keith Brown says the Scottish government encourages homeowners to use traders who are member of trade associations.

    Further devolution of powers recommended by the Smith Commission will allow the Scottish government to produce a better consumer protection regime, says Mr Brown.

  86. Living wage

    Labour MSP James Kelly gets us underway asking what progress the government is making on the payment of the living wage in public contracts.

    Fair Work, Skills and Training Secretary Roseanna Cunningham details the measures the government is taking to encourage public bodies to adopt the living wage.

    Both MSPs congratulate the Scottish Parliament for guaranteeing the Living Wage of £7.85 per hour is paid to its cleaning and catering staff.

    Living wage

    Workers directly employed by Holyrood already receive at least the living wage.

    But from next year staff employed by contractors will also be included.

    The parliament's Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick said that about 26 cleaning and catering staff would see their wages rise.

    The living wage is more than the UK's National Minimum Wage, which is currently £6.50 per hour.

  87. General questions

    MSPs will shortly question Scottish government ministers during general question time.

    Here is a full list of the queries expected to be raised:

    1. James Kelly: To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making on the payment of the living wage in public contracts. (S4O-03781)

    2. Chic Brodie: To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take to improve customer awareness of the dangers of rogue traders in the construction industry. (S4O-03782)

    3. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Government what action it takes to support local authorities in meeting demand for care home provision. (S4O-03783)

    4. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Government when it last met NHS Fife and what issues were discussed. (S4O-03784)

    5. Bob Doris: To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve access to rail services for disabled people. (S4O-03785)

    6. Bill Kidd: To ask the Scottish Government what sanctions there are on developers that make significant changes to the inside or outside of listed buildings without applying for listed building consent. (S4O-03786)

    7. Hanzala Malik: To ask the Scottish Government whether it is developing statutory guidance for minimum standards in temporary accommodation and, if so, when it will be published. (S4O-03787)

    8. Roderick Campbell: To ask the Scottish Government when it last met the UK Government to discuss the future of RAF Leuchars. (S4O-03788)

    9. Dennis Robertson: To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to tackle inequality. (S4O-03789)

    10. David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government what action it can take to raise parents' awareness of the role that they can play in young driver safety.

  88. Coming up

    The Devolution Committee is drawing to a close.

    Shortly we will begin coverage of general questions and then we will bring you extensive coverage of first minister's questions from noon.

  89. Work programme

    Lewis MacDonald says in relation to the work programme, the Scottish secretary had wanted to know about the Scottish government's plans concerning the devolved work programme

    Mr Swinney says the Scottish government has been focussing on how it could timeously and effectively have the responsibility for the work programme devolved by March 2016.

    He adds he would like to see the roll out of Personal Independence Payments, which are set to replace Disability Living Allowance, halted.

  90. Universal Credit

    Committee convener and SNP MSP Bruce Crawford raises the issue of Universal Credit, saying SPICE had told him that if the Scottish Parliament was to top up benefits then the recipients would see a similar cut in the cash they get.

    Mr Crawford says he has "real concerns about this", as, if that is accurate, "one of the significant levers would be removed from us".

    Universal credit

    Mr Swinney says that would be a "travesty if that was the case".

    He says the Smith Agreement is clear, if the Scottish Parliament was to decide to do anything to do with welfare the recipient should get the benefit and it should not result in an automatic offsetting reduction in their benefits.

  91. Smiths

    Mr Swinney jokes that it is only a matter of time before Labour MSP Drew Smith becomes a second Lord Smith.

  92. Corporation tax

    Labour MSP Drew Smith says Mr Swinney's view on corporation tax is isolated, as the unions, businesses and Lord Smith himself felt the tax should not be devolved.

    Mr Swinney says almost without exception civic Scotland wanted full devolution of welfare, power over the minimum wage and control over equalities.

    Given that, the deputy first minister says Mr Smith's argument about corporation tax is flawed.

  93. 'Council tax freeze'

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone says empowering local communities is the unfinished part of devolution, citing the imposition of a council tax freeze.

    Mr Swinney refutes this saying there has been no imposition of a council tax freeze, every council chose to freeze it since 2008.

    "I can't impose a council tax freeze", says the deputy first minister, who adds only elected members of local authorities can decide to freeze the tax.

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Ms Johnstone says it is very difficult for local authorities to be empowered, will the commission on alternatives to council tax look at that issue.

    The cabinet secretary points out that the SNP administration had empowered local authorities by removing most of the ring fencing of their funding.

  94. Crown estate

    SNP MSP Rob Gibson says local authorities in the islands would benefit from the devolution of the Crown estates seabed.

    Coastline

    Mr Swinney says that would extend 200 miles limit around the coastline of Scotland.

    He says the assets and revenue would come to the Scottish Parliament.

  95. Block grant

    Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald asks about the Barnett formula.

    Mr Swinney says the Smith Commission was clear on the continuation of applying the formula to determine Scotland's block grant.

  96. Post study visas

    SNP MSP Linda Fabiani asks about post study student visas, asking what approaches Mr Swinney will be making to bring this forward.

    Mr Swinney says on post study visas, the commission took substantial evidence from the university communities.

    SNP MSP Linda Fabiani
    Image caption: SNP MSP Linda Fabiani

    He says it would be beneficial for us to advance discussions with the UK government on this issue.

  97. Borrowing powers

    Committee convener Bruce Crawford raises the issue of borrowing.

    Mr Swinney says borrowing powers are required to support capital investment programmes.

    Money

    He says a larger proportion of our budget will be reliant on tax revenues and we will have to manage that.

  98. Absolute power

    Mr Swinney says the devolution of power is an absolute concept, it is not a conditional concept reliant on how the Scottish government would use the power.

    If the power is devolved then the Scottish government is free to do with it as it wishes, he says.

  99. Devolution timetable

    Timeline to further devolution

    In reference to the Smith Agreement, Mr Swinney says Gordon Brown said all of this would be done and dusted by March 2016.

  100. Gordon Brown

    Mr Swinney pays tribute to Gordon Brown, but says the UK government has to stick to the timetable set out by Mr Brown during his "decisive" intervention during the referendum campaign.

    Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to stand down as an MP at the next general election.

    He pledged new powers for Scotland ahead of the referendum on independence
    Image caption: He pledged new powers for Scotland ahead of the referendum on independence

    The Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP ruled out a Labour peerage, as he made the announcement to constituency activists.

    Mr Brown was chancellor from 1997 to 2007 before spending three years in 10 Downing Street.

  101. Burning issue

    Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald raises the issue of respect for the Smith Agreement.

    Mr Swinney surmises Mr MacDonald is referring to the group of SNP councillors involved in burning a copy of the report on strengthening the Scottish Parliament's powers.

    They have since been suspended.

    SNP councillors burning report

    A video of the elected Renfrewshire Council members burning the Smith Commission document was posted online, but later removed.

    The SNP said four individuals had been suspended from the party, pending an investigation.

    Mr Swinney says: "It was not in any way an appropriate or justifiable way to act and I think my party has dealt with the issue in an appropriate way."

  102. Smith Agreement

    Mr Swinney says there are welcome and additional new powers, but says the agreement could have been more coherent with more job creating powers and revenue generating powers.

    Smith Commission, party representatives

    The deputy first minister says if we want to extend the welfare arrangements in Scotland we have to have the means to pay for it.

    Much greater scope and responsibility around welfare could have been devolved, according to Mr Swinney.

    There are significant limitations and constraints in the Smith Agreement, but the SNP has endorsed the agreement, he says.

  103. Deputy first minister

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney says he welcomes the contents of the Smith Commission.

    However, he says "the commission does not deliver everything I want on the constitutional agenda".

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney
    Image caption: Deputy First Minister John Swinney

    The Smith Commission does not provide the necessary powers to further economic opportunity in Scotland, says the finance secretary.

    The Scottish government will utilise the powers it gets from the Smith Commission

  104. Second evidence session

    Committee convener Bruce Crawford welcomes Deputy First Minister John Swinney and begins the second evidence session of the Devolution Committee today.

    Devolution Committee
    Image caption: Devolution Committee
  105. Committee is suspended

    That concludes the evidence session with the Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael, the Devolution Committee is now suspended for five minutes, prior to Deputy First Minister John Swinney giving evidence.

    Deputy First Minister John Swinney
    Image caption: Deputy First Minister John Swinney
  106. Universal Credit

    Mr Carmichael says he is an "enthusiast for improved communication between Holyrood and Whitehall" on welfare matters.

    SNP MSP Mark MacDonald says on welfare there was almost universal support from civic Scotland for a more radical transfer of powers than is in the Smith Commission report.

    Mr Carmichael denies that Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith is concerned that the fabric of Universal Credit is unravelling and denies that the UK government had undue influence on the final welfare proposals.

    Universal Credit merges six working-age benefits into a single payment.

    These are jobseeker's allowance, income-related employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit.

  107. 'Barnett formula elephant trap'

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says there has been a determination to hold on to the Barnett Formula, "are we moving forward toward's a Barnett formula elephant trap?".

    "That's the beauty of devolution." Replies Mr Carmichael.

    "You make your spending decisions and now you're going to have to make your funding decisions as well."

    The Barnett formula, devised in the 1970s by the Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Joel Barnett, is used to calculate the level of block grant provided by the UK government to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

  108. Student visas

    SNP MSP Linda Fabiani says student visas should be devolved.

    Mr Carmichael says he will take the issue very seriously.

    Students

    During the independence referendum campaign the Scottish government proposed a points based system to attract skilled workers and a post-study work visa for students.

  109. Scottish Secretary

    Mr Carmichael says the decision on the contracts for the work programme was taken long before the Smith Commission was set up.

  110. Work programme

    SNP MSP Linda Fabiani says everyone on the commission agreed that the work programme was not working well for Scotland.

    Ms Fabiani says she was quite disheartened to hear the UK government is extending contracts to deliver its work programme despite a cross-party agreement that this would come under Holyrood control when the current arrangements expire.

    The Scottish government said this was a "flagrant and wilful breach" of the Smith Commission process.

    The department for work and pensions (DWP) said it wanted to ensure "continuity of support".

    The work programme helps jobseekers find and keep employment.

    The Smith Commission on further devolution recommended that it should be transferred from Westminster to Holyrood control "on expiry of the current commercial arrangements".

    The Scottish government thought that meant the end of March 2016 and was furious to learn on Tuesday that the contract was to be extended by a year.

  111. 'Localism agenda'

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone asks about empowering communities and devolving powers to local authorities.

    Green MSP Alison Johnstone
    Image caption: Green MSP Alison Johnstone

    Mr Carmichael says a localism agenda should be driven through, which he is totally committed to.

  112. Island devolution

    Mr Carmichael discusses the onward devolution to Scotland island communities in areas such as Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles.

    Orkney
    Image caption: Orkney

    "This is something that could be profitably discussed between the two governments."

    He says transfer of powers to the island communities could start now and he is open to discussions between Westminster, Holyrood and the island communities.

  113. Corporation tax

    SNP MSP Stuart McMillan asks about corporation tax, highlighting the fact that it is being devolved to Northern Ireland.

    Mr Carmichael says Lord Smith said the devolution of corporation tax here would not be of benefit to Scotland.

    Stormont
    Image caption: Stormont should have control over corporation tax in the future

    He says: "Northern Ireland stands in a very different position than the rest of the United Kingdom for reasons that are historic and not very happy ones. "

  114. VAT

    SNP MSP Mark MacDonald asks about control of VAT, asking if UK government decided to lower VAT in a specific sector, what would the consequence be on the Scottish government.

    "This is a good example of the sort of joint working we are going to have" replies Mr Carmichael.

    Receipt showing VAT

    He says there will be a "more robust mechanism" for regulating the business between the two governments, adding the areas of overlap have been less pronounced than they will be, there will be more consultation.

  115. Income tax

    Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald raises the issue of the practicalities of the tax proposals in the Smith Commission.

    It proposed that the Scottish Parliament should have the power to set income tax rates and bands.

    Money

    Mr Carmichael says HMRC will continue to act as the tax collecting body in Scotland.

    "I think that's a sensible and workable arrangement."

  116. Information campaign

    Mr Carmichael says Lord Smith may have been surprised by the lack of understanding of devolution and the constitutional settlement, but as a politician he is not.

    Westminster and Holyrood issues
    Image caption: Westminster and Holyrood issues

    He says people have more important things to do than immerse themselves in that detail.

    There might be some scope for a public information campaign in the future, he says.

  117. Ministers

    SNP MSP Rob Gibson asks if UK ministers should appear before Holyrood Committees.

    Mr Carmichael says that is something for individual ministers to decide for themselves.

  118. Legislation

    SNP MSP Mark MacDonald asks when we will see legislation from Westminster on the Smith Commission's proposals.

    Westminster
    Image caption: Westminster

    The scottish secretary says: "I would anticipate you would have a bill that been through both houses by the end of next year or early 2016".

  119. 16 and 17 year old voters

    In relation to the proposals in the Smith Commission agreement, the Scottish Secretary says the expectation is that this will "proceed as a package given the range of issues we're dealing with and tight time frame".

    However votes for 16 and 17 year olds, to meet the deadline for the 2016 Holyrood election, will need to be done more quickly .

    Young voters leaving a polling station
    Image caption: Young voters leaving a polling station

    Other proposals will be done as a "package rather than taking it in dribs and drabs", says Mr Carmichael

  120. Work programme

    Mr Carmichael says he will be meeting with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon later today.

    The UK government is extending contracts to deliver its work programme despite a cross-party agreement that this would come under Holyrood control when the current arrangements expire.

    The Scottish government said this was a "flagrant and wilful breach" of the Smith Commission process.

    Smith Commission Report

    The department for work and pensions (DWP) said it wanted to ensure "continuity of support".

    The work programme helps jobseekers find and keep employment.

    The Smith Commission on further devolution recommended that it should be transferred from Westminster to Holyrood control "on expiry of the current commercial arrangements".

  121. Lord Smith evidence

    Lord Smith of Kelvin chaired the Smith Commission on Scottish devolution and gave evidence to the Devolution Committee on Tuesday 2 December 2014.

    During his 75-minute evidence session to MSPs, Lord Smith was asked about his negotiations with the 10 party representatives who sat on the commission.'

    He told the committee: "There were nine plenary meetings - so there were nine drafts. Things were changing all the time."

    Lord Smith answers MSP questions

    The commission had the backing of every major Scottish political party but after the final report was published the SNP said it did not go far enough.

    On the issue of consensus, Lord Smith said: "For the purposes of this particular commission, which I'd now like to be called an agreement - commissions tend to last a couple of years, this was 10 weeks - but we did get agreement.

    "All five parties were happy that I stood up and said that we had arrived at an agreement among all parties and that is unprecedented. That hasn't been done before - Calman didn't work that way.

    "All five parties signed up to this, but of course they have their particular convictions outside."

  122. Lord Smith of Kelvin

    BBC
  123. 'Will of the Scottish people'

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael raises the issue of better working between the Scottish and UK parliaments,.

    "Parliament to parliament dialogue is something we have never got quite right."

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael
    Image caption: Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael

    "The permanence of the Scottish Parliament is guaranteed by the will of the Scottish people."

    It is unthinkable now that we would not have a Scottish Parliament within the UK, says Mr Carmichael.

    He also says his party wants a UK wide constitutional convention.

  124. Holyrood permanence

    Committee Convener Bruce Crawford
    Image caption: Committee Convener Bruce Crawford

    Committee convener Bruce Crawford asks Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael how to make the Scottish Parliament permanent, as recommended by the Smith Commission.

  125. Devolution Committee

    Devolution Committee convener Bruce Crawford gets us underway, welcoming Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael.

    Group shot

    Mr Crawford pays tribute to the "fantastic efforts" of Annabel Goldie on the committee and welcomes Alex Johnstone to the committee.

  126. Good morning and welcome

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland's Democracy Live on Thursday 4 December 2014.

    Scottish Parliament building
    Image caption: UK ministers say the new Holyrood powers will make the parliament more accountable for the cash it spends

    First up this morning we have the Devolution Committee taking evidence from Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and then Deputy First Minister John Swinney on the Smith Commission.

    Lord Smith