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Summary

  1. Next: Protecting public services and boosting Scotland's economy

Live Reporting

By Ailsa Brown and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all

    That ends our live coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 5 March 2015.

    Remember you can watch all the day's business at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live.

    Holyrood at night

    We'll be back again on Tuesday 10 March. Until then, have a good weekend.

  2. Decision time

    MSPs in the chamber

    Finance Secretary John Swinney's motion from the economy debate is passed unammended, with 60 MSPs backing it, 44 against and with two abstentions.

  3. Not a point of order

    Labour MSP James Kelly attempts to raise a point of order pertaining to the first minister's comments during FMQs on college funding.

    Mr Kelly says Ms Sturgeon misled parliament.

    Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick
    Image caption: Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick

    Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick says this is not a point of order and that she has told MSPs "time and time and time again" that she is not responsible for the content of what members say.

  4. Economy debate ends

    Mr Swinney concludes the debate by saying the poorest 10% of the population have borne the worst affects of the UK government's austerity programme.

    He says he can't tell the difference between the Tories and Labour when it comes to austerity and cuts.

  5. Corporation tax

    Mr Swinney says the SNP plans would still result in a falling debt and a falling deficit across the parliament, despite borrowing more.

    The deputy first minister says the government remains committed to lowering corporation tax.

    Conservative MSP Gavin Brown asks when Mr Swinney changed his mind about having a blanket lowering of corporation tax, after ten years of supporting it.

    Mr Swinney says he believes a more targeted approach on corporation tax is essential.

  6. Local government settlement

    The deputy first minister says the local government settlement has given fair priority to local government, although he does not deny local government faces challenges due to austerity.

  7. Local government

    Mr Swinney says his budget has been cut by 4.8% real terms, but the budget for local authorities has been cut by 2.6% in real terms showing the Scottish government has protected councils from some cuts.

    Arty bank notes
  8. Trident renewal

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says there are choices to be made in political life about the priorities one supports.

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

    Mr Swinney says one of the priorities of the SNP government would be to not renew Trident, saving billions of pounds.

  9. No 'redistributive policy'

    Mr Findlay says there was no mention by SNP MSPs of any redistributive policy.

  10. 'Backbone'

    Mr Findlay says not one of the SNP speakers in the debate had had the backbone to mention the scrapping of the corporation tax policy.

  11. 'Whimper'

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay says the first minister announced her economic policy with a "whimper".

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay
    Image caption: Labour MSP Neil Findlay

    Mr Findlay says the demand for the devolution of corporation tax and a 3% cut below UK government levels has been ditched by the SNP.

    He accuses the SNP back benchers of being "sheep and sycophants".

  12. 'Hit and hope'

    Mr Johnstone says the prospect that the SNP has set out today is one that is based on hit and hope.

    It is based on an alternative economic strategy that has been tried and has failed across the world, he says.

    The Conservative MSP praises the efforts of the chancellor.

  13. Tory closing

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone says the £180bn the SNP say they would borrow and invest in the UK will cost us money, up to £35bn of interest rate payments.

    Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Alex Johnstone
  14. Corporation tax

    Mr Rennie points out that not one SNP MSP has mentioned the "hand-brake turn" change on corporation tax.

  15. Lib Dems closing

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says he has argued for investing in childcare over the years and he is pleased some progress has been made on that, not enough, but some.

    Mr Rennie says that is why he has argued for taking thousands and thousands of people out of income tax and says his party has made good progress on that.

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie
    Image caption: Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie

    He says he wants to make the world fairer and wants to make a stronger economy, but we all have different views about that.

  16. Investment

    SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson says he very much welcomes the modern apprenticeship focus delivering on employability.

    Mr Stevenson says all the opposition parties' amendments simply delete everything the government says in its motion.

    SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson
    Image caption: SNP MSP Stewart Stevenson

    He says the opposition parties then don't welcome £180bn in investment the Scottish government proposes.

  17. 'Poverty and inequality'

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley says both the governments in London and Edinburgh have presided over a rise in poverty and inequality.

    There is real inequality in our communities and Mr Rowley says he has to leave the chamber this evening to go to the opening of a foodbank.

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley

    Mr Rowley says his surgeries over the weekend have been the busiest he has seen, with most of his constituents coming to him about lack of housing or the fact they were homeless.

  18. BACKGROUND

    Scotland's councils will face financial pressures "of a scale not previously experienced" in the coming years, the public spending watchdog has said.

    The Accounts Commission said councils had coped well so far with cuts to their funding.

    But it warned that budgets would become even tighter in the future.

    Council services

    And it said council debt repayments to the private sector would peak at a time when they are set to face unprecedented demand for services.

    The Commission said annual repayments to the Scottish government's non-profit distribution (NPD) public-private partnership debt - and its private finance initiative (PFI) predecessor - are predicted to rise from £488m to £600m by 2024/25.

    By this time, demographic pressures caused by an ageing population and more children will be rising.

  19. Local authority funding

    Labour MSP John Pentland says when he saw the SNP motion he thought the cabinet secretary was making a joke.

    Labour MSP John Pentland
    Image caption: Labour MSP John Pentland

    Mr Pentland says local authorities are Scotland's biggest employers but most of Scotland's cuts, imposed by Mr Swinney, have been dumped on their doorsteps, with worse to come.

  20. 'Vulnerable people'

    SNP MSP Christina McKelvie says the austerity agenda of the UK coalition government and Labour hurts vulnerable people deeply.

    SNP MSP Christina McKelvie
    Image caption: SNP MSP Christina McKelvie

    Ms McKelvie says disabled people are easy targets for the coalition and Labour to attack.

  21. BACKGROUND

    According to the first minister if Scotland increased productivity by 0.1% a year it could:

    • boost GDP by 1.3%
    • boost employment by 11,000
    • and boost tax revenues by £400m a year after 10 years.
  22. UK government

    The Scottish Lib Dem leader's motion highlights the abandonment of the SNP's previous policy to anchor its approach to the economy on a cut of 3p in the pound on corporation tax.

    Mr Rennie says the economic policy of the UK government has created six times as many jobs in Scotland in less than a quarter of the time compared with the projections for the now-abandoned Scottish government policy.

  23. Corporation tax

    Mr Rennie says the first minister ditched the 3% cut in corporation tax "with no explanation at all".

    Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie
    Image caption: Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie

    He says the evidence for the cut was so weak it could never be made public.

  24. 'Oil revenue forecasts'

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie says John Swinney got it wrong on the economy and oil revenue forecasts.

    Mr Rennie says because we stayed in the UK we can focus on helping the North East following the fall in the price of oil.

  25. 'Credit'

    Mr Brown says he is pleased to see the approach of the UK government's economic recovery plan working.

    He points out that Mr Swinney can not bring himself to bring any credit to the UK government - none whatsoever.

  26. Disappointed

    The Conservative MSP says that measures such as raising the income tax threshold and freezing fuel duty have helped household budgets.

    Conservative MSP Gavin Brown
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Gavin Brown

    He says he is disappointed with the content of the Scottish government's Economic Strategy.

  27. UK plan

    Mr Brown's amendment welcomes "the fact that the UK's economic growth continues to be among the highest of the major developed world economies".

    The Conservative finance spokesperson points to high employment across the UK and the deficit being reduced by a half since 2010.

    He says measures taken by the UK government, such as cutting employer national insurance contributions and maintaining the lowest level of corporation tax in the G7, are providing considerable benefits to businesses in Scotland.

  28. Conservatives

    Conservative MSP Gavin Brown is leading for his party.

  29. 'Risk'

    Every vote for the SNP in May risks another five years of the Tories and further austerity, says Ms Baillie.

  30. 'Vote Labour'

    Ms Baillie says the best way to avoid Tory austerity is to vote Labour.

  31. 'Full fiscal autonomy'

    Ms Baillie says full fiscal autonomy would be an end to the Barnett formula and seeing a need to cut billions of pounds from public services.

  32. 'Austerity max'

    The Labour MSP says the SNP refused to back Labour yesterday in its call to end austerity, they sat on their hands in a show of "breathtaking hypocrisy".

    Ms Baillie says what you will get from the SNP would be austerity max.

  33. 'Cuts'

    Labour's finance spokesperson says that full fiscal autonomy, Scottish-only taxes for Scottish-only spending, would mean billions of pounds of cuts.

    Ms Baillie says there is not one redistributive tax policy in the Scottish government's economic strategy.

  34. Labour motion

    Ms Baillie says her party rejects the UK government's failing austerity plan as set out in the chancellor's Autumn Statement.

    She says the Office for Budget Responsibility has warned that this would take public spending back to a share of national income not seen since the late 1930s.

  35. General election

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie takes to her feet.

    Ms Baillie begins by looking at the forthcoming general election.

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie
    Image caption: Labour MSP Jackie Baillie

    The Labour MSP says: "A vote for the SNP lets the Tories in the back door,"

  36. BACKGROUND:

    The Scottish government has revealed in its new economic plan that it is no longer committed to a "blanket" three point drop in corporation tax.

    The switch in policy is a departure for the SNP which promised to introduce the cut if Scotland became independent.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the change alongside other measures to end economic inequality.

    The UK government has insisted its austerity policies are working and have resulted in more Scottish jobs.

    Close up of £20 note

    The first minister told a gathering in Linlithgow that there would now be a focus on "targeted changes in tax allowances."

    While corporation tax remains reserved to Westminster, the Scottish government has long argued for it to be devolved to Holyrood.

    And its White Paper setting out the case for independence said: "This government plans to set out a timescale for reducing corporation tax by up to three percentage points below the prevailing UK rate."

    However, the newly published 84-page economic plan, titled Scotland's Economic Strategy (March 2015) said: "The Scottish government has made clear that we have no intention to engage in a 'race to the bottom'.

  37. Economic Strategy

    Mr Swinney says the Scottish government approach is to sustain growth in a balanced and sustainable way.

    This is detailed in the Scottish government's economic strategy, he says.

  38. 'Social fabric'

    Mr Swinney says the deficit needs to be reduced in a way that is not harmful to the social fabric of the nation.

    The finance secretary says a 0.5% real increase in spending on public services every year from 2016-17 to 2019-20 would lead to an additional £180 billion of investment for protecting crucial public services.

  39. Control

    The finance secretary says Scotland should be in control of all aspects of its expenditure, all aspects of its revenue and all aspects of its economy.

  40. 'Jobs'

    Mr Swinney says GDP per capita in the UK remains 2% below where it was in 2008.

    The finance secretary says there are challenges about under employment, part-time employment and low pay, following an intervention by Labour MSP Alex Rowley.

    Mr Swinney says despite five years of austerity the chancellor has failed to meet his targets on the deficit and debt, and will have to borrow far more.

  41. BACKGROUND

    The Scottish economy will continue to pick up pace, despite the lower oil price having an adverse impact on the oil and gas industry.

    The Fraser of Allander Institute's regular forecast shows the boost to oil users in Scotland outweighs the harm to North Sea producers.

    Oil and gas

    The institute said tightening public spending could still hurt the economy.

    But it said "strengthening" investment was a reason to expect higher growth than it had forecast in November.

  42. 'Austerity'

    Mr Swinney says Scotland's economic recovery is now well established, the economy has grown continuously for two years.

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says he is sure the finance secretary will praise the UK government's economic policy.

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

    However the deputy first minister insists the recovery is "in spite of, rather than because of, the UK government's austerity measures".

  43. Government motion

    Mr Swinney's motion condemns "the unfair approach that the UK government is taking to reductions in public spending and the disproportionate impact that this is having on low-income households".

    The deputy first minister says the approach of the Scottish Government has "fairness at its heart and would see a 0.5% real increase in spending on public services every year from 2016-17 to 2019-20 while continuing to reduce debt over the next parliamentary session".

    This, he claims, would lead to an additional £180 billion of investment for protecting crucial public services.

    Further welcomes the publication of Scotland's Economic Strategy, and agrees that reducing inequality is not only important in itself, but is vital to establishing the conditions needed to deliver sustainable economic growth over the long term.

  44. Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland's Economy debate

    Finance Secretary John Swinney leads a debate entitled 'Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland's Economy'.

  45. Lobbying

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay calls for a timetable for his proposed bill on lobbying.

    Conservative MSP Liz Smith says that is not a matter for the SPCB.

  46. SPCB questions

    MSPs are quizzing the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body (SPCB).

    The questions are as follows:

    1. Christine Grahame: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body for what reason there has been no uplift in capped postage provision since 2009 given the increase of 59% and 77% in stamp costs, and whether it considers that this reduces members' ability to correspond with their constituents. (S4O-04092)

    Chamber

    2. Mary Scanlon: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body what assistance it gives to school pupils from remote and rural areas to visit the Parliament. (S4O-04061)

    3. John Wilson: To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body how it will engage on the proposal to establish a register of lobbying. (S4O-04093)

  47. Committee ends

    That ends the committee evidence session on firearms officers.

    We're back with SPCB questions at 2.30pm

  48. 'More robust'

    Committee convener Ms Grahame says Police Scotland were pretty cavalier in its dismissing of the SPA and the SPA did not seem to know what it was doing.

    Committee Convener Christine Grahame
    Image caption: Committee Convener Christine Grahame

    She says she does not think the SPA did its job and it needs to be more robust.

  49. 'Supermarket queues'

    Independent MSP John Finnie says how did it come about that police officers have been seen at fetes and in supermarket queues with firearms.

    Mr Finnie says clearly Chief Constable Stephen House did not think this issue was of importance to highlight.

  50. Nearest officer

    Iain Whyte says there was a view amongst people in Scotland that should they need a police officer to attend an incident they would want the nearest officer to attend whether they were carrying a firearm for other reasons or not.

  51. HMIC

    Derek Penman from the HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland says he would be concerned with covert carriage of firearms.

    ACC Higgins both HMIC and SPA reports says it is quite clear that conspicuous carriage of firearms has caused some concern and carriage must be looked at.

    Derek Penman from the HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland
    Image caption: Derek Penman from the HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland

    Ms McInnes says it is not that the firearms are visible but that they are deployed that causes concern.

  52. 'Routine incidents'

    ACC Higgins says since October there have been 1,644 instances where ARV officers have engaged members of the public.

    He says in year one of Police Scotland that was over 30,000, so it is a big reduction.

    Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes says the committee was told armed officers were not attending routine incidents, but this shows they are.

    Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes
    Image caption: Liberal Democrat Alison McInnes
  53. ARV review

    ACC Higgins says since October there have been five occasions ARVs have been dispatched to calls that did not fit the exact criteria.

    He says three of these he did believe included a threat to life.

    ACC Higgins says all ARV call outs will be reviewed.

  54. Police Scotland reporting

    Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority says when the report was published ACC Higgins came along and gave a response to concerns.

    Police Scotland will report at the SPA meeting in March on what progress has been made, says Mr Whyte.

    He says we are a small organisation overseeing a very large organisation, but Mr Penman will help.

  55. 'Sensitivity'

    DCC Livingstone says Police Scotland did not realise the sensitivity around the change in firearms policy

  56. Mistakes made

    Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone says he accepts there were mistakes made surrounding the change to firearms policy

  57. Policy assessment

    Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority says the SPA will be looking for any results from Police Scotland consultations to allow them to fully assess the policy information brought to the SPA.

  58. Policy changes

    Labour MSP Elaine Murray asks about major policy changes for Police Scotland.

    Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone says Police Scotland says it would go through the internal structure of Police Scotland, the the SPA and then communities and then back.

  59. Engagement

    Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone says Police Scotland is absolutely committed to increasing engagement with communities.

    Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone
    Image caption: Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone
  60. ANALYSIS

    Reevel Alderson

    BBC Scotland's social affairs correspondent

    Police Scotland are to publish changes to its policy on the arming of officers by the end of this month, MSPs have been told.

    Assistant Chief Constable Bernie Higgins told Holyrood's Justice sub-committee a report into the controversial policy is to be reviewed by senior officers on March 11.

    It will then be sent to the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) at its meeting on March 31.

    ACC Higgins said there are currently 268 officers on full-time duties in armed response vehicles (ARVs).

    A further 270 officers have firearms authorisation, he said.

  61. Policy not operational matter

    Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell says the issue of firearms officers was clearly a matter of policy.

  62. Change to standing orders on firearms officers

    Last October it was announced that specialist armed police officers in Scotland would in future only be deployed to firearms incidents or where there was a threat to life.

  63. Clarity

    Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone says the challenge to us has been the standard authority was introduced but people are not clear about it, then we have to engage with the public and this committee.

  64. Report consideration

    Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins from Police Scotland says Police Scotland will consider the SPA report and then engage with other stakeholders.

    Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins from Police Scotland
    Image caption: Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins from Police Scotland

    ACC Higgins says the total number of authorised firearms officers in Scotland is 538.

    He says, as of this morning, there are 268 full time ARV officers, plus 48 instructors and firearm specialists.

  65. ARV officers

    SNP MSP Kevin Stewart asks what other incidents can armed response vehicle (ARV) officers deal with.

    Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins from Police Scotland says ARV officers are still police officers and will have to act as such if they see a crime.

  66. 'Tiny minority'

    Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone says there needs to be a firearms capacity to protect the vast majority of unarmed officers, as the threat to officers has increased.

    Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone from Police Scotland
    Image caption: Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone from Police Scotland

    DCC Livingstone says it is a tiny minority of officers who are armed and he believes Police Scotland has a proportionate response to the issue.

  67. Report

    Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority says the purpose of our report was to determine what the situation was under Police Scotland.

  68. Position prior 1 April 2013

    Mr Finnie asks what the position regarding the deployment of firearms officers before 1 April 2013.

  69. Report rewrite queried

    Mr Finnie asks if the conclusions of the report were in any way as a result of consultations with people in the report.

    He says that if it was suggested the delay in the report was because Police Scotland demanded a rewrite.

    Independent MSP John Finnie
    Image caption: Independent MSP John Finnie

    "If that was the case that never came to me" Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority says.

    Mr Whyte says the conclusions and recommendations did not change during this process.

  70. SPA

    Independent MSP John Finnie asks why the report on armed officers was published late.

    Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority says they were delayed by a number of factors but they wanted to have a full review of the situation.

    Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority
    Image caption: Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority

    Mr Finnie asks who saw the report in advance of it being published.

    Mr Whyte says a number of people saw the report in advance to check facts.

  71. Justice Sub Committee on Policing begins

    The Justice Sub Committee on Policing is taking evidence on armed police.

    Group shot

    The committee will take evidence from Iain Whyte from the Scottish Police Authority, Deputy Chief Constable Iain Livingstone and Assistant Chief Constable Bernard Higgins from Police Scotland and Derek Penman from the HM Inspector of Constabulary in Scotland.

  72. BACKGROUND

    Last October it was announced that specialist armed police officers in Scotland would in future only be deployed to firearms incidents or where there was a threat to life.

    The move came following concerns from politicians about officers carrying weapons while on routine patrol.

    Armed police

    Opposition parties described the move as a U-turn.

    However Police Scotland said the standing order allowing the deployment of officers with handguns and Taser stun guns would continue.

  73. BACKGROUND

    Just over half of respondents have backed the routine arming of firearms officers in a study commissioned by a police body.

    The survey of 1,000 people by the Scottish Police Authority suggested 53% were supportive of the policy.

    Another armed police man

    Almost one in three said it increased their confidence in the police.

    In October last year, following growing criticism from politicians and civic society, Police Scotland decided to back down on the controversial policy.

  74. Debate ends but we continue

    That ends the member's debate on Fairtrade, but wait....... no time for lunch just yet as we are about to bring you coverage of the Justice Sub-Committee on Policing.

    Armed Police
    Image caption: Armed Police

    The committee will be looking at the issue of armed police officers.

  75. Fairtrade recognition

    Mr Ewing details 200 schools which have participated in Fairtrade initiatives and the work of the parents, pupils and churches should be recognised.

    In 2013 87% of people in Scotland were aware of Fairtrade.

    The minister says the Scottish government has donated £150,000 for the Malawi funds response.

    He says International Development Minister Humza Yousaf has met with representatives of Bala and secured 100 footballs.

  76. BACKGROUND

    Scotland became a Fair Trade Nation in February 2013 after achieving its target of having all six cities and 18 of its 32 councils garnering fair trade status.

    Scottish Fair Trade Forum director Martin Rhodes welcomed the news that it had followed Wales in becoming one of the first nations to have the accolade.

    Fair trade bananas

    Fair Trade products are said to offer a better deal to workers in developing countries.

    Mr Rhodes said it had a positive impact on their lives and their communities.

  77. Ministerial response

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing thanks and congratulates Mr Adam for his work on Fairtra

    Mr Ewing says on 25 February 2013 the minister for Europe and international development announced Scotland had become a Fairtrade nation.

    Business Minister Fergus Ewing
    Image caption: Business Minister Fergus Ewing

    The minister says Fairtrade status demonstrates our commitment to making a real difference to some of the world's most vulnerable people.de.

  78. 'Does what it says on the tin'

    Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie says Fairtrade is unusual as it works in both theory and in practice.

    Ms Goldie says Fairtrade offers vital protection and support.

    Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie brandishes a Fairtrade chocolate bar

    She says Fairtrade is what it says on the tin, which is a win win situation for producers and consumers.

    Fairtrade consumers have the power to change the world, says the former leader of the Conservative leaders.

    Ms Goldie says she will give Mr Adam a Scottish Parliament Fairtrade chocolate bar which she brandishes in the chamber with elan.

  79. 'Vital'

    Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson says Fairtrade is one issue on which there is consensus across the chamber.

    Ms Ferguson says support for the principle of Fairtrade is vital.

    Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson
    Image caption: Labour MSP Patricia Ferguson

    She says it is two years since Scotland became a Fairtrade nation, but that didn't happen overnight, it took a big commitment.

  80. Nelson Mandela

    Nelson Mandela

    Mr Adam calls on us to remember the words of Nelson Mandela:

    "Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice."

  81. 'Fair World'

    Mr Adam says Scotland must continue its journey with Fairtrade, creating a fair world with opportunity for all.

    SNP MSP George Adam
    Image caption: SNP MSP George Adam

    He says lets see what we can do to make this world a better place.

  82. Bala fairtrade footballs

    Mr Adam says sport is a perfect example of giving access to people to get involved with Fairtrade.

    He points to Fairtrade footballs and the work of Bala.

    The Bala website says it is a new co-operative style organisation set up to expand the availability and use of ethically produced Fairtrade sports balls (focusing initially on footballs) in the UK and beyond.

    BALA
    Image caption: Fairtrade football from Bala

    The Fairtrade Mark is the most widely recognised ethical label globally and trusted by 89% of UK consumer, it says.

    A key role of this co-operative is to raise awareness of the issues around Fairtrade sports balls and how they help make a difference in the lives of some of the estimated 40,000 workers in Sialkot, Pakistan (where around 70% of the world's hand-stitched balls are made).

  83. Fairtrade

    Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 takes place from 23 February to 8 March and 2015 marks the second anniversary of Scotland achieving Fair Trade Nation status and that this will be celebrated during the fortnight.

    In his motion Mr Adam says he supports the work of the Scottish Fair Trade Forum in promoting and widening of awareness and purchasing of fairly-traded goods and in hosting fair trade visitors to Scotland from the Dominican Republic, Malawi and Mauritius.

    Mr Adam says in order to honour its Fair Trade Nation status, Scotland needs to continue to lead the global campaign to make trade fair.

  84. Fairtrade Fortnight 2015 debate

    Fairtrade logo

    SNP MSP George Adam is leading a debate on Fairtrade Fortnight 2015.

  85. Post update

    Liam Kirkaldy tweets: Sturgeon moves onto Planning System in #fmqs. Much of the criticism stems from fact applicant can appeal, but objectors cannot.

  86. Post update

    Aedán Smith tweets: Great to hear planning taking centre stage at #FMQs

  87. Planning process

    Tory MSP Liz Smith cites concern that the public has lost faith in the planning process and that powerful commercial interests are being put first. Ms Smith asks for the issue to be looked at independently. FM says most planning decisions are made locally and warns against taking the planning system out of the democratic process.

  88. Island health

    Orkney Lib Dem MSP Liam McArthur asks FM to look at the impact of NHS 24 recruitment in relation to island areas. FM says it's a good point and it's being looked at.

  89. Post update

    Andrew Gavin tweets: It's all very well to get on your high-horse about nuclear weapons without offering an alternative, isn't it? #fmqs

  90. NHS 24

    Labour's Richard Simpson asks what's being done to keep up recruitment at the NHS 24 helpline. He cites concern about ensuring the service has enough nurses. FM says NHS 24 has performed well and says the number of qualified nurses in the NHS has increased since the SNP came to power.

  91. Post update

    Steven M : 75% of #Slab candidates agree with @theSNP on trident. Maybe the leadership will get backbone to agree with them- @NicolaSturgeon #FMQs

  92. BACKGROUND

    The Sunday Herald reported "fresh alarms over nuclear dangers" on the Clyde, after the Ministry of Defence revealed that the number of radiation safety incidents had leapt by more than 50 per cent in a year.

  93. Nuclear defence

    The SNP's Stuart McMillan asks about nuclear defence safety on the Clyde, including at the Faslane naval base. FM says it's time for the Trident nuclear weapons based there to be removed. She adds that, according to a CND survey, most Scottish Labour election candidates want that too.

  94. BACKGROUND

    What's the issue all about?

    • The money, invested over three years, will be used to help health boards and councils provide support packages for people in their own homes.
    • Figures from last October showed a rise in number of patients waiting longer than four weeks to be discharged.
    • The health secretary said the funding would "ease pressure" on the system.
    • Delayed discharge, often referred to as bed-blocking, is when a patient is judged clinically ready to go home but continues to occupy a hospital bed while plans are made for appropriate follow-up care.
  95. Bed blocking

    WR says bed blocking is "soaring" and targets are being missed. He asks how long it will take to address the problems. FM says the health authority and the local council are working together to improve the situation.

  96. NHS Fife

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie (WR) says the performance of NHS Fife is bad and getting worse. FM says NHS Fife is performing well and needs to be supported to do better.

  97. Post update

    Mark Diffley tweets: FM scuppers idea of reintroducing alcohol at football matches #fmqs

  98. Post update

    StuartTheBadger tweets: Drunk & disorderly people are a feature of the A&E landscape. What world does the FM inhabit? #FMQs

  99. Highland fishermen

    SNP MSP Rob Gibson asks about support for fishermen in Applecross in his Highland constituency affected by local marine defence developments. FM says the Scottish government is taking action on the matter.

  100. Casualty drunks

    RD tells MSPs that A&E staff she spoke to this week said some people turned up at casualty who didn't need to be there, such as those who had drunk too much. FM says it's important not to burden A&E departments which those who don't need to be there and says she's happy to discuss the issue further.

  101. BACKGROUND

    Ambulance

    Scotland's A&E departments treated 87% of people within the Scottish government's target of four hours in January, NHS statistics show.

    For the first time, weekly waiting times in Scottish A&E's have also been published.

    They cover major hospitals only and suggest 86% of people were treated in four hours between 16 and 22 February.

    The Scottish government target is 95%.

  102. A&E targets

    Ruth Davidson

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson (RD) asks whether the NHS is meeting A&E performance targets. FM says there are issues in three health authority areas, but work is being done to tackle them.

  103. 'We can deliver'

    FM says Labour "linked arms with the Tories" to prevent devolution of the minimum wage. FM says people see the SNP government as one which can deliver, while they are prepared to leave Labour "languishing".

  104. Living wage

    KD says the SNP has had eight years to do something about the issue. She adds that SNP MSPs were instructed to vote against encouraging employers to pay a "living wage" because the policy was put forward by Labour.

  105. Post update

    Caron Lindsay tweets: Sigh. Ironic to see that SNP MSPs are taking lessons from Westminster on poor parliamentary behaviour. #fmq

  106. Women apprenticeships

    Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour's deputy leader

    KD says "women are being walked out of the jobs of the future" under the SNP because they aren't getting the chance to get into modern apprenticeships. FM says she recently launched a drive to get more women into apprenticeships.

  107. Post update

    Alastair Ross tweets: Once again @kdugdalemsp goes with the Bruce Forsyth/Play Your cards Right gambit at #FMQ #higher #lower #goodgame #goodgame

  108. 'Spending more'

    FM says the SNP is spending more on colleges than Labour did during its entire time in office, delivering the opportunities that people need, she says.

  109. Opportunities for women

    Nicola Sturgeon

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (FM) says she's working to increase opportunities for women. KD says FM has no idea what the figures are and says 85,000 fewer women are going to college.

  110. Post update

    Alex Massie tweets: "Talking Scotland down" klaxon! #fmqs

  111. Women at college

    Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale (KD) begins by doing her "higher or lower" routine. This time, she asks if there are more or less women going to college.

  112. First minister's questions

    We will shortly bring you extensive coverage of first minister's questions, including social media reaction to this week's political clashes.

  113. Land register

    SNP MSP Rob Gibson asks the Scottish government how much private and public land in Scotland was registered on the national map-based register of land ownership by December 2014 and how much it envisages being registered in the next five years.

  114. Oil and gas

    Labour MSP David Stewart asks the Scottish government what appraisal it has made of the economic impact in the Highlands and Islands of the oil and gas sector.

  115. Endocrine disruptors

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey asks the Scottish government whether it has responded to the EU consultation on the impact of the use of endocrine disruptors in farming.

  116. Attainment

    Education Secretary Angela Constance says the government has already identified seven local authorities to participate in the attainment fund.

    Resources will be indentified and allocated on a basis of need, she says.

    Labour MSP Iain Gray
    Image caption: Labour MSP Iain Gray

    Mr Gray asks if the minister is not just making this up as she goes along.

    Ms Constance says she thinks it is Labour who are making it up as they go along, copying Scottish government policy.

  117. BACKGROUND

    Last month Nicola Sturgeon unveiled plans designed to bridge the attainment gap between pupils from poor backgrounds and those from wealthier households.

    The first minster's proposals will draw on schemes with a proven track record, including the London Challenge.

    nicola sturgeon in dundee
    Image caption: The first minister, on a visit to a school in Dundee, said the barriers to learning must be overcome

    The scheme will be backed up by a new Attainment Scotland Fund which will provide £100m of investment over four years.

    Scottish Labour has outlined a £25m plan to address education inequalities.

  118. Attainment fund

    Labour MSP Iain Gray asks the Scottish government what plans it has to publish further details of its attainment fund.

  119. Ministerial response

    Social Justice Secretary Alex Neil says the Scottish government has implemented the majority of its action plan to tackle the spread of payday lenders.

    Mr Neil says it has ended business rates eligibility for the small business bonus for payday lenders.

    Social Justice and Communities Secretary Alex Neil
    Image caption: Social Justice and Communities Secretary Alex Neil

    He calls for the UK government to give Scotland the powers it needs to tackle the issue.

  120. Pay day lenders

    Labour MSP Margaret McCulloch asks the Scottish government what progress it is making toward addressing payday lending and gambling in town centres and neighbourhoods

  121. Ministerial response

    Education Secretary Angela Constance says the Scottish government met with Glasgow City Council on 29 January to discuss the issue of childcare and there is an ongoing correspondence.

    Education Secretary Angela Constance
    Image caption: Education Secretary Angela Constance

    Ms Constance says the Scottish government is more than happy to work with all local authorities on delivering high quality, flexible childcare.

  122. BACKGROUND

    Fewer than one in six councils in Scotland have enough childcare capacity to meet the needs of working parents, according to new research.

    The study by the Family and Childcare Trust said 15% of local authorities in Scotland had enough childcare for parents who worked full-time.

    Childcare

    That was down from 23% when the survey was carried out in 2013.

    Scottish councils have a statutory duty to provide 600 hours of free childcare for three and four-year-olds.

  123. Childcare question

    SNP MSP Bob Doris asks the Scottish government when it last met Glasgow City Council to discuss how it is taking forward the childcare commitment for eligible two-year-olds and all three and four-year-olds.

  124. Raith Junction

    Conservative MSP Margaret Mitchell asks when the various phases of the Transport Scotland Raith Junction improvement works are due for completion.

  125. Ministerial response

    Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Paul Wheelhouse says the need for guardianship has to be demonstrated by the applicant.

    It is for the sheriff to decide where a guardianship should be ordered.

    Ms McInnes says orders are increasingly being used for people with learning disabilities, taking away control over their own life.

    Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Paul Wheelhouse
    Image caption: Community Safety and Legal Affairs Minister Paul Wheelhouse

    She asks if it would be appropriate to review the law on guardianships.

    Mr Wheelhouse says he recognises the concerns of Ms McInnes and says adults with some form of learning disability should be supported to make what decisions they can themselves.

  126. General questions begins

    MSPs are questioning Scottish government ministers during general question time.

    Lib Dem MSP Alison McInnes asks the Scottish government under what circumstances it considers it appropriate for a guardianship order to be granted.

  127. General questions

    1. Alison McInnes: To ask the Scottish Government under what circumstances it considers it appropriate for a guardianship order to be granted. (S4O-040

    2. Margaret Mitchell: To ask the Scottish Government when the various phases of the Transport Scotland Raith Junction improvement works are due for completion. (S4O-04083)

    3. Bob Doris: To ask the Scottish Government when it last met Glasgow City Council to discuss how it is taking forward the childcare commitment for eligible two-year-olds and all three and four-year-olds. (S4O-04084)

    4. Margaret McCulloch: To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making toward addressing payday lending and gambling in town centres and neighbourhoods. (S4O-04085)

    5. Iain Gray: To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to publish further details of its attainment fund. (S4O-04086)

    Holyrood chamber

    6. Graeme Dey: To ask the Scottish Government whether it has responded to the EU consultation on the impact of the use of endocrine disruptors in farming. (S4O-04087)

    7. David Stewart: To ask the Scottish Government what appraisal it has made of the economic impact in the Highlands and Islands of the oil and gas sector. (S4O-04088)

    8. Rob Gibson: To ask the Scottish Government how much private and public land in Scotland was registered on the national map-based register of land ownership by December 2014 and how much it envisages being registered in the next five years. (S4O-04089)

    9. Mark Griffin: [Not Lodged]

    10. Graeme Pearson: To ask the Scottish Government what plans it has to develop the abandoned harbour area in Stranraer. (S4O-04091)82)

  128. Coming up

    First minister's questions will as ever follow general questions at noon.

    SNP MSP George Adam will then lead a member's debate on Fairtrade Fortnight 2015.

    The Justice Sub Committee will take evidence on armed police from 1.15pm.

    More armed police
    Image caption: MSPs will take evidence on armed police this lunchtime

    After lunch time Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body Questions begins the afternoon session in the chamber.

    The Scottish government will then lead a debate entitled 'Protecting Public Services and Boosting Scotland's Economy'.

  129. Welcome

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Thursday 5 March 2015.

    Holyrood