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Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Carol Duncan

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all folks

    That ends BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of the Scottish parliament on Wednesday 1 April 2015.

    Holyrood at night

    Have a good evening, we'll be back tomorrow morning with coverage of the Equal Opportunities Committee as it continues its inquiry into age and isolation.

  2. Funding announcement

    The minister announces a further £653,305 in funding for Number 6 One-Stop Shop.

    Number 6 is a service for adults (16 and over) with High Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger Syndrome (AS) who live in the Lothians and the Borders.

    The service is provided by Autism Initiatives UK and was officially launched in June 2005, with the opening of the Number 6 One-Stop Shop.

  3. Ministerial response

    Children and Young People Minister Fiona McLeod congratulates Mr MacDonald who has been asked to be on the National Autistic Society Scotland's advisory board.

    Ms McLeod says the Scottish Autism Strategy is now in its third year and she says she wants to reinforce the Scottish government's commitment to supporting those with Autism.

  4. Employment

    Mr MacDonald says we must get more autistic people into sustained employment and he says there is no reason why that can't be the case.

  5. Autism Access Award

    Thursday is world autism awareness day and Mr McDonald commends the Autism Access Award presented to the Scottish Parliament earlier today.

    Mark McDonald

    The Scottish Parliament is the first public building in Scotland to receive the award, he says.

    Deputy Presiding Officer Elaine Smith later joins Mr MacDonald in praising the Scottish Parliament's staff on the achievement.

  6. Relaxed cinema and theatre performances

    Mr McDonald commends recent initiatives for providing relaxed cinema and theatre performances and applauds efforts to increase the number of facilities qualifying for the Autism Access Awards administered by the National Autistic Society.

    However he says work still needs to be done to improve attitudes and understanding regarding people with autism, for example in increasing opportunities for employment, and supports the ongoing work of a range of organisations to create greater awareness to help make Scotland a truly autism-friendly nation.

  7. Making Scotland autism friendly debate

    SNP MSP Mark McDonald is leading a debate on making Scotland autism friendly.

    World autism awareness week takes place between 27 March and 2 April 2015, with World autism awareness day taking place on 2 April.

    In his motion Mr McDonald highlights the ongoing work of the Scottish Strategy for Autism and he welcomes investment in new resources, such as the autism toolbox for schools.

  8. Decision time

    MSPs back the amended motion from the Scottish Conservative was passed.

    Finance Secretary John Swinney's amendment is passed, Labour's amendment fell.

    MSPs voting
    Image caption: MSPs voting
  9. Point of order

    Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie raises a point of order.

    Patrick Harvie

    Mr Harvie asks Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick on her views on reform of public scrutiny of the Scottish Parliament, noting that the Parliamentary bureau meets in private.

    Ms Marwick says the views, she expressed in a speech on Monday, are her personal opinions but that she has had meetings with the conveners' group, Parliamentary business managers and colleagues. She also welcomes input from all Parliamentary colleagues.

  10. Full fiscal autonomy

    Mr Fraser says full fiscal autonomy makes no sense and is just a different route to independence.

    He raises the issue of the fiscal gap that would come about from full fiscal autonomy.

    He calls again for the Scottish government to publish its projections and the oil and gas bulletin.

  11. Conservative close

    Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser says full fiscal autonomy is not the best way to go for Scotland.

    Mr Fraser says the SNP model of full fiscal autonomy simply does not exist anywhere else in the world.

    Murdo Fraser

    There should be a sharing and pulling of resources.

  12. Oil and gas analytical bulletin

    Mr Swinney says he will publish an oil and gas analytical bulletin when possible.

  13. Minister closes

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says Labour are continuing in the same vein as they did in the 'Better Together' campaign and have yet to set out where the £30bn of fiscal tightening they have agreed to would come from.

    John Swinney

    Mr Swinney says that having wider economic levers at the disposal of the Scottish Parliament would be beneficial for the Scottish economy.

  14. Labour closing

    Labour MSP Lewis MacDonald says what is most striking how little SNP members have had to say about fiscal autonomy.

    Lewis MacDonald

    Mr MacDonald says Mr Swinney gave no information about how he would replace the Barnett formula and how he would address the £7.6bn black hole.

  15. 'Shut up'

    Mr Rennie says the £7.6bn cuts required after fiscal autonomy has been made very, very clear by the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

    The Lib Dem MSP says the SNP say its all about the potential if Scotland had the economic levers.

    He says not one SNP MSP has mentioned corporation tax.

    Mr Rennie says it is time the SNP shuts up about full fiscal autonomy.

  16. Lib Dems

    Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie says oil and gas are unpredictable resources and it would be political folly to base the country's economics on it.

    Willie Rennie

    Mr Rennie says when he questions the plans of the Scottish government he is not saying Scotland should be abolished he is only doing his duty as a member of the Scottish Parliament and to suggest otherwise is insulting.

  17. 'Continuing austerity'

    MS Baillie draws to a close saying "a vote for the SNP is a vote for continuing austerity" and the only party proposing to end austerity is the Labour party.

  18. 'Austerity max'

    Ms Baillie says the SNP plans for full fiscal autonomy as "austerity max".

    She says this year the people of Scotland will continue to face Tory austerity as the SNP have agreed to follow the Conservative plan.

  19. 'Fantasy economics'

    The Labour MSP accuses the SNP of fiddling the figures and of "fantasy economics".

  20. 'Slash services or increase taxes'

    Ms Baillie says the Scottish people must decide whether to retain the block grant from the Barnett formula or go for full fiscal autonomy.

    The Labour MSP says the black hole is now forecast to grow to a staggering £7.6bn

    She says the Scottish government would have to slash services or increase taxes by a huge amount.

  21. A £7.6bn gap

    Scottish Labour MSP Jackie Baillie seeks to amend Gavin Brown's motion to call on the Scottish government to publish updated figures for Scotland's public finances based on full fiscal autonomy and updated oil and gas analysis before the general election.

    Jackie Baillie

    Ms Baillie's amendment says the only way to avert a further £7.6bn in Scottish government cuts or tax rises, as noted by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, is to reject full fiscal autonomy in favour of keeping the block grant and the Barnett formula.

  22. Detail

    Mr Swinney says the people of Scotland will want the detail of the £12bn cuts to welfare the Conservatives are planning.

    He also points to the Labour party and its signing up to £30bn of cuts.

  23. Timetable

    Mr Swinney says the timetable for full fiscal autonomy would inevitably be dependent on negotiations with the UK government.

  24. 'Benefits of full fiscal autonomy.

    The deputy first minister highlights a 40% increase in exports and points to the success of Scotland's inward investment.

    The SNP MSP says full fiscal autonomy would ensure taxation reflected the needs of the people of Scotland.

    It would allow us to take a different course of action he says.

    Mr Swinney says a lot of the analysis does not take into account the benefits of full fiscal autonomy.

  25. Economic levers

    Mr Swinney says with all the economic levers devolved to Scotland would be able to improve on the progress already made to date.

  26. Higher onshore output per head

    Mr Swinney says Scotland's onshore output per head is over £1600 higher than the UK average.

    He says Scotland raises more tax per head than the rest of the UK.

  27. More powers

    Mr Swinney says the Conservatives are arguing for the continuation of the status quo.

    He says the government wants to do something about that and is seeking the powers to create a more productive economy to help deliver more in public services.

  28. Vulnerable

    In the motion, Mr Swinney says the UK Government's austerity plan and welfare cuts are having a disproportionate impact on the most vulnerable in society.

    The deputy first minister says he believes in an alternative to this approach that would protect vital investment in public services and develop a fair and sustainable economy.

  29. Taxation and welfare plans

    Finance Secretary John Swinney seeks to amend Gavin Brown's motion to ask all UK parties to give details of their plans for taxation and welfare before the general election.

    John Swinney

    Mr Swinney's amendment says that an alternative approach to the UK government's austerity plan and welfare cuts would protect public services and develop a fair and sustainable economy.

  30. Ducking details

    Mr Brown says "there is not a respected economist on the planet" who would say that Scotland's economy would be stronger on its own and that the Scottish government has "ducked" giving detailed figures on how these policies could be achieved.

  31. BACKGROUND: McColl backs full fiscal autonomy

    One of Scotland's most successful businessmen, Jim McColl, has called for Holyrood to have full control over its finances by 2020.

    He said this would give Scotland "meaningful powers" to grow the economy and close the public spending gap the new system would create.

    Jim McColl
    Image caption: Jim McColl

    Mr McColl, who runs Clyde Blowers Capital, backed a "yes" vote in the independence referendum.

    But he says that issue has now been "settled".

    He has reverted to supporting full fiscal autonomy for Scotland.

  32. £7.6bn black hole

    The Conservative MSP says the IFS fiscal studies suggest the UK deficit will drop over the next years.

    In Scotland however the deficit will increase he says.

    Money

    Mr Brown says the UK will have a falling deficit at 4% with Scotland having a deficit of 8.6%.

    This will lead to a £7.6bn black hole meaning the Scottish government will have to decrease spending or increasing taxes.

  33. 'Audacity'

    Mr Brown says a number of experts have said we would be markedly worse off with full fiscal autonomy, with some frightening figures.

    The Conservative MSP says full fiscal autonomy is the only way to end austerity and the SNP say it will make Scotland better off.

    The SNP says they even have the audacity to say it would boost revenues.

  34. Scottish Fiscal Commission

    Mr Brown claims it would also then reflect the current Scottish government policy of seeking full fiscal autonomy.

    He believes that the update should be conducted and published by the Scottish Fiscal Commission, and calls on the Scottish government to publish an updated oil and gas analytical bulletin as soon as possible.

  35. Full fiscal autonomy

    In his motion, Mr Browns says the Scottish government seeks to achieve full fiscal autonomy for Scotland within the UK, which a number of experts have predicted would lead to a a weaker fiscal position for Scotland.

    Gavin Brown

    The Tory MSP says it would result in a potential net fiscal deficit of over double that of the UK in 2015-16, as outlined by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and would be damaging for the Scottish economy.

    He calls on the Scottish government to arrange for publication of an update to the Outlook for Scotland's Public Finances to take into account changes to the projected public finances since its original publication in May 2014.

  36. Scottish Conservatives: Economy debate

    Scottish Conservatives finance spokesperson Gavin Brown leads the debate on the economy.

  37. US vested interests

    Mr Swinney says Energy Minister Fergus Ewing is in the United States speaking with many vested interests in the North Sea oil industry

  38. BACKGROUND: North Sea Jobs cuts

    Oil giants Shell and Taqa have announced plans to cut hundreds of North Sea jobs.

    Oil platform

    Shell UK plans to cut 250 posts from its North Sea operations and change offshore shift patterns, as part of a drive to manage rising costs.

    Staff and agency contractors based in Aberdeen and on installations in the North Sea were informed on Thursday.

    Earlier, Taqa said it planned to cut about 100 jobs because of the "challenging" time facing the industry.

  39. Oil and gas

    SNP MSP Christian Allard asks what the Scottish government is doing to support the oil and gas industry.

  40. Expensive properties

    Labour Malcolm Chisholm asks the Scottish government whether it supports more progressive taxation for those on the very highest incomes and those with the most expensive properties.

  41. 'Leaving the EU'

    SNP MSP Colin Beattie asks the Scottish government what the impact on the Scottish economy would be of the UK leaving the EU.

    EU flag
  42. IFS

    SNP MSP James Dornan asks the Scottish government what its response is to the Post-Budget Briefing by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which finds that the poorest have seen the biggest proportionate losses as a result of the UK Government's tax and benefit changes.

  43. Dumfries and Galloway

    Conservative MSP Alex Fergusson asks what steps the Scottish government is taking to help regenerate the economy of Dumfries and Galloway.

  44. Mid Scotland and Fife

    Labour MSP Jayne Baxter asks what the Scottish government is doing to grow the economy in Mid Scotland and Fife.

  45. BACKGROUND: Climate change

    Last Septemeber it emerged almost half of the power generated in Scotland now comes from renewable sources.

    The Department of Energy and Climate Change said renewables achieved 46.4% of gross electricity consumption in 2013 - up from 39.9% in 2012.

    It also found the amount of power generated from renewable sources in Scotland in the first half of this year was 30% up on a year ago.

    Renewables

    The period saw wind output rise by 20%, while hydro generation climbed by 50%.

    Renewable heat generation accounted for 3% of Scotland's non-electrical heat demand - up from 2.7% in 2011.

    Industry group Scottish Renewables warned that Scotland's 2020 renewable heat target remained "worryingly out of reach", despite progress in the sector.

    The Scottish government's target is 100% of electricity demand coming from green power by 2020.

  46. Committee on Climate Change statement

    Labour MSP Sarah Boyack asks the Scottish government what its response is to the Committee on Climate Change's expert statement that further actions are required if the 2020 renewable heat target is to be met.

  47. Ministerial response

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says the House of Lords report puts some worthy points and some that are not really worth of attention.

  48. BACKGROUND: House of Lords

    UK government proposals for further devolution for Scotland were rushed through with insufficient consultation, a parliamentary report has said.

    The plans also failed to give proper consideration to the rest of the United Kingdom, according to the House of Lords Constitution Committee.

    House of Lords

    All three major party leaders signed up to a "vow" to deliver further devolution last September.

    The move was a bid to head off a Yes vote in the independence referendum.

    The Smith Commission drew up proposals for change within three months of the vote.

  49. House of Lords report

    SNP MSP Graeme Dey asks what response the Scottish government has had to the House of Lords Constitution Committee report, Proposals for the devolution of further powers to Scotland. (S4O-04190)

  50. Revenue Scotland recruitment

    Conservative MSP Cameron Buchanan asks the Scottish government whether it has filled all vacancies at Revenue Scotland.

  51. Veto

    Scottish Conservative MSP Annabel Goldie says the minister has stopped using the word veto.

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says the early devolution of the work programme has effectively been vetoed by the UK government.

  52. Clauses

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says there are a number of issues raised with the UK government concerning the clauses it published for further devolution.

    John Swinney

    Mr Swinney says the Scottish government has engaged with the UK government about the deficiencies in the clauses.

    He says he hopes the issues will be addressed by the incoming UK government after the election.

  53. Smith Commission

    SNP MSP Jim Eadie asks what recent discussions the Scottish government has had with the UK government on the implementation of the Smith agreement.

    Smith Commission
  54. Gathering tax today

    Finance Secretary John Swinney says the system has begun to gather the first Scottish national tax in 300 years today.

  55. Revenue Scotland IT system

    Conservative MSP Gavin Brown asks the Scottish government whether it will provide an update on the implementation of the Revenue Scotland IT system.

  56. Economy and public services

    Labour MSP Neil Bibby asks the Scottish government what action it is taking to improve the economy and public services.

  57. And we're off

    SNP MSP Willie Coffey asks the Scottish government what measures it has introduced to boost the economy in Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley.

  58. Portfolio questions

    Finance, Constitution and Economy

    1. Willie Coffey: To ask the Scottish Government what measures it has introduced to boost the economy in Kilmarnock and Irvine Valley. (S4O-04184)

    2. Neil Bibby: To ask the Scottish Government what action it is taking to improve the economy and public services. (S4O-04185)

    3. Gavin Brown: To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the implementation of the Revenue Scotland IT system. (S4O-04186)

    4. Jim Eadie: To ask the Scottish Government what recent discussions it has had with the UK Government on the implementation of the Smith agreement. (S4O-04187)

    5. Cameron Buchanan: To ask the Scottish Government whether it has filled all vacancies at Revenue Scotland. (S4O-04188)

    6. Clare Adamson: [Withdrawn]

    7. Graeme Dey: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the House of Lords Constitution Committee report, Proposals for the devolution of further powers to Scotland. (S4O-04190)

    8. Sarah Boyack: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Committee on Climate Change's expert statement that further actions are required if the 2020 renewable heat target is to be met. (S4O-04191)

    9. Jayne Baxter: To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to grow the economy in Mid Scotland and Fife. (S4O-04192)

    10. Alex Fergusson: To ask the Scottish Government what steps it is taking to help regenerate the economy of Dumfries and Galloway. (S4O-04193)

    11. James Dornan: To ask the Scottish Government what its response is to the Post-Budget Briefing by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, which finds that the poorest have seen the biggest proportionate losses as a result of the UK Government's tax and benefit changes. (S4O-04194)

    12. Colin Beattie: To ask the Scottish Government what the impact on the Scottish economy would be of the UK leaving the EU. (S4O-04195)

    13. Malcolm Chisholm: To ask the Scottish Government whether it supports more progressive taxation for those on the very highest incomes and those with the most expensive properties. (S4O-04196)

    14. Patricia Ferguson: [Not Lodged]

    15. Christian Allard: To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to support the oil and gas industry. (S4O-04198)

    16. Roderick Campbell: To ask the Scottish Government what progress is being made on improving broadband connectivity where there are exchange-only connections. (S4O-04199)

    17. Nigel Don: To ask the Scottish Government what recent representations it has made to National Grid and the UK Government regarding the transmission charging regime. (S4O-04200)

    18. Claire Baker: To ask the Scottish Government whether it has carried out an evaluation of the impact on the retail sector of the delay in the review of business rates. (S4O-04201)

    19. Mary Fee: To ask the Scottish Government what impact removing the Barnett formula would have on the Scottish budget. (S4O-04202)

    20. Claudia Beamish: To ask the Scottish Government how the National Performance Framework will address energy efficiency in light of the recommendations of the Committee on Climate Change's fourth report on reducing emissions. (S4O-04203)

  59. Coming up

    First up this afternoon is portfolio questions to be followed by a debate led by the Conservatives on the economy.

  60. Committee ends

    That concludes our coverage of the Finance Committee this morning.

    Remember you can watch this video shortly at BBC Scotland's Democracy Live website.

    Holyrood

    We will be back at 2pm with portfolio questions, until then have a nice lunch.

  61. Breaking new ground

    On the subject of evaluating Scottish government forecasts in comparison with actual outturn figures Prof Andrew Hughes-Hallett says "the problem is they need to have the data on the outturns" which will happen in the future.

    Lady Susan Rice says the SFC is breaking new ground.

  62. Robustness of forecasts

    Professor Leith says the SFC are very concerned about the modelling and method of the government's forecasts, basically they are judging the robustness of the process.

  63. 'We are in limbo'

    Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett says it is not so much settling in, as "we are in limbo".

    Professor Andrew Hughes-Hallett

    This is due to not knowing what further devolution will come, says the academic.

    Starting on a ridiculously small budget is fine, but we do not know how much the SFC will expand he says.

  64. 'Serious business'

    Lady Rice says the SFC is past the settling in period, in response to a question from SNP MSP John Mason.

    She says they have learned what the work is, they are putting in at least a day a week and she is doing double that, all unrenumerated.

    "It is more than just settling in, this is becoming serious business."

  65. Non-domestic rates

    Professor Campbell Leith says the Scottish government's forecasts for non-domestic rates was on the optimistic sides, on the margin of what was reasonable.

    Professor Leith says the Scottish government then revised the numbers.

  66. Forestalling

    Scottish Conservative Gavin Brown says he got the impression the SFC was doing a behavioural study on the impact on forestalling for the Scottish government.

    Professor Leith says the modelling of the Scottish government did not include any behavioural responses at all to forestalling until January.

    He says he is scrutinising that work.

  67. Fourth commissioner

    Lady Susan Rice says the SFC have considered appointing a fourth commissioner should the remit of the Commission expand.

  68. Budget

    The committee convener raises the issue of the £20,000 budget for the SFC.

    Lady Rice says she cannot give an exact number for the SFC budget for the forthcoming budget at this stage.

    She says there are ongoing occupancy costs and office costs.

    The chair of the SFC says the budget will be around £20,000 for a PA, there will be couple of research assistants which might cost in the same range but the university might pick up the cost.

    Lady Rice says the SFC also needs someone scanning the political debates to keep the board in the loop, as they are part-time with day jobs.

  69. Analysis

    The committee convener raises the issue of the £20,000 budget for the SFC.

    Professor Campbell Leith says it is a matter of putting finishing touches to the memorandum of understanding given the informal working relationships the SFC has with a number of organisations.

    Professor Campbell Leith

    The SFC receives the forecast from the Scottish government and then critically analyse that forecast.

    Lady Rice says she cannot give an exact number for the SFC budget for the forthcoming budget at this stage.

    She says there are ongoing occupancy costs and office costs.

    The chair of the SFC says the budget will be around £20,000 for a PA, there will be couple of research assistants which might cost in the same range but the university might pick up the cost.

    Lady Rice says the SFC also needs someone scanning the political debates to keep the board in the loop, as they are part-time with day jobs.

  70. Memorandum of understanding

    Lady Rice says the SFC has asked the government for a memorandum of understanding in relation to a number of bodies including the OBR and Revenue Scotland.

    She says they do not yet have a draft from the government.

  71. Lessons learned

    Committee convener Kenneth Gibson asks how the draft budget 15/16 how will it affect the draft budget for 16/17.

    Lady Susan Rice says they "will have a better grasp of what needs to be done and when" and will continue meeting with the Scottish government so the two remain in lock-step.

    Lady Rice says the budget timetable for 2015-16 may be slightly altered due to the general election.

    She says the work of the SFC will spread out the work this year more than last

  72. Non-political

    Lady Rice says the Scottish Fiscal Commission will be as assiduous as ever at not being political.

    Lady Susan Rice
  73. BACKGROUND: Scottish Fiscal Commission

    The independent Scottish Fiscal Commission was established to review government forecasts of receipts from devolved taxes.‌‌

    Finance Secretary John Swinney nominated Lady Susan Rice as Chair and Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett and Professor Campbell Leith as Members of the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

    Close up of £20 note

    The expert commissioners will examine Scottish Government tax revenue forecasts for the two devolved Scottish taxes, which will transfer to Scotland in April 2015 under powers in the Scotland Act 2012: Land and Buildings Transaction Tax and Scottish Landfill Tax.

    The commission will also have a role in scrutinising the economic factors which underpin forecast receipts from non-domestic rates.

  74. Finance Committee: SFC

    The committee will now take evidence from the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

    The SFC was established on an interim basis in summer 2014.

    The committee will take evidence from Lady Susan Rice C.B.E, Chair, Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, and Professor Campbell Leith from the Scottish Fiscal Commission.

  75. First evidence session ends

    That concludes the first evidence session with Robert Chote from the OBR.

    The committee will suspend briefly before taking evidence from the Scottish Fiscal Commission at 11.25am.

  76. OBR v HMRC

    The chairman of the OBR says his organisation provides HMRC with the initial forecasts, they come back to the OBR with the "first cut".

    Then there are very detailed discussions about how the OBR wants to change these numbers.

    Mr Chote says it is the OBR's forecast, not HMRC's forecast.

  77. Policies

    Mr Chote says policies can always change but they have to be used in forecasts.

    Robert Chote

    He points out that the Conservatives and the Lib Dems have separate polices from the coalition, which would create different forecasts.

  78. Landfill tax

    Scottish Conservative MSP Gavin Brown raises the issue of landfill tax revenue projections.

    Mr Chote says there is downward projection on the revenues.

  79. Oil and gas revenues

    SNP MSP John Mason says no-one had predicted the fall in oil prices.

    Oil rig in the North Sea

    Mr Chote says it is very difficult, if he could predict it accurately he would be doing something much more numerative instead.

    Oil and gas revenues are a highly uncertain forecast, it is very volatile says the chairman of the OBR, indeed the most volatile.

  80. Macro-forecast

    Mr Chote says if there were a fully articulated Scottish macro-forecast that would be useful and even that would not take you the whole way.

  81. 'Bang for its buck'

    The OBR chairman says looking at the changes to SCRIT forecasts are due to changes in the UK forecasts.

    Mr Chote says on SCRIT forecasts there are a number of factors that can affect income tax.

    He says wage growth has been weaker than expected and employment growth has been stronger than expected.

    The exchequer gets more "bang for its buck" if the wages grow than if employment grows.

  82. BACKGROUND: SCRIT

    The Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SCRIT) is expected to be introduced in April 2016.

    The Scotland Act 2012 provides for the basic, higher and additional rates of taxation on the nonsavings/non-dividend income of a Scottish taxpayer to be reduced by 10%.

    Coins on saltire

    The Scottish Parliament will then levy a new SCRIT which will apply equally across all of these bands.

    This power will supersede the Scottish variable rate (SVR), which has never been used.

    Responsibility for LBTT and Landfill Tax will be devolved to the Scottish Parliament from today and the Parliament has recently approved the rates and bands for both taxes.

  83. SCRIT

    Committee convener Kenneth Gibson raises the issue of the Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SCRIT).

  84. 'Zombie firms argument'

    On productivity not increasing, the OBR chairman says there must be a number of explanations adding up here.

    Mr Chote says credit conditions are preventing the efficient reallocation of capital to relatively young, potentially rapidly growing firms which hinders productivity growth.

    The "zombie firms argument" is banks being reluctant to pull the plug on old less productive firms.

  85. £12bn Welfare cuts

    Mr Chote says the Conservatives have said they would like to find an additional £12bn in cuts in Welfare and thereby not have to squeeze public spending.

    They have not detailed where the cuts would be, he says.

    This is Conservative policy not coalition policy.

  86. 'Rollercoaster'

    The chairman of the OBR refers to the "rollercoaster' of public-service spending after the election in the OBR report.

    rollercoaster

    The OBR's projecting that between 2016 and 2018 public service cuts will be more than twice as deep as anything we've experienced since 2010.

  87. Oil and gas

    Mr Chote highlights the altered oil and gas revenue forecasts due to the fall in oil price.

    He goes on to discuss the impact of the chancellor's budget measures.

  88. Growth

    Mr Chote says the OBR forecast for growth is 2.5% a year over the next five years.

  89. And we're off

    Committee convener Kenneth Gibson introduces Robert Chote, the chairman of the Office for Budget Responsibility.

    Mr Chote says we are now in the official election purdah so he is expected to be even more opaque than usual.

    Robert Chote

    He jokes: "If you think you understand what I said then it's not what I meant to say."

  90. BACKGROUND: Scottish Tax Forecasts

    The evidence session will also focus on the OBR's latest Devolved Taxes Forecast which covers the following taxes-

    Arty bank notes

    · Scottish Rate of Income Tax (SRIT);

    · Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT);

    · Landfill Tax; and

    · Aggregates Levy

  91. Coming up

    The Finance Committee will begin by quizzing Robert Chote from the Office of Budget Responsibility.

    Then Lady Susan Rice C.B.E, Chair, Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, and Professor Campbell Leith from the Scottish Fiscal Commission will give evidence.

    In the afternoon portfolio questions will focus on the finance, constitution and economy brief.

    Saltire purse and coins

    In the afternoon the Scottish Conservatives will have a debate on the economy.

    SNP MSP Mark McDonald, whose son is autistic, continues his vigorous campaign trying to make Scotland 'Autism Friendly' in his member's debate.

    He has been part of a campaign that has resulted in an increase in autism friendly theatre performances.

  92. Good morning and welcome

    Good morning and welcome to BBC Scotland's Democracy Live coverage of the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 1 April 2015.

    Holyrood