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Summary

  1. The Health Committee will take evidence on the preventative agenda and then on NHS National Waiting Times Centre.
  2. MSPs quiz ministers on topical questions
  3. Justice Secretary Michael Matheson gives a ministerial statement on forensic examination
  4. Education Secretary John Swinney gives a ministerial statement on literacy in Scottish education
  5. MSPs debate the controversial Railway Policing (Scotland) Bill
  6. Labour MSP Pauline McNeill leads a debate entitled ‘Food Banks, Scotland’s Hunger Crisis

Live Reporting

By Colin Bell and Craig Hutchison

All times stated are UK

  1. Here's our highlight of the day...............

    View more on twitter

    That's all from us at Holyrood Live on 9 May 2017.

    Congratulations again to the inspiring Jemma Skelding, the youngest ever deliverer of time for reflection at the Scottish Parliament.

  2. Minister says the fundamental underlying problems come from the Tory government

    Social Security Minister Jeanne Freeman says last week Tories said the two child tax credit policy was sound management of the national finances.

    Ms Freeman says that would be sound management "on the backs of the poor and the most vulnerable".

    The social security minister says the Scottish government has been advised to collectively to reduce the need for food banks.

    Food bank

    The minister says the government is promoting the living wage and she says it is important the resources of the country are fairly redistributed, but not at the expense of middle and low income earners.

    Ms Freeman says there should be a move from food banks to community based food initiatives.

    She says the fundamental underlying problems come from the Tory government.

  3. The problems 'lie at the Tories door'

    Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman

    Social Security Minister Jeane Freeman says she shares the majority view that it is shameful that there remains a need to tackle food poverty. 

    Ms Freeman says the problems "lie at the Tories door".

    The social security minister says food poverty is a result of seven years of Tory austerity. 

    She says the UK government's failed ideology inflicts more misery on people in poverty. 

  4. 'Underlying it all is a failed austerity poverty programme from a UK government'

    Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie
    Image caption: Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie says in the areas where UC credit has been fully rolled out there has been a 16.5% average increase in referrals for emergency food.

    Mr Harvie says the issue of period poverty should be addressed.

    However, "underlying it all is a failed austerity poverty programme from a UK government". 

    The Scottish Green MSP says there is a failure to distribute wealth fairly in our society. 

    He says until that is addressed there will just be "sticking plasters for this grievous wound". 

  5. Emergency Food Supplies in Scotland

    The Trussell Trust
    Image caption: The Trussell Trust
  6. There were 'cracks' in the welfare system but this has become a 'chasm' says SNP MSP

    SNP MSP Emma Harper

    SNP MSP Emma Harper says Scotland's Secretary of State David Mundell dismissed the food bank issue by refusing to recognise that his own government's welfare reforms is a cause.

    Ms Harper says prior to 2010 when the UK started its "assault" there were cracks in the welfare system but this has become a chasm. 

    The SNP MSP says many of these people end up falling upon the NHS or justice system which is a huge expense.

  7. Background: Ken Loach accuses government of 'conscious cruelty'

    Ken Loch blamed benefits sanctions introduced by the UK government for the rise in foodbank use
    Image caption: Ken Loch blamed benefits sanctions introduced by the UK government for the rise in foodbank use

    Speaking at the STUC congress in Aviemore, film director Ken Loach accused the UK government of "conscious cruelty" by imposing benefit sanctions which he claims have led to an increase in the use of food banks.

    His I, Daniel Blake film told the fictional story of a man denied employment and support allowance.

    Mr Loach said: "When the sanctions increased, the use of foodbanks increased. If your money stops and you are dependent on social security, you haven't got a large bank account like Tory cabinet ministers - you have got nothing.

    "And very shortly people have to take very tough choices - how do they survive? Often they don't eat.

    "Last year there were figures that nearly half a million children eat because people put extra tins in a collecting bag - that cannot be right."

  8. Labour MSP raises issue of period poverty

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon
    Image caption: Labour MSP Monica Lennon

    Labour MSP Monica Lennon says in a wealthy and prosperous country like Scotland there should be no need for food banks.

    Ms Lennon says food bank volunteers and all who donate are a credit to our communities.

    She raises the issue of period poverty when women and girls have to go to food banks for sanitary products.

    Ms Lennon urges everyone to watch I, Daniel Blake to see the impact of this poverty.

  9. Background: Scottish war heroes forced to rely on foodbanks to survive

    According to a report in the Daily Record yesterday, an army of Scottish war heroes are being forced to use foodbanks to survive.

    Veterans who have risked their lives in every conflict from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan are ­struggling to feed their families.

  10. Poverty must be tackled at the root says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Annie Wells

    Tory MSP Annie Wells commends those who volunteer week in week out with the Trussel Trust.

    Ms Wells says it is important that poverty is tackled at the root and the reasons behind food bank use are complex and cannot be attributed to a single cause.

    The Tory MSP says food banks volunteers are trained to refer those using food banks to other services.

  11. SNP MSP says food bank increase due to social security system being ravaged

    SNP MSP Mairi Evans
    Image caption: SNP MSP Mairi Evans

    SNP MSP Mairi Evans says one of the main reasons for food bank use is the social security system being ravaged and no longer being the safety net that it is supposed to be.

    Ms Evans says details UK government cuts to benefits. 

    She praises Brechin Community Pantry which offers a whole range of services to people who come in the door.

  12. Trussel Trust figures:

    • more than 145,000 packages to people in crisis in 2016-17 
    • 9% increase on the previous year  
    • 47,955 children in Scotland helped with three day food supply last year  
    • 24% of those referred to the charity had suffered benefit delays
    • 18% encountered difficulties with benefit changes. 
  13. A 'damning indictment' on the country and politics

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay says we talk about hunger being a developing world problem and it is but it is also on the rise in Scotland.

    Mr Findlay says, in almost all areas of Scotland, food banks are providing food to people and that is a "damning indictment" on the country and politics.

    The Labour MSP asks if it is enough to say that poverty and inequality is not right but fail to act on legislation to improve this. 

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay

    He says Mr Tompkins and his party have much to blame but addressing poverty and inequality should be addressed by this Scottish government.

    Mr Findlay says full employment should be a key objective and a minimum wage of £10 per hour should be introduced. 

    He says there have been 20 debates on Brexit and there should be 20 debates on this. 

  14. Trussell Trust Case study Case study: Alex, from South Lanarkshire

    Alex turned to the food bank after his driving licence was taken off him
    Image caption: Alex turned to the food bank after his driving licence was taken off him

    Alex told The Trussell Trust's You Tube channel that he hit difficulties when he returned to Scotland from New Zealand after his marriage broke up.

    He said: "I'm a former Olympic athlete, I'm a former British champion, I've had my own businesses, I've had several businesses, and then all of a sudden everything came crashing down.

    "If it hadn't have been for the food bank I'd have been in real big trouble [and] I wouldn't have been eating. I was on the brink. I was in a bad way."

    He added: "All the people in the food bank were fantastic, they were really nice, they were really helpful and that was one of the reasons I wanted to give my time as a volunteer.

    "It's a great feeling knowing that you're helping people [and] if we didn't have the food bank people would have nowhere to go, nowhere to eat. If it wasn't for the food bank I probably wouldn't be here."

  15. Tory MSP says simplistic explanations to food bank use are unlikely to be accurate

    Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins thanks the Trussell Trust and the staff who run foodbanks, including Ewan Gurr who is in the gallery.

    Mr Tomkins says he learnt on his visit to a food bank in Cardonald that most people who use them do so due to a acute short-term crisis.

    Mr Tomkins says food bank use has diminished in parts of Scotland  and he says simplistic explanations as to why food banks are used are unlikely to be accurate.

    Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins
    Image caption: Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins

    SNP MSP Stuart McMillan intervenes to say the fact there is a discussion about food banks is the abhorrence and says they really should not exist.

    Mr Tomkins says: "We all share that view."

    He says: "For those that can, work represents the best way out of poverty."

  16. Background: DWP defends UC system

    The Trussell Trust runs 52 food banks across Scotland
    Image caption: The Trussell Trust runs 52 food banks across Scotland

    A spokesman for the DWP defended the Universal Credit system, which collapses all benefits into one and is being rolled out across the UK.

    He said: "Employment is the best route out of poverty, and there are now near record numbers of people in work in Scotland.

    "Under Universal Credit, people are moving into work faster and staying in work longer than under the old system.

    "Universal Credit is designed to mirror the world of work and give people control over their own finances.

    "The majority of UC claimants are confident in managing their money and we work closely with local authorities to support those who need extra help.

    "Budgeting support, benefit advances, and direct rent payments to landlords are available to those who need them."

  17. 'Thank goodness for food banks'

    SNP MSP Stuart McMillan

    SNP MSP Stuart McMillan says the need for food banks is on the increase in Scotland.

    Mr McMillan says he held a member's debate in 2014 and policy decisions have been made here but that the Scottish government is making decisions with "one hand tied behind its back" because of matters that are reserved.

    The SNP MSP says there are views that people who use food banks are "work shy" and that he does not recognise this view.

    He says for people to mock those who need help accessing food is "nothing short of a disgrace".

    "Thank goodness for food banks," but it is a sad state of affairs that they are required, he says. 

  18. Background: Scottish government view

    Foodbank

    The Scottish government said it was working to help people affected by welfare cuts and low incomes.

    A spokesman said: "A range of actions are needed to stop people having to rely on emergency food provision.

    "The Scottish government has taken such action through our £1 million a year Fair Food Fund and more than £100 million a year to mitigate against welfare cuts, including our Scottish Welfare Fund.

    "We have also made significant investments in a range of services to support people on low income and to tackle the underlying causes of poverty including investing in affordable housing, increasing free childcare, promoting and paying the real living wage."