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Summary

  1. The economy committee hears from Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse on the budget, before discussing the closure of Kaiam in Livingston
  2. Topical questions cover prison capacity and people struggling to pay housing costs
  3. MSPs debate a just transition to a carbon-neutral economy
  4. SNP MSP George Adam celebrates Paisley receiving a 'Top Town' award

Live Reporting

By Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Scottish Enterprise staff give evidence
    Image caption: Scottish Enterprise staff give evidence to the economy committee

    That's from Holyrood Live on Tuesday 15 January 2019.

    Staff at a manufacturing plant in Livingston were allowed to carry on working despite bosses knowing they would not be paid, Scottish Enterprise told the economy committee this morning.

    Around 300 Kaiam employees were told on Christmas eve they would be made redundant due to declining work levels, high costs of operation at the site and the absence of customer orders.

    Workers were due to be paid on December 21 but were informed by the company that payment would be delayed.

    Staff were then informed on December 24 by administrators KPMG - appointed two days earlier - they would not receive payment from the company and would have to make a claim through the insolvency service.

    Scottish Enterprise indicated it had encouraged the company to inform its employees and contractors about payment.

    Labour MSP Jackie Baillie responded: "I suppose knowing that they weren't going to pay people I would have expected you not to ask but demand that they share that information with workers who were going in or contractors who were engaging in contracts in good faith, knowing that they wouldn't be paid."

  2. 'Paisley is top of the pile'

    Parliamentary Business Minister Graeme Dey
    Image caption: Parliamentary Business Minister Graeme Dey

    Parliamentary Business Minister Graeme Dey begins by congratulating Paisely on its award from the Academy of Urbanism.

    The minister tells the chamber the spirit shown in the bid to be the UK City of Culture "survives and thrives".

    Mr Dey goes on to say: "Having mentioned Paisley four times already I'm in danger of becoming a George Adam tribute act."

    The minister accepts town centres are facing challenges at the moment, but goes on to argue there is no complacency at play.

    He says lessons will be learned by other town centres in Scotland.

    In conclusion he argues: "When it comes to delivering a town centre for the future, Paisley is top of the pile".

  3. Background: Paisley's 'journey will continue' despite culture bid disappointment

    Paisley 2021 supporters
    Image caption: It was not the news supporters of Paisley's bid were hoping for

    Paisley missed out on the UK City of Culture title - but supporters of the town's bid promised "our journey will continue".

    Coventry was named City of Culture 2021, beating Paisley, Stoke on Trent, Swansea and Sunderland.

    Paisley's bid director Jean Cameron said the team was "heartbroken" but at the same time "bursting with pride" at what had been achieved.

    Paisley was the only Scottish place to make the shortlist for the 2021 title.

    Read more.

  4. Background: 10 reasons why Paisley is a city of culture

    Paolo Nutini

    Paisley launched a bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, even though it is actually a large town.

    It unfortunately missed out on the title.

    But BBC Scotland highlights 10 reasons Paisley has made its mark on the culture of Scotland, the UK and the world.

    Click here to read the list, which includes Paolo Nutini, Mhairi Black MP and David Tennant.

  5. 'Paisley is awesome'

    SNP MSP George Adam
    Image caption: SNP MSP George Adam

    SNP MSP George Adam frames this evening's debate as: "Paisley is awesome. Please discuss."

    He says that despite Paisley losing out on the city of culture award, the town has continued to be positive about itself.

    Paisley is showing the way forward for other towns in how we shape our future, he states.

    Mr Adam says Scottish government investment allowed people to come back and live in the town centre.

    "There are problems, there are difficulties, but we are constantly trying to find ways to move things on."

    He concludes: "We've always been proud of own town. We're just glad the rest of the world is catching up with us."

  6. Background: Paisley voted best town in UK

    Paisley

    Paisley has been voted the best town in the UK and Ireland at the Academy of Urbanism Awards in London.

    It is the first Scottish town to win the title since the awards began in 2006.

    The town beat off competition from Barnsley (Yorkshire) and Chelmsford (Essex).

    The Great Town award recognises the best, most enduring or most improved urban environments across the UK, Ireland and Europe, and was focused on places that have been through transformation.

  7. Debate: Paisley Voted Britain's Top Town

    SNP MSP George Adam is leading a debate to celebrate Paisley securing the Great Town Award at the Academy of Urbanism Awards.

    Here is his motion......

    Motion
  8. Decision time......

    The government motion and the Labour and Tory amendments
    Image caption: The government motion and the Labour and Tory amendments

    The government motion, as amended by Labour and the Tories, is agreed to.

    The Green amendment below was rejected.

    Green amendment
    Image caption: Green amendment
  9. 'Industry will continue to flourish as we decarbonise'

    Economy Secretary Derek Mackay tells the chamber that this consensual debate indicates MSPs are moving towards a "whole parliament approach" in achieving a just transition to a carbon-neutral economy.

    Mr Mackay says he is focused on boosting Scotland's economic performance, to raise living standards, reduce inequality and provide public services.

    Scotland has successfully combined reducing its greenhouse gas emissions while increasing GDP, he explains.

    "Industry will continue to flourish as we decarbonise."

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay
    Image caption: Finance Secretary Derek Mackay

    Mr Mackay says in the coming months he will introduce a bill to create Scotland's national investment bank.

    The creation of a carbon-neutral economy will be the central mission of the new bank, he adds.

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell calls for a net-zero carbon emissions target.

    The cabinet secretary insists he is supportive of making sure the bank helps achieve carbon neutrality.

  10. Background: Scottish greenhouse gas emission rates 'halved since 1990'

    Emissions

    Greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland have almost halved since 1990, according to figures published last June.

    Government statistics show levels in 2016 were 49% below the 1990 baseline, with a 10.3% drop on the previous year.

    The adjusted figure, which includes Scotland's share of an EU-wide emissions trading system, fell by 45.2%.

    The drop has been largely attributed to the 2016 closure of the Longannet Power Station.

    Read more here.

  11. Workforce must be ready for carbon-neutral economy says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Dean Lockhart
    Image caption: Tory MSP Dean Lockhart

    Tory MSP Dean Lockhart says much progress has been made to reach the goal of having a carbon-neutral economy.

    But this progress differs quite starkly between sectors, he says.

    The Scottish government's climate change plan needs more details on how some sectors will further reduce their emissions, Mr Lockhart states.

    The Tory MSP calls for a strategy to set out which industries will be in decline as a result of going carbon-neutral and therefore how jobs in new sectors will replace old jobs.

    We must ensure the workforce is ready, he adds.

  12. 'The consequences of doing nothing are unimaginable'

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley
    Image caption: Labour MSP Alex Rowley

    Labour MSP Alex Rowley begins by saying a just transition means adjusting to a low carbon economy in a way that protects workers' livelihoods, develops a new industrial base and creates a fairer Scotland.

    "The consequences of doing nothing are unimaginable," warns Mr Rowley.

    "We require a new and universal solidarity."

    That's why Labour are calling for a statutory long term Fair Transition Commission, he argues.

  13. Just transition is about people says Green MSP

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell
    Image caption: Green MSP Mark Ruskell

    Green MSP Mark Ruskell emphasises today's debate is about people - those who will be impacted by climate change and those for whom we must ensure a just transition.

    "I'm really excited about re-industrialisation," the Green MSP states, noting the benefits the low carbon sector can bring to communities.

    If there is sense in having a statutory commission going forward we need to start figuring that out now, he says.

    Mr Ruskell accepts there are particular challenges with agriculture emissions and suggests funding should be available to mainstream climate measures.

  14. Background: Subsea electricity link between Caithness and Moray completed

    Kevin Keane

    BBC Scotland News

    The 100-mile-long cable can carry enough electricity to power three million homes
    Image caption: The 100-mile-long cable can carry enough electricity to power three million homes

    Work has been completed on a £1bn subsea electricity link between Caithness and Moray.

    The cable will allow renewable energy generated in the far north to be sent to areas of dense population in central Scotland.

    The 100-mile-long cable is capable of carrying enough electricity to power three million homes.

    Project leader SSE says it is the biggest single investment in the north of Scotland network since the 1950s.

    Read more.

  15. Background: New advice sought on Scotland's climate change bill

    Thermometer

    The Scottish government is to seek fresh independent advice on its climate change targets after the latest warning on rising global temperatures, the BBC reported in October.

    An international report has said the world is currently heading for a 3C rise, way above the 1.5C target.

    A coalition of charities has called on Scottish ministers to strengthen the forthcoming Climate Change Bill.

    First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said action was a "massive priority" but Scotland's record was "exemplary".

    Read more here.