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Live Reporting

Craig Hutchison and Louise Wilson

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all from Holyrood Live!

    Budget

    That's all from Holyrood Live on Thursday 27 February 2020.

    MSPs agree the general principles of the Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill, with the backing of the SNP and the Greens following a deal that was struck yesterday.

    65 MSPs voted for it and 54 voted against, with the other opposition parties refusing to back the budget it.

    The Scottish government is to set up a free bus travel scheme as part of an SNP-Green budget deal.

    The agreement between the two parties will also see extra funding going to local government and the police.

  2. BreakingMSPs back general principles of the budget

    Kate Forbes secured her budget deal with the Greens ahead of the Stage One vote
    Image caption: Kate Forbes secured her budget deal with the Greens ahead of the Stage One vote

    MSPs agree the general principles of the Budget (Scotland) (No.4) Bill, with the backing of the SNP and the Greens following a deal that was struck yesterday.

    65 MSPs voted for it and 54 voted against.

    The Tory amendment was rejected.

  3. Minister argues budget is good for communities and people

    Kate Forbes says: "For Conservatives to say there is no austerity is quite remarkable."

    The finance secretary points out if there is to be any tax divergence - the Tories reason for rejecting the budget - it will be because the UK government has broken its promise by cutting tax rates.

    She argues yesterday's agreement is good for the communities and people of Scotland.

    "It is the best available budget for Scotland."

    Kate Forbes
  4. Scottish budget 2020-21: Free bus travel in SNP-Green deal

    Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and Green co-leader Patrick Harvie welcomed the agreement
    Image caption: Finance Secretary Kate Forbes and Green co-leader Patrick Harvie welcomed the agreement

    The Scottish government is to set up a free bus travel scheme for under-19s as part of an SNP-Green budget deal.

    The agreement between the two parties will also see extra funding going to local government and the police.

    Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said free bus travel would be a "step change" in supporting young people and helping tackle climate change.

    MSPs will vote on the budget for the first time on Thursday, with the tax and spending plans now certain to pass.

  5. Parliament should reject budget says Tory MSP

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser

    Tory MSP Murdo Fraser suggests the Greens have "sold themselves very cheap", pointing to the party's calls to stop some road building projects.

    He highlights the bus scheme agreement is just to cover preparation for the policy, with only £15m being provided for something that will cost £80m annually.

    If we could grow the Scottish economy at the same rate of the UK we could have more to spend on public services without having to alter tax rates, Mr Fraser says.

    This is a budget parliament should reject he concludes.

  6. 'This is a budget of continued austerity' - Labour

    Labour MSP Rhoda Grant
    Image caption: Labour MSP Rhoda Grant

    Rhoda Grant says: "Yet again this year, the SNP and their little helpers the Greens, sold our communities short."

    These parties are more interested in flags than people, argues Ms Grant.

    We can't support them on this, as there are still cuts to local government adds the Labour MSP.

    "This is a budget of continued austerity at the hands of the SNP and Greens."

  7. Background: Budget deal between Greens and SNP

    young folk on the buses
    Image caption: Young people getting on board with the budget deal

    Here are some of the measures and increases in funding arising from the budget deal:

    • Scottish government is to set up a free bus travel scheme for under-19s by January 2021
    • an extra £95m going to local authorities
    • £18m to police services: £13m for frontline services and £5m for capital investments
    • £45m to low carbon projects, including energy efficiency projects and active travel
    • review plans to upgrade the Sheriffhall roundabout on the Edinburgh bypass

    The changes will be paid for using underspends, longer term income from non-domestic rates and the fossil fuel levy.

  8. Background: No changes to tax rates in Scottish budget

    Kate Forbes

    There will be no changes to income tax rates in Scotland in the coming year, the then Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes set out the budget on 6 February 2020.

    Ms Forbes delivered the budget in the place of Derek Mackay, who resigned as finance secretary that morning.

    She announced that tax rates will not increase, although the threshold where the upper rates kick in will be frozen.

    Read more.

  9. Holding back funds for indyref2 this year 'waste of money'

    Mr Rennie says the police estate has been in a terrible condition and £5m more for capital spending will not address the legacy issues.

    The Scottish Lib Dem leader reiterates his call for the finance secretary to accept indyref2 won't happen this year.

    I don't know why the finance secretary is holding back funds for a referendum when it is never going to happen, he adds.

    "It's a complete and utter waste of money."

    That cash could go to the police or local authorities, he adds, arguing this budget does not properly fund Scotland's public services.

  10. Services will close as a result of council settlement says Rennie

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Wille Rennie

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Wille Rennie says a lack of investment in mental health services is creating considerable costs for the rest of the health service and other areas.

    We put forward reasonable and measured proposals for a deal he says.

    The £95m for councils will fill Scottish government promises made on behalf of local government and is not enough, he argues.

    We will see more services closing as a result he warns.

  11. Infrastructure decisions must be compatible with Climate Change Act

    Mr Harvie says the Green proposals on bus travel, accepted by the government, will make a substantial difference.

    He pledges to go further in the future saying his party will work to secure fair free public transport is available for all, certainly those under 25 years old.

    The Scottish Green Party co-leader says a review of the Sheriffhall roundabout plans would lead to measures that would bring traffic down.

    He says all government infrastructure decisions must be compatible with the Climate Change Act.

  12. Budget not perfect but bus deal groundbreaking - Harvie

    Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie

    Scottish Green co-leader Patrick Harvie says the responsibility of an opposition party is put ideas on the table and try to make them work.

    We have made a real impact on local government, with hundreds of millions going back to them compared to what was proposed in first drafts of budgets since 2016 he insists.

    Will I claim the budget achieves perfection? "No," he answers himself, but adds it is an improvement.

    Mr Harvie says this needs to be a climate emergency budget and the proposal for free bus travel for under 19s will be groundbreaking.

  13. 'Scotland's people deserve better'

    Ms Boyack cites the pressures local government is facing and says there is mismanagement of the precious resource that is the NHS.

    The Labour MSP warns there will be cuts to non-core council budgets for libraries, sport and leisure facilities, recycling centres and parks.

    She also warns of cuts coming to the third sector and adds the investment councils need will not be seen.

    We're disappointed at the timid commitment to free bus travel for the under-19s, when Labour wanted an expansion to the under-25s she points out.

    Ms Boyack says there will be no celebration among the 414,000 young people who will miss out.

    "Scotland's people deserve better."

  14. Budget does not deliver transformational change

    Labour MSP Sarah Boyack

    Labour MSP Sarah Boyack says the budget does not deliver the transformational change Scotland needs.

    There will be cuts in our communities following this budget, she warns.

    Demand for social care is soaring and this is putting pressure on our NHS the Labour MSP says.

    She says the £95m extra for councils is just addressing the gap in funding for what councils are obligated to deliver.

    The cash should have been in the Scottish government's draft budget to begin with, she adds.

    The SNP controls the purse strings but they don't take responsibility for their cuts, she says.

  15. Finance committee convener glad budget deal struck early

    Bruce Crawford

    Bruce Crawford opens on behalf of the Finance and Constitution Committee.

    The convener says he is glad, for the sake of certainty and stability, that a deal has been struck.

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay intervenes to criticise Kate Forbes for saying there was no more cash for the budget, only for "magic beans to be found down someone’s couch".

    Mr Crawford argues he's already covered that issue and declines the opportunity to return to it.

    He points out the Scottish government has sought more borrowing powers and to be able to build up more reserves.

    The committee convener warns of difficulties that may emerge in setting next year's budget.

    Check out the Finance and Constitution Committee's report on the Scottish government budget 2020-21 here.