Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Thursday, 10 June 2010 14:14 UK

Scottish Parliament

Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray accused Alex Salmond of turning the business rates revaluation into a "small business bombshell", during first minster's questions on 10 June 2010.

Mr Gray said rates hikes could shut many small businesses down.

The first minister hit back saying 60% of businesses were "no worse off or better off" after the revaluation.

A transitional scheme phasing in the changes, like the one in England, would hurt those who would otherwise have benefited from the revaluation.

Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie said Alex Salmond should spell out how he plans to clear up Labour's debt "mess".

Ms Goldie said the "buck stops" with the first minister and called for clarity on future SNP-led budgets.

In reply, Mr Salmond said no clear plans could be made until Chancellor George Osborne published his own budgets.

The topic of the St Andrew's day public holiday came up next, with Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Tavish Scott asking the first minister if there were not more important matters he should be talking to council education conveners about.

A letter was sent last week to council education directors and conveners, following up a "poor" response to an initial request about observing the holiday.

Mr Salmond said the letter was at the request of former MSP Dennis Canavan, who steered a bill through Holyrood establishing St Andrew's Day as a public holiday.

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