In 2019, we’re continuing to take Scotland forward

The SNP government in Scotland is delivering progress today, and investing for a better tomorrow.

Our Programme for Government continues the major reforms that are under way in our health, education and justice systems, and it builds on the progress we have made in tackling inequalities.

We’re proud of what we have achieved, but there’s still much more we want to do.

Here’s how we’ll build an even better Scotland:

📈 A stronger, more inclusive, greener economy

A strong economy with growing, competitive and innovative businesses is essential to supporting jobs, incomes and our quality of life.

Our economy must also be environmentally sustainable and inclusive – involving and providing benefit and opportunity for all of our people.

•By 2025-26, we’re planning to invest £7 billion extra in our infrastructure – hospitals, schools, houses, transport, low carbon technology and digital connections.
That is investment that will deliver jobs and allow our communities to flourish and businesses to grow and export more. It will be a step change in infrastructure investment that will deliver a long-term boost to Scotland’s economy.

•We are establishing a Scottish National Investment Bank, which will aim to begin investing in our businesses and communities from 2020, subject to regulatory and legislative approval. It will invest at least £2 billion in its first 10 years, which will pave the way for a step change in inclusive growth.

•We will step up action to electrify Scotland’s roads by installing 1500 new charge points; supporting 20 new ‘electric towns’; investing £20 million to help people and businesses switch to electric vehicles; and deliver 500 new low emission vehicles for the public sector, and over 100 new green buses.

•In 2019, we will deliver contracts for the Reaching 100% broadband programme, which will unlock super-fast broadband for all homes and businesses in Scotland by the end of 2021. We will reap the full benefit of this investment by ensuring that digital innovation is at the heart of our economy.

📙 Investing in education and giving everyone the best start in life

We want Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up, and that means ensuring every child has an equal chance to succeed.

All our children should grow up in a supportive environment where we invest significantly in their future.

•We will recruit 430 new school, college and university counsellors to help prevent mental ill-health amongst children and young people.

Best Start Grant payments to low income families will begin by Christmas – six months ahead of schedule.

•As part of our plan to almost double provision of early learning and childcare, 750 new, extended or refurbished nurseries will be delivered, as well as more skilled staff, food for children and play equipment

•We will give new powers to headteachers, so that they can take the important decisions in their schools and to drive up attainment. The Headteachers’ Charter will give more control over fundamental decisions, such as curriculum, staffing and budgets.

🏥 Making our health service fit for the future

To be a more successful country we need to close the gap between the health of our wealthiest communities and that of our poorest, and we need to see an overall improvement in our population health.

Over the course of this year, we will step up our efforts to improve wellbeing by using all resources available to us.

•We have already opened Major Trauma Centres in Aberdeen and Dundee, and will open more centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

•We will invest quarter of a billion pounds extra in improving mental health support for everyone. Through this investment, we are providing more counsellors in schools, colleges, universities, and making mental health training mandatory for all NHS staff who receive physical health training.

•We will implement a pay deal for NHS Agenda for Change staff that will deliver a minimum pay rise of 9 per cent over three years for those earning up to £80,000.

•We will provide additional £500 million of funding to improve community health services, which will reduce pressure on hospitals and improve access to GP surgeries.

💛 A safer, equal, more empowered Scotland

At the heart of our vision for Scotland sit thriving communities, with opportunities for all to flourish. Achieving this relies on strengthening relationships between organisations, people and communities.

We are committed to taking substantial action to reduce child poverty, prevent homelessness, extend access to free sanitary products, and much more.

•We will take new action to improve the experience of victims of rape and sexual assault and provide an additional £2 million to Rape Crisis Centres and other services to speed up access to support for those affected by rape or sexual assault.

•We will invest in innovative approaches to preventing child poverty, backed up by a £7.5 million Innovation Fund, and expand a distinctive approach to empowering communities and improving outcomes for young people in deprived neighbourhoods. The Children’s Neighbourhoods Scotland initiative will bring together children, their community, and local third sector and public sector organisations, to work together and tackle the big issues.

•We will begin work on a £12 million parental employment support programme, to help parents on low incomes move into employment, and help those already in employment to progress.

•We will introduce an Electoral Franchise Bill to give fair access to voting rights for all those who have a legal right to live in Scotland, and send a strong message that whoever lives in Scotland, can fully engage in shaping their future through participating in the democratic process.

•Over the lifetime of this Parliament, we are investing over £3 billion to deliver at least 50,000 affordable homes, majority of which will be for social rent.
We are also doubling the funding available to support bringing empty homes back into use – adding to the 3,200 empty homes that have been substantially refurbished since 2010.

•We will allocate further funding towards rapid rehousing and Housing First, to get those living in temporary accommodation into permanent homes more quickly. We will implement the recommendations of our homelessness expert group, and implement our ambitious 5-year Action Plan, as we work towards ending rough sleeping for good.