Jeremy Corbyn is today making his keynote speech that will close Labour’s annual conference. His speech made a raft of promises – many of them for policies that are being delivered here in Scotland right now.
Here’s just a few ways that, in Scotland, we’re getting on with delivering progress.
Scotland is a world-leader on climate change and we’re committed to the toughest new targets anywhere.
Scotland is well on track to meet existing world-leading climate change targets. We have already reduced emissions by almost half compared to 1990 and are outperforming all countries in Western Europe except Sweden.
Our new Climate Change Bill is the next step in Scotland’s transition – responding to the Paris Agreement with increased ambition to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible.
We have also already exceeded our target of producing 50 per cent of our electricity needs from renewables by 2015. We will now go further. By 2030 we will aim for the equivalent of 50 per cent of Scotland’s heat, transport and electricity consumption to be supplied from renewable sources.
We’re working to ensure businesses that use exploitative working practices or pay poverty wages don’t get public sector grants.
We will make payment of the real Living Wage, transparency on gender-equal pay and exclusion of exploitative zero-hours contracts criteria for the award of job-related public sector grants.
In 2011, we became the first government in the UK to pay the real Living Wage to our staff, including all NHS workers. We have now extended the real Living Wage to all adult social care workers too.
We are ensuring a public-sector bid to run Scotland’s railways.
Under successive Labour and Tory UK governments, Scotland was denied the power to allow a public-sector bid for rail franchises in Scotland. The SNP fought for and won that power. We are now taking forward our manifesto commitment to ensuring a public sector bid for future rail franchises.
We are establishing a Scottish National Infrastructure Bank.
We’re establishing a Scottish National Investment Bank to provide businesses with the long-term investment they need to grow and to support our overall economic strategy. A £150 million Building Scotland Fund has been established as a precursor to the bank.
We will almost double the provision of free early learning and childcare – a pledge unmatched by any government in the UK.
Free, high quality early years education and childcare provision has already been increased to 16 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds – up from 12.5 hours in 2007 – and extended to 2 year olds who are looked after, in kinship care or from low income households too. By the end of this Parliament, we’ll increase entitlement to 30 hours a week.
Scotland is the first country in the world to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities.
From this academic year sanitary products are available for free in schools, colleges and universities across Scotland. And we are investing £500,000 in a national scheme to improve access to sanitary products for women on low incomes.