Today Nicola Sturgeon delivered her closing speech at SNP National Conference, and set out our vision for Scotland: a welcoming, progressive, open, outward-looking and inclusive nation.
The speech was packed with new announcements – from increased childcare flexibility to new measures to boost our economy. Here’s what you need to know.
We will implement a four-point plan to boost trade and exports, ensuring that our European friends know that Scotland is open for business.
We will establish a new Board of Trade in the Scottish Government, drawing on the best business expertise.
We will set up a new trade envoy scheme. It will ask prominent and successful Scots to help us boost our national export effort.
We will create permanent trade representation in Berlin – adding to our investment hubs in Dublin, London and Brussels.
We will double the number of Scottish Development International staff working across Europe to support investment and trade opportunities for Scotland.
We have today launched a consultation on radical new approaches to childcare that prioritise choice and flexibility.
We will propose that parents can choose a nursery or childminder that best suits their needs and – so long as the provider meets agreed standards – ask the local authority to fund it.
As suggested by Children in Scotland’s Childcare Commission, we will also propose that parents can opt to receive the funding their child is entitled to in a childcare account and then use that money to purchase a suitable place directly.
We will invest an extra half a billion pounds into primary care, including GP services and health centres.
Over this parliament, we will increase health spending by almost £2 billion. And we will increase spending on primary care services to 11 per cent of the frontline NHS budget, bringing treatment closer to home.
We will launch an independent review of the system that supports children in care.
Real progress is being made in improving the life chances of looked after children but we can’t ignore the reality for too many children in care. Care experienced young people are less likely to go to university, more likely to experience homelessness and to have lower life expectancy.
That’s why we will launch a new review of the care system, driven by those who have experience of care, to look at the underpinning laws, practices, culture and ethos.
From next summer, all newborn babies across the country will receive a baby box full of clothes, nappies, bedding, books, and toiletries.
The first newborn babies will receive a baby box in pilot areas from New Year. And next month we’ll launch a competition – in partnership with the V&A in Dundee – for the design of the box.