From the Scottish Child Payment to world-leading climate targets, free bus travel and the Baby Box, the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership has taken bold steps to build a fairer, greener and more equal Scotland.
Despite the limited powers and budgets under Westminster control, our policies have benefitted every household in Scotland.
Amid the cost-of-living crisis, we took action to help families and protect the most vulnerable in our society – all while the Tory government imposes cuts and a Brexit that only worsens the cost-of-living crisis.
Here’s the top 60 achievements of Nicola Sturgeon – Scotland’s longest-serving and first woman First Minister.
A fairer Scotland
To help in our national mission of tackling inequality and eradicating child poverty, we’re taking bold steps like establishing a new social security system with 13 new benefits, including the “game-changing” Scottish Child Payment.
1. The Scottish Child Payment – the most ambitious anti-poverty measure anywhere in the UK, increased by 150% in 2022.
2. The Baby Box, giving every child born in Scotland the best start in life.
3. Over 115,500 affordable homes delivered since 2007 – 70% of which are for social rent.
4. Delivered a transformative expansion in free childcare, available to all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds – saving families around £5,000 per child per year.
5. Fully mitigating the callous Tory bedroom tax, helping over 91,000 households sustain their tenancies, and mitigating the benefit cap for families.
6. The Best Start Grants, providing generous support for low income families with children, part of five family benefits.
7. Established a new Scottish social security system, based on fairness, dignity and respect – now delivering 13 new benefits, 7 of them new and only available in Scotland.
8. Council tax in Scotland remains on average the cheapest in the UK.
9. The Carer’s Allowance Supplement – giving 84,000 carers in Scotland the most generous support in the UK.
10. The Young Carer Grant – the first benefit of its kind in the UK – supporting eligible young carers with a payment of more than £300.
🧸 We're determined to eradicate child poverty, which is why we've rolled out the Scottish Child Payment – labelled "game-changing" by campaigners, and unique to Scotland.
🤝 Within just 8 months this year, we've increased it by 150% – from £10 to £25 per child per week. pic.twitter.com/aoFgunlDsb
— The SNP (@theSNP) December 21, 2022
A healthier Scotland
Under the SNP Scottish Government led by Nicola Sturgeon, we’ve been delivering record high funding for our NHS – helping to ensure that our health service is more resilient and fit for the future.
1. Record high staff levels in our NHS – over 28,800 more under the SNP.
2. Record high health funding of £18bn – with resource funding up by 90% in cash terms under the SNP.
3. Best performing core A&E services in the UK for over 7 years.
4. Scotland has the highest number of GPs per head of population anywhere in the UK, for over 5 years running.
5. Best paid NHS staff anywhere in the UK.
6. Free NHS dental care for all those under the age of 26 – and we’re working to make it free for everyone by the end of this Parliament.
7. Expanded IVF to more families – making access in Scotland the fairest and most generous in the UK.
8. Made Paramedic Science students eligible for the new student bursary, worth £10,000 per year.
9. Protected free eye tests and free NHS prescriptions – which are now £9.35 per item south of the border.
10. Scrapped parking charges at all NHS-run hospitals, saving patients and staff over £68m.
Scotland's NHS under the SNP:
🏥 Best performing A&E services in the UK
🧑⚕️ Record number of NHS staff
✅ Best paid NHS staff in the UK
🩺 More GPs per head than anywhere else in the UK
— The SNP (@theSNP) December 22, 2022
A greener Scotland
Under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership, Scotland has introduced legally binding and world-leading climate targets, which won praise from the UN and put Scotland on the map at COP26. We’re working hard to reduce emissions, restore the natural environment and harness the green jobs of the future.
1. Scotland’s emissions are down by well over 50% since the 1990 baseline – and we continue to outperform the UK in delivering long-term reductions.
2. Our climate targets are among the most ambitious in the world – 75% reduction by 2030, and Net Zero by 2045.
3. We established the Just Transition Fund – a 10-year, £500m investment to support a fair transition to Net Zero and to diversify the North East economy.
4. Scotland was the first country in the world to establish a climate justice fund – and we led the way at COP26 and COP27 to put loss and damage on the global agenda.
5. Generating a record amount of renewable electricity – and investing record amounts to go even further.
6. Our Land Reform Bill is ensuring our land is owned and used in the public interest.
7. We’re planting over 22 million trees a year – with Scotland punching above its weight, and around 80% of all of the UK’s trees being planted in Scotland.
8. We’ve allocated over £1 billion to tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency.
9. No fracking or other onshore unconventional oil and gas activity can take place in Scotland.
10. We’ve introduced free bus travel for all young people under 22 – and protected it for the over-60s and people with disabilities, meaning over 2 million Scots now benefit from environmentally-friendly free bus travel across Scotland.
🚍 Exactly one year ago, we've made bus travel across Scotland free for all people under 22 – helping to save money and cutting emissions.
— The SNP (@theSNP) January 31, 2023
A smarter Scotland
We’re determined to ensure that everyone gets the best start in life, proper support throughout their education, and that university is always based on the ability to learn, not the ability to pay.
1. £1bn for the Scottish Attainment Challenge to support our most disadvantaged children and young people.
2. Highest per-person investment in education in the UK – in Scotland, we invest £1,685 in education per person, compared to £1,382 in Labour-run Wales and £1,319 in Tory-run England.
3. Universal free school lunches for all pupils in P1-P5 and in special schools, saving families around £400 per child each year.
4. We completed over 1,050 school building projects, providing well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments for pupils.
5. School buildings in Scotland are in the best condition since records began.
6. Record numbers of students, and Scottish-domiciled students, enrol at Scottish universities – including a record number from the 20% most deprived areas in Scotland.
7. Increased the national minimum school clothing grant to £120 for primary school pupils, and £150 for secondary school pupils.
8. Scotland has significantly more teachers per pupil than in the rest of the UK – and their starting salaries are higher too.
9. The number of Higher passes is at a record level since devolution began.
10. We’ve removed music and core curriculum tuition fees in schools, making it more accessible than ever.
A Scotland fit for the future
We’ve made Scotland a more modern, more progressive and more vibrant place to live and work – with significant investment in key infrastructure and policies designed to empower communities.
1. ScotRail brought into public control and ownership – and we’ve frozen rail fares until at least March 2023.
2. The new Queensferry Crossing, an engineering marvel on the Forth, delivered under budget.
3. Over £11bn invested in rail infrastructure in Scotland, including the refurbishment of Glasgow Queen Street and Edinburgh Haymarket stations, and electrifying over 400km of track.
4. Powers transferred to local authorities to enable them to run their own bus services.
5. The Scottish National Investment Bank established to grasp Scotland’s competitive advantage in high-tech, low-carbon technologies.
6. Voting franchise expanded to 16 & 17 year olds, as well as all foreign nationals and refugees with the legal right to stay in Scotland.
7. £325 million invested in supporting community-led regeneration, town centre action, 20 minute neighbourhoods and community wealth building.
8. Established the Scottish Land Fund, which will double to £20m by 2026 – helping over 270 communities across the country to purchase land.
9. Scotland has the UK’s second highest number of electric vehicle public charge points, second only to London.
10. Opened the new Borders Railway, returning rail services to Levenmouth, and reconnecting communities across Scotland to the railway with new stations.
✅ We have nationalised ScotRail and already reconnected 15 communities to the railway.
🚉 Conon Bridge
🚉 Reston pic.twitter.com/bMgDRjBlJF
— The SNP (@theSNP) July 28, 2022
A wealthier Scotland
We’re working hard to attract investment into Scotland and seize the opportunities of our vast natural resources, while supporting our communities and ensuring Scottish taxpayers get the best value for money.
1. A new progressive income tax system – ensuring the majority (52%) of Scottish taxpayers pay less than elsewhere in the UK, while delivering extra support for our public services.
2. By reforming and extending our Small Business Bonus Scheme, we’re ensuring that 100,000 business premises are taken out of paying business rates – the most generous scheme of its kind in the UK.
3. Scotland is now an exporting powerhouse – Scotland’s exports were valued at £35bn in 2019, up 67% since 2007.
4. Scotland was the first government in the UK to become an accredited Living Wage employer – and we’re outperforming the UK in the number of Living Wage accredited employers.
5. Our median gender pay gap is lower than elsewhere in the UK, and we’re working hard to eradicate it.
6. Scotland is the top destination in the UK, outside of London, for attracting inward investment.
7. We met our target to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021, four years early, in 2017.
8. Scotland’s food and drink industry is booming – with Scotland accounting for the largest share of food and drink exports in the UK.
9. We’re taking action to make Fair Work the norm in workplaces across Scotland, and expanded the Fair Work First criteria for public contracts.
10. Reduced youth unemployment by 40% – four years ahead of our 2021 target, in 2017.
🔎 Despite the challenges of COVID, we're building a stronger, more resilient economy:
📈 Scotland outperforming the rest of UK on productivity
🤝 More employers paying the Living Wage
💻 Youth unemployment target met, ahead of schedule
💷 Massive investment in infrastructure pic.twitter.com/Ovm1REInWh
— The SNP (@theSNP) March 3, 2022
Help us build an even fairer, greener, independent Scotland
Despite the limited powers and resources under devolution, Nicola Sturgeon’s government has worked hard and did everything it can to make Scotland the best place to live.
We are determined to continue that work and keep shaping a more progressive society.
With the full powers of an independent country, we could do so much more – invest in our renewable energy potential, rejoin the EU, end austerity once and for all, and get rid of Westminster Tory governments we don’t vote for.
The power to help us do that is in your hands.