Nicola Sturgeon has announced the Scottish Government’s plan for the next year – the Programme for Government. It’s a plan that will ensure we keep delivering progress now and investment for the future.
Here’s what you need to know.
Building an open, inclusive and greener economy
- A new £20 million ‘Trading Nation’ export plan will give extra help to businesses looking to export.
- We’ll set a new mission to increase infrastructure spending to internationally competitive levels. By 2025-26, £1.5 billion more will be spent on infrastructure every year compared with 2019-20. Between now and then, this will mean around £7 billion more invested in our hospitals, schools, houses, transport, low carbon technology and digital connections.
- We will introduce legislation to pave the way for the establishment of a Scottish National Investment Bank.
- We will make payment of the real Living Wage, transparency on gender-equal pay and exclusion of zero-hours contracts criteria for the award of job-related public sector grants.
- 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.
- A Bill will be introduced to establish a new enterprise agency for the South of Scotland.
The best place in the world to grow up and learn
- 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.
- We will strengthen children’s rights by incorporating the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into law – going further than anywhere else in the UK.
- We will give headteachers new powers to take the important decisions in their schools and to drive up attainment.
- We will invest over £20 million in a new package of student support, including increasing bursaries for care experienced students to £8,100; increasing bursaries for the lowest income families; and increasing the repayment threshold for student loans.
A health service fit for the future
- This year we will open Major Trauma Centres in Aberdeen and Dundee, with centres in Glasgow and Edinburgh to follow.
- Construction will begin this year on the expansion of the Golden Jubilee Hospital and the North of Scotland Elective Care Centre in Inverness. When complete these projects will increase capacity to help meet the demands of an aging population.
- 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 progress a law through Parliament to ensure health boards have appropriate staffing in place to ensure all patients receive safe, high quality care.
- From next year, we will implement Frank’s Law, extending free personal care to eligible under 65 year olds.
A safer and more equal Scotland
- 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 implement a package of measures to improve the experience of victims of crime and improve support for them and their families.
- A Female Genital Mutilation Bill will be introduced to strengthen protection for women and girls from this form of gender based violence.
- 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.
- We will publish an Older People’s Framework next year to set out how we improve the lives of older people and ensure they can contribute to our communities and economy.
- We will implement the recommendations of our homelessness expert group, as we work towards ending rough sleeping for good.