Programme for Government 2021-22: our bold plan for a fairer, greener Scotland

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set out the 2021-22 Programme for Government – our ambitious plan to build a fairer, greener Scotland and secure an independence referendum to decide on Scotland’s future, when it’s safe to do so.

You can read Nicola Sturgeon’s full speech to the Scottish Parliament here.

The Programme builds on solid foundations laid by the SNP Scottish Government in the first 100 days – where we’ve delivered 80 bold and transformative measures to improve the lives of people in Scotland.

Here’s a handy summary.


Investing in our NHS, building a more caring Scotland

We will strengthen our NHS with record high funding, and ensure it is equipped to continue managing Covid, support our recovery, and address longer term challenges.

We’ll provide record investment in mental health and continue in our national mission to tackle the drug deaths emergency.

And we will pursue a radical new vision for social care that meets the scale of the challenge, introducing a Bill to establish a new National Care Service.

Here are the key announcements:

  • Increase frontline health spending by 20% – providing at least £2.5 billion in additional funding
  • Drive forward our NHS Recovery Plan
  • Invest £10 billion to replace and refurbish Scotland’s hospitals and health facilities
  • Increase primary care funding by 25% over this Parliament
  • Abolish NHS dental charges for all
  • Tackle the drugs death emergency by investing £250 million in treatment and expansion of rehabilitation
  • Establish a National Care Service, backed by £800 million more for social care
  • Ensure that at least 10% of all NHS frontline spend goes on mental health services

Building a land of opportunity for Scotland’s young people

We’re determined to make Scotland the best place in the world to grow up in – ensuring that everyone has access to opportunities and the chance to thrive, regardless of their background, gender and postcode.

We will invest more money in our Young Person’s Guarantee to make sure every 16-25 year old has the opportunity of education, training or a job.

We have already removed NHS dental charges for under-26s, and we’re delivering free bus travel for under-22s from January 2022.

And we will always protect free tuition, while investing in skills needed for the good, green jobs of the future.

Here are the key announcements:

  • Invest £1 billion to tackle the poverty related attainment gap in our schools
  • Recruit over 3,500 additional teachers and support assistants
  • Expand our Young Person’s Guarantee with a further £70 million this year
  • Support frontline services and focus on prevention of violence against women and girls
  • Begin work on a Minimum Income Guarantee
  • Ensure all children have equal opportunities – including free laptops, free school trips and expanded free school meals
  • Introduce a new Human Rights Bill to incorporate four UN human rights treaties into Scots law
  • Start work to ensure access to a Bairn’s Hoose by 2025

Tackling poverty and creating a more equal Scotland

While we have taken bold action in recent years towards our aim of a truly equal nation, the pandemic has exacerbated the inequality in society.

That’s why we’re going even further.

From doubling the Scottish Child Payment, to delivering for families through a wraparound childcare system, we will work hard to tackle inequalities and build a Scotland that works for all.

Here are the key announcements:

  • Extend Scottish Child Payment to children under 16 by the end of 2022
  • Double the Scottish Child Payment as soon as possible
  • Provide immediate support through Scottish Child Payment £520 bridging payments in both 2021 and 2022
  • Make an extra payment of Carer’s Allowance Supplement this year
  • Develop and launch new benefits, including the new Scottish Carer’s Assistance
  • Bring forward the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill within the next year
  • Expand funded early learning and childcare for children aged 1 and 2
  • Bring forward a Housing Bill, introducing an effective national system of rent controls
  • Build a system of wraparound school age childcare
  • Invest £10 million to tackle isolation and loneliness

Secure a just transition to net zero by 2045

This year, the eyes of the world will be on the COP26 Conference in Glasgow – one of the world’s last chances to limit global warming to 1.5°C and tackle the climate emergency.

We’re already working hard to meet our world-leading net zero target of 2045 – decarbonising our homes, buildings, and transport, and investing to restore Scotland’s natural environment.

We will also deliver a renewables revolution, making sure we transition to greener energy in a fair and just way that doesn’t leave communities behind.

Here are the key announcements:

  • Play our part to support a world-changing deal at COP26 in Glasgow
  • Introduce a £500 million Just Transition Fund for the North East
  • Invest at least £1.8 billion to make heating more efficient and decarbonise a million homes by 2030
  • Remove the majority of diesel buses from public transport by the end of 2023
  • Put ScotRail into public ownership, and decarbonise Scotland’s railways by 2035
  • Provide nationwide free bus travel for under-22s from January 2022, benefitting over 900,000 young people
  • Put £500 million to support upskilling and reskilling people to access the good, green jobs
  • Ensure 10% of the total transport budget is spent on active travel
  • Designate at least one new National Park by the end of this Parliament
  • Invest £240 million in an Energy Transition Programme to support the development of new, low carbon technologies

Stronger communities, in an economy that works for all

As we recover, we will seize the opportunity to design an economy that is greener and works for all of Scotland’s people and places.

We will strengthen tenants’ rights, work towards a national system of rent controls and deliver even more affordable homes – on top of the 100,000 we have already delivered.

And we will ensure communities are better connected, empowered and resilient – with new and better transport links, funding for rural entrepreneurs, and revitalising our high streets.

Here are the key announcements:

  • Invest £325 million to revitalise and regenerate our town centres
  • Pilot a 4-day working week, supported by a £10 million fund for participating companies
  • Deliver 110,000 affordable homes across Scotland by 2032
  • Launch the new £20 million Rural Entrepreneur Fund
  • Work towards developing a new National Infrastructure Company
  • Tackle the digital divide by investing in digital skill, and extending 4G coverage to rural and island communities
  • Invest extra £50 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping
  • Develop and take forward a new Land Reform Bill
  • Deliver a revolution in children’s rights, including the Bairn’s Hoose by 2025

Put Scotland’s future firmly in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s

Scotland is experiencing a tale of two governments.

We’re using the Scottish Parliament’s full powers and already taking bold steps to tackle poverty, improve opportunities for young people, invest in infrastructure and tackle climate change.

However, a decade of Westminster austerity and a hard Brexit – imposed against our will by the Tories, who Scotland has rejected since the 1950s – lay bare the limits of devolution.

From Universal Credit cuts that punish working families, to billions wasted on a Trident nuclear weapons renewal, Westminster isn’t working for Scotland and we have the right to choose better.

That’s why, we intend to secure an independence referendum before the end of 2023, if the Covid crisis has passed and it’s safe to do so.

The Scottish Government will also now restart work on the detailed case for independence.