Our record





The list of SNP government achievements is long and wide-ranging. After a decade of Westminster cuts, the SNP government is working harder than ever to protect the most vulnerable in our society and deliver the best public services anywhere in the UK.


  • Record health funding - over £13 billion in 2017, £3.6 billion more than when we took office.
  • Higher exam passes up by a third since 2007, and we’re investing record amounts in schools to close the attainment gap. £120 million will go direct to schools this year alone.
  • Free tuition protected, saving students in Scotland up to £27,000 compared to the cost of studying in England.
  • Free, high quality childcare has 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 from low income households, saving families up to £2,500 per child per year in total.
  • We continue to meet our world-leading climate change targets. We remain well on track to achieve a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.
  • More people in employment in Scotland than the pre-recession high point, outperforming the UK on female employment and inactivity rates.
  • We’ve kept Council Tax down. Bills are lower in Scotland than in England - by between £300 and £400.
  • Prescription charges abolished. In England, patients are forced to pay £8.60 per item.
  • We’re leading the way on fair pay. Scotland has the highest proportion of employees in the UK paid at least the Living Wage.
  • Over 60,000 affordable homes completed, with a further 22,000 households supported into homeownership.
  • 16 and 17 year olds now have the right to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections.
  • To help protect jobs and businesses through the recession, we’ve slashed or abolished business rates for 100,000 premises – saving small businesses £1.2 billion to date.
  • Recorded crime in Scotland has reached its lowest level in 43 years.
  • Scotland, with one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world, has been rated the best country in Europe for LGBTI equality and human rights for the second year running.
  • We’re standing up for Scottish industry. We have secured a future for Scottish steel, the last remaining aluminium smelter at Lochaber, and Ferguson shipyard too.

A healthier Scotland 

  • The number of nurses, doctors and dentists working in Scotland’s NHS has increased. Staffing is at record high levels, up more than 12,300 in the last ten years.
  • Patient satisfaction continues to increase with 90 per cent of NHS Scotland patients rating their care and treatment as good or excellent.
  • Scotland’s A&E services are the best performing in the UK.
  • We have brought forward plans for a £5 million expansion of the Golden Jubilee Hospital - the first part of our plan to invest £200 million in a network of elective and diagnostic treatment centres to help meet the needs of an ageing population.
  • Over £5 billion has been invested in Scotland’s health infrastructure since 2007, including the South Glasgow Hospitals and Emergency Care Centre in Aberdeen.
  • We’ve kept healthcare local. That means A&E units have been saved, children’s cancer services and neurosurgery units protected, and maternity units kept open.
  • Nurses in Scotland are better paid than anywhere else in the UK. A nurse in Scotland, at Band 5, is paid between £225 and £309 more than their English counterparts.
  • We’re supporting the lowest paid workers in our NHS by delivering the real Living Wage. Entry level pay for NHS support staff, Band 1, in Scotland is £881 higher than England, and over £1,300 higher than Northern Ireland.
  • We’re recruiting more GPs by increasing the number of training places from 300 to 400 each year.
  • We’re training more paramedics, with a commitment to train 1,000 more by the end of this Scottish Parliament term.
  • IVF is being expanded to more families – making access in Scotland the fairest and most generous in the UK.
  • Our hospitals are cleaner and safer. In over 65s cases of C.Diff are down 86 per cent, and cases of MRSA are down 93 per cent.
  • Almost £40 million has been invested to raise public awareness of cancer, and catch it sooner, driving earlier diagnosis in a range of cancers.
  • The risk from cervical cancer for the next generation of young women has been cut by providing the HPV vaccine for girls in second year of secondary school.
  • Scrapping parking charges at all NHS-run hospital car parks has saved patients and staff around £27 million.
  • Scotland has the highest number of GPs per head of population in the UK, and we’ve made sure more practices are now open in the evenings and at weekends.
  • Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a mental health waiting times target, and spending on mental health services in Scotland will exceed £1 billion for the first time in 2017-18.
  • A record nine in ten people are now registered with an NHS dentist – up from just 52 per cent when we took office.
  • More funding than ever before is being provided to support carers and young carers, with investment of over £122 million in a range of programmes since 2007.
  • Irresponsible alcohol discounts in supermarkets and off-licences are now banned, and we’ve raised the legal age for buying tobacco to 18.
  • We’ve banned smoking in any vehicle carrying anyone under 18.
  • Everyone who uses social care services can now control their individual care budget through the Self-directed Support Act.
  • We’ve provided extra funding for Scotland’s veteran charities, and ensured our ex-service men and women receive priority treatment in the NHS and other services.

A smarter Scotland

  • All children in primaries 1 to 3 – around 135,000 pupils – are now benefiting from free school meals, saving families around £380 per child per year.
  • We have launched the Scottish Attainment Challenge, and investment in that programme will be £750 million over the life of this Parliament.
  • Total revenue spending on schools has risen by at least £220 million since 2006-07, and spending per pupil is higher in Scotland than England.
  • More school pupils are now in well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments. Between 2007 and 2016, 651 schools were built or refurbished - twice as many as the previous Labour/LibDem administrations.
  • Since the introduction of the Gaelic Schools Capital Fund in 2008, the number of young people in Gaelic Medium Education has increased nationally by 32 per cent.
  • The percentage of pupils leaving school with at least one Higher level or equivalent qualification has increased by almost 45 per cent under the SNP.
  • The First Minister’s Reading Challenge, which aims to encourage children to read for pleasure, has been opened to all primary school pupils after the success of the initial scheme for primaries 4 to 7.
  • The Disabled Students Allowance has been protected and bursaries for students have been maintained in Scotland, while the Tories have abolished both elsewhere in the UK.
  •  We’ve expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance in Scotland – now scrapped south of the border – to support even more school pupils and college students from low income families.
  • Over 117,000 full-time equivalent Scottish Government-funded college places are now being provided – exceeding our 2011 manifesto commitment to maintain 116,000 places.
  • We have invested over £550 million in college estates between 2007 and 2015, £250 million more than the previous Labour/Lib Dem administrations.
  • We’re supporting a further £300 million of investment to deliver new campuses at City of Glasgow, Inverness and Ayrshire Colleges. And Forth Valley and Fife Colleges will share £140 million for new campuses too.
  • We’re providing our further education students with record levels of support of £106 million - up 34 per cent under the SNP.
  • The number of full-time college students completing recognised higher education qualifications is at an all time high.
  • Full-time college students in Scotland can now benefit from the highest bursary of anywhere in the UK. A record number of Scots have been supported into university, and young people from the most deprived areas are now more likely to study at university.
  • The number of graduates from Scottish universities going into work or further study is among the highest in the UK.
  • Graduates from Scottish universities are earning more than their counterparts in other UK nations.
  • The poorest university students who are living at home are benefiting from a minimum income guarantee of £7,625 per year – the highest in the UK.
  • Since 2007, the number of female entrants in STEM subjects at Scottish universities has increased by 26 per cent in first degree courses and 47 per cent in postgraduate courses. 

A wealthier Scotland

  • Scotland's youth unemployment is the third lowest in the EU.
  • Scotland is the top destination, outside of London, for foreign direct investment.
  • Today Scotland has the highest pay anywhere in the UK outside of London and the South East.
  • Productivity growth in Scotland is four times as fast as the UK – as measured by output per hour worked. Since the SNP came to office, productivity has increased by 9.4 per cent, while stagnating for the UK as a whole.
  • Around 200,000 young people have had the opportunity to undertake a Modern Apprenticeship since 2007. And by 2020, a further 30,000 opportunities will be available every year.
  • Scotland has the highest house-building rate in the UK. Since 2007, we have built 41,000 more homes than if we’d matched the lower rate in England - that’s the equivalent of a new town the size of Paisley.
  • Councils have been enabled to build new homes for the first time in years – with 7,169 new council homes delivered.
  • 15,500 social houses for rent have been safeguarded by ending Right to Buy.
  • We’re taking action to stimulate Scotland’s economy following the result of the EU referendum. This includes bringing forward £100 million of government spending on infrastructure, and a £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme to support businesses - particularly start-up companies - with the potential to grow and export more.
  • £500 million has been committed to stimulate and support economic growth in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley.
  • £125 million has been allocated through the Aberdeen City Region Deal to stimulate and support economic growth in the city, alongside an additional £254 million for infrastructure projects in the North-east.
  • We are investing £135 million in the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal – two and a half times the UK Government investment.
  • By the end of 2021 we will have committed £1 billion to tackling fuel poverty, and over one million energy efficiency measures have already been installed in almost one million households across Scotland.
  • We’ve helped people into homeownership through the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, which has lifted 15,000 households out of tax compared to Stamp Duty in the rest of the UK.
  • Public sector procurement has been simplified, with more small and medium-sized enterprises now competing for and winning public sector contracts.
  • The number of registered businesses in Scotland has reached 173,995, the highest number on record.
  • Scotland’s international exports - valued at £28.7 billion in 2015 - are up 41 per cent under the SNP.
  • Scotland’s tourism industry is going from strength to strength – with 14 million tourists visiting Scotland in 2015.
  • Enterprise and development spending per head in Scotland is almost double that of the UK.
  • We won new powers over tax and social security, and protected Scotland’s budget from a £7 billion cut by the Treasury over the financial arrangements enabling new powers.

A fairer Scotland

  • All babies in Scotland are provided with a Nordic-style ‘baby box’ in a bid to reduce infant mortality and help families at the start of a child’s life.
  • In 2011, we became the first government in the UK to pay the Living Wage to our staff.
  • We have already ensured that nobody in Scotland has to pay the Bedroom Tax. And we will use new powers to effectively abolish it once and for all, protecting over 70,000 households.
  • Over 241,000 low income households in crisis have been helped to buy essentials such as nappies, food and cookers through our Scottish Welfare Fund since it was established in 2013.
  • 1.3 million older and disabled people have benefited from free public transport through the National Concessionary Bus Travel Scheme.
  • Around 77,000 older people in Scotland benefit from access to a wide range of personal care tasks without being charged.
  • Over half a million vulnerable households in Scotland – including around 190,000 pensioners and over 80,000 single parents – have been protected from UK Government cuts to Council Tax benefit.
  • We have introduced a Child Poverty Bill which will set targets to end child poverty by 2030, and established a new £29 million fund to tackle poverty at a grassroots level.
  • We have already safeguarded the rights of 2,800 of the most severely disabled by establishing the Scottish Independent Living Fund.
  • We’ve kept Scottish Water in public hands. Customers are now paying less for a better service – charges for the average household bill in Scotland are £38 lower than in England and Wales.
  • Our new employment support programmes will be on a voluntary basis and will not interact with the UK government’s punitive benefit sanctions system.
  • Over 300 companies have signed the Scottish Business Pledge - a voluntary code for companies to commit to policies that boost productivity, recognise fairness and increase diversity.
  • We are piloting a Returners programme to help women who have had career breaks back into the workplace.
  • We are leading a 50:50 campaign to encourage public, third and private sector companies to commit to boardroom gender equality by 2020.
  • We now have Scotland’s first cabinet with an equal number of women and men.
  • We have launched a £300,000 Sports Equality Fund with the aim of increasing women’s engagement in sport.

A safer Scotland

  • Since we took office, violent crime is down by 52 per cent, homicides are down by 52 per cent and handling offensive weapons is down by 69 per cent.
  • In Scotland, under the SNP, police numbers are up, while they’ve fallen in England. 
  • The new Scottish Crime Campus provides a focal point for excellence in intelligence-sharing, evidence gathering and forensic science to tackle serious organised crime.
  • Automatic early release has been ended, meaning that long-term prisoners who pose an unacceptable risk to public safety will serve their sentence in full.
  • The reconviction rate has been reduced to its lowest level in 18 years, thanks to tough community sentences.
  • £75 million has been seized from criminals and has been reinvested in community projects for young people across Scotland.
  • HMP Low Moss opened in March 2012 and HMP Grampian opened in March 2014, two major parts of our prison building programme.
  • Access to air weapons has been tightened to improve public safety.
  • Tackling sectarianism has been backed up with record investment.
  • The new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has been created. 
  • Scotland has the UK’s first national action plan on human rights, showing our ambition to be an example of how to realise human rights and tackle injustice at home and abroad.

 Investing for the future

  • We’re investing £1 billion annually in public and sustainable transport to encourage people out of cars.
  • We have delivered the £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing.
  • Commuters have saved around £2,000 since bridge tolls on the Forth Road Bridge and Tay Bridge were scrapped by the SNP.
  • We have invested twice as much per head in the rail network in Scotland than the UK Government –  £7 billion in rail since 2007.
  • The Borders Railway, the longest new domestic railway to be built in Britain in over 100 years, has reopened and welcomed over 1 million passengers in its first year.
  • A £5 billion investment programme in Scotland’s railways up to 2019 will deliver longer, greener trains, new stations, new track upgrades, more seats, and more services.
  • £3 billion to dual 80 miles of carriageway on the A9 Perth-Inverness, £745 million for the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, plus M8, M73 and M74 motorway improvements.
  • Contracts worth £97 million will protect the 150-strong workforce and create 100 new jobs at the last commercial shipyard on the Clyde.
  • We’ve exceeded the 2016 target to provide broadband access to 85 per cent of premises, and we’ll reach 100 per cent by 2021.

Empowering communities

  • Scotland’s independence referendum was the biggest democratic exercise in Scotland’s history.
  • We’ve launched a £200,000 Access to Politics Fund to help disabled people stand for the 2017 local government elections. And we will continue the fund for the Scottish Parliament elections in 2021.
  • Local communities have been given a voice in the planning and delivery of local services - backed up by £20 million of funding - through the Community Empowerment Act.
  • The Scottish Land Fund has already helped 52 communities across the country to purchase land, with over 500,000 acres now in community ownership. And the Fund has been increased to £10 million per year.
  • The radical and ambitious Land Reform Act has been passed to transform rules around the ownership, accessibility and benefits of land in Scotland.

A greener Scotland

  • Scotland has exceeded its target to produce 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2015 - with almost 60 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs met from renewable sources.
  • Scotland is outperforming the UK as a whole and most western European nations in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Only Sweden and Finland have achieved greater reductions.
  • With the support of the SNP Scottish Government, low carbon industries in Scotland and their supply chains generated almost £11 billion for the economy in 2014.
  • We have blocked underground coal gasification and a moratorium means fracking cannot take place in Scotland.
  • Scotland’s household recycling rate was 44.2 per cent in 2015 – up from around 32 per cent for municipal waste in 2007.
  • Carrier bag use has been reduced by 80 per cent - the equivalent of 650 million bags - in the first year of the carrier bag charge.
  • We’ve helped make our communities safer from flooding with investment in flood defences and new measures in the Flooding Act. And we’ve agreed a new 10 year funding strategy for flood protection, consisting of £42 million a year, aiming to protect 10,000 families across Scotland.

Supporting rural communities 

  • A record £1 billion has been invested in vessels, ports and ferry services since 2007 as part of our commitment to our islands and remote communities, with six ferries added to CalMac’s fleet and two new ferries due for delivery in 2018.
  • Road Equivalent Tariff has been rolled out to all ferry routes in the Clyde and Hebrides network, delivering significantly reduced ferry fares and the highest passenger numbers since 1997.
  • Residents of Caithness and north-west Sutherland, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on air fares. 
  • With produce output worth around £2.3 billion a year and around 65,000 people directly employed, we work tirelessly to get the best deal for Scotland’s farmers, crofters and growers. 
  • We played a key role in reforming EU fisheries policy to bring an end to the wasteful discarding of fish at sea.
  • With food and drink exports valued over £4.5 billion and 14,000 new jobs estimated to be created in the sector by 2020, we strive to promote Scotland’s top quality produce.
  • Fares on lifeline ferry services have been frozen for 2017 for passengers, cars and commercial vehicles.
  • The clean, green status of our valuable food and drink sector has been protected by opting out of the cultivation of genetically modified crops in Scotland.
  • Scotland’s first National Marine Plan aims to achieve the sustainable development of our seas.

Enabling creativity and sport

  • Free access has been maintained to museums and galleries, with over 27 million visits to Scotland’s world class national collections since 2007.
  • In government we provided vital support for Scotland to welcome the world in 2014, with the staging of the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 
  • Since the SNP government backed the 'Daily Mile' challenge 180,000 children in over 1,000 of Scotland's primary schools now walk or run a mile each day.
  • 98 per cent of primary and secondary schools across Scotland are now providing two hours of physical education a week – up from 10 per cent in 2005.
  • Over £162 million has been pumped into Scotland’s screen sector since 2007.
  • Over £130 million has been invested in our cultural infrastructure - including the revamped National Museum of Scotland, National Portrait Gallery, and homes for our performing companies including National Theatre of Scotland and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra. 
  • More than £19 million of direct investment in Edinburgh’s major festivals since 2008.
  • £25 million for the Victoria and Albert Museum of Design in Dundee.
  • 1.5 million opportunities have been created for young people to take part in music and youth arts in 2015.

…but there’s still much more we want to do. Together, we will continue to shape a fairer, more successful Scotland.

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