Delivering progress: 100 achievements of the SNP in government

Since the SNP came into government, every home in Scotland has benefitted from SNP policies.

From free tuition, to record health funding and the Baby Box, we have taken bold steps to build a fairer, greener and more equal Scotland – despite the limited powers and budgets of devolution.

Here’s 100 of our top achievements.

Edinburgh skyline with Holyrood park

1. Free Tuition. While students in England face tuition fees up to £27,750, Scottish students receive university tuition for free, and always will under the SNP.

2. Record high health funding. We’ve invested over £16 billion in our health and care portfolio, with resource funding up by over 60% under the SNP.

3. Care For All. We extended free personal and nursing care to everyone who needs it, regardless of age – and we’re now taking steps towards a transformative National Care Service.

4. The Baby Box. We’re giving every baby born in Scotland the best start in life by providing the Baby Box for free, filled with essential items needed in the first six months of a child’s life. Other countries, like Ireland, have since followed Scotland’s footsteps.

5. 1,140 hours of free, high-quality childcare. All eligible children now benefit from at least 1,140 hours of funded early learning and childcare, saving families around £4,500 per child per year – and we’re working to expand it even further.

6. New social security system with 11 new benefits. After the limited devolution of welfare powers, we have built Social Security Scotland – the new social security system based on dignity and respect, treating social security as an investment in Scotland’s people.

6. The Scottish Child Payment. One of the new benefits, the only one of its kind in the UK, has been called “game-changing” by charities and will help lift tens of thousands of children out of poverty. In 2022, we are doubling it to £20 a week per child – four times what campaigners originally called for.

7. Free prescriptions. We have abolished NHS prescription charges in Scotland, which are now £9.35 per item south of the border.

8. Free period products. Scotland was the first in the world to make sanitary products available to all those who need them, free of charge.

9. NHS staffing at a record high. Since the SNP took office, there is 25,000 more doctors, nurses and other staff working in Scotland’s NHS, an increase of over 20%.

10. Free bus travel. Over one million Scots already enjoy free bus travel across the country, including over-60s and disabled people – and we’ve now expanded it further to all young people under 22.

11. Lowest student loan debt in the UK. On top of free tuition, students are entitled to up to a minimum income guarantee of £7,750, benefit from low interest rates for student loan repayments, leaving their studies with the lowest average student loan debt in the UK. Learners with care experience are entitled to a non-repayable bursary of £8,100.

12. Free school meals for all children in P1-P3. We’re ensuring that no child goes hungry and helping family finances – saving families around £400 per child per year. And we’re going further – expanding to P4 and P5.

13. Highest per-person number of GPs in the UK.

14. 1,000 schools built or upgraded. In every part of the country, we’re ensuring that pupils and staff learn and work in well-designed, accessible and inclusive environments.

15. Best performing core A&E services in the UK. In 2020/21, 90.2% patients in Scottish core A&Es waited 4 hours and under – compared to 74.3% in Wales and 71.3% in England.

16. Free NHS dental care for under-26s. Scotland is the only part of the UK without dental fees for young people – and we’re scrapping fees for everyone by the end of this Parliament.

17. Record high investment in education and skills. In the 2021/22 Budget alone, we’re investing £2.7 billion, including £125 million to help close the attainment gap.

18. The Queensferry Crossing. We’ve delivered the £1.35 billion marvel on the Forth, under budget.

19. Bridge tolls scrapped. Under the SNP, the Forth and Tay crossings are free from tolls – saving individual commuters around £3,000 to date.

20. First government in the world to declare a climate emergency. Scotland has since been followed by 23 national governments and hundreds of councils in the UK.

21. Planting over 22 million trees a year. Scotland is punching well above its weight when it comes to creating new woodland. Around 80% of all of the UK’s trees are planted in Scotland – and we’re increasing our targets further still.

22. Scottish National Investment Bank. Established under the SNP, it’s the first mission-oriented investment bank in the UK, and invests in cutting-edge innovation for the common good. The Bank’s aims and objectives are aligned with Scotland’s Economic Strategy.

23. Delivered over 100,000 affordable homes. Since 2007, we’ve delivered homes in every corner of Scotland – with around 70% for social rent.

24. Small Business Bonus. Businesses which have a rateable value of £35,000 or less get relief on property tax. This means many small businesses in Scotland pay no rates on their premises.

25. Modern apprenticeships. We have expanded modern apprenticeships, delivering hundreds of thousands of spots – helping young people work towards a recognised qualification while learning on the job and getting paid.

26. Educational Maintenance Allowances (EMAs). We’ve expanded EMAs to support more young people to stay on in learning, and made support available to part-time college students for the first time.

27. Just Transition Fund. We’ve allocated the first £20 million of the fund to support a Just Transition from fossil fuels in the North East and Moray, with impacted workers playing a key role in deciding how the funds are spent.

28. World-leading climate targets. Scotland has some of the strictest and most ambitious emissions reduction targets in the world, aiming to reach net zero by 2045 and receiving praise from the UN.

29. Removed parking charges at all NHS hospitals.

30. The Borders Railway. We’ve connected Tweedbank, Galashiels and Midlothian to Edinburgh and beyond – the longest new domestic railway that was built anywhere in Britain in over 100 years.

31. Invested over £9 billion in Scotland’s rail infrastructure.

32. Over 96% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption comes from renewables. Scotland is a renewable energy powerhouse, and the new major investment in offshore wind through the ScotWind scheme will contribute billions in supply chain investment.

33. No fracking or other onshore unconventional oil and gas activity can take place in Scotland.

34. Expanded access to IVF. We’ve increased the number of available IVF cycles on the NHS from two to three, and expanded access to more couples – making IVF provision in Scotland the fairest and most generous in the UK.

35. More police officers under the SNP – and we’re protecting the police resource budget in real terms in every year of this Parliament.

36. Increased bursary for nursing and midwifery students. We’ve increased the bursary to £10,000 per year, making it the highest value nursing bursary anywhere in the UK.

37. Number of student paramedics, nurses and midwives is increasing – by 5.8% in 2021/22, for the ninth successive year in a row.

38. School Clothing Grant. We’ve introduced and increased the national minimum grant of £120 per primary pupil, and £150 per secondary pupil, to help more families afford school uniform costs.

39. Eradicating fuel poverty. Over the last 8 years, we have spent £1 billion on supporting people in fuel poverty and making their homes more energy efficient – and we have published the Fuel Poverty Strategy to eradicate fuel poverty by 2040.

40. Young Person’s Guarantee. During 2021/22 alone, the Young Person’s Guarantee is providing up to 20,000 training opportunities for young people in Scotland – in sectors affected by Covid, Brexit and future skills transitions.

41. Investing in cutting-edge research. Scotland has a flourishing life sciences sector and to support vital innovation, we have published the Life Sciences Strategy to increase the industry’s contribution to the Scottish economy to £8bn by 2025.

42. Widening access to higher education. We’re working hard to ensure that every young person, no matter their background, can enter and succeed at university. We have met our target of 16% of entrants coming from the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland, ahead of time in 2021.

43. Free eye tests. All eye examinations are free in Scotland – compared to £21.31 in England and Wales.

44. World-leading minimum alcohol unit pricing. Scotland was the first country in the world to implement minimum unit pricing, earning praise from experts and helping to reduce alcohol-related deaths.

45. School buildings in the best condition since records began. Across Scotland, the SNP has built or upgraded 1,000 schools – and buildings are in a better condition than ever, with 89.9% reported as good or satisfactory. That’s up 29% since April 2007.

46. Record high enrolment in Scottish universities. Scotland has some of the world’s best universities, and a record 260,490 students enrolled in 2019/2020 – benefitting from free tuition and generous student support.

47. Record support for college students. We’re providing our further education students with record levels of support – £141 million in 2021/22, up 54% in real terms since 2006/07.

48. New, progressive income tax system. Introduced under the SNP, it ensures that the majority (54%) of Scottish taxpayers pay less than elsewhere in the UK in 2021-22 – supporting stronger public services while safeguarding those on lower incomes.

49. Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route. We’ve built the new Aberdeen bypass, helping to bring in an additional £6 billion to the North East economy and create around 14,000 jobs over the next 30 years.

50. Promoting the real Living Wage. In 2015, we became the first government in the UK to become an accredited real Living Wage employer, and to support more employers to pay the real Living Wage, we have launched the accreditation scheme in 2021.

51. Driving forward Fair Work. We published an action plan to make fair work the norm in workplaces across Scotland, and expanded the Fair Work First criteria for public contracts to support flexible working and oppose ‘fire and rehire’ tactics.

52. Reduced youth unemployment – four years ahead of target. We met our target to reduce youth unemployment in Scotland by 40% by 2021, four years early, in 2017.

53. £1 billion for warmer, more efficient homes. Since 2009, we have allocated over £1 billion through our energy efficiency programmes to make homes more energy efficient and cheaper to heat.

54. Over 16,400 new council homes. We’re building new council homes at a significantly higher rate than in England, and delivered more council homes than the previous Labour government in Scotland.

55. Ended ‘Right to Buy’. We’ve ended Right to Buy to prevent the sale of 15,000 council homes over a 10-year period, and protect the existing stock of social rented homes in Scotland.

56. Tackling child poverty enshrined in law. We’ve set ambitious targets to eradicate child poverty into law, published our first delivery plan to put them into action, and backed it up with a £50 million fund. In 2015, the UK Tory government scrapped its child poverty targets.

57. Carer’s Allowance Supplement. Our investment in Carer’s Allowance and the Carer’s Allowance Supplement was around £358 million in 2020/21. Together with our additional Coronavirus Carer’s Allowance Supplement, eligible carers received an extra £690.30 last year compared to carers south of the border.

58. First benefit for young carers in the UK. Our Young Carer Grant, started in October 2019, supports eligible young carers with a payment of £308.15 – delivering for over 3,680 young carers in Scotland.

59. Levels of crime are down. Recorded crime, including violent crime, remains at one of the lowest levels in nearly 50 years, according to the 2020/21 statistics.

60. World-leading violence reduction programmes. Scotland has adopted a public health approach to tackling violence, as advocated by the WHO – and invested more than £23m since 2008 in violence reduction programmes. The Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) is internationally recognised and has inspired cities like London.

Finnieston Crane and Armadillo by Glasgow's River Clyde

61. Cashback for Communities programme. Since 2008, over £110 million from the proceeds of crime has been committed to community projects for young people across Scotland – funding over 2.5 million activities and opportunities to expand young people’s horizons and support them into positive destinations.

62. The world-leading Domestic Abuse Act. We’ve introduced the world leading legislation that makes psychological domestic abuse and controlling behaviour a crime.

63. Massive investment in active travel. In the 2021-22 Budget alone, we’ve committed a record £115.5 million to support and expand active travel in Scotland – helping to improve infrastructure such as bike lanes, ‘active freeways’ and paths, and transforming the way we move around.

64. Dualling the A9. The first two sections of our £3bn project to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness have been completed and fully opened to traffic – and procurement for the third section is underway.

65. Investing in regeneration of our towns and neighbourhoods. We have committed £325 million over the next five years to accelerate community-led regeneration and improve Scotland’s town centres. Since 2014, our fund has supported over 200 locally developed projects.

66. Best Start Grant. Since launching it in December 2018, we have authorised over 200,000 applications and put £70.5 million in the pockets of low income families to help with expenses during a child’s early years.

67. Mitigating the Tory bedroom tax. We have invested over £60 million to fully mitigate the callous ‘bedroom tax’, protecting over 70,000 Scottish households from the charge.

68. Record funding to support anti-sectarian education. Since 2012, we have invested a record £15 million to tackle sectarianism in schools, prisons, workplaces and communities.

69. The new Aberdeen Bypass. We have opened the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route in 2019, massively cutting journey times, reducing HGV traffic in Aberdeen and helping to bring in an additional £6bn to the North East economy over the next 30 years.

70. Cheaper air fares for residents of areas of Highlands & Islands. We’re funding the Air Discount Scheme, giving a 50% discount on core air fares for residents of Caithness and parts of Sutherland, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles on eligible routes.

71. Expanded voting franchise. 16 and 17 year olds, as well as all foreign nationals with leave to remain, including all those granted refugee status, now have the right to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections.

72. Improving access to politics. We’ve launched the £200,000 Access to Politics Fund to help disabled people across Scotland stand for the 2017 local government elections and the 2021 Holyrood elections.

73. Driving forward Land Reform. The radical and ambitious Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 has transformed how we own, manage and access land in Scotland.

74. Helping communities purchase land. The Scottish Land Fund has helped over 230 communities across Scotland to purchase land – and we’re doubling the fund to £20 million by the end of this Parliament.

75. Over 50% fall in emissions since 1990. Scotland has decarbonised faster than any G20 nation since 2008, and continues to outperform the UK in delivering long-term emissions reductions.

76. Commitment to a Just Transition enshrined in law. Scotland is world renowned for having underpinned our net zero targets with a legislative commitment to a Just Transition – ensuring no workers and communities are left behind.

77. World-leading Climate Justice Fund. The Scottish Government has been praised around the world for our actions on climate justice, providing £24 million to support projects in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda, and £2 million for loss and damage.

78. Community Empowerment Act. Local communities have been given a voice in the planning and delivery of local services, backed up by an annual £18 million of funding through our Empowering Communities Programme.

79. Scotland’s first ever National Islands Plan. We have introduced and are implementing our plan to improve the quality of life for Scotland’s island communities, including better access, infrastructure and tackling depopulation.

80. £30 million for better infrastructure on island communities.

Lerwick

81. National Marine Plan. We have launched Scotland’s first National Marine Plan, which aims to achieve the sustainable development of our seas.

82. Strengthening rural tourism. We have committed a total of £9 million to the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund to support jobs and make the tourism sector in our rural communities more resilient.

83. Supporting crofters and farmers. We’ve consistently supported over 65,000 people directly employed in Scotland’s farming, crofting and growing industries – and introduced a £337 million loan scheme to help agriculture recover from the impacts of Brexit and Covid.

84. Free entry to national museums and galleries. We’re continuing to maintain free entry to our national museums and galleries – which, before the pandemic, welcomed over five million visitors every year.

85. Making Scotland the perfect stage for major global events. We’ve consolidated Scotland’s position as a very attractive place to host major events, such as the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup, UEFA European Championships, and COP26.

86. Expanded provision of PE. We’ve expanded provision of two hours of PE a week in primary and secondary schools across Scotland – from 10% in 2005, to around 99% now.

87. Improved sporting facilities across Scotland. We have invested over £192 million since 2007 to help sports clubs, community groups, local authorities, sport’s governing bodies and other organisations to deliver new and upgraded facilities across the country.

88. Abolished fees for music education. We have removed fees for children learning a musical instrument at schools in all of Scotland.

89. Enhancing businesses’ digital capacity. We launched a £25 million fund to help businesses enhance their digital capacity and adapt to the digital world.

90. Outperforming the UK on productivity. Since 2007, productivity in Scotland has grown 10.3%, compared to growth of 2.9% in the UK.

91. First gender-balanced Cabinet in the UK. We introduced the first gender-balanced Cabinet in the UK, one of only a handful of gender parity cabinets around the world.

92. Scottish Water in public hands. Customers pay less for a better service in Scotland – saving £46 on average compared to the privatised services south of the border.

93. Best Start Foods. We’re helping families towards the costs of pregnancy or looking after a child, by introducing a prepaid card that can be used in shops or online to buy healthy foods like milk or fruit.

94. Supporting Scotland’s broadcast industry. We have launched the £3 million-a-year Broadcast Content Fund, helping the sustainable growth of Scotland’s broadcast production sector and encouraging the development of new projects.

95. The new V&A Museum in Dundee. We invested £38 million in the construction of the world-class V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, which opened in 2018 – and we’ve continued our support of V&A Dundee with funding of additional £2m a year.

96. Tackling violence against women and girls. We established the Equally Safe Strategy, backed up by the Delivering Equally Safe Fund, to achieve greater gender equality, maximise the safety and wellbeing of women and girls and tackle violence at its roots.

97. Decarbonising Scotland’s railway by 2035. We have published an ambitious plan to make Scotland’s railways net zero by 2035, through a rolling programme of rail electrification and investing in low-carbon, efficient rolling stock.

98. Over 25,000 hectares of Scotland’s peatlands restored. We have already funded the restoration of over 25,000 hectares of degraded peatland – and we committed £250 million over the next ten years to restore 250,000 hectares by 2030.

99. Pilot projects offering free bicycles. We’ve announced the first six pilot projects to offer free bicycles for school-age children who cannot afford one.

100. Regulating short-term lets. We have introduced legislation allowing councils to establish short-term let control areas and manage numbers of short-term lets. We’re now empowering local authorities to establish short-term lets licences – ensuring the properties are safe and the people providing them are suitable.

And we’re not stopping there…

In our 2021 Manifesto, we have outlined even more policies and actions to build a more prosperous economy, a fairer society, a greener planet and to improve lives of everyone who lives in Scotland.

Let’s continue delivering progress for Scotland.

If you haven’t yet, join the SNP today to help make it happen and to secure Scottish independence – so that Scotland’s future is always in Scotland’s hands, not those of Westminster Tory governments we haven’t voted for since 1955.

Note: All figures and statistics are accurate as of 24 January 2022.