The SNP’s new programme for government: what you need to know

Nicola Sturgeon has outlined the Scottish Government’s plans for the next year and beyond. It’s a plan to shape the kind of Scotland we seek – an inclusive, fair, prosperous, innovative country, ready and willing to embrace the future. You can read the First Minister’s statement in full here.

Here’s just some of what’s in the plan.

Supporting public services and those who deliver them

  • An Education Bill will be introduced in 2018 to reform education to help close the poverty-related attainment gap. The Bill will empower head teachers, give teachers the space to teach and help parents play a bigger role in school life.

  • We will deliver a fairer deal for public sector workers, including nurses, teachers and firefighters, by lifting the pay cap.

  • To keep Scotland safe, we will continue to protect the police revenue budget in real terms. We will also improve electronic monitoring of offenders and have a presumption against sentences of less than 12 months.

  • We will continue to protect the revenue budget of our health service. In the next year we will also begin to implement ‘Frank’s Law’, providing free personal care for those under 65 who need it.

  • We will open up a new debate on the best use of our tax powers to support our public services.

A new deal for Scotland’s families

  • Building on the support already provided for families through the Baby Box, we will begin to establish a Best Start Grant to support families at key stages of their child’s early years.

  • We will continue work to nearly double childcare and early years education provision to 30 hours a week by 2020-21.

  • We will back a member’s bill from John Finnie – a Green MSP – that will introduce a ban on smacking. And we will embed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to protect the rights of children and young people.

Growing our economy and creating jobs

  • We will establish a Scottish National Investment Bank to support infrastructure investment, help businesses grow and create jobs.

  • To support the South of Scotland regional economy, a new Development Agency will be established.

  • New permanent trade representation will be established in Paris, to help attract investment in Scotland and help Scottish firms access new markets.

A fairer and more inclusive nation

  • We will end rough sleeping. More money will go to homelessness projects, mental health services and addiction services to meet the new aim.

  • Free sanitary products will be provided in schools, colleges and universities to tackle period poverty.

  • We will use new social security powers to increase Carer’s Allowance from next summer, backdating it to April 2018.

  • We will fund research into the feasibility of a citizens’ basic income scheme.

A low carbon future

  • In the next year we will introduce a Climate Change Bill to set more ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions – aiming for a cut of at least a 90 per cent cut by 2050.

  • Scotland’s road network will be converted to electric and hybrid vehicles by 2032.

  • The walking and cycling budget will be doubled to £80 million per year.

  • A deposit return scheme for bottles and cans will be launched and a disposable coffee cup levy will be explored with the goal of reducing waste and raising funds for environmental projects.