What You Need to Know
The First Minister, Humza Yousaf, has launched Scotland’s Programme for Government 2023-24.
The document lays out the Scottish Government’s priorities for the year ahead, with our plans focused around the three themes of equality, community and opportunity.
These themes form the bedrock of Scotland’s precious democracy and set it apart from a broken Westminster system that is incapable of delivering results.
The Scottish Government’s plans place particular focus on economic growth and increasing productivity in Scotland’s economy, in order to combat the effect of Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis.
Combining our ambition for economic growth with a commitment to reducing inequality, proving that a government can be both pro-growth and anti-poverty.
Click here to read the full document, or read on for a handy summary of the key headlines.
We’re expanding access to funded childcare
The Scottish Government is supporting families and empowering parents, children and carers by expanding access to high-quality funded childcare.
Lack of childcare is a real concern for so many families, and relieving this burden is yet another example of how the SNP is determined to deliver for parents and their children.
Making childcare more accessible has an economic advantage, boosting productivity and providing security for Scotland’s hardworking families.
This latest boost to funded childcare puts Labour and the Conservatives to shame, with Scotland’s childcare provision now lightyears away from Labour’s paltry offering when they were last in power.
Providing free school meals for all children in Primary 1 to 5
The Scottish Government is committed to the provision of free school meals for all children in Primary 1 to 5.
Too many children in these isles go hungry, despite the mammoth efforts of parents to provide for their children. The shadow of the Tories’ disastrous mini-budget, austerity policies, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis have left families struggling to keep their heads above water.
While Labour refuse to commit deliver free school meals, and the Tories are failing to act now. In Scotland, it’s the SNP Scottish Government that’s delivering.
The provision of free school meals is the right thing to do, standing by Scotland’s children, we are ensuring their education isn’t lacking and investing in our children and the economy of the future.
We’re increasing pay for social care staff
For too long, social care in these isles has been undervalued and underfunded.
The SNP Scottish Government recognises the vital contribution of social care staff, and acknowledges the added pressure that the cost of living must have on their finances right now.
The Scottish Government has committed to increasing pay for social care workers in a direct care role, helping social care staff, their families and our communities. This amounts to an increase of up to £2,000 per year for social care staff on full-time contracts.
A pilot for the abolition of peak time rail fares
From October, the Scottish Government will be piloting the abolition of peak time rail fares.
The current system isn’t delivering for commuters and the Scottish Government has listened to calls from communities and partners across Scotland to launch a trial of the scheme.
This pilot will make rail travel more affordable and accessible, at a time when the Scottish Government is focused on cutting costs for families and boosting the use of public transport all over Scotland.
A new deal for tenants
The Scottish Government is also set to introduce a housing bill which will help to deliver the New Deal for Tenants, enhancing their rights and protections.
Westminster’s cost-of-living crisis has left tenants vulnerable, made all the more difficult by a market that can’t support demand.
The Scottish Government will continue to work with vital stakeholders across landlord and tenant groups as it crafts a tailored approach to this crisis that suits Scotland’s unique needs.
£15m to unleash entrepreneurial talent from all parts of Scotland
The Programme for Government pledges a £15m fund to unleash entrepreneurial talent from all parts of Scotland.
This package will drive innovation and create high-value jobs as a magnet for investment, attracting much needed interest in Scotland’s thriving business community.
Improving miscarriage care so those suffering can access the tailored support they need
The current arrangements are failing parents throughout Scotland, and the SNP realises that a new plan is needed to deliver for them.
To better women’s healthcare, we’re improving miscarriage care so those suffering can access the tailored support they need.
Delivering for Scotland, this year and beyond
The Programme for Government not only lays out the Scottish Government’s headline priorities, but also proves that it is willing to go above and beyond to deliver where the UK government can only claimed to have failed. From a trial of the 4 day working week to improvement works on the A96, the Scottish Government is listening and eager to provide the change that voters across Scotland want to see delivered.
While the Tories and Labour descend into playground squabbling, the SNP will continue to be the mature, grown-up government which Scotland needs. Our vision for a better country is possible – and achievable – but only with the SNP.