Scotland’s Tale of Two Governments
Scotland has two governments – with very different priorities, which are becoming increasingly apparent.
The Programme for Government which is published each September lays out the actions the Scottish Government intends to take in the next year and beyond.
In the face of the challenges we must confront, this programme sets out clear plans to lead Scotland out of the greatest health crisis in a century and transform the lives of those who live here.
The Scottish Government will deliver a National Care Service; ensure that businesses have the support, and people the skills, to succeed in the low-carbon economy of the future; and invest in affordable, energy-efficient homes and green travel.
The programme for Government commits at least £1.8 billion to make Scotland’s homes and buildings more efficient and easier to heat – while also tackling fuel poverty. This will help decarbonise a million homes by 2030 and help us reach net zero by 2045.
Here in Scotland we have also made it a national mission to end child poverty. We are rolling out the Scottish Child Payment – which has already helped over 2,000 families here in Angus – to children under 16 by the end of 2022, and doubling it to £20 per week as quickly as possible thereafter.
Meanwhile, the UK Government continues to ignore the pleas of anti-poverty campaigners and looks set to proceed with their reckless plan to remove the £20 uplift to Universal Credit, which will have a devastating impact on over 450,000 families across Scotland.
On top of those welfare cuts, Boris Johnson is now also raising National Insurance – a regressive tax on people least able to afford it. An anonymous Tory MP, speaking to the Financial Times, is reported to have said: “We are asking people on low incomes to pay more tax so that privileged kids can inherit expensive houses”.
This is especially pertinent when the Institute of Fiscal Studies has claimed that a third of young people across the UK may never be able to afford a home of their own.
Meanwhile, in Holyrood, the Programme for Government established a commitment to afford everyone a safe, warm place to call home – delivering 110,000 more affordable homes across Scotland by 2032 and strengthening tenants’ rights in the rented sector.
A tale of two governments – one in Edinburgh that treats its residents with dignity and care, while the other in London seeks to impose further cuts and works against the people it claims to represent.