5 Ways We’ve delivered progress
It has now been over one month since Humza Yousaf became the SNP leader and the First Minister of Scotland.
Every single day, Humza and his team have been relentlessly focused on delivering progress for the people of Scotland – protecting people against the Tory cost of living crisis and building a fairer nation.
Here’s the top 5 achievements in the first month in office.
1. Tripling support for people struggling with energy bills
In his first act as First Minister, Humza Yousaf announced increased support for households struggling with rising energy costs.
Going beyond the SNP Scottish Government’s commitment to double the Fuel Insecurity Fund, Humza has tripled it to £30 million.
In a country as energy rich as Scotland, we’re working flat out to ensure we can tackle fuel poverty and make our economy work for the people.
2. Extra funding of £15 million to expand school-age childcare
Thanks to our additional investment, thousands more low-income families will benefit from free school-age childcare.
The extra £15 million funding will fund more after-school activities and holiday clubs, with existing services in Dundee, Clackmannanshire, Glasgow and Inverclyde being expanded, and new services being set up in communities across Scotland.
This comes as part of our work to build a system of year-round, wraparound childcare – fully funded for those who need it most.
Scotland already has the most generous childcare offer anywhere in the UK – expanded to 1,140 hours a year for three-year-olds, four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.
3. Increasing investment in the Just Transition, ensuring no worker gets left behind
Humza Yousaf has announced a £25 million boost to the Scottish Government’s Just Transition Fund, helping to accelerate the renewable energy transition in Aberdeen and the North East, while ensuring that no worker gets left behind.
The work is ongoing on projects such as promoting emerging technologies, investing in community projects and developing a skills passport for offshore energy workers.
By using part of the Just Transition Fund to capitalise the Scottish National Investment Bank, we’re also powering further investment in the North East to ensure that communities can benefit from Scotland’s enormous renewable energy resources.
4. Additional funding to help tackle health inequalities in Scotland’s most deprived areas
People living in some of Scotland’s most deprived communities will benefit from the £1 million extra funding for tackling health inequalities, announced by Humza Yousaf.
The money will go directly to GP practices in Greater Glasgow & Clyde, focusing on supporting prevention and early intervention for patients at the highest risk of having poor health.
Thanks to our more progressive tax system, where the wealthiest in society pay a bit more in tax, we’re already investing a record high amount in Scotland’s NHS – and Scotland has more doctors, nurses and GPs per head of population than the rest of the UK.
5. Empowering councils to raise council tax on empty and second homes – prioritising homes for living in
At the Scottish Trades Union Congress in Dundee, Humza Yousaf announced the Scottish Government’s proposals to give councils the powers to charge up to double the full rate of council tax on empty and second homes.
Figures from January 2023 show that there are over 42,000 long-term empty homes in Scotland – we’re determined to tackle that, ensuring more sustainable, affordable homes are available for people to live in.
These changes will also empower councils to reflect their local circumstances, and the additional funding generated by raising council tax on empty and second homes will enable councils to increase investment in local services.
Let’s keep delivering progress for all of Scotland
In a speech to the Scottish Parliament, First Minister Humza Yousaf has outlined his vision and priorities in government – setting out how we’ll work to build a fairer, greener, wealthier Scotland.
We’ll keep working hard to tackle poverty, grow the economy and make it work for the people, and improve our public services.
We’re doing all we can with limited powers and resources under devolution – but we know that only with independence, Scotland can achieve its true potential and escape the damaging policies of Westminster governments for good.
Join us on that journey, and help build the better Scotland we all know is possible.