Summary of the Scottish Government Programme for Scotland 2021 - 2022
Wednesday, 8 September 2021
Summary produced by Scottish Chambers Network on behalf of Fife Chamber of Commerce
Business & economy
- Launch a 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation in the autumn, alongside a new National Challenge Competition which will provide up to £50 million to projects with the greatest potential to transform Scotland's economy.
- Invest an additional £500 million to support green jobs of the future, including upskilling and reskilling people to access those – including £20 million through the National Transition Training Fund, and up to a further £20 million for those affected by long term unemployment, this year.
- Make up for the opportunities lost to young people during the pandemic by delivering the Young Person's Guarantee – providing at least 24,000 new and enhanced opportunities.
- Help people get the skills they need to access the green jobs of the future, developing the Greens Jobs Workforce Academy and creating a skills guarantee for workers in carbon intensive sectors.
- Pilot a 4 day working week, supported by a £10 million fund for participating companies, to better understand the likely impacts on workers, businesses and the economy.
- Progress the vision of Scotland as a leading Fair Work Nation by 2025: including making payment of the real living wage to all employees a condition of public sector grants by summer 2022.
- Promote a thriving rural economy, launching the new £20 million Rural Entrepreneur Fund in the coming financial year, providing grants of up to £10,000 to support the relocation or creation of 2000 new businesses.
- Support the recommendations of the Tourism Recovery Taskforce, including a £25 million portfolio of projects in 2021 22, and consider the best approach to future years.
- Invest over £33 billion over the course of this Parliament in the National Infrastructure Mission, which includes £1 billion in the Scottish National Investment Bank, to create new jobs and markets and provide benefits across Scottish supply chains. In the coming year, the government will commence work to consider the options for the creation of a new national infrastructure company, to manage and develop public assets for the public good.
- Set out the recommendations for future transport infrastructure investment by publishing the second Strategic Transport Projects Review by the end of this year.
- Ensure a connected Scotland and tackle the digital divide, improving access to superfast and gigabit capable broadband and bringing 4G to rural and island communities, and extending the Connecting Scotland programme to get 300,000 households online by March 2026.
- Support more businesses to harness the potential of technology, continuing to implement the recommendations of the Logan review and providing £100 million to improve digital capabilities.
- Enhance Scotland's economy and international competitiveness though implementation of the Vision for Trade, Export Growth, Inward Investment and Global Capital Investment Plans.
- Take forward a Community Wealth Building Bill in this Parliament, helping create and protect jobs and enable greater community and third sector ownership of assets.
- To support new businesses and their resilience, the Business Growth Accelerator (BGA) and Fresh Start Reliefs and the Small Business Bonus Scheme will be maintained for the lifetime of the Parliament.
- Will invest £30 million over the next five years through the Islands Programme, to support delivery of the National Islands Plan and a fair, integrated, green and inclusive recovery. Will also establish an Islands Infrastructure Fund, to identify and deliver on critical infrastructure projects across the islands. A £1.3 million Healthy Islands Fund will also be launched to help improve mental wellbeing post pandemic and to enable participation in healthy lifestyles and physical activities across islands.
Health & social care
- Increase frontline health spending by 20% over this Parliament – providing at least £2.5 billion in additional funding by 2026 27. Will deliver the first increase through the 2022-23 budget.
- Drive forward a NHS Recovery Plan – investing £29 million this year to provide an additional 78,000 diagnostic procedures, and increase inpatient and day case activity by 10% in 2022 23 and outpatient activity by 10% by 2025 26.
- Support our health and social care staff to look after their own mental health and wellbeing. Investing £8 million in a package of support this year, including the ongoing development of the National Wellbeing Hub, National Wellbeing Helpline, and psychological interventions and therapies for staff.
- Invest £10 billion over the next decade to replace and refurbish Scotland's health facilities, including £400 million in a new network of National Treatment Centres to increase elective care capacity. Work will start this year on two additional Centres in Cumbernauld and Ayrshire.
- Increase primary care funding by 25% over this Parliament, with half of all frontline health spend going on community health services – ensuring people get care at a time and in a place and way which best suits them.
- Establish a National Care Service, backed by at least 25% more investment in social care over this Parliament. By June 2022, will bring forward the legislation to enable its creation.
- Tackle the drugs death emergency by investing £250 million over this Parliament, focused on community-based interventions, quick access to treatment and expansion of residential rehabilitation. Will ensure people have access to same day treatment and a wider range of treatment options.
- Increase direct mental health investment by at least 25% over this Parliament, ensuring that at least 10% of frontline NHS spend goes towards mental health and 1% goes on child and adolescent services.
- Support a world‑changing deal at COP26 in Glasgow. Will use position as European co‑chair of the Under 2 Coalition to mobilise increased climate action from states and regions ahead of and during the summit.
- Implement the recommendations of the Just Transition Commission, to build a net zero economy that is fair for all, and in the coming year start to publish Just Transition plans for every sector and region.
- Take forward a ten‑year £500 million Just Transition Fund for the North East and Moray, supporting and accelerating the transition of the region to reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
- Make offshore wind central to the delivery of emissions reduction targets through further ScotWind leasing rounds over this Parliament.
- Invest at least £1.8 billion over this Parliament in decarbonising homes and buildings – with the aim of converting at least 1 million homes and the equivalent of 50,000 non‑domestic buildings to low or zero‑emission heating by 2030.
- Bring about a green transport revolution – working towards the ambition to remove the majority of diesel buses from public transport by the end of 2023, reducing car kilometres by 20% by 2030, decarbonising Scotland's railways by 2035, and phasing out the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
- Subject to parliamentary approval, provide nationwide free bus travel for Scotland's young people aged under 22 from 31 January 2022, benefitting around 930,000 young people.
- Provide more active travel opportunities, reducing emissions and keeping people healthy – and increasing spending on active travel in 2024‑25 to at least £320m or 10% of the total transport budget.
- Introduce a Natural Environment Bill, putting in place key legislative changes and statutory targets to restore and protect nature.
- Deliver a step change in marine protection, with new measures to make Scotland an international leader, including beginning this year the process of designating 10% of seas as highly protected.
- Designate at least one new National Park by the end of this Parliament, provided relevant legal conditions can be met.
- Invest £500 million in the natural economy, including the expansion of the Nature Restoration Fund, creating local nature networks and increased forestry and peatland.
- Deliver at least three Carbon Neutral Islands by 2040, creating jobs, protecting island environments from climate change, and contributing to the 2045 net zero commitment. By summer 2022, a plan will be published setting out how this transition will be supported and achieved.
Children, young people, equality and human rights
- Extend Scottish Child Payment to children under 16 by the end of 2022, and double it to £20 per week, per child as quickly as possible thereafter. Final decisions about timing and increases will be considered in the spending review and taken in the relevant budget. Will actively seek ways to accelerate the implementation, including considering options for staged increases.
- Provide immediate support to children and young people through Scottish Child Payment bridging payments of £520 in both 2021 and 2022. These will be paid quarterly for children in receipt of free school meals on the basis of low income, ahead of full roll‑out of Scottish Child payment to under 16's.
- Make an extra payment of Carer's Allowance Supplement this year, subject to Parliament passing legislation. Following the necessary pausing of work during the pandemic, will also develop and launch the remaining devolved benefits, including the new Scottish Carer's Assistance.
- Begin work on a Minimum Income Guarantee. A Steering Group has been set up to consider issues of design and delivery and a discussion platform has been launched.
- Invest £1 billion over this Parliament to tackle the poverty‑related attainment gap, taking forward a refreshed Scottish Attainment Challenge Programme, and implementing the recommendations of the OECD review of the curriculum.
- Provide funding for councils to support recruitment of 3,500 additional teachers and 500 classroom assistants.
- Deliver a package of support to tackle the cost of the school day, and ensure all children have access to the same opportunities, including providing digital devices, free school trips, and expanding free school meals.
- Work to expand funded early learning and childcare for children aged 1 and 2, starting with low‑income households within this Parliament.
- Will start engagement with families, the early learning sector and academics to design how the new offer will work.
- Build a system of wraparound school age childcare, offering care before and after school and in the holidays, which will be free to families on the lowest incomes. Will engage people and communities – including children and young people – in designing options for this and publish a 5-year delivery plan.
- Work with The Hunter Foundation on the Supporting Young People through Mentoring and Leadership programme, supporting up to 15,000 care experienced and disadvantaged young people across 300 schools to reach their full potential.
- Work across Government to #KeepThePromise – investing £500 million in a Whole Family Wellbeing Fund over the Parliament, to reduce crisis intervention and keep children and young people with their families, and introduce a new Care Experience Grant, a £200 annual payment over 10 years for care experienced young people.
- Start work this year to ensure access to a "Bairns' Hoose" by 2025: a child‑friendly environment providing trauma informed recovery, improving children's experience of the criminal justice system, and preventing them from being re‑traumatised.
- Take forward a programme of work to embed equality, inclusion and human rights throughout Scotland – including £10 million to tackle isolation and loneliness over this parliamentary term, and £100 million over three years to support frontline services and focus on prevention of violence against women and girls from school onward. Will also work to tackle racism in schools and communities, and refresh work to support refugees and asylum seekers.
- Bring forward the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill within the next year.
- £43 million for the Challenge Authority Programme, providing funding to the nine local authorities with the highest concentrations of deprivation
- £7 million for the Schools Programme, providing support to an additional 73 primary and secondary schools outwith the nine Challenge Authorities which have the highest concentrations of low‑income pupils
- £147 million Pupil Equity Funding, providing direct funding to 97% of schools based on the number of P1‑S3 pupils registered for free school meals – including a one‑year uplift of £20 million with a focus on recovery
- £11.6 million Care Experienced Children and Young People Funding, available to be invested to support all care experienced children and young people aged up to 26
- £6.6 million for a number of National Programmes, including support for a number of third sector organisations providing targeted work to raise attainment and improve equity.
Communities, Housing and Justice
- Deliver 110,000 affordable homes across Scotland by 2032, with at least 70% in the social rented sector and 10% in remote, rural and island communities supported by a Remote, Rural & Islands Action Plan.
- Invest an additional £50 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping, taking forward Ending Homelessness Together action plan – including specific work to scale up Housing First more rapidly; end the use of communal night shelters; advance legislative protections for people experiencing domestic abuse; and explore alternative ways to reduce migrant homelessness.
- Improve standards and rights across all housing tenures – publishing a new Rented Sector Strategy by the end of the year and bringing forward legislation to implement an effective system of rent controls before the end of this Parliament.
- Revitalise local communities through development of 20‑minute neighbourhoods, investment in town centres and a new focus on place – improving local services and infrastructure, and aiding ambition to 'live well locally' and achieve a 20% reduction in car kilometres driven by 2030. Will also roll out 20 mph speed limits on appropriate roads in built‑up areas by 2025.
- Start rolling out the £325 million Place Based Investment Programme, supporting community led regeneration, complemented by delivery of a new £50 million low carbon Vacant & Derelict Land Investment Programme.
- Make sure communities are well connected, investing in new and better public transport links and keeping ferry travel affordable for islands.
- Bring ScotRail services into the public sector.
- Transform the way in which justice services are delivered – ensuring children's rights are protected and upheld, putting the voices of victims and a trauma‑informed approach at the heart of Scottish justice, and moving away from the use of custody for those who don't pose a risk of serious harm, while protecting the police resource budget in real terms for the entirety of the Parliament.
- Develop and take forward a new Land Reform Bill, with measures to address the concentration of land ownership in Scotland, including a public interest test. Will double the Scottish Land Fund by the end of the Parliament, supporting community ownership projects across the country.
Constitution and external affairs
- From April 2022, begin to increase the International Development Fund from £10 million to £15 million and maintain that increase in line with inflation throughout the term of this Parliament.
- Continue to support African partner countries with their response to COVID-19 through additional supplies of medical equipment and products this year, including vital PPE through the NHS Scotland Global Citizenship Programme.
- Sustain the £1 million per year Humanitarian Emergency Fund, which this year includes funding to provide life‑saving assistance for the crisis in Afghanistan.
- Support the internationally recognised culture sector with the funding needed to make a strong recovery from COVID‑19.
- Provide a one‑off fund of up to £1.25 million through the Scottish Libraries and Information Council to help libraries re‑open and stay open, particularly in areas of deprivation.
- Showcase Scotland internationally through the Brand Scotland collaboration and campaigns, raising Scotland's international profile, and hosting major events like the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in 2023.
- Strengthen diplomatic ties and international presence – establishing new offices in Copenhagen and Warsaw; reviewing approaches to future policy and economic engagement to enhance Scotland's global reach and presence; and, providing additional resources to Screen Scotland to help facilitate year‑round engagement between the Scottish and international film & television industries.
- ‘Prepare to give the people of Scotland a fully informed choice on independence’.