While the UK Tory government’s domestic agenda has ground to a halt due to Brexit, Holyrood has passed a host of legislation to make Scotland a fairer, more prosperous country over recent months.
The Scottish Parliament has passed nine Scottish Government Bills in the final two months before summer recess, including new measures on economic development, justice reforms and action on fuel poverty.
To mention just some of the progress made in recent months, the SNP Government has:
- Announced the introduction of the Scottish Child Payment, a brand new benefit to tackle child poverty.
- We passed the Human Tissue Bill, which will introduce an opt-out system of organ and tissue donation.
- Passed the Fuel Poverty Bill, which will support people who struggle to pay their fuel bills.
- Announced details for a bottle deposit return scheme.
- Implemented Frank’s Law, ensuring free personal care for everyone who needs it.
- Confirmed EU students studying in 2020/21 will get the same fee support as Scottish students for the entirety of their courses.
- Announced a £150 million national pilot scheme to provide support for first-time buyers with the deposit they need when they want to buy a home.
- Passed the Vulnerable Witnesses Bill, which will ensure more child witnesses are able to pre-record evidence ahead of jury trials.
- Launched the £14 million Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund that will help businesses improve their productivity and upskill their workforce.
- Set out steps to tackle gender discrimination and inequalities in the workplace in the Scottish Government’s first Gender Pay Gap Action Plan.
- More than £50 million is to be spent on improving access to mental health services for expectant and new mothers.
- Opened the new Scottish office in Ottawa, helping to strengthen the growing economic links between Scotland and Canada.
- Free sanitary products were made available to pupils, students and learners at schools, colleges and universities across Scotland.
- Provided £50 million fund to help boost town centres.
- Gave funding to help the Scotland women’s football team train full-time ahead of the World Cup.
- Scotland will become the first country in the world to have LGBTI inclusive education embedded in the curriculum.
- Published the Ending Homelessness Together Action Plan that sets out the steps we will take to end homelessness for good in Scotland.
- Published a new strategy for preventing and reducing drug and alcohol-related harm.
Commenting, Tom Arthur MSP said:
“The SNP in government is determined to make Scotland a fairer, more prosperous country – and is taking the radical action needed to improve people’s lives.
“In just the past two months we’ve passed a whole range of new laws – establishing a new economic development agency, reforming our justice system and putting ambitious fuel poverty targets into law.
“That’s in stark contrast with Westminster, where the UK government has abandoned any pretence of a domestic agenda and descended into Brexit farce and Tory circus.
“Thankfully Scotland has a government willing and capable of actually doing the job it was elected to do.”