Wednesday, 06 September 2017 05:07



The SNP has challenged opposition parties to back “the greenest programme for government in the history of the Scottish Parliament”, as described by environmental campaigners.

The legislative agenda unveiled by the First Minister details 16 new bills, including ambitious plans to phase out the need for petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 and launch a Scottish National Investment Bank.

The programme also includes actions to tackle poverty and to transform education.

Proposals include:

  • Support for key business sectors including low carbon, screen, manufacturing and financial technology
  • Extending free personal care to all those under 65 who need it, known as ‘Frank’s Law’
  • Rolling out new social security powers as part of a package of measures to tackle inequality, child poverty, end rough sleeping, reduce drug deaths and provide free sanitary protection to students in school, college and university
  • Extending the presumption against short prison sentences to 12 months to break the cycle of offending and encourage the greater use of more effective community sentences
  • Record investment in the NHS and a pledge to lift the public sector pay cap for NHS and other public sector workers
  • Doubling the provision of free childcare
  • Improving public health with action on air quality, increased investment in active travel and measures to restrict the marketing of fatty and sugary food and drink
  • A discussion paper on the use of income tax in Scotland to support public services

Commenting, SNP MSP Ben Macpherson said:

“The First Minister unveiled a radical, ambitious and wide-ranging agenda for the year ahead – with proposals to make Scotland fit for the future.

“This is a bold and imaginative programme that has the capacity to fundamentally change our country for the better – and it is also the greenest programme for government in the history of the Scottish Parliament.

“We want Scotland to be the inventor and producer of the innovations of the future, not just a consumer of them.

“As the government takes this agenda forward, other parties should resist the temptation to retreat into opposition for opposition’s sake and instead work with us to transform Scotland.

“Our ambition to create a wealthier, fairer and greener country is one which all parties should rally behind.”

Friends of the Earth Scotland’s Director said: “This is the greenest programme for government in the history of the Scottish Parliament.”

Reacting to the news of a deposit return scheme and the phasing out of diesel and petrol cars, Greenpeace UK said “That’s leadership. Your move Theresa May”.

Read 157 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 September 2017 05:20

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