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Programme for Government 2021-22

Posted: 7th September 2021

Today the First Minister set out the Programme for Government, setting out the Government’s priorities for the year ahead, and announcing a series of policy intentions and promises aiming to address the challenges Scotland faces and shape a better future.

You can find the full Scottish Government Programme for Scotland summary from the Scottish Chambers network here, but some of the key policy intentions announced on business and the economy were:

  • A 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation to be launched in the autumn, as a longer term plan for the economy and to recognise and harness the benefits of decarbonisation
  • 100% rates relief will continue for the retail, leisure, aviation and hospitality sectors for the whole of this financial year
  • Invest an additional £500 million to support green jobs, including upskilling and reskilling
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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


On Health and Social Care:

  • Drive forward an NHS Recovery Plan and increase frontline health spending by 20% over this Parliament
  • Invest £10 billion over the next decade to replace and refurbish Scotland’s health facilities
  • Increase primary care funding by 25% over this Parliament, with half of all frontline health spend going on community health services
  • Establish a National Care Service, backed by at least 25% more investment in social care over this Parliament. By June 2022, bring forward the legislation to enable its creation


On Net Zero:

  • Support a world‑changing deal at COP26 in Glasgow
  • Implement the recommendations of the Just Transition Commission, and in the coming year start to publish Just Transition plans for every sector and region
  • 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
  • Introduce a Natural Environment Bill, putting in place key legislative changes and statutory targets to restore and protect nature


On children, young people, equality and human rights:

  • £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
  • Expand childcare provision and extend the Scottish Child Payment
  • Begin work on a Minimum Income Guarantee


On communities, housing, and justice:

  • £3.5bn to be invested in housing in this parliamentary term
  • Publish a new Rented Sector Strategy by the end of the year
  • Bring ScotRail services into the public sector by March 2022
  • 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


Finally, on the Constitution and external affairs:

  • Offer a referendum in the first half of this parliament, before the end of 2023, Covid-permitting
  • Support our internationally recognised culture sector with the funding needed to make a strong recovery from Covid
  • Strengthen diplomatic ties and international presence by establishing new offices in Copenhagen and Warsaw

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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