Last week, Scottish Government set out its Programme for Government 2021-22, which outlines its planned actions for the coming year, and beyond. It also includes the legislative programme for the parliamentary year.
“A Fairer, Greener Scotland” includes (amongst other points) a commitment to learning lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how our communities and third sector across Scotland responded:
“Key to the resilience of our communities has been the work of Scotland’s third sector. Building on the learning from the pandemic we will use our Strengthening Collaboration commitment with SCVO and COSLA to progress further a multi-year funding model. We will work with Third Sector Interfaces, who act as a single point of access for support and advice for third sector organisations in their local area, to strengthen their influence, and revise their funding formula to give more support to the areas of highest deprivation. We will bring forward legislation to improve Charity Law, strengthening the legal and regulatory framework and enhancing public trust in this vital sector.
“Starting from April 2023, we will also provide up to £16 million for each of the next two financial years in funding for third sector organisations which work with children, families and adult learners, to ensure that sustained, high quality support is available to vulnerable groups.
“We will also support the social enterprise sector as it works to tackle pressing social issues including homelessness and climate change – investing £5 million over three years to help community organisations recover from the pandemic, give every child the opportunity to engage with a social enterprise during their time at school, and promote international social enterprises in emerging markets like Africa and South East Asia.” (page 96)
In addition to the third sector, key commitments and focuses over the next 5 years include:
- increasing frontline health spending by 20%, leading to an increase of at least £2.5 billion by 2026-27
- undertaking the creation of a National Care Service, with legislation brought forward by June next year
- improving national wellbeing with increased direct mental health investment of at least 25%, with £120 million this year to support the recovery and transformation of services
- investing £250 million to tackle the drugs deaths emergency over the next 5 years
- expanding the Scottish Child Payment to those under 16 years old by the end of next year and doubling it to £20 a week as soon as possible after that, with a £520 bridging payment given to every child in receipt of free school meals this year
- investing a further £1 billion to tackle the poverty-related attainment gap and providing councils with funding to recruit 3,500 additional teachers and 500 classroom assistants
- providing free childcare to low income families before and after school and during holidays, and expanding free early learning and childcare to one and two year olds
- investing £100 million over the next three years to support frontline services for preventing violence against women and girls
- providing £1.8 billion to make homes easier and greener to heat, as part of a commitment to decarbonise 1 million homes by 2030
- investing an additional £500 million to support the new, good and green jobs of the future, including by helping people access training
- delivering 110,000 affordable homes by 2032 and investing an additional £50 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping
- taking forward the democratic mandate for a referendum on independence to be held within this Parliament and, if the COVID-19 pandemic is over, within the first half of this Parliament, while providing the people of Scotland with the information they need to make an informed choice on their future
For further information, please view the Scottish Government news announcement.
Alternatively, to download the Programme for Government, visit the publication page.