SNP MSP for the South of Scotland Aileen McLeod has welcomed the publication of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s first Programme for Government, which includes key measures to promote fairness and equality, boost the economy and help vulnerable people.
With plans to legislate on land reform, secure more equal gender representation at senior executive levels, extend the rights of carers and improve access to higher education, the Programme for Government “underlined the SNP’s commitment to building a Scotland which is more participative, prosperous and fairer”, said the MSP.
The programme also includes a commitment to radically expand childcare provision, continue support for smaller businesses and continue real terms increases in the revenue budget of the NHS throughout the term of the next Parliament, she said.
Aileen said: “Nicola Sturgeon has set out a bold Programme for Government that has once again shown the SNP’s commitment to building a Scotland that is more participative, prosperous and fairer.
“The First Minister has set out a clear vision of where she intends to lead our country and the progress her Government will deliver. This is a highly ambitious legislative programme aimed at promoting fairness and equality, protecting public services and boosting our economy.
“The Programme contains significant measures on community empowerment, land reform, an independent commission to report on fairer alternatives to the council tax by Autumn 2015, a new target to increase the number of people from disadvantaged backgrounds accessing higher education, and funding to more than double the number of organisations signed up to the Living Wage Accreditation Scheme and ensure more people are paid a fair wage.
“The Programme for Government will also deliver increased job opportunities by raising the number of Modern Apprenticeships to 30,000 a year by 2020, a pledge to get a 50/50 gender split on Boards by 2020 to advance gender equality, more power for carers over the services that affect them through the Carers Bill and a new £5 million investment to tackle delayed discharge in hospitals.
“This Programme for Government is one that underlines the SNP Government’s commitment to making Scotland a fairer, more prosperous country and represents real progress for Scotland.”