Nicola Sturgeon has hit the ground running as she leads the Covid recovery – Angus Robertson
The Scottish Parliament elections are barely behind us and Nicola Sturgeon is hitting the ground running with an agenda to recover from the pandemic and put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.
With the First Minister re-elected and MSPs sworn in at Holyrood, work is already beginning on immediate plans for the first 100 days in office. During the election campaign, the SNP was the only party actually running for office and the only party to publish a detailed plan.
This includes: leading Scotland out of the pandemic, supporting our NHS and care services, backing our economy and creating jobs, helping children, families and young people, tackling the climate crisis, backing communities and building better lives.
The Scottish government’s first task is to keep the virus under control and get Scotland back to as much normality as possible, as quickly as it’s safe to do so.
Vaccinations are continuing apace and we have mostly moved to level two this week, reopening more of society and the economy. This means people are able to: meet in each other’s homes in small numbers, go to the pub and have a drink indoors with friends, visit cinemas, music venues and theatres, and play contact sports.
If we manage to stay on track, we will hopefully moving to level one on Monday 7 June, level zero in late June, and something much closer to normality over the course of July.
A top priority for the Scottish government is to properly recognise the efforts of the NHS and care services who have been there for the whole country as we faced the Covid pandemic.
In the first 100 days of the new SNP government, there will be an average pay rise of four per cent – subject to agreement with the workforce – including full back pay.
An NHS recovery plan will be published to meet the ambition of increasing inpatient, day-case, and outpatient activity by ten per cent. In one of the most significant reforms of the forthcoming parliament, Scotland will establish a National Care Service and formal consultations will begin during the first 100 days.
In backing the economy and creating jobs, a range of measures are planned including: economic transformation; support for youth employment; investing in better, greener jobs; as well as help for local business, tourism and hospitality.
On children, families and young people there are exciting plans to make Scotland the best place to grow up. Children’s fundamental rights are set to be implemented in law while the Scottish government will oppose any legal challenge to children’s rights from the UK government. A top priority is continuing the improvement of educational attainment and recovery from Covid as is helping families and giving pupils the best start.
While the pandemic has impacted on us all, the climate crisis has not gone away. Early moves from the Scottish government will focus on tackling climate change and building better lives for people across Scotland.
Alone amongst the political parties, the SNP published detailed recovery plans for the early days of government. I am delighted to support First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the re-elected SNP Scottish government and will play my part in our recovery from the pandemic and chart the course for Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands.
Angus Robertson is SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central