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A nation with ambition: the Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-2018 (executive summary)

Summary of our Programme for Government 2017 to 2018, setting out the actions we will take in the forthcoming year.

38 page PDF

1.6MB

38 page PDF

1.6MB

Contents
A nation with ambition: the Government's Programme for Scotland 2017-2018 (executive summary)
The Scottish Government’s Legislative Programme 2017‑18

38 page PDF

1.6MB

The Scottish Government’s Legislative Programme 2017‑18

In the coming year we will introduce Bills to deliver reform and improvement. We are also ready to legislate for the consequences of Scotland’s removal from the EU if required.

Bills for introduction in 2017-18
Budget Bill
Climate Change Bill
Crown Estate Bill
Damages Bill
Education Bill
Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Bill
Management of Offenders Bill
Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill
Organ and Tissue Donation Bill
Planning Bill
Prescription Bill
Safe Staffing Bill
Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill
Transport Bill
Vulnerable Witnesses and Pre-Recorded Evidence Bill
Warm Homes Bill

Bills already announced
Children and Young People
(Information Sharing) Bill
Child Poverty Bill
Civil Litigation (Expenses and Group Proceedings) Bill
Contract (Third Party Rights) Bill
Domestic Abuse Bill
Forestry and Land Management Bill
Gender Representation on Public Boards Bill
Housing (Amendment) Bill
Islands Bill
Social Security Bill
Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses Bill

Bills passed since 2016-17 Programme
for Government
Air Departure Tax Bill
Budget Bill
Limitation (Childhood Abuse) Bill
Railway Policing Bill

Bill summaries

Budget Bill

The annual Budget Bill process provides parliamentary approval for the Scottish Government’s spending plans, sets devolved taxes, allocates resources to strategic objectives and supports progress towards our vision of a more successful country through increasing inclusive and sustainable economic growth.

Climate Change Bill

The Climate Change Bill will respond to the historic Paris Agreement by setting more ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Bill will increase transparency, demonstrate our commitment to sustainable economic growth and signal to the international community that Scotland is the place to do low carbon business.

Crown Estate Bill

The Crown Estate Bill will establish a framework for the management of Crown Estate assets to ensure Scotland’s local communities, authorities and industry can benefit from this major change.

Transport Bill

The Bill will contain provisions on smart ticketing on public transport in Scotland and to tackle obstructive and inconsiderate parking. It will also enhance and improve the role of the Scottish Road Works Commissioner and the wider regulation of road works and provide local transport authorities with a viable and flexible set of options to influence the provision of bus services in their area to better meet local users’ needs.

Damages Bill

The Damages Bill will amend the law on the Personal Injury Discount Rate following a joint consultation with the UK Government. The Bill will also enable courts to impose periodical payment orders when making an award of damages in respect of a personal injury.

Education Bill

The Bill will take forward a programme of reform to school education, strengthen the education workforce and improve collaboration and engagement. The Bill will:

  • set out support for Headteachers
  • establish a Headteachers’ Charter to define their responsibilities as leaders of learning in schools
  • improve parental and community engagement
  • provide legislative underpinning for the regional improvement collaboratives
  • strengthen the voice of children and young people in promoting and supporting pupil participation
  • provide a fair and transparent funding system to support a more empowered education system

Management of Offenders Bill

In keeping with our commitment to prevent and reduce offending, this Bill will deliver on recommendations made by the Expert Working Group on Electronic Monitoring and improve the existing law on the rehabilitation of offenders. In particular, it will:

  • enable new technologies to be used for electronic monitoring
  • allow electronic monitoring to be used as part of more community sentences, court and prison orders
  • reduce the length of time for which many people will be required to self-disclose previous offending behaviour
  • make the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 more accessible for individuals and employers using the legislation

Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill

This Bill will increase the age from which a child can be held criminally responsible from 8 to 12 years old; aligning it with the current minimum age of prosecution and reflecting Scotland’s commitment to international human rights standards.

It will ensure harmful behaviours can still be investigated and responded to, contain appropriate safeguards for the gravest cases, and retain victims’ rights to information and support.

Organ and Tissue Donation Bill

Great progress has been made in increasing organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Scotland with the incredible help of donors and their families.

To further increase the number of cases where organ and tissue donation is authorised, the Bill will introduce a ‘soft’ opt-out system of organ and tissue donation, enabling donations to proceed where a person had not opted-out. It will also include safeguards to minimise the risk of a person becoming a donor if they would not have wished to donate.

Prescription Bill

The Bill will implement recommendations of a Scottish Law Commission Report to ensure the law of negative prescription is clear and fair. Negative prescription establishes the time-limit within which an aggrieved person must raise a claim in court.

Safe Staffing Bill

The Safe Staffing Bill will deliver on the commitment to enshrine in law the principles of safe staffing in the NHS, starting with the nursing and midwifery workforce planning tools. The Bill will ensure nationally agreed, evidence-based workload and workforce planning tools are applied, and ensure key principles relating to professional judgement, local context and quality measures underpin workload and workforce planning.

Vulnerable Witnesses and Pre-recorded Evidence Bill

The Bill will build on the work of the Scottish Courts and Tribunals Service’s ‘Evidence and Procedure Review’. It will remove legislative barriers to the greater use of pre-recorded evidence for child and vulnerable adult witnesses. These changes will help move our criminal justice system much closer to achieving our vision that children, wherever possible, should not have to give evidence in court during a criminal trial.

Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Bill

This Bill will give retrospective effect to the application of the LBTT (Additional Amount – Second Homes Main Residence Relief) (Scotland) Order. The Order covers certain scenarios where spouses, civil partners or co-habitants jointly buy a home to replace a home that was owned by only one of them. Making the Order retrospective will mean that repayment of the LBTT Additional Dwelling Supplement will be able to be claimed by taxpayers meeting the relevant criteria in respect of transactions which occurred prior to the effective date for the Order.

Planning Bill

Responding to the independent review of the planning system, the Bill will ensure a greater focus on delivering the development Scotland needs with the infrastructure to support it. There will be a simpler, more effective system of development plans, to set a clear view of how areas will develop in future. Procedures for preparing plans will be improved and communities will have better opportunities to influence the future of their areas.

Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill

Scotland previously had discriminatory laws which criminalised consensual same-sex sexual activity. The Sexual Offences (Pardons and Disregards) Bill will ensure that men convicted under these laws will receive a pardon and will be able to apply to have such criminal conviction information removed from central records. This will apply where the same activity would now be lawful.

Warm Homes Bill

We are committed to tackling fuel poverty and improving the energy efficiency of Scotland’s buildings. As part of our long-term Fuel Poverty Strategy, we will introduce a Warm Homes Bill to set a new statutory fuel poverty target to help ensure that progress is made on these issues, and that support is given to those who are most in need of help to heat their homes.


Contact

Email: Gavin Henderson, gavin.henderson@gov.scot

Phone: 0300 244 4000 – Central Enquiry Unit

The Scottish Government
St Andrew's House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG