Scotland’s recovery from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic will be driven by an ambitious programme to build a modern, high-tech economy while staying true to enduring values of fairness and compassion, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said.
Outlining her priorities for Government to Parliament on Wednesday, she added that tackling the pandemic remained the immediate priority but people in Scotland should have the right to decide their future when the current crisis has passed.
In addition to vaccinating all adults in Scotland, the Government’s plan for its first hundred days includes publishing a NHS Recovery Plan to achieve a 10% increase in inpatient, day case, and outpatient activity for those who had treatment or care postponed due to COVID-19.
Speaking in the Chamber the First Minister said:
“The plans set out are unashamedly ambitious. We will tackle the COVID crisis as our immediate priority. We will lead by example in addressing the climate crisis, create a National Care Service, to match the post-war National Health Service and widen opportunities for young people.”
Actions to be taken in the first 100 days include:
· Completing the vaccination of all adults
· Establishing a cross-party COVID recovery steering group to pursue the strongest possible recovery
· Implementing a 4% average pay rise for NHS workers, including full back pay
· Opening three fast track cancer diagnostic centres in Ayrshire, Fife, and Dumfries & Galloway
· Completing the roll-out of 1,140 hours of free, high quality early learning and childcare, and extending wrap around childcare
· Publishing an NHS Recovery plan increase inpatient, day case, and outpatient activity by 10%
· Investing £45 million through local partnerships to provide training and employer recruitment incentives
· Funding colleges to deliver 5,000 more short, industry-focussed courses to help young people train for jobs in key industries
· Launching the £10 million ‘Scotland Loves Local’ programme to support local businesses and back Scotland Loves Local loyalty card schemes
· Funding councils to increase teacher numbers by 1,000 and classroom assistants by 500 - as part of a commitment to 3,500 additional teachers and classroom assistants by 2026.
· Publishing Scotland’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) towards the global goal of delivering the Paris Agreement
· Paying £520 support for low-income families - the equivalent of the Scottish Child Payment
· Providing carers with an extra Coronavirus payment of £460 - a double payment of their Carer’s Allowance Supplement in December 2021