From the SNP today:
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS by the SNP in Government
- £18bn health funding – The 2022/23 Scottish Budget takes total health portfolio funding to £18bn, with resource funding up over 90% (£8.3bn) under the SNP (since 2006/07).
- Baby Box – Giving every baby born and resident in Scotland the best start in life by providing families with a Baby Box filled with essential items needed in the first six months of a child’s life.
- Free Tuition – Students in England face tuition fees up to £27,750. Since 2007 Scottish domiciled students have continued to receive free university tuition, unlike elsewhere in the UK, and the SNP abolished the graduate endowment fee in 2008.
- Free prescriptions – Prescription charges abolished in Scotland – now £9.35 per item south of the border.
- Cheaper Council Tax – Every Scottish household benefits from cheaper tax bills – on average £577 less than England.
- Care For All – Free personal and nursing care extended to everyone who needs it, regardless of age.
- Increased benefits – The SNP Scottish Government are committing over £4.2bn for benefit expenditure in 22-23, providing support to over one million people. £460 million above the level of funding to be received from the UKG, estimated to rise to £1.3 billion by 2026-27. This funding will help low-income families with their living costs including heating and enable disabled people to live full and independent lives.
- Funded childcare – Funded early learning and childcare (ELC) is available to all three and four year olds and eligible two year olds. From August 2021, the entitlement increased to 1,140 hours a year (30 hours a week if taken term time), saving families up to £4,900 per eligible child per year.
SCOTLAND IS BETTER OFF
Comparisons of tax and spending by governments across Great Britain by party of government after 14 years of the current SG administration alongside Wales and England or England & Wales.
|LOWER TAXES & CHARGES||SG||England||Wales|
|Income Tax for UK’s Median Wage for All Employees||2,665.98||2,680.20|
|Average Household Water Bill 2022-23||£391||£419|
|Average Band D Council Tax 2021-22||£1,347||£1,966||£1,777|
|Tuition Fees for first full time degree||£0||£9,250||£9,000|
|Costs for an Eye Test||£0||£20-£25||£20-£25|
|Maximum Road or Bridge Toll/Charge for a Car||£0||£6.70||£0.00|
|MORE INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC SERVICES PER HEAD||Scotland||England||Wales|
|Health spending per person||£3,293||£3,266||£3,204|
|Education spending per person||£1,685||£1,319||£1,382|
|Transport spending per person||£682||£487||£398|
|Police, public order & safety spending per person||£569||£512||£534|
|Housing & community amenity spending per person||£413||£167||£264|
|Environmental protection spending per person||£271||£172||£213|
|Agriculture, fisheries and forestry spending per person||£158||£76||£165|
|Enterprise and economic development spending per person||£2,105||£2,146||£2,047|
|MORE PUBLIC SERVANTS PROVIDING SERVICES PER HEAD||SG||England||Wales|
|Police officers per 100,000 people||315||230|
|Prison service staff per 100,000 people||78||68|
|Firefighters per 100,000 people||118||62||75 100|
|Qualified Nurses & Midwives per 100,000 people (WTE)||854||607||773|
|Hospital Consultants per 100,000 people (WTE)||109||94||91|
|GPs per 100,000 people (headcount)||95||77||79|
|Dentists per 100,000 people (headcount)||52.7||42.0||43.8|
|Overall NHS staff per 100,000 people (ex. GPs & Dentists) (WTE)||2,870||2,164||2,796|
|Teachers per 100,000 pupils||7,703||5,750||5,483|
|Schools per 100,000 pupils||350||265||335|
|BETTER PUBLIC STARTING SALARIES||SG||England||Wales|
|Starting Salary for a Nurse||£26,104||£25,655||£25,655|
|Starting Salary for a Police Officer||£26,737||£21,654|
|Starting Salary for Qualified Teachers||£33,729||£26,948 – £32,157(in Lond/surrounds) £25,714 (Eng)||£27,491|
|BEST PERFORMING ACCIDENT & EMERGENCY SERVICE||SG||England||Wales|
|2020-21, 4 hour performance in core/major A&Es. (NHS Digital)||90.2%||71.3%||74.3%|
|2020-21, 12 hour performance in core/major A&Es. (NHS Digital)||99.7%||97.6%||93.6%|
|MORE HIGHER EDUCATION||SG||England||Wales|
|25-64 year old population with Tertiary Education, 2020||55.7%||49.4% (UK as a whole)|
|Higher Education Participation Rate (ex. Alt providers) (16-30 year olds)||57.4%||52.4%||NA|
|BETTER BUSINESS SUPPORT||SG||England||Wales|
|Rateable value of individual properties at which business rates begin to be paid (subject to cumulative rateable value caps)||£15,000||£12,000||£6,000|
Since 2007 this administration has delivered…
A HEALTHIER SCOTLAND
- Over 29,800 more staff in Scotland’s NHS, that’s 23.5% more under the SNP (since Sept 2006).
- 2022/23 health portfolio funding of £18 bn – with resource funding up over 90% (£8.3bn) under the SNP [since 2006/07].
- High patient satisfaction. 86% of inpatients rated their overall care positively in 2018, with more than a third giving their care full marks.
- Scotland’s core A&E services are the best performing in the UK.
- For over five years Scotland has had the highest number of GPs per head of population in the UK.
- We’ve expanded IVF to more families – making access in Scotland the fairest and most generous in the UK.
- Scotland is leading the world on alcohol pricing, being the first country to implement minimum unit pricing.
- Our patient safety record is amongst the best in the world. In Scotland from 2014 to 2019, ARHAI (Antimicrobial Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection) reported a year on year decrease in the annual incidence of SAB (Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteraemia).
- We made Paramedic Science students eligible for the new Paramedic, Nursing & Midwifery Student Bursary worth £10,000 per year.
- We scrapped parking charges at all NHS-run hospitals – saving patients and staff over £60m.
A SMARTER SCOTLAND
- We pledged to pay the first instalment of the expanded £1bn Attainment Scotland Fund (ASF) in this Government’s first 100 days, and we did just that. Record funding of over £215m in 2021-22 – the largest amount awarded under the ASF for a single year – is enabling headteachers, schools, councils and other partners to provide targeted help for our most disadvantaged pupils.
- Since January 2022, all 274,938 pupils in primaries 1-5 have been benefitting from universal free school lunches, saving families around £400 per child, each year.
- We have provided extra resources to local councils and 2020-21 was the sixth year in a row education gross revenue expenditure saw a real terms increase. Spending was 15.6% higher than in 2014-15 in real terms – a cash terms increase of 33.7%. [SLGFS 2020-21, March 2022]
- 1,000 school building projects have been completed during the last 14 years (2007-08 to 2020-21), providing modern learning environments for pupils. The proportion of schools in “good” or “satisfactory” condition has increased from 61% in April 2007 to 90.2% in April 2021. This means the number of pupils educated in schools in “poor” or “bad” condition has fallen from some 257,000 (37% of all pupils) in 2007 to around 59,000 (8% of all pupils) in 2021 – a reduction of 77%.
- A record 282,875 students enrolled at Scottish universities in 2020-21
- We have a record high 16.7% of full-time first degree entrants to university coming from the 20% most deprived areas of Scotland in 2020-21. Exceeding the interim CoWA target to have 16% by 2021
- The First Minister’s Reading Challenge is encouraging children and young people to read for pleasure. In 2019/20, 971 schools and groups across Scotland registered for the Challenge.
- We’ve increased the national minimum school clothing grant to £120 for primary school pupils, and £150 for secondary school pupils, to help more families afford school uniform costs.
- The 2022-23 Draft Scottish Budget allocates nearly £2bn to Scotland’s universities and colleges – delivering high quality education and training.
- Since 2012-13, we have invested over £1.1bn per year in Scotland’s universities.
- We’re providing our further education students with record levels of support. £141m in 2021/22 – up 54 per cent in real terms since 2006/07.
A WEALTHIER SCOTLAND
- We have delivered a new progressive income tax system, ensuring 54% of Scottish taxpayers will pay less than elsewhere in the UK in 2021-22, and supporting additional investment in our public services while safeguarding those on lower incomes.
- To help protect jobs and businesses, we’ve slashed or abolished non-domestic rates for over 111,000 premises – saving small businesses around £2.5bn since 2008.
- Scotland’s international exports were valued at £35bn in 2019; up 69 per cent since 2007.
- In 2015, we became the first government in the UK to become an accredited real Living Wage employer.
- At present there are over 2700 Living Wage accredited employers in Scotland;
- 55,000 workers in Scotland have had a pay rise as a result of these accreditations.
- Continuing to drive forward action on Fair Work, on 14 October we were pleased to inform Parliament that, with immediate effect, the Scottish Government will mandate payment of the real Living Wage where possible in our contracts.
- On 23 July 2021 the Minister for Just Transition, Employment and Fair Work announced the Living Hours Accreditation Scheme for Scotland (LHAS).
- Poverty Alliance, who administer the LHAS, are reaching out to prospective employers and supporting them through the accreditation process.
- From 1 April 2022, the minimum hourly rate for workers providing direct Adult Social Care increased to at least £10.50 per hour; this rate is 60p higher than the Real Living Wage rate of £9.90ph that will apply to these workers in Wales and is £1 higher than the National Living Wage rate of £9.50 that will apply to many social care workers in England and Northern Ireland
- Scotland is the top destination in the UK, outside of London, for foreign direct investment.
- We met our target to reduce youth unemployment by 40% by 2021, four years early, in 2017.
- Business research and development spend in Scotland was £1.44bn in 2020 – up 99.5% in real terms since 2007, compared to a 29.4% real terms increase for the UK over the same period.
- We have allocated over £1bn since 2009 through our energy efficiency programmes to make homes warmer and cheaper to heat.
A FAIRER SCOTLAND
- We have delivered 111,750 affordable homes since 2007, over 78,000[78,174] of which were for social rent, including 19,339 council homes. This compares to the 43,582 affordable homes delivered between 1999 and 2007.
- Across 2018-22 we invested nearly £8.5bn to support low income households, of which almost £3.3bn benefitted children.
- We set in statute ambitious targets towards the eradication of child poverty and published our second delivery plan, in March 2022, setting out bold action to drive forward progress on the Scottish Government’s national mission to tackle child poverty.
- We invested over £1bn to help local communities through the coronavirus pandemic, and to build resilience in public services across 2020-21.
- We are tackling child poverty head on and in February 2021 we introduced the Scottish Child Payment worth £10 per week per eligible child. This new benefit paid out £58.6m between 15 February and 31 March 2022.In April 2022 we doubled the payment to £20 per week per eligible child, currently benefitting 103,000 children under 6 (as of 31 March 2022).
- Around 126,000 carers, with some of the most intense caring roles and who tend to be on lower incomes, have received extra support from our Carer’s Allowance Supplement. This means carers in Scotland continuously in receipt of Carer’s Allowance have received over £2,520 more than carers in the rest of the UK, since its introduction in 2018.
- The first benefit of its kind in the UK, the Young Carer Grant, started in October 2019, supporting eligible young carers with a payment of £300. Through uprating successful applicants will now receive £326.65. By 30 April 2022 6,145 applications had been approved with £1.8m invested into supporting young carers in Scotland.
- Between launching in December 2018 and 28 February 2022, we have authorised more than 222,000 Best Start Grant and Best Start Foods applications. We have put £82.7m in the pockets of low income families to help with expenses during a child’s early years.
- Between 16 September 2019 and 31 March 2022, we have paid out £25.5m in Funeral Support Payment supporting 14,500 bereaved families, with the average payment of £1,810 in 2021-2022.
- We have invested around £86m in Discretionary Housing Payment, including over £68m, to fully mitigate the Bedroom tax, helping over 92,000 Scottish households to sustain their tenancies. An additional £17.9m is made available to mitigate against the damaging impact of other UK Government welfare cuts including to mitigate the Benefit Cap as far as we can within our powers and changes to the Local Housing Allowance rates.
- Between launching in August 2020 and 31 March 2022 we have authorised 3,985 Job Start Payments, providing £1.1 million of support for young people entering employment.
A SAFER SCOTLAND
- The 2019-20 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey estimates overall crime is down by 46% since 2008-09, including a 21% fall since 2016-17. Police recorded crime has fallen by 42% between 2006-07 and 2021-22 and is now at the lowest levels seen since 1974.
- Despite constraints on Scotland’s public services through a decade of UK austerity, the Scottish Government has increased the policing budget for 2022-23 by £40.5m. This means that the annual budget for policing is over £1.3bn in 2022-23.
- Scotland has a higher number of police officers than at any time between 1999 and 2007, with the total number of officers at 16,805 on 31 March 2022. This is 571 higher (3.5%) than the number at 31 March 2007.
- We have invested more than £20m in violence prevention since 2007.
- The 2019-20 Scottish Crime and Justice Survey shows that violent crime is down by 39 per cent, and property crime by 49 per cent since 2008-09.
- Automatic early release has been ended, meaning that long-term prisoners who pose an unacceptable risk to public safety will serve their sentence in full. The reconviction rate is at one of its lowest levels in 22 years.
- Since 2008, £130m from the proceeds of crime has been committed to community projects for young people across Scotland through the Cashback for Communities Programme.
- We’ve introduced the world leading Domestic Abuse Act that makes psychological domestic abuse and controlling behaviour a crime.
- Since 2012, we have invested record funding of £15.5m to support anti-sectarian education in schools, prisons, workplaces and communities.
- The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) was created in 2013. According to the most recent SFRS incident statistics there were 25,147 fires in 2020-21. This is 35% fewer than the 38,935 fires recorded in 2010-11.
- We have made the sharing of so-called ‘revenge porn’ a specific criminal offence, carrying a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment.
INVESTING FOR THE FUTURE
- Since March 2020 we have to date committed additional financial support of up to £1bn to the transport sector in order that we can continue to run services for those that most need it to access essential services and maintain social connections in a safe manner.
- The Programme for Government 2021 included a commitment to increase the budget for Active Travel to at least £320m or 10% of the transport budget by 2024-25; the Scottish budget for 2022-23 increased the active travel budget to a record £150m.
- We introduced a Scottish Cycle Repair Scheme in 2020/21, investing almost £3m to date. The scheme has now extended to 2022-23.
- We commenced nine pilots for free bikes for schoolchildren who cannot afford one in 2021-22, with a commitment up to £3m.
- We scrapped bridge tolls on 11 February 2008 for the Forth and Tay crossings – saving individual commuters around £3,800 to date.
- Over £1bn has been invested in our rail infrastructure since 2019.
- Through the pandemic, we have supported our rail franchises with circa £1.8bn, including circa £640m of additional funding, via the Emergency Measures Agreements.
- To date, over 390,000 free bus travel cards have been despatched, and over 17,000 young people also downloading free bus travel to their existing cards. These cards have been used to make over 11 million customer journeys under the scheme.
- The first section – between Kincraig and Dalraddy – of our £3bn project to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness is completed. The second section – between Luncarty and Pass of Birman was fully opened to traffic on 28 August 2021. Procurement for the third section – between Tomatin and Moy is underway.
- We have added over 500 new chargepoints to the ChargePlace Scotland network and, provided almost £40m of loan funding to households and business to help purchase of over 2,000 zero emission vehicles
- Over three rounds of funding we have awarded £113m to support 548 zero emission buses and associated infrastructure, helping secure jobs and growth of green manufacturing in Scotland’s bus industry.
- Our Place Based Investment Programme is backed with an initial £325m capital over the next 5 years to accelerate ambitions for place, community led regeneration, town centres, and 20 minute neighbourhoods. The programme includes the Regeneration Capital Grant Fund (RCGF) which has, since 2014, awarded grants to over 222 locally developed projects right across Scotland.
- Since 2011, our evergreen SPRUCE fund has also invested over £134m into 18 new infrastructure and energy efficiency projects across Scotland.
- Our new £50m low carbon Vacant & Derelict Land Investment Programme is supporting positive reuse of persistent vacant and derelict land, providing space for new green infrastructure as part of place based regeneration and just transition to net zero. The first 10 projects were announced in September.
- We are investing £1.9bn in City Region and Growth Deals and are offering multi-year funding for Deals covering all of Scotland. . As of Q3 2021/22 the Deals have drawn down £709m with eight out of 9 deals in delivery.
A GREENER SCOTLAND
- Scotland’s emissions are down by are down by well over 50% since the 1990 baseline and we continue to out-perform the UK as a whole in delivering long-term reductions.
- The Scottish Government’s Climate Change Plan update, published in December, contains nearly 150 policies and sets a pathway to meeting ambitious emissions targets over the period to 2032, including a 75% reduction in emissions by 2030, and puts Scotland on a pathway to net zero emissions by 2045.
- The equivalent of almost 100% of Scotland’s gross electricity consumption is now generated from renewable sources.
- The Scottish Government are world renowned for having underpinned net zero targets with a legislative commitment to a Just Transition and have launched the Just Transition Fund, a ten year, £500m investment to support a fair transition to net zero and to diversify the North East economy.
- The Scottish Government have been active on the world stage, leading the Edinburgh Process on biodiversity and publishing the Edinburgh Declaration calling for increased action to tackle biodiversity loss which now has 244 signatories.
- The Scottish Government have appointed a new Environmental Council of experts from around the world to advise across the Scottish Government on international best practice to help us tackle the twin climate and biodiversity crises.
- We have allocated over £1bn since 2009 to tackling fuel poverty and improving energy efficiency.
- The £75m Energy Transition Fund has already committed over £26m to an Energy Transition Zone in Aberdeen, £6.5m funding towards a Global Underwater Hub,£16,7m to the Net Zero Technology Transition Partnership and £15.2m funding for the Aberdeen Hydrogen Hub.
- We have made sure that no fracking or other onshore unconventional oil and gas activity can take place in Scotland.
- Scotland’s woodland creation continued at pace with nearly 90% of the 12,000 hectares target being reached by 31st March: nearly 80% of all new woodland creation across the UK.
- The SG was among the first to put fairness and justice at the heart of our international climate action. To support Global South countries, we will treble the Climate Justice Fund to £36m, including the first financial commitment of £2m to address Loss and Damage from any Global North Government.
- Scotland is the current European co-chair of the Under2 Coalition, a network of states, regions and devolved governments committed to ambitious climate action. in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement. As co-chair, we are working to increase the ambition of governments of all levels towards net zero, just transition, and increased resilience, while ensuring that the potential for all governments to respond to the climate crisis effectively is fully maximised and recognised.
- Scotland’s independence referendum was the biggest democratic exercise in Scotland’s history – with a turnout of 85 per cent of all electors.
- 16 and 17 year olds now have the right to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections.
- We launched a £200,000 Access to Politics Fund to help disabled people stand for the 2017 local government elections – continuing the fund for the Scottish Parliament elections in 2021.
- Local communities have been given a voice in the planning and delivery of local services through the Community Empowerment Act – backed up with a budget of over £15m in 2021/22 delivered– through the Empowering Communities Programme.
- The Place Based Investment Programme established last year with £325m over the course of the parliament will support community-led regeneration.
- Over the last five years, the Scottish Land Fund helped over 230 communities across the country to purchase land and will continue to do so with a budget of £10m for 2021-22. We will double the fund to £20m by the end of this Parliamentary session.
- The radical and ambitious Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2016 has transformed how we own, manage and access land in Scotland.
- The land reform agenda is helping to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from land. We have created the Scottish Land Commission to support this.
- Devolution of the Scottish Crown Estate has ensured that land, coastal and marine assets with a total value of around £400m can now be managed for the future benefit of Scotland and local communities.
- Devolution of the Scottish Crown Estate means that Scotland can now control leasing for seabed activities such as offshore renewables out to 200 nautical miles. ScotWind leasing results were announced on 17 January 2022 outlining 17 new offshore wind projects and raising £700m in option fees.
- This has also enabled Scottish Ministers to allocate £11.3m of net revenue to benefit coastal communities in 2020/21 from Scottish Crown Estate marine assets out to 12 nautical miles.
SUPPORTING RURAL AND ISLAND COMMUNITIES
- Investment in the Northern Isles Ferry Service and ferry infrastructure includes new routes, increased frequencies, additional capacity, new vessels, upgraded harbour infrastructure and significantly reduced fares. Work to build a new pier at Tarbert (Harris) was completed in January 2022. MV Loch Frisa is expected to be brought in to service in the coming weeks.
- We have introduced and are implementing Scotland’s first ever National Islands Plan which sets out 13 Strategic Objectives critical to improving the quality of life for island communities.
- At the end of 2020, we introduced the Review of Island Communities Impact Assessments Decisions (Scotland) Regulations under the Islands (Scotland) Act 2018 to ensure that the unique nature of islands is carefully considered by policy makers.
- We have allocated £30m from the Infrastructure Investment Plan to support delivery of the National Islands Plan over five years.This will be delivered through the Islands Programme for the lifetime of the National Islands Plan.
- In the current financial year, we have delivered the £1.3m Healthy Islands Fund and the £2m Island Communities Fund. We have also launched the Islands Infrastructure Fund (IIF) which represents a £6.2 million capital investment.
- The Air Discount Scheme provides residents of Shetland, Orkney, the Western Isles, Islay, Jura, Colonsay, Caithness and north-west Sutherland with a 50 per cent discount on the core air fare on eligible services.
- With produce output worth around £2.3bn a year and around 65,000 people directly employed, we work tirelessly to get the best deal for Scotland’s farmers, crofters and growers.
- Food and drink industry generated turnover of £15bn in 2019, up 30% since 2008.
- We have committed a total of £15.2m to the Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund.
- Over the term of the previous Parliament, we delivered over 6,000 affordable homes in rural and island communities and announced the continuation of the Rural and Islands Housing Fund with up to £30m available to support this demand led scheme.
- As part of the manifesto commitment to provide free bikes to children who cannot afford one, we have launched a pilot project with Shetland Council, partnering with the voluntary led Shetland Bikes Project, the Shetland Transport Partnership ZetTrans, and Ability Shetland. The pilot aims to assist 50 young people between the ages of 5-17 throughout the Island communities of Shetland.
SUPPORTING CREATIVITY AND SPORT
- We are investing more than £277m in Scotland’s culture and heritage sector.
- Free access has been maintained to our national museums and galleries, which now welcome over five million visitors every year.
- We have provided more than £27m investment in Edinburgh’s major festivals since 2008, and have opened up EXPO funding to Celtic Connections and the Glasgow International Festival.
- In recent years Scotland has consolidated its position as the perfect stage for major events having successfully hosted, with Scottish Government support, the Commonwealth Games, the Ryder Cup, the first combined European Championships, the Solheim Cup and in 2021 we co-hosted the rescheduled UEFA European Football Championship
- We invested £38m in the construction of the world-class V&A Museum of Design in Dundee which opened in 2018. We have continued our support of V&A Dundee by funding an additional £2m a year, taking our total commitment to £3m a year.
- 97 per cent of primary and secondary schools across Scotland are now providing two hours or periods of physical education a week – up from just 10 per cent in 2005.
- Screen Scotland is providing enhanced support for Scotland’s screen sector. New increased funds to support film and television production were rolled out in 2018 with a larger £2 million-a-year Production Growth Fund opened in April.
- A £3 million-a-year Broadcast Content Fund opened in August 2018 alongside existing film funding.
- sportscotland have invested over £235m since April 2007 to help sports clubs, community groups, local authorities, sport’s governing bodies and other organisations deliver new and upgraded sporting facilities across the country.
- We are committed to supporting MG Alba, which operates BBC Alba and receives £12.8m a year from the Scottish Government.