The speech was made on 1st September at the Scottish Parliament, and covered the themes the Programme will be based on. These include:
• Building a Stronger and Fairer Scotland
• A Strong, Sustainable Economy
• Protecting and Reforming Our Public Services
• Strengthening Our Communities
The Programme will also introduce a series of new bills, including:
Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill
Bankruptcy Consolidation Bill
Burial and Cremation Bill
Private Tenancies Bill
Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill
Scottish Elections (Dates) Bill
Colin remarked: “This is a Programme designed to help people the length and breadth of Scotland. We should rightly be proud of it.
“The new Bills are going to help tackle some of the most contentious issues of our age. For example, ‘revenge porn’ can cause tremendous damage to people – the new Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill will take major steps to address this issue.
“The Private Tenancies Bill will bring unfair rent increases under control and ensure that tenants’ rights will be enshrined in law.
“Much has been said of the Government’s fiscal projections and tax forecasts. The Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill will put the Commission on a statutory basis, embedding and strengthening its role in independently scrutinising these projections and forecasts.
“We will use the powers in the forthcoming Scotland Bill to ensure that the negative effects of Universal Credit and the ‘bedroom tax’ are minimised as much as possible, while at the same promoting business through extending our Enterprise Areas, reducing Air Passenger Duty, creating a £40 million holding fund for small-and-medium enterprises, and implementing the SCALE initiative to support entrepreneurs.
“The steps we are taking in Education, including developing and implementing the National Improvement Framework and the introduction of standardised testing to inform teacher judgement, will give us objective feedback that we will use to reduce the attainment gap.
“These, and the many more steps outlined in the Programme, will underpin our vision of a fairer,
more just Scotland and I’m excited to be a part of it.”