A STRONGER SCOTLAND THE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAMME FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16 - THESCOTTISHGOVERNMENT @SCOTGOV WWW.GOV.SCOT

 
A STRONGER SCOTLAND THE GOVERNMENT'S PROGRAMME FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16 - THESCOTTISHGOVERNMENT @SCOTGOV WWW.GOV.SCOT
A STRONGER
SCOTLAND
THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16
  TheScottishGovernment
  @ScotGov
www.gov.scot
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A STRONGER
SCOTLAND
THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

                        The Scottish Government, Edinburgh 2015
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A STRONGER SCOTLAND
ii   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

© Crown copyright 2015

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The Scottish Government
St Andrew’s House
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG

Published by the Scottish Government, September 2015

Produced for the Scottish Government by APS Group Scotland, 21 Tennant Street, Edinburgh EH6 5NA
PPDAS54803 (09/15)
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A STRONGER SCOTLAND
                                THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     1
                                        FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

CONTENTS

FOREWORD BY                                      2-3
THE FIRST MINISTER

1	INTRODUCTION AND
   SUMMARY                                       4-15

2	A STRONGER AND
   FAIRER SCOTLAND                               16-23

3   A STRONG, SUSTAINABLE
    ECONOMY                                      24-41

4   PROTECTING AND REFORMING
    OUR PUBLIC SERVICES                          42-65

5   STRENGTHENING
    OUR COMMUNITIES                              66-81

6   THE SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT’S
    LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME                        82-83
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2    THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

    FOREWORD
    BY THE FIRST MINISTER

    Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP
    First Minister of Scotland
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                                                                        THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     3
                                                                                FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

The Programme for Government that we are publishing today builds on
a strong record of achievement – it sets out actions for the coming year
and a clear vision for the coming decade.

At its centre is a commitment to introduce       And the Programme sets out how we intend
an Improvement Framework for schools, to         to use the additional powers which are
help us drive up attainment in all schools,      due to come to the Scottish Parliament.
and to close the attainment gap. We aim to       We will take the first steps to delivery of a
ensure that children in all parts of Scotland    new social security system and abolish the
– whether in our least or our most affluent      bedroom tax as soon as we have the power
areas – have a fair chance to flourish.          to do so. We will reduce Air Passenger Duty
                                                 – boosting connectivity and supporting
That ambition encapsulates the themes            businesses. And we will abolish fees for
which run through this document. We want         employment tribunals – ensuring that
to create a fairer and more prosperous           employees have a fair opportunity to have
nation, in which opportunities are open          their case heard.
to everyone and where because of that,
everyone is able to contribute their talent,     Finally, the Programme for Government
skill and commitment.                            sets out our approach to government. I am
                                                 committed to leading the most accessible
We will make Scotland the best place in the      Government this country has ever had and
UK to do business – not through a race to        I want to ensure that we build on the sense
the bottom, but by focusing on innovation,       of engagement and enthusiasm that we saw
skills and productivity.                         – from both sides of the debate – during last
We will create a fairer country. We will         year’s referendum. So we will help people
promote a proper living wage, fair work          to have a bigger say in the decisions that
and use new powers to improve the welfare        affect them most. During the next year we
system, mitigating some of the worst             will consult on legislation to give greater
impacts of the UK Government’s cuts.             power to our island communities, and invest
                                                 in our Empowering Communities Fund.
And as part of our work to achieve those
aims, we will begin the next phase of public     Overall, this Programme for Government
service reform – for example by making           demonstrates how enduring values – a belief
our unified police service more responsive       in enterprise, a faith in the importance
to the needs of local communities, and           of education, a commitment to fairness,
transforming primary health care.                equality and solidarity, and a passion
                                                 for democratic engagement – are being
The Programme also sets out the legislation      applied to make Scotland a fairer and more
we will introduce over the coming year.          prosperous country. It shows how this
We will introduce a bill to tackle Abusive       Government intends to achieve our vision
Behaviour and Sexual Harm. The Burial and        for Scotland’s future.
Cremation Bill will meet public concerns, and
implement the recommendations of Lord
Bonomy’s Report on Infant Cremation. The
Private Tenancies Bill provides tenants with
protection against excessive rent rises, while
also giving clear rights and safeguards to       Rt Hon Nicola Sturgeon MSP
landlords.                                       First Minister of Scotland
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    INTRODUCTION
    AND SUMMARY

    01
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                                                                       THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     5
                                                                               FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

This Programme for Government sets out the policies, actions and
legislation that we will take forward in 2015-16 to deliver our core
purpose of creating a more successful country, with opportunities for
all of Scotland to flourish, through sustainable and inclusive economic
growth, and to equip Scotland for the challenges of the next decade and
beyond.

Our record in Government is one of               We will continue to use all the powers at
improvement across our public services           our disposal at any time to deliver the best
against the backdrop of reduced public           outcomes we can for the people of Scotland.
finances. We have undertaken necessary
and important, albeit challenging, reforms to    Concrete plans are being put in place
our public services, from the integration of     to use the new powers that will come
health and social care, to the introduction of   to Scotland in the current Scotland Bill.
Curriculum for Excellence in our schools, the    We are working to ensure that we bring
reshaping of our college sector to make it       forward programmes to use these new
fit for the needs of a 21st-century economy,     powers in ways that respond to the needs
and the establishment of the single fire and     and expectations of all the people of
police services. Scotland’s economy has          Scotland. However, while we welcome these
emerged strongly from the global recession       additional powers they fall short of what the
and we now have lower unemployment and           country needs and the people of Scotland
higher employment than any other                 demand. We will therefore continue to press
UK nation.                                       for a more effective set of powers for the
                                                 Scottish Parliament and Government.
This Programme for Government, although
focused on the next Parliamentary year, lays     In taking forward all of the activities of
the foundations for the next decade and          Government we will be guided by three
beyond. It begins to set out the next phase      underpinning principles: the need to
of reform in our public services – the actions   deliver greater prosperity for our country;
we will take to ensure that our education        ensuring that there is fairness in how our
system is world class and that we have the       nation’s wealth, resources and opportunities
evidence to prove it, that we have an NHS        are distributed; and making sure that we
that is organised to meet the demands of         encourage and facilitate participation by
changing demographics and ever advancing         everyone in the debates and decisions that
technology, and a police service that is         matter to them most, regardless of their
efficient, effective and enjoys the trust        circumstances or backgrounds.
and consent of local communities the length      We have set out our plans in the following
and breadth of Scotland.                         chapters:
We also set out the actions we will take         •    A Stronger and Fairer Scotland
to make Scotland the best place in the
UK to do business, not by a race to the          •    A Strong, Sustainable Economy
bottom on costs, but with a focus on strong
productivity, innovation, fair work and          •    Protecting and Reforming Our Public
internationalisation. And we set out our              Services
continued focus on inclusive growth, an          •    Strengthening Our Communities
approach that will reduce the inequality
that still scars our country. In short, this
Programme for Government will build on
strong foundations, to build a country fit
and ready for the challenges of the future.
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 6   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
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A STRONGER AND FAIRER                           New Powers for the Scottish Parliament
SCOTLAND                                        The new powers that have been proposed
                                                by the UK Government fall short of what
We are fortunate to live in a country where     was promised to the people of Scotland. We
the values of democracy are respected,          will continue to demand that those promises
where the Scottish Parliament and Scottish      are delivered. But at the same time we
Government command respect and where            are acting with pace and creativity to be
the rights of the individual citizen are        ready to use the limited powers that are
of paramount importance. Successive             proposed, and we will do so in consultation
generations have built and protected            with others. In particular, we will use those
those values and now we must ensure that        powers to:
we enhance that legacy for subsequent
generations. We all share that obligation. In   •    Bring forward a Social Security Bill
Government we never forget that we are               within the first year of the new
accountable to the citizens of Scotland for          Parliament to pave the way – as soon
all that we do in their name.                        as we have the necessary powers –
                                                     for measures to address weaknesses
The Scottish Government fundamentally                in Universal Credit, mitigate as far as
believes that the decisions which affect             we can the impact of UK Government
Scotland should be made by the people                welfare cuts and abolish the bedroom
who live and work here. Even though                  tax.
independence is our ultimate goal, we
will do all that we can within the current      •    Enhance opportunities for employment
constitutional arrangements to achieve the           and inclusive economic growth by
best outcome for the Scottish people. It is          improving support for people to move
for that reason that we continue to seek             into employment through reform of
additional devolved powers for the Scottish          the Work Programme and linking
Parliament and Government.                           employment programmes with training
                                                     and education. We will introduce a
These new powers will help us make further           replacement for the Work Programme
progress in delivering our fundamental               by April 2017.
objective of making Scotland a much
fairer society where social justice and         •    Abolish fees for employment tribunals.
tackling inequality drive all that we do as
                                                •    Reduce the burden of Air Passenger
a Government. We have already achieved
                                                     Duty (APD) by 50% with the reduction
much in delivering that vision for Scotland
                                                     beginning when we introduce a
through, for example, our commitment to
                                                     Scottish APD in 2018. We are currently
fair work and the Living Wage; mitigating
                                                     consulting with stakeholders on the
the worst effects of UK Government
                                                     best way to apply that reduction across
welfare cuts; focusing our efforts on
                                                     new and existing routes.
tackling poverty; improving employment
opportunities for women and young people;       •    Promote equalities by taking early
and expanding the provision of better                action on gender balance on public
housing.                                             boards.
                                                •    Manage the assets of the Crown Estate
                                                     in Scotland to maximise benefits
                                                     to the Scottish economy and local
                                                     communities, in particular the coastal
                                                     and island communities around
                                                     Scotland.
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                                                                         THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     7
                                                                                 FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

From April 2016, under the Scotland Act           Equality and human rights remain at the
2012, the main UK rates of income tax will        heart of our vision for a modern, successful
be reduced by 10p for Scottish taxpayers          Scotland. We will continue to strongly
and in its place the Scottish Parliament will     oppose the UK Government’s proposals to
be able to set a Scottish Rate of Income Tax      repeal the Human Rights Act and substitute
(SRIT) each year.                                 it with a British Bill of Rights
                                                  and Responsibilities.
These income tax powers offer inherently
limited flexibility as any rate changes           Scotland’s Place in the World
must be applied equally to all tax bands.
                                                  The Scottish Government is working to
We continue to argue, therefore, for the
                                                  strengthen Scotland’s place and standing
transfer of the further income tax powers
                                                  in the world. For a country of just over
in the current Scotland Bill at the earliest
                                                  5 million people we command a global
opportunity. The ability to set thresholds
                                                  reputation and awareness that far outstrips
and vary rates by band will allow us to
                                                  our size. There is enormous potential for us
design an income tax policy which supports
                                                  to capitalise yet further on that excellent
Scotland’s circumstances and is in line with
                                                  international reputation. We will strengthen
our principles of fair taxation.
                                                  our international profile by building on our
A Fairer Scotland                                 external relationships and we will help our
                                                  companies and others, such as universities,
Scotland already does better than the UK on       to identify opportunities overseas.
some measures of inequality – for example,
it has seen lower levels of income inequality     We also have much to contribute to the
over time. However, we need to do more to         wider global community by engaging
address the underlying causes of inequality       internationally in the areas that are of
across the range of issues to ensure we are       particular concern to us: gender equality,
able to live in a fairer, healthier and happier   educational attainment, human rights,
country, where all people are valued and          international development, climate change
able to achieve their potential. Whilst the       and democratic participation.
Scottish Government cannot achieve this
on its own, we can play a role in creating        Scotland’s relationship with the European
the right environment and conditions for a        Union is of critical importance to our
fairer Scotland and ensure our own policies       national interest. The UK Government’s plans
and programmes address the underlying             to hold an in-out referendum pose real risks
causes of inequality. To support this we will     for Scotland. In the coming year we will
launch a social justice plan to set out how       seek to influence the UK’s EU renegotiation
the Scottish Government will continue to          by promoting a positive reform agenda. We
play its part in creating a fairer and more       will make a strong and principled Scottish
prosperous society.                               case for the UK remaining a member of
                                                  the EU. We will also seek a higher degree
Scotland is leading the way in the UK in          of engagement in EU policy developments
involving young people in the democratic          and strengthen partnerships with our key
process and in June 2015 our proposals            EU partners. We will use every lever at our
to extend the vote to 16- and 17-year-old         disposal to protect our national interests.
voters in the Scottish Parliament and local
elections in 2016 and 2017 were passed
by the Parliament with all-party support.
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 8   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
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A STRONG, SUSTAINABLE                            We want Scotland to be the most
                                                 competitive place to do business and
ECONOMY                                          to invest in the UK. We will:
We will continue to maintain a pro-business      •    Expand the availability of business
environment so that all our businesses,               finance through the introduction of
large, medium, small and micro can take full          a new £40 million fund to provide
advantage of the opportunities that exist             investment to SMEs.
at home and abroad. Our ambition is that
Scotland is seen as the best place in the UK     •    Work with businesses to deliver our
to do business for our indigenous companies           strategy on international trade and
and inward investors, not through a race              investment.
to the bottom, but by a focus on skills,
productivity, innovation and fair work.          •    Oversee significant expansion of our
                                                      digital infrastructure:
A more inclusive economy is critical to
boosting productivity. It underpins all our      •    Continue our major programme of
actions and activities, such as the Living            investment in road, rail and ferries.
Wage and addressing the educational              •    Support our businesses to innovate,
attainment gap.                                       especially in collaboration with our
The austerity policies of UK Governments              universities.
caused the recession to be longer and            •    Support regional economic
deeper than should have been the case.                development through Regional
As a consequence, many individuals and                Partnership Plans supported by new
companies in Scotland have suffered greater           investment of £200,000.
hardship than they should.
                                                 •    Extend the operation of Enterprise
With the powers available to us we have               Areas for a further three years.
done all we can to mitigate the impacts
of recession and austerity on our country.       •    Boost productivity through a new
From the targeted use of capital investment           Manufacturing Action Plan that will
in schemes to maximise wider economic                 develop leadership and skills and
benefits, to support for specific sectors and         stimulate innovation and investment
for small and medium-sized enterprises,               in Scottish manufacturing sectors.
through to interventions at the individual
company level, we and our agencies have          •    Continue to strengthen social
been active across all parts of the economy.          enterprise and maintain Scotland’s
                                                      reputation as a world leader in this
We have had 11 consecutive quarters of                developing field.
growth – the longest period since 2001,
with output now above pre-recession levels       We will continue to support the creation
and record numbers in employment. This,          of skilled and well-paid job opportunities,
in large part, is due to the hard work, talent   particularly for young people, to ensure that
and entrepreneurial spirit that we see in        the benefits of economic success are shared
businesses the length and breadth of the         by everyone. Our plans include:
country. The well-established links between      •    Investing in our skills base, and
higher education and business continue                especially in digital capabilities.
to strengthen, bringing enormous mutual
benefit.                                         •    Expanding opportunities for young
                                                      people to prepare for work through
                                                      Developing the Young Workforce,
                                                      our youth employment strategy.
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                                                                         THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     9
                                                                                 FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

•    Continuing to support the hugely
     successful Modern Apprenticeship
     programme, having exceeded
     our target to deliver over 25,000
     apprenticeships each year, we will
     increase the number to 30,000 by
     2020.
•    Expanding coverage of the Scottish
     Business Pledge – almost 100
     companies have already signed up,
     committing to improve productivity,
     innovation and fair work.
                                                  our partners on a reform and improvement
•    Encouraging employers in all sectors in      agenda to make sure that our public services
     Scotland to embrace the value of fair        remain fit for purpose and well-tailored to
     work in paying the Living Wage and           the needs of the individual.
     promoting an engaged, motivated and
     well-rewarded workforce.                     Our approach to government has always
                                                  been based on belief in the power of
•    Working with employers to address            people. The Christie Commission told us
     gender stereotypes and support more          that public services must be designed with
     women across the workplace.                  and for people and communities. A sharp
                                                  focus on performance, prevention and
                                                  partnership working within and across local
PROTECTING AND REFORMING                          government, public services and with third
OUR PUBLIC SERVICES                               and business sectors and others is required
                                                  to ensure this happens routinely. Our record
High quality and efficient public services        of achievement shows our commitment to
make an essential contribution to having          decisions being taken as close as possible to
a society that is fair and prosperous. The        people. Our approach to reform has, at its
Scottish Government values the contribution       core, a desire to engage citizens and seek
and the commitment of the entire public           their participation in the design and delivery
sector workforce. Far from dismantling            of public services. We remain determined
public services under the guise of austerity      to deliver a decisive shift towards earlier
as the UK Government is doing, this               intervention and prevention and we
Government will continue to work with all         recognise that this will require a national
our partners, including the third sector, to      collective endeavour.
support the delivery of services that our
fellow citizens rely on.                          Education

At the same time public services also play a      At the heart of this programme is our
vital role in supporting sustainable, inclusive   approach to education. As the next phase of
growth, creating a more equal society. Our        Curriculum for Excellence, we will develop
public services have supported Scotland           and implement a National Improvement
through the recession.                            Framework for Scottish Education. The
                                                  Framework sets out our vision and priorities
Those who deliver public services recognise       for Scotland’s children and their progress
that the world is changing and that our           in learning. The purpose of the Framework
services need to respond to the changing          will be to ensure, in an evidenced and
demands and expectations of the public.           focused way, that our education system is
The use of digital and online services,           continually improving, that all children are
changes in the demographic make-up of the         being equipped with the skills they need to
population and technological advances are         get on in the world and that we are making
also important factors in thinking about the      progress in closing the gap in attainment
services that we need and how they are            between those in our least or most affluent
provided. We will continue to work with           areas.
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10   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

At the centre of the National Improvement       To further expand learning opportunities
Framework will be a new system of national,     we will continue to implement Developing
standardised assessment of children in          the Young Workforce – Scotland’s Youth
P1, P4, P7 and S3, covering literacy and        Employment Strategy, with the aim of
numeracy. The Framework will also include       reducing youth unemployment by 40%
health and wellbeing. Over time this will       by 2021. Together with local authorities
replace the sample-based Scottish Survey        we are supporting schools to play their
of Literacy and Numeracy. This will bring       part in embedding workplace skills in our
consistency to the variety of different         young people, enhancing careers education,
approaches to assessment currently              expanding the range of work-based
followed in our 32 local authorities and        qualifications available for senior phase
support teacher judgement which is at the       pupils and encouraging stronger engagement
heart of Curriculum for Excellence. We will     between schools, colleges and employers.
work with teachers and parents to ensure
that the new system does not increase the       The Scottish Government will also undertake
burden on teachers and that it avoids the       a range of initiatives to improve education
disadvantages often associated with systems     and training at all ages. We will:
of testing. We will pilot the new assessments   •    Expand free, high quality early
in the areas and schools participating in our        learning and childcare for 3 and 4
Attainment Challenge in 2016, before full            year olds and new cohorts of 2-year
national implementation from 2017.                   old children with plans to increase the
                                                     entitlement to 1140 hours a year by
The Framework will allow us to identify
                                                     2020.
areas for improvement in attainment,
ensure that we can track progress for           •    Help our children have the best start
our most disadvantaged children and                  in life through our ‘PlayTalkRead’
help address inequity. It will enable us to          programme, providing early learning
measure progress across the educational              toys, books and other resources for
system. Using the information from the               parents and carers. We are building
new approach to assessment, we will report           on this with our ‘ReadWriteCount’
annually on the priorities outlined in the           campaign which encourages parents and
Framework. Interim reports, using available          families to include reading, writing and
information, will be published later this            counting in their everyday activities.
year and at the end of 2016. The first
full Framework report based on the new          •    Implement a package of activity to
approach will be published at the end of             foster aspiration and give young
2017. These reports will allow us to assess          people the experience and access
progress and target improvement where that           to role models than can help them
is necessary.                                        achieve their ambitions with a specific
                                                     focus on children from deprived
Through the new Attainment Challenge, local          backgrounds.
authorities are starting to target resources
where they are most needed, scale activity      Justice
and use innovation to raise attainment in       We attach great importance to having safer
their schools. This includes, for example,      and stronger communities, where people
activity focused on coaching, mentoring         feel safe and have confidence that justice
and increased parental involvement in           and fairness will prevail. When problems
education, to ensure all primary school-age     and disputes turn into crime and disorder
pupils, regardless of background, have the      we must ensure we have a fair, swift justice
best start in life. Over time, other schools    system and a clear penal policy that has the
can learn and apply approaches that are         trust and confidence of the public. The law
proven to be successful. ‘What works’ in        abiding majority must be served by modern
terms of raising attainment and closing the     justice organisations and an efficient justice
attainment gap will be what matters.            system. Our justice system plays a key
                                                role in addressing inequality and building
                                                community cohesion. We will:
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
                                                                     THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     11
                                                                             FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

•    Tackle abusive behaviour and sexual            The Scottish Parliament, the Scottish
     offences through a new Abusive                 Police Authority and local scrutiny
     Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill which           committees will have a shared
     will modernise the criminal law to             responsibility for holding the police
     better protect victims and potential           to account for the implementation of
     victims.                                       these priorities.
•    Introduce new measures to support          •   Enhance accountability and scrutiny
     victims and witnesses, including               of policing at a local level. The Chief
     providing wider and more effective             Constable will be required to undertake
     access to supportive measures for              a new programme of public scrutiny
     vulnerable witnesses, such as giving           sessions to provide more direct
     evidence by video link.                        accountability for the performance
                                                    of policing in local areas. These will
•    Introduce a Burial and Cremation Bill to       be organised across three regional
     implement the recommendations made             groupings with two to three sessions
     by Lord Bonomy’s Infant Cremation              in each region every year. Over time,
     Commission, and to modernise the law           the aim will be that each local scrutiny
     in this area more generally.                   committee has the opportunity to host
Policing                                            such a session. Through a local scrutiny
                                                    Summit to be held in September, we
The successful transition to the new single         will identify further ways to enhance
police service in April 2013 places Scotland        local accountability.
at the forefront of UK policing. Recorded
crime in Scotland is at a 40-year low with      •   Use the opportunity of the
enhanced access to specialist expertise and         appointment of the new Chair of the
equipment across Scotland, complementing            Scottish Police Authority to undertake
strong local policing. The single service has       a review of police governance at
already delivered significant savings while         national level. This will ensure
protecting our continued commitment to              accountability arrangements for
1000 additional officers from Westminster           policing take account of the lessons
cuts.                                               learned during the operation of the
                                                    single force to date.
Policing in Scotland is more accountable and
under greater scrutiny than ever before and     •   Work with the Scottish Police Authority
we need to ensure lessons are being learned         to consider the implications of
from the biggest public service reform in a         changing demands on Scottish policing
generation to ensure we continue to have            by Summer 2016. This will ensure that,
open, accountable policing which meets the          in the future, Scotland continues to
needs of the people of Scotland now and in          have a police service which improves
the future. We will:                                the safety and wellbeing of individuals,
                                                    localities and communities in Scotland.
•    Strengthen the community focus of
     policing. Policing must be carried         •   Work with Scottish Police Authority
     out with the support of communities            and Police Scotland to ensure
     throughout Scotland. We will provide           recommendations arising from the
     opportunities for members of the               HMICS review of call handling are fully
     public, communities and local police           implemented.
     scrutiny committees to discuss and
                                                •   Introduce a Statutory Code of Practice
     develop new national priorities for
                                                    for Stop and Search that puts into
     policing in Scotland. These national
                                                    practice the recommendations of the
     priorities will be agreed and published
                                                    independent Advisory Group chaired
     by Spring 2016 and will provide a
                                                    by John Scott QC.
     clear mandate for the Scottish Police
     Authority and Police Scotland going
     forward.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
12   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

Health and Social Care                          We will:
Our National Health Service is one of our       •    Begin the reform of primary and
most cherished public services. We are               community care by testing new
steadfast in our belief that the NHS must            models of primary care over the
remain a publicly-funded and publicly-               coming year in at least 10 sites across
owned service, free at the point of need.            urban and rural Scotland. Those sites
We are backing up this belief with record            will be in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Fife,
investment of over £12 billion in health             Tayside, Forth Valley, Campbeltown,
in Scotland. How health and social care is           West Lochaber, Islay, Mid-Argyll, and
delivered in Scotland continues to evolve,           Clackmannanshire. We will work with
whether through the provision of major new           primary care providers to shape the
hospital facilities or the expansion of the          future of primary and community care
scope of services provided in communities,           and during the next Parliamentary
but the central aim of a healthier Scotland          term we will roll out best practice
remains.                                             across the whole of Scotland to
                                                     transform and enhance the delivery of
In common with other developed nations,
                                                     primary and community care services
the NHS in Scotland is serving an ageing
                                                     through Community Health Hubs.
population, where people are living longer
with more complex health conditions. We         •    Ensure that local community-based
also face particular challenges in tackling          services to patients are delivered by
long-standing health inequalities, and               the appropriate range of health and
improving the health of the population               social care professionals working
as a whole. There is clear evidence that             together more effectively. This
delivering as much care as possible at home,         will include investing our recently
or in a homely setting, delivers the best            announced £60 million Primary
outcomes. That is why we intend to build             Care Fund to transform primary care
on our ambitious programme of health                 building on great examples across the
and social care integration by embarking             country of providing care for patients
on a programme of reform of primary and              at or near home rather than in hospital.
community care to ensure our NHS develops            This funding will also help to address
as a truly Community Health Service.                 immediate workload and recruitment
                                                     issues through long-term, sustainable
Under this Government there are over
                                                     change.
10,000 more staff working in our NHS and
we will continue to support the development     •    Produce a new National Clinical
of the flexible and well-trained workforce           Strategy for the NHS, following
needed to meet the needs of the people               wide engagement with the
of Scotland both now and in the future.              health professions and patients’
Workforce projections for this year show             representatives, to set out an overall
that more than 1000 extra NHS staff are              vision for the development of clinical
expected to be recruited across Scotland this        services over the next 15 to 20 years.
year, including more than 640 nurses.                It will present evidence of how the
                                                     health service can be shaped to best
But we are committed to going further. We
                                                     support patients and how that change
are already working with employers, staff
                                                     might be shaped at the national,
and professional bodies to develop flexible
                                                     regional and local level.
and sustainable services across seven days,
building on the services that we already        •    Continue to deploy our £100 million
provide every day of the year.                       investment in mental health to
                                                     improve child and adolescent mental
                                                     health services, improve access to
                                                     services and in particular psychological
                                                     therapies and respond better to
                                                     mental health needs in community
                                                     and primary care settings.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
                                                                      THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     13
                                                                              FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

•    Introduce the initiative ‘Our Voice’ to    2015, eligible kinship care families (where
     ensure that the views of service users     family members or friends step in to care
     are heard and responded to at every        for children who can no longer live at home)
     level of the health and social care        will receive the same allowance from their
     system.                                    local authority as foster carers. This shift
                                                will potentially benefit 5200 of Scotland’s
•    Improve patient safety by introducing      most vulnerable children in the first year
     regulation of private healthcare clinics   alone. This year, work will also begin to
     providing services such as Botox.          explore and consider how to develop a
•    Introduce the next phase of our            national kinship care allowance so families
     Alcohol Framework in 2016: it will         can receive the same financial support no
     build on the successes of our current      matter where they live in Scotland.
     Framework and have a clear aim to
     help tackle health inequalities.
                                                STRENGTHENING OUR
•    Strengthen whistleblowing
     arrangements for NHSScotland staff by      COMMUNITIES
     establishing an independent national       Scotland’s communities are a source of
     officer to review the handling of          energy, creativity and talent. They are
     whistleblowing cases.                      made up of people with rich and diverse
•    Enable the health visiting service to      backgrounds who each have something to
     provide enhanced support, by investing     contribute to making Scotland flourish. It
     £41.6 million over four years for          is the role of central and local government
     additional Health Visitors.                to help communities to work together and
                                                release that potential to create a more
•    The Scottish Government recognises         prosperous and fairer Scotland. We will only
     that access to voice equipment is          achieve sustainable and inclusive economic
     vital to children and adults who finds     growth for all our citizens when they are
     speaking difficult or are at risk of       able to contribute to society at all levels.
     losing their voice. We will therefore
     bring forward an amendment to              The Scottish Parliament passed the
     the Health Bill that is currently in       Community Empowerment Act in June
     Parliament to provide a statutory right    giving new rights to communities to own
     to voice equipment when required.          land and buildings and our new
                                                £19.4 million Empowering Communities
This Government remains focused on              Fund has invested in hundreds of
“getting it right for every child” and that     community-based organisations supporting
includes making sure our most vulnerable        thousands of people. The Scottish
children and families get the practical and     Government will build on this in the coming
financial support they need. From October       year. To pass even more power to our
                                                communities, we will:
                                                •    Empower our Island Communities
                                                     further, and launch a public
                                                     consultation on an Islands Bill by the
                                                     end of September, to provide more
                                                     power, equality and protection for the
                                                     Islands to allow them to build a more
                                                     prosperous and fairer future for their
                                                     communities.
                                                •    Secure the devolution of the Crown
                                                     Estate to Scotland to maximise benefits
                                                     to the Scottish economy and local
                                                     communities around Scotland.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
14   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

Homes                                           Land Reform
Communities flourish when people have           Using land strategically and sustainably
good quality, warm, comfortable homes to        will contribute to a more prosperous and
live in. Despite challenging economic times     successful nation. Communities most
and cuts to budgets, we are paving the way      affected by decisions about land must be
for a real acceleration of future new housing   fully engaged in those decisions. Our current
to help close the gap between need and          Land Reform Bill is the next step in our
supply. The Scottish Government continues       ambitious land reform programme. It will:
to deliver progress towards our vision that
all people in Scotland live in sustainable      •    Ensure an effective system of land
homes which they can afford and that meet            governance and ongoing commitment
their needs. We will:                                to land reform in Scotland.

•     Extend support to homebuyers              •    Enhance sustainable development
      through a successor to our popular             in relation to land and improve the
      Help to Buy (Scotland) scheme, with            transparency and accountability of
      a renewed focus on support for                 land ownership.
      affordable home ownership. We shall       •    Commit to manage land and rights
      provide £195 million over the next             in land for the common good, by
      three years to give a helping hand to          modernising and improving land
      at least 6,500 households buying a             ownership and rights over land.
      new build home. Help to Buy relies on
      funding flowing through the Barnett       Our Natural Environment
      mechanism so we will set out more         We are proud of Scotland’s natural
      detail on the scheme’s arrangements       environment and the benefit it provides to
      following the publication of the UK       Scotland’s economy and to the health and
      Spending Review in November.              wellbeing of visitors and those living here.
•     Meet and surpass our five-year target     We will review the Protection of Wild
      to deliver 30,000 affordable homes        Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002 to ensure
      across Scotland by March 2016,            that it is providing the necessary level
      including a steadily increasing number    of protection for foxes and other wild
      of new council homes.                     mammals, while at the same time allowing
•     Review the planning system to             effective and humane control where
      increase delivery of high quality         necessary.
      housing developments, by delivering       Agriculture and Fishing
      a quicker more accessible and efficient
      process.                                  Scotland has a vibrant agriculture and
                                                rural sector that the Scottish Government
•     Introduce a Private Tenancies Bill        supports. During 2015, we will approve
      that will meet our commitment to          new contracts under the Scottish Rural
      give tenants in the private rented        Development Programme to deliver our
      sector increased security, while giving   priorities of sustainable economic growth,
      landlords, lenders and investors the      protecting the environment, tackling
      confidence to continue investing in       climate change and supporting vibrant rural
      the sector. This will provide more        communities.
      predictable rents and protection
      for tenants against excessive rent        The Scottish Government is working with
      increases, including the ability to       stakeholders to implement new EU Common
      introduce local rent controls for rent    Agricultural Policy (CAP) requirements,
      pressure areas.                           which will tailor European rules to Scottish
                                                circumstances and ensure that the CAP
                                                contributes to our ambitious climate change
                                                targets.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
                                                                    THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     15
                                                                            FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

The Scottish sea fishing fleet makes a vital   •   Seek to influence the new BBC Charter
contribution to our coastal and island             to ensure that the BBC delivers better
communities as it harvests our fish stocks         outcomes that reflect the needs and
sustainably. It can rely on our continuing         diversity of Scottish communities and
support. In 2016, we will work closely with        supports the development, production
fishermen as they adapt to new landing             and delivery of content from across
obligations. We will also follow up our            Scotland.
response to the independent Wild Fisheries
Review by consulting on draft provisions for   •   Deliver our commitment that all
a Wild Fisheries Bill before the end of the        libraries should be Wi-Fi enabled.
parliamentary session.                         •   Develop opportunities for children and
Culture and Sport                                  young people to participate in sport
                                                   and physical activity by investing up to
Our culture and sports make Scotland a             £50 million through sportscotland
special place, helping bring communities           in Active Schools over the years 2015
together. They can break down barriers             to 2019.
between communities and different
demographics to help us build stronger         •   Build on the momentum from Glasgow
communities. They also can play a key role         and Sochi and contribute over
in tackling inequality, building aspiration        £45 million of Scottish Government
and supporting the economy. We will:               and Lottery funding to the 17 Glasgow
                                                   Games sports and winter disciplines
•    Encourage our national collections and        over the next four years.
     performing companies to find new
     ways of reaching different audiences,     •   Consult on options to enhance the
     particularly young people from                rights of football supporters. The
     disadvantaged communities.                    consultation will seek views on
                                                   the right to buy, bid, govern, or be
•    Invest in cultural infrastructure             involved in the running or ownership
     following the completion of new               of their clubs.
     facilities at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal
     and Royal Concert Hall and in the
     construction of the V&A Dundee.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
16
16   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

     A STRONGER AND
     FAIRER SCOTLAND

     02
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
                                                                     THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     17
                                                                             FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

On 18 September 2015 it will be a year         we can mitigate further reductions imposed
since Scotland’s independence referendum.      by the UK Government. We will continue to
The referendum period saw people               make the case to the UK Government for an
throughout Scotland take part in discussion    alternative approach to public spending.
and debate about the future of the country.
Scotland has shown the world that it is a      Tackling poverty remains our key
democratically engaged society, with the       priority, and this will become increasingly
ideas and energy to transform our country      challenging because of announcements by
for the better.                                the UK Government on welfare reform. UK
                                               reforms to tax credits alone will reduce the
That unprecedented interest in the direction   incomes of between 200,000 and 250,000
the country should take and the way it         households in Scotland, taking £700 million
is governed has continued. The people of       from the pockets of people on low incomes
Scotland have shown their support for an       in Scotland every year. The higher minimum
approach to government that recognis es        wage for those over 25 will not be sufficient
the importance of fairness and inclusion as    for the majority of households to offset
key contributors to increased prosperity.      these cuts to benefit income.
The Scottish Government approach also
empowers people and communities and            The First Minister announced the
values high quality public and voluntary       appointment of Naomi Eisenstadt as
services that respond to the needs             Independent Adviser on Poverty and
of people. These values underpin the           Inequality in June 2015. She is currently
Government’s whole approach and this           a Senior Research Fellow at University
Programme for Government.                      of Oxford and Trustee at Save the
                                               Children and has been tasked with
Standing Against Austerity                     making recommendations to the Scottish
                                               Government on how collectively we should
The Scottish Government has consistently
                                               reduce poverty and inequality in Scotland,
argued for an alternative to the UK’s
                                               what works and what does not and she
approach to public expenditure and will
                                               will hold the Government to account on its
continue to do so. This approach has led
                                               performance.
to an unprecedented austerity programme
which has resulted in cuts in funding to the   Developing Scotland’s Constitution
public services that the most vulnerable in
our society rely on, and has undermined        The Scottish Government believes that
economic recovery. The Scottish Government     the best long-term future for Scotland is
recognises that the UK’s deficit should be     as an independent country. However, for
reduced, but that this must be done in a       as long as Scotland remains in the UK,
gradual and responsible manner, ensuring       the Scottish Government will stand up for
that we continue to invest in economic         Scotland’s interests and support greater
growth.                                        self-government, working constructively
                                               with the UK Government and the other
Following the July UK Budget, the next         administrations in these islands.
UK spending review will result in yet
further reductions in public expenditure in    We have consistently argued for extending
Scotland, extending the period of austerity.   the powers and responsibilities of the
Despite the reductions that have already       Scottish Parliament because we believe that
taken place, our management of the public      the people who live and work in Scotland
finances, and innovative approach to           will do the best job of making decisions for
infrastructure investment has meant we         our nation. Wider responsibilities for the
have been able to mitigate the most harmful    Scottish Parliament will allow government
impacts of these cuts. However, under the      policy and public services to be developed
current constitutional framework we will be    and delivered in a coherent and sensible
severely constrained in the extent to which    way.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
18   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

Following the work of the Smith                 of the social security system such as tax
Commission, both Westminster and                credits and out-of-work benefits. Narrowing
Holyrood are now considering the Scotland       the gap between the Parliament’s spending
Bill, which sets out the UK Government’s        and revenue raising powers would both
proposals for the implementation of the         increase its accountability and enable the
Smith Commission, and the UK Government         Scottish Government to align better all
and Scottish Ministers are also in discussion   elements of public policy with its objectives.
about the associated fiscal framework. While
the Scotland Bill would provide some of the     Short of independence, the Scottish
powers needed to tackle the issues that face    Government’s preferred approach is full
Scotland, the Scottish Government continues     fiscal autonomy. We believe this would
to believe it has significant shortcomings.     provide the maximum financial and
                                                democratic accountability within the United
Fundamentally, the Bill, as currently           Kingdom, enabling the Scottish Government
drafted, does not deliver in full the           to increase economic growth while allowing
recommendations of the Smith Commission.        Scotland to continue to contribute to the
In May the Devolution (Further Powers)          United Kingdom as a whole.
Committee of the Scottish Parliament, in
a report supported by the Parliament as a       In July the Scottish Government published
whole, concluded that the Bill’s provisions     proposals for devolution beyond the Smith
on social security do not yet meet the spirit   Commission recommendations that would
and substance of the Smith Commission’s         provide a coherent package of powers to
recommendations.                                boost competitiveness and tackle inequality.
                                                These included business and employment
Even if the Smith Commission                    taxation, employment rights including the
recommendations are implemented in full,        National Minimum Wage, and the social
those taxes fully or partly under the control   security system.
of the Scottish Parliament will increase to
around 29% of tax receipts in Scotland and      We are continuing discussions with the
36% of devolved expenditure. This falls         UK Government to secure changes to the
far short of ‘Home Rule’ as over 70% of         Bill both to meet the Smith Commission
tax receipts and 86% of welfare spending        recommendations in full and to go beyond
in Scotland will remain in the control of       those recommendations and deliver a
Westminster.                                    Scotland Bill that empowers the Scottish
                                                Parliament to meet the challenges Scotland
The Smith Commission recommendations            faces. The aim of the Scottish Government
did not provide the Scottish Parliament         is to secure a Bill, and an accompanying
with control over key significant taxes –       fair financial agreement with the UK
like corporation tax or Employers’ National     Government, that it can recommend
Insurance Contributions – and key elements      to the Scottish Parliament.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
                                                                        THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     19
                                                                                FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

THE SMITH COMMISSION AND THE SCOTLAND BILL
The Scotland Bill currently being considered by the UK and Scottish Parliaments set out
the UK Government’s proposals for the implementation of the recommendations of the
five-party Smith Commission in November 2014.
The main provisions of the Bill cover:
•    The status of, and arrangements for, the Scottish Parliament, including elections.
•    Powers for the Scottish Parliament to set rates and thresholds of Income Tax, and
     devolution of Air Passenger Duty.
•    Devolution of certain social security benefits, including disability and carers’ benefits.
•    Powers for the Scottish Parliament to adjust Universal Credit in Scotland including
     the housing element.
•    Devolution of some employment services.
•    Devolution of the Crown Estate in Scotland.
•    Revolution of Tribunals in reserved areas – such as the Employment Tribunals –
     in Scotland.
•    Devolution of some power over equal opportunities.
•    Devolution of British Transport Police.
The Scottish Government set out its views on the Bill in detail in June 2015. We are
currently in discussions with the UK Government on changes to the Bill both to meet the
Smith Commission in full and to provide sensible changes beyond those recommendations.
The Bill will require the agreement of the Scottish Parliament under the Legislative Consent
procedure. The aim of this Government is to secure agreement with the UK Government
on a satisfactory Bill, and accompanying financial arrangements (the ‘fiscal framework’),
in time for the Parliament to consent to the Bill before it dissolves for the Scottish General
Election in March 2016.
The Scottish Government will only support a legislative consent motion if there is
a satisfactory fiscal framework agreed between the Scottish and United Kingdom
Governments.
A STRONGER SCOTLAND
20   THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME
     FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

Using the New Powers                              A SCOTTISH SOCIAL SECURITY
The Scottish Government is committed to           SYSTEM
using the powers in any eventual Scotland
Act to improve the lives of the people we         The Scotland Bill sets out proposals from
serve. We are also committed to an open           the UK Government to transfer certain,
and consultative process in developing            limited social security powers to the Scottish
policies for the new powers in the Bill. We       Parliament. This would devolve around
have set out some early policy priorities         £2.6 billion (14.6%) of benefit expenditure
and we detail how we will implement these         in Scotland which is currently all controlled
newly devolved powers throughout this             by the UK Government. The Scottish
document. We will:                                Government is in negotiation with the UK
                                                  Government to secure improvements to the
•     Bring forward, in the first year of the     proposals as we believe the powers on offer
      new Parliament, a Social Security Bill      are limited in their scope and will restrict
      to give effect to our new social security   the ability of the Scottish Parliament to
      powers and begin to establish the           undertake significant reform of the benefits.
      infrastructure for delivery of devolved
      welfare powers.                             Our new powers over social security,
                                                  despite their limited scope, will provide
•     Address weaknesses, within our limited      opportunities to develop different policies
      powers, in Universal Credit and abolish     for Scotland which are fairer and help tackle
      the bedroom tax as soon as we have          inequalities and poverty, in line with the
      the powers to do so.                        core purpose of the Scottish Government.
                                                  We will use these powers to develop a
•     Enhance opportunities for employment
                                                  system which is:
      and economic growth by improving
      support for people to move into             •    Suited to the needs of our people and
      employment through reform of the                 our country.
      Work Programme and Work Choice
      and linking employment programmes           •    Underpinned by respect for the dignity
      with training and education. We will             of individuals.
      introduce a replacement for the Work
                                                  •    Accessible, fair, and commands the
      Programme and Work Choice by April
                                                       full confidence of claimants and the
      2017.
                                                       organisations and services which that
•     Improve access to priority business              support them.
      and tourist markets by reducing
                                                  We are committed to using the experience
      air passenger duty. We will reduce
                                                  of service users and stakeholders in the
      the burden of APD by 50% with the
                                                  design of these policies to deliver a Scottish
      reduction beginning when we introduce
                                                  social security system that is recognised
      a Scottish APD in 2018, with a view
                                                  for its efficiency on behalf of taxpayers,
      to abolishing it completely when
                                                  the services it offers and the fairness of
      resources allow. We are currently
                                                  the outcomes it delivers. We will set out
      consulting with stakeholders on the
                                                  our policy statement on new social security
      best way to apply that reduction across
                                                  powers before the end of 2015 and will
      new and existing routes.
                                                  introduce a Social Security Bill in the first
•     Promote equalities by taking early          year of the next Scottish Parliament to
      action on gender balance on public          deliver this vision.
      boards.
                                                  The Scotland Bill will transfer powers over
•     Abolish fees for employment tribunals.      social security benefits for disabled people
                                                  with long-term health conditions and their
•     Manage the assets of the Crown Estate       carers. This will cover a series of benefits
      in Scotland to maximise benefits            currently delivered by the UK Government
      to the Scottish economy and local           through Disability Living Allowance
      communities.                                (DLA), Personal Independence Payments,
STRONGER SCOTLAND
                                                                       THE GOVERNMENT’S PROGRAMME     21
                                                                               FOR SCOTLAND 2015-16

Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Allowance,         help deliver our commitment to reducing
the Industrial Injuries Schemes, Severe          inequality and stimulating sustainable
Disability Allowance and the Motability          economic growth. We want to see everyone
Scheme. We are committed to establishing a       achieve their economic potential, and we
social security system that has at its heart     recognise the importance of employment
a set of principles and values that govern       in achieving this. So, we will move quickly
it. This will include ensuring that people       to implement the new powers which
are treated with respect and dignity during      allow us to create an alternative to the
their time of applying for, being assessed,      DWP’s contracted employment support
and receiving disability-related benefits.       programmes in Scotland, and will do so
We will also provide people with relevant        from 1 April 2017, the earliest possible
information so that they are aware how the       opportunity.
system will work for them and how long
decisions will take.                             Scottish Government funding has also
                                                 allowed full mitigation of the bedroom
Our Social Security Bill, and accompanying       tax in 2014-15 and 2015-16 for around
legislation, will be wide-ranging, covering      72,000 households who have had their
the principles which will underpin our           Housing Benefit reduced. We will use our
approach to social security in Scotland as       new powers to abolish the bedroom tax
well as the improvements we intend to            at the earliest opportunity. The Scotland
make to the system we inherit. There will        Bill will enable the Scottish Government to
also be specific provisions to abolish the       make changes to Universal Credit, including
bedroom tax, introduce flexibilities for those   the frequency of payments, varying plans
in receipt of Universal Credit in Scotland       for single household payments, and paying
and the benefits we will introduce under         social landlords direct for housing costs in
the powers being devolved through the            Scotland which will better reflect the needs
Scotland Bill. We will develop our approach      of the recipients of the benefits.
to delivery of the new social security
powers in consultation with those with an        We are working to develop successor
interest in improving social security delivery   arrangements for the regulated Social Fund
in Scotland, including those in receipt of       that provides Sure Start Maternity Grants,
benefits.                                        Cold Weather Payments and the Winter
                                                 Fuel Allowance Payment. As part of this
The Welfare Funds (Scotland) Act 2015 put        we will improve links to other devolved
the Scottish Welfare Fund on to a statutory      services such as support for mothers during
basis. Working with local government,            pregnancy.
the Fund has supported over 130,000
households (49,000 were families with            The new arrangements will also include
children and 82,000 single people) with at       responsibility for funeral payments. We
least one award between 2013 and March           believe no-one should be prevented a
2015, with a total expenditure of around         dignified funeral or forced into debt because
£65 million.                                     of the costs of organising a funeral for
                                                 their loved one. We will review advice on
The Department for Work and Pension’s            planning a funeral, and review how to make
(DWPs) Work Programme is not designed            best use of funeral payments to support
to help those with the greatest barriers to      those on low income who need extra help in
work into sustained employment. Our vision       arranging a funeral.
is to use the opportunities of devolution to
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