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Programme for Government launched
Delivering for Today, Investing for Tomorrow, the Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2018-19 sets out the actions the Government will take in the forthcoming year.
A major reform of mental health services, investment in infrastructure and legislation to underpin a Scottish National Investment Bank are at the forefront of the Scottish Government's priorities for the year ahead.
The First Minister delivered her Programme for Government during a speech to the Scottish Parliament on 04 September 2018.
It includes details of a £250 million health investment package that will deliver dedicated mental health counsellors in schools, extra training for teachers, and an additional 250 school nurses to offer emotional and mental health support and provide more advice for young people and their families dealing with mental health issues.
The First Minister also confirmed that Scotland's Social Security Agency will make the first payments of the Best Start Grant before Christmas, six months ahead of schedule, helping parents on low incomes with £600 on the birth of their first baby and £300 for subsequent children, to buy family essentials.
Headteachers will be given new powers to become key decision makers in their schools and, in partnership with local government, 750 new, extended or refurbished nurseries will be developed to deliver the Scottish Government's commitment to double free childcare hours.
New measures will be put in place to provide better support to victims of serious crimes and, in the Year of Young People, the First Minister committed to enshrine children's rights by incorporating the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into law - going further than the UK government in making children's rights real.
Other measures within the Programme for Government - which includes 12 new pieces of legislation and 13 Bills continuing from the previous legislative session - include:
Giving schools more control to lead improvements and make decisions about curriculum, staffing and budgets, backed by £750 million investment through the attainment fund
Publishing an NHS waiting times improvement plan, setting out a range of short and medium term actions to substantially and sustainably improve performance across our health service
Improving the experiences of victims and witnesses of crimes, including developing support and advice on homicides and parole process
Providing an advice and support service to ensure EU citizens continue to feel welcome and valued in Scotland
Creating a network of public water refill points, and developing plans to reduce flooding and create more green spaces for people to enjoy.
Completing the devolution of forestry, setting up two new agencies to help our woods and forests thrive, and increasing our yearly targets of planting 10,000 hectares of woodland by a further 50% by 2025