Did the SNP hit all of their 100-days' commitments?

With the first 100 days of the SNP being returned to power having passed by the end of today, according to the Scottish Government’s own dates, The Scotsman examines whether all of the party’s pledges have been delivered.

Opposition parties claimed the first 100 days of the SNP returning to power had ended on August 14, a claim disputed by the Scottish Government who claimed the deadline was instead August 25.

With only two-thirds of the pledges delivered as of August 14, has the SNP since made any progress on its key promises which it had failed to deliver?

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In total, around one in eight of the SNP’s pledges are either yet to be met or due to be published today.

Scottish First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon on the steps outside Bute House. Picture: PA

Covid-19

On Tuesday, the First Minister and her deputy John Swinney announced the government had taken the first steps towards establishing a judge-led public inquiry into the handling of the pandemic.

The publication of an ‘aims and principles’ document sets out the broad approach the inquiry will take and commits the government to a pre-Christmas deadline for establishment.

A standing committee on pandemics has also been established.

Health

Despite being one of the key pledges in the SNP’s 100-days’ commitments, the NHS Recovery Plan has yet to surface.

However, Nicola Sturgeon and chief medical officer Gregor Smith announced at a coronavirus briefing on Tuesday the plan would be published by the Scottish Government today.

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The situation within the NHS is “incredibly difficult”, the First Minister said, and such a document would prove crucial to how well the NHS recovers from the significant impact of the pandemic.

However, the women’s health plan has been published by the Scottish Government, covering actions it will take to reduce health inequality.

Another pledge previously missed, the Scottish Government has announced that both PFI hospital car parks in Dundee and Glasgow will be free with immediate effect.

The deal for the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary to follow suit is at an advanced stage and is expected to be completed within months, officials said.

Children

Pilot schemes for the delivery of bikes to children who would otherwise be unable to afford them was launched last week in one of the major policy announcements linked to the 100-days pledges.

In addition to this, £5 million has been announced as the first stage of the £60m funding issued to councils to renovate playparks across Scotland.

However, despite the government stating that “work to provide every school pupil in Scotland with a laptop or tablet” had started, the announcement carried very little detail and offered no explanation or deadline as to when this pledge would be met.

In fact, while 700,000 children wait for their device, all that has started is “discussions with local government”, meaning any benefits will be long-awaited.

Environment and jobs

Several pledges previously missed have now been delivered, including the launch of a Green Jobs Workforce Academy, the launch of a Fair Work First Programme and the reopening of the Digital Boost Fund to the tune of £25m.

Ms Sturgeon also announced several ‘environmental champions’, including Dame Ellen MacArthur, to advise on key policy.

Work has also begun on how a minimum income guarantee could be delivered and a draft local food strategy was published last week.

However, the Scottish Government has yet to meet its pledge of setting out its strategic investment assessment into the Scottish supply chain for offshore wind, though this issue is briefly mentioned in the deal with the Scottish Greens.

There has also been no movement on the establishment of an integrated implementation board for sustainable farming and no update on the location of Scotland’s first carbon vertical farms.

Housing

This is one of the SNP’s worst areas.

It has failed to announce anything around a new rented sector strategy – though in the detail of the SNP/Green deal there is a commitment to publish this by the end of this year – and it has yet to announce the next step of a review into student accommodation.

Cladding safety assessments were also meant to have started, but there has been no announcement from the government on this issue.

There has also been no movement on when 14 new masts will go live through the SG4i Mobile Infill programme designed to improve mobile coverage in rural and island areas.

Tourism

The Scottish Government launched a £4m scheme for Visit Scotland’s ‘Days Out’ scheme, alongside £1.4m for holiday vouchers for carers and low-income families and a £3m fund for a campaign promoting Scotland as a tourist destination.

It also set up a Scotland Touring Fund for musicians worth £750,000, half the amount of the original pledge that was intended for both theatre and musicians.

The government has also failed to set up a taskforce to develop a growth strategy for ‘agri-tourism’.

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