THE First Minister has resolved to make 2016 a “year of optimism and ambition” as she set out enterprise and innovative public services as priorities for Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon used her New Year message to hail Scotland’s “can-do culture” as opposition leaders focused their attention on this year’s Holyrood elections.
Speaking yesterday at the Kelpies in Falkirk, Ms Sturgeon previewed Scotland’s Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design, with the park surrounding the sculptures hosting a festival of fire and light on New Year’s Day in one of the first events of the celebrations.
She said: “In 2016 and the years ahead, we will give strong support to the enterprise and innovation that will boost our productivity, increase our economic growth and create the skilled jobs we need for the future. Indeed, a commitment to innovation is one of the Scottish Government’s biggest priorities.
“We’re also determined to encourage entrepreneurship and help ambitious companies to grow. But our success won’t come just from entrepreneurs or scientists. I want to see a can-do culture define us as a country on every level.
“Let’s resolve to make 2016 a year of optimism and ambition. A year when we remind ourselves of our past achievements, but focus more on building an even better future.”
Let’s resolve to make 2016 a year of optimism and ambition. A year when we remind ourselves of our past achievements, but focus more on building an even better future.Nicola Sturgeon
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale insisted 2016 would bring a new era for Scottish politics.
She said: “The rules of the game are changing. Saying you are for something but refusing to do anything about it just won’t wash any more. Those of us who say we are against Tory austerity will have to prove it with the decisions we take.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie also turned his sights to May’s election.
“The Liberal Democrats have championed the rights of Scots with poor mental health and proposed improvements to tackle the shortage of GPs,” he said. “We’ve stood up for better police services following the M9 crash, armed police and excessive use of stop and search.”
Conservative leader Ruth Davidson used her message to thank the emergency services for keeping “our vital public services” going over the Christmas period.
She added: “Looking forward, I’m hopeful that – after the last few years of uncertainty – the year to come will bring greater security to families across Scotland.”
Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie predicted his party would be “the ones to watch” in the Holyrood election.