The Scottish Government is “stepping up while Westminster is shutting down”, the First Minister has claimed, despite Opposition politicians raising concerns about the “dearth of new legislation” being introduced at Holyrood.
Nicola Sturgeon said that tackling inequality and climate change will be the central to her government’s legislative plans for the next 12 months, and that she would reveal an “ambitious” legislative agenda when the Scottish Parliament returns from its summer recess tomorrow.
The policy programme is expected to outline 14 new bills the Scottish Government plans to introduce at Holyrood in the next year, as well as continuing legislation from last year.
But Maurice Golden, the Scottish Tories chief whip, said the “failing” SNP Government was “on course to oversee one of the least productive sessions of any Scottish Parliament in history”. He added: “The dearth of new legislation, with just 31 bills completed so far, makes clear that the SNP’s obsession with independence is to the detriment of all else.”
Speaking ahead of her announcement tomorrow, Ms Sturgeon said that it was the Tory government in Westminster which had a “one-track obsession with Brexit”.
She added: “The Scottish Parliament returns in the midst of unprecedented and deeply troubling events at Westminster. The UK government’s one-track obsession with Brexit has left them completely incapable of focusing on vital issues such as tackling inequality and climate change.
The UK government’s one-track obsession with Brexit has left them incapable of focusing on vital issues such as inequality and climate changeNICOLA STURGEON
“The Tories have dragged the UK into a democratic and constitutional crisis and, if they do not urgently change course, we face the real prospect of an economic crisis.”
Ms Sturgeon said the programme for government “will embody what is very much a tale of two governments – while the government in Holyrood is stepping up to tackle the vital issues facing both Scotland and the world, Westminster is quite literally shutting down.”
But she admitted there needed to be a redoubling of effort to meet climate change targets. “That is why this year’s programme will set out our next steps on how we will lead by example through bold actions, cutting across all parts of government, to tackle climate change. These actions simply cannot be left to others. The consequences of global change will be severe – and for some parts of the world, they will be existential. We must act.
“But it cannot be stressed enough – while we are doing everything we can to move Scotland forward, the threat to our economy and society from the right-wing Brexiteer cabal occupying Downing Street cannot be mitigated away.”