Combating the global climate emergency, strengthening the economy and building a fairer country are central to the Scottish Government’s plans for the next year, according to Nicola Sturgeon.
Speaking ahead of the unveiling of the Programme for Government on Tuesday, the First Minister said it highlights the contrast between the Scottish Parliament and the “meltdown” at Westminster.
The document, titled Protecting Scotland’s Future, will include 14 new Bills as well as a raft of non-legislative announcements.
“The plans I set out today will continue our efforts to combat the global climate emergency, while also taking steps to strengthen our economy and help build a fairer country,” the First Minister said.
“But today’s Programme for Government is launched in extraordinary political times.
“The UK is in the middle of a constitutional crisis, unprecedented in peacetime as we face being driven off the cliff of a no-deal Brexit by an out-of-control Tory Government.
“The Scottish Government and the SNP will do everything in our power to try to prevent that outcome.
“Scotland did not vote for any form of Brexit and having a catastrophic no-deal Brexit imposed on us is completely unacceptable.”
Ms Sturgeon added: “But, amid the meltdown at Westminster, Scotland has a Government and a Parliament that is getting on with the job that people expect us to do.
“The contrast between that and a UK Tory administration whose reckless actions are threatening food and medical shortages could not be starker.
“We have an SNP Government delivering for people and a right-wing Tory cabal at Westminster who are delivering nothing but chaos.
“With every day that passes, the case for Scotland becoming an independent country is strengthened and we will continue to take forward our plans to give people their say on the nation’s future.”
Scottish Conservative chief whip Maurice Golden said the First Minister had failed to deliver on previous promises made.
“Every year Nicola Sturgeon sets out a range of warm-worded promises and every year she fails to deliver,” he said.
“This is what happens when a nationalist government obsesses about breaking up Britain at the cost of the everyday priorities that should be its concern.
“The Programme for Government presents an opportunity for the Scottish Government to make a real difference to people’s lives, to the well-being of business and to the health of Scotland’s economy.
“Instead, the SNP repeatedly squanders these chances and that’s the hallmark of a complacent and negligent Government.”
Scottish Green Co-Leader Patrick Harvie suggested Ms Sturgeon should commit to a delivering an emergency response to combat the climate crisis.
“The First Minister declared a climate emergency six months ago but there has been little in the way of an emergency response since,” he said.
“In the face of this crisis we need to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.
“We know we can do this in a way which will create thousands of highly skilled jobs, and improve the quality of life for the people of Scotland.”
He added: “Scotland’s economy needs to be transformed so it serves the people of Scotland and the planet.
“That means the Scottish Government must use all the powers it has at its disposal to this end.
“Our Scottish Green New Deal shows how ministers can build Scotland’s new economy while tackling the climate crisis.
“Without committing to a truly transformative, emergency response to the climate crisis the Scottish Government will be failing to live up to its responsibilities and the First Minister will be left open to accusations of hypocrisy on the biggest issue of our time.”