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Scottish Government ‘nowhere to be seen’ on Bill support despite previous pledge

Lothians MSP Sarah Boyack criticised the Scottish Government for not backing her member’s bill. (Lesley Martin/PA)
Lothians MSP Sarah Boyack criticised the Scottish Government for not backing her member’s bill. (Lesley Martin/PA)

A Labour MSP has expressed “deep disappointment” in the failure of Scottish Government ministers to back a member’s Bill which was initially promised in successive programmes for government (PfG).

Lothians MSP Sarah Boyack secured support from enough cross-party politicians to introduce the Wellbeing and Sustainable Development member’s Bill to Holyrood.

It seeks to introduce a future generations commissioner to ensure policy development and implementation is in line with the principles of sustainable development and wellbeing, placing a duty on public bodies.

The proposals follow a letter from more than 100 organisations calling on party leaders to adopt the policy.

Ms Boyack’s proposals received the backing of at least 18 MSPs from Labour, Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives in Holyrood – but she said the SNP and Greens were “nowhere to be seen”.

The plans were part of both Scottish Green and SNP manifestos prior to the 2021 Holyrood elections and have since formed part of three programmes for government.

Ms Boyack said: “I am delighted to have secured the cross-party support needed to introduce this Bill at stage one, however it is incredibly disappointing that the Greens and SNP are nowhere to be seen.

“Both the SNP and Greens committed to bringing forward a Bill of this nature but despite years of rhetoric they haven’t done so, it is therefore deeply disappointing that they are yet to support my member’s Bill.

“The failure to act demonstrates this SNP/Green Scottish Government lack of commitment to delivering on their manifesto commitments and that Scottish Labour is delivering for the Scottish people even from opposition.

“The SNP and Green MSPs still have time to do the right thing and I call on them to act now and support this Bill.”

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.