The new Programme for Government and social enterprise #ScotPfg 

Posted: 21 September 2022, in Blog

A stronger and more resilient Scotland is the name of the new Programme for Government for 2022 to 2023. 

It includes new legislation and this parliamentary year 18 bills will be introduced, in addition to the 5 that are continuing from the last session. 

This key Scottish Government document is published every September and is an action plan of government activity for the next year and beyond. 

The new action plan has a central “cost of living” theme and the two headlines are a rent freeze for tenants and a ban on evictions. 

There will also be a comprehensive one-stop-shop website for everyone in Scotland to help with support and advice around the cost of living. 

The Scottish Child Payment will increase to £25 per week from 14 November, when it also opens to all under 16s and the Fuel Insecurity Fund will double to £20 million to help households at risk. 

Businesses have an existing package of financial aid worth over £800 million plus there will be 6 new ‘tech scalers’, 2 ‘Greenports’ progressed and the continued development of the National Strategy for Economic Transformation. 

There is welcome recognition that “people working in the public and third sectors face the same cost of living challenges as others”. 

For social enterprises there are a number of key strands that are relevant, ranging from social care to mental health, child poverty, land reform, travel and more. 

The key quote is in the Transforming Our Economy section: “[We will] undertake a review of how best to significantly increase the number of social enterprises, employee-owned businesses and cooperatives in Scotland.” 

There are also commitments to “Launch a consultation on Community Wealth Building legislation” and “Progress two Greenports which will support businesses in creating new and green jobs, and which will promote regeneration, trade, investment and manufacturing innovation.” 

We aim to monitor and campaign in all the relevant policy areas, to ensure that social enterprises of every shape, size and location get their voices heard and get to influence what happens. 

Below is a summary of some of the other most relevant parts of the new Programme for Government. 

Duncan Thorp, Policy and Public Affairs Manager, Social Enterprise Scotland 

A stronger and more resilient Scotland: the Programme for Government 2022 to 2023 

Cost Crisis 

By the end of March 2023, we will have allocated almost £3 billion in measures that will help to mitigate the impact of the cost crisis on households. 

£300 million for concessionary travel, making bus travel free for over 2 million people in Scotland, including all children and young people under 22, disabled people and everyone over 60.’ – member in the COL crisis said how important free travel was  

A Stronger & More Resilient Scotland 

One of the most significant packages of reform we will make over the coming year is to our justice system, transforming our services and putting the needs of victims and survivors firmly at its centre. 

Develop our Land Reform Bill, which will include measures to diversify land ownership and empower communities to benefit from the opportunities presented by nature restoration and the journey to net zero emissions. 

In March 2022, we published Scotland’s 10-year National Strategy for Economic Transformation, which sets out our vision for the transition to a fairer, greener wellbeing economy. 

Children, Young People and Scotland’s National Mission on Child Poverty 

Deliver The Promise Implementation Plan, including investment of £50 million to ensure care experienced people feel that national and local government, and services they interact with (including schools, health boards, and the third sector), are listening and putting their voice into action. 

Excellent Public Services: Recovering Strongly from the Pandemic 

Invest a further £15 million in Children and Young People’s Community Mental Health and Wellbeing, and an additional £15 million in the Communities Mental Health and Wellbeing Fund for adults. 

Tackling the Climate Emergency  

Work with third sector partners and local authorities to consider how best to provide free bus travel to asylum seekers and refugees. 

Restoring Our Environment 

Develop our Land Reform Bill, which will include measures to diversify land ownership and empower communities to benefit from the opportunities presented by nature restoration and the journey to net zero emissions 

Supporting Our Communities 

Increase the transparency and accountability of Scotland’s vital charity sector through our Charities (Regulation) Bill’ which is set to be introduced  

Continue to invest up to £75 million in place based initiatives, which supports our most fragile communities and accelerate our ambitions for place and to help people live well locally. 

Agree a New Deal between the Scottish Government and local government, including a fiscal framework, which will support: Working together to achieve better outcomes for people and communities especially on national priorities including addressing poverty, inequality, and supporting the economy.’ 

Scotland in the World 

We will set out the future of Scotland’s energy system: how we will meet future demand, realise the economic opportunities of moving to a net zero energy system, and secure a just transition, while continuing to engage with the UK Government, regulators and energy companies on improvements that can be made now.’ 

Working with partners on an all Scotland approach 

The First Minister chaired an energy summit on 23 August between energy companies, the Scottish Government and third sector partners.