Tackling climate change and inequality key to Sturgeon’s new policies

Addressing inequality and tackling climate changes are central to Nicola Sturgeon’s new legislative plan covering the next 12 months.

The First Minister will set out her programme for government on Tuesday when the Scottish Parliament returns from its summer recess.

She said an “ambitious” legislative agenda will show the Scottish Government is “stepping up” while Westminster is “shutting down”.

The policy programme will outline 14 new bills the Government plans to introduce at Holyrood in the next year, as well as continuing legislation from last year.

Speaking ahead of her announcement on Tuesday, the SNP leader said: “The Scottish Parliament returns this week 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 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.

“This year’s ambitious 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.”

She said Scotland needs to “redouble our efforts” to meet its climate change targets.

“That is why this year’s programme for government 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,” Ms Sturgeon added.

“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.

“In addition, the programme for government will also focus on continuing to build a successful and fair economy which reduces inequality, improves quality of life and supports and benefits everyone in society.

“But it cannot be stressed enough – while we are doing everything we can to move Scotland forward, the threat to our economy and our society from the right-wing Brexiteer cabal occupying Downing Street cannot be mitigated away.”

She added that recent events have “highlighted the need” for Scotland to have the option of independence.

Maurice Golden, Scottish Conservative chief whip, said: “This failing SNP government is on course to oversee one of the least productive sessions of any Scottish Parliament in history.

“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.”

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