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SNP 'still playing catch up' on last year's Programme for Government

The SNP is still playing catch up on the 2016 Programme for Government, days before it is set to announce another one for the year ahead.

Analysis by the Scottish Conservatives has revealed less than a quarter of the bills proposed this time last year have been passed.

Nicola Sturgeon said in the 2016 programme that she wanted to pass bills on vital issues like domestic abuse, child poverty, housing and social security.

However, just three were passed before Holyrood stopped for recess in June – bills on air passenger duty, railway policing and childhood abuse.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has urged the SNP to use the opportunity of the coming year to make use of the Scottish Parliament’s powers.

Last week, Ruth outlined her plan to resolve Scotland’s housing crisis, with a new generation of new towns.

In the coming weeks, the party will also set out ideas on the NHS and on economic growth.

It will also back calls for an Education Bill, Frank’s Law – to allow under 65s with conditions like dementia to receive free personal care – and moves to introduce whole life sentencing.

Bills on local government funding, business rates and planning should also be considered in the year ahead, she added.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said:

“People in Scotland have given all political parties a very clear message – to get back to the day job and focus on the things that really matter.

“As Holyrood returns to business this week, we are focused on exactly that.

“It’s time to dump the endless debate about independence, and put the focus back on the forgotten issues.

“Scotland cannot afford a repeat of last year’s Programme for Government, when the SNP set out a range of ideas, but delivered on hardly any.

“Even without the upcoming programme, ministers would still be playing catch up on last year.

“We need to build more homes, recruit more teachers and get our economy back in the fast lane.

“A Scottish Conservative government would be focusing on these priorities in a programme for government this week, and we urge the SNP to follow suit.

“The constitution is now in the past. The future is about providing a better deal for Scotland as we move forward.”

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