Yesterday the First Minister launched her Government’s programme for 2015-16. This will be the legislation that the Scottish Government will bring forward ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections in May.
With the Scottish election on the horizon, we have a shorter parliamentary year than normal so it is important that we use the time that we have to make progress in a number of key areas.
I was delighted to be able to speak during the debate. I want to see the transfer of power to local communities, empowering them to deliver the change that they need. It won’t be easy for a number of factors but the rewards will be huge if we see people engaging more in their communities, making decisions every day rather than just at the ballot box.
I also want to see major progress in educational attainment. Too many young people are still leaving school not having achieved as much as they could have. This must be addressed. Fife is making positive progress in raising literacy levels and lessons could be learned for the rest of the country. We should look at these as we debate how we raise literacy and numeracy rates in Scotland.
Scottish politics will be heavily engaged with two other issues in the year ahead, the EU referendum and BBC charter renewal. I am delighted to be at the heart of both debates for the Scottish Labour Party and I will be taking an inclusive approach that puts people, not politics, at the centre of these decisions.
You can watch the debate and my speech here:
Or read a copy of it here: Programme for Government 2015/16