January 5, 2018

👩‍💻  1,000 Scottish businesses are now accredited Living Wage employers.

Read more on our record below:


The list of SNP government achievements is long and wide-ranging. After a decade of Westminster cuts, the SNP government is working harder than ever to protect the most vulnerable in our society and deliver the best public services anywhere in the UK.


  • Record health funding - over £13.1 billion in 2018-19, £4 billion more than when we took office.

  • Higher exam passes up by nearly a third since 2007, and we’re investing record amounts in schools to close the attainment gap. £120 million will go direct to schools this year alone.

  • Free tuition protected, saving students in Scotland up to £27,000 compared to the cost of studying in England.

  • Free, high quality childcare has been increased to 16 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds – up from 12.5 hours in 2007 – and extended to 2 year olds from low income households, saving families up to £2,500 per child per year in total.

  • We continue to meet our world-leading climate change targets. We remain well on track to achieve a 42 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

  • In 2017 the number of people in work has reached a record high, outperforming the UK on female employment and youth unemployment is amongst the lowest in the EU.

  • We’ve kept Council Tax down. Bills are lower in Scotland than in England - by between £300 and £400.

  • Prescription charges abolished. In England, patients are forced to pay £8.60 per item.

  • We’re leading the way on fair pay. 1,000 organisations are now accredited Living Wage employers - one quarter to the total across the UK.

  • Over 70,000 affordable homes delivered, with a further 23,000 households supported into homeownership.

  • 16 and 17 year olds now have the right to vote in Scottish Parliament and local government elections.

  • To help protect jobs and businesses through the recession, we’ve slashed or abolished business rates for 100,000 premises – saving small businesses £1.3 billion to date.

  • Recorded crime in Scotland has reached its lowest level in 43 years.

  • Scotland, with one of the most progressive equal marriage laws in the world, has been rated the top or second top country in Europe for LGBTI equality and human rights for three years.

  • We’re standing up for Scottish industry. We have secured a future for Scottish steel, the last remaining aluminium smelter at Lochaber, and Ferguson shipyard too.


A healthier Scotland 
  • The number of staff in our NHS is at a record high - up 12,400 over the last 10 years.

  • Patient satisfaction continues to increase with 90 per cent of NHS Scotland patients rating their care and treatment as good or excellent.

  • Scotland’s A&E services are the best performing in the UK.

  • We have brought forward plans for a £5 million expansion of the Golden Jubilee Hospital - the first part of our plan to invest £200 million in a network of elective and diagnostic treatment centres to help meet the needs of an ageing population.

  • Over £5 billion has been invested in Scotland’s health infrastructure since 2007, including the South Glasgow Hospitals and Emergency Care Centre in Aberdeen.

  • We’ve kept healthcare local. That means A&E units have been saved, children’s cancer services and neurosurgery units protected, and maternity units kept open.

  • Nurses in Scotland are better paid than anywhere else in the UK. A nurse in Scotland, at Band 5, is paid between £225 and £309 more than their English counterparts.

  • We’re supporting the lowest paid workers in our NHS by delivering the real Living Wage. Entry level pay for NHS support staff, Band 1, in Scotland is £1,128 higher than England, and over £2,095 higher than Northern Ireland.

  • We’re recruiting more GPs by increasing the number of training places from 300 to 400 each year.

  • We’re training more paramedics, with a commitment to train 1,000 more by the end of this Scottish Parliament term.

  • IVF is being expanded to more families – making access in Scotland the fairest and most generous in the UK.

  • We have legislated for Minimum Unit Pricing to tackle Scotland’s relationship with alcohol and will introduce this world-leading measure from 1 May 2018.

  • Our hospitals are cleaner and safer. In over 65s cases of C.Diff are down 87 per cent, and cases of MRSA are down 94 per cent.

  • Almost £40 million has been invested to raise public awareness of cancer, and catch it sooner, driving earlier diagnosis in a range of cancers.

  • The risk from cervical cancer for the next generation of young women has been cut by providing the HPV vaccine for girls in second year of secondary school.

  • Scrapping parking charges at all NHS-run hospital car parks has saved patients and staff around £27 million.

  • Scotland has the highest number of GPs per head of population in the UK, and we’ve made sure more practices are now open in the evenings and at weekends.

  • Scotland was the first country in the UK to have a mental health waiting times target, and spending on mental health services in Scotland will exceed £1 billion for the first time in 2017-18.

  • A record nine in ten people are now registered with an NHS dentist – up from just 52 per cent when we took office.

  • More funding than ever before is being provided to support carers and young carers, with investment of over £122 million in a range of programmes since 2007.

  • We will begin the work to allow the implementation of ‘Franks Law’, providing free personal care for those under 65 who are assessed as needing it.

  • Irresponsible alcohol discounts in supermarkets and off-licences are now banned, and we’ve raised the legal age for buying tobacco to 18.

  • We’ve banned smoking in any vehicle carrying anyone under 18.

  • We are consulting on key commitments to limit the promotion of products high in fat, sugar and salt, which disproportionately contribute to ill health and obesity.

  • Everyone who uses social care services can now control their individual care budget through the Self-directed Support Act.

  • We’ve provided extra funding for Scotland’s veteran charities, and ensured our ex-service men and women receive priority treatment in the NHS and other services.

  • We will bring forward an Organ and Tissue Donation Bill to introduce a workable soft opt out system of organ donation, after consulting on ways to to further increase organ donation and transplantation.


A smarter Scotland


  • All children in primaries 1 to 3 – around 135,000 pupils – are now benefiting from free school meals, saving families around £380 per child per year.

  • We have launched the Scottish Attainment Challenge, and investment in that programme will be £750 million over the life of this Parliament.

  • Total revenue spending on schools has risen by at least £349 million since 2006-07, and spending per pupil is higher in Scotland than England.

  • More school pupils are now in well-designed, accessible and inclusive learning environments. Between 2007 and 2017, 751 schools were built or refurbished – more than twice as many as the previous Labour/LibDem administrations.

  • Record numbers of Scots are being accepted to study at university with record numbers from our most deprived communities too.

  • The number of Higher passes has been over 150,000 for the last three years.

  • The First Minister’s Reading Challenge, which aims to encourage children to read for pleasure, has been opened to all primary school pupils after the success of the initial scheme for primaries 4 to 7.

  • The Disabled Students Allowance has been protected and bursaries for students have been maintained in Scotland, while the Tories have abolished both elsewhere in the UK.

  • We’ve expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance in Scotland – now scrapped south of the border – to support even more school pupils and college students from low income families.

  • We continue to maintain at least 116,000 full-time equivalent Scottish Government-funded college places.

  • We’re supporting a further £300 million of investment to deliver new campuses at City of Glasgow, Inverness and Ayrshire Colleges. And Forth Valley and Fife Colleges will share £140 million for new campuses too.

  • We’re providing our further education students with record levels of support of £107 million in 2017-18 - up 32 per cent under the SNP.

  • The number of full-time college students completing recognised higher education qualifications is at an all-time high.

  • Full-time college students in Scotland can now benefit from the highest bursary of anywhere in the UK. A record number of Scots have been supported into university, and young people from the most deprived areas are now more likely to study at university.

  • The number of graduates from Scottish universities going into work or further study is among the highest in the UK.

  • Graduates from Scottish universities are earning more than their counterparts in other UK nations.

  • Taken together, the package of support for university students is the best in the UK – with free tuition; low interest rates for student loan repayments; and a minimum income guarantee of £7,625. And we are committed to doing more.

  • Since 2007, the number of female entrants in STEM subjects at Scottish universities has increased by 20 per cent in first degree courses and 36 per cent in postgraduate courses.


A wealthier Scotland


  • Youth unemployment is now amongst the lowest in the EU.

  • Scotland is the top destination in the UK, outside of London, for foreign direct investment.

  • Today Scotland has the highest pay anywhere in the UK outside of London and the South East.

  • Scotland’s productivity is outperforming the UK as a whole. Output per hour worked has grown 3.5 per cent in Scotland in 2015, compared to a UK figure of 0.9 per cent. Since the start of the recession, productivity in Scotland has increased by 7.6 per cent, while it has grown by only 0.6 per cent in the UK as a whole.

  • Over 220,000 young people have had the opportunity to undertake a Modern Apprenticeship since 2007. And by 2020, a further 30,000 opportunities will be available every year.

  • Councils have been enabled to build new homes for the first time in years – with 8,819 new council homes delivered.

  • 15,500 social houses for rent have been safeguarded by ending Right to Buy.

  • We’re taking action to stimulate Scotland’s economy following the result of the EU referendum. This includes bringing forward £100 million of government spending on infrastructure, and a £500 million Scottish Growth Scheme to support businesses - particularly start-up companies - with the potential to grow and export more.

  • £500 million has been committed to stimulate and support economic growth in Glasgow and the Clyde Valley.

  • £125 million has been allocated through the Aberdeen City Region Deal to stimulate and support economic growth in the city, alongside an additional £254 million for infrastructure projects in the North-east.

  • We are investing £135 million in the Inverness and Highland City Region Deal – two and a half times the UK Government investment.

  • By the end of 2021 we will have committed £1 billion to tackling fuel poverty, and over one million energy efficiency measures have already been installed in almost one million households across Scotland.

  • We’ve helped people into homeownership through the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax, which has kept more than 24,000 households out of tax compared to UK Stamp Duty that it replaced.

  • Public sector procurement has been simplified, with more small and medium-sized enterprises now competing for and winning public sector contracts.

  • The number of registered businesses in Scotland has reached 176,400, the highest number on record.

  • Scotland’s international exports - valued at £28.7 billion in 2015 - are up 41 per cent under the SNP.

  • Scotland’s tourism industry is going from strength to strength – with over 14 million tourists visiting Scotland in 2015.

  • Spending on economic development in Scotland is higher than the UK as a whole – to the tune of £43 per head.

  • We will invest a further £60 million to deliver innovative low carbon energy solutions, such as electricity storage and sustainable heating systems - to improve energy efficiency as we look to a low carbon future.

  • We won new powers over tax and social security, and protected Scotland’s budget from a £7 billion cut by the Treasury over the financial arrangements enabling new powers.

  • We have begun work to establish a Scottish National Investment Bank, supporting businesses with the long-term investment they need to grow.


A fairer Scotland


  • All babies in Scotland are now provided with a Baby Box in a bid to reduce infant mortality and help families at the start of a child’s life.

  • In 2011, we became the first government in the UK to pay the real Living Wage to our staff, including all NHS workers. We have now extended the real Living Wage to all adult social care workers.

  • We have already ensured that nobody in Scotland has to pay the Bedroom Tax. And we will use new powers to effectively abolish it once and for all, protecting over 70,000 households.

  • Over 265,000 low income households in crisis have been helped to buy essentials such as nappies, food and cookers through our Scottish Welfare Fund since it was established in 2013.

  • 1.3 million older and disabled people have benefited from free public transport through the National Concessionary Bus Travel Scheme.

  • Around 77,000 older people in Scotland benefit from access to a wide range of personal care tasks without being charged.

  • Over half a million vulnerable households in Scotland – including around 184,000 pensioners and over 78,000 single parents – have been protected from UK Government cuts to Council Tax benefit.

  • We have passed a Child Poverty Bill which will set targets to end child poverty by 2030, and will establish a new £50 million fund to tackle poverty at a grassroots level.

  • We have already safeguarded the rights of 2,600 of the most severely disabled by establishing the Scottish Independent Living Fund.

  • We’ve kept Scottish Water in public hands. Customers are now paying less for a better service – charges for the average household bill in Scotland are £38 lower than in England and Wales.

  • Our new employment support programmes will be on a voluntary basis and will not interact with the UK government’s punitive benefit sanctions system.

  • Over 400 companies have signed the Scottish Business Pledge - a voluntary code for companies to commit to policies that boost productivity, recognise fairness and increase diversity.

  • We are investing £185,000 to help women who have had career breaks back into the workplace, by investing in six Returners projects.

  • We are leading a 50:50 campaign to encourage public, third and private sector companies to commit to boardroom gender equality by 2020.

  • We now have Scotland’s first cabinet with an equal number of women and men.

  • We have launched a £300,000 Sports Equality Fund with the aim of increasing women’s engagement in sport.


A safer Scotland


  • Since we took office, non-sexual violent crime is down by 49 per cent,  robberies are down 60 per cent and handling offensive weapons – including knife crime – is down by 68 per cent.

  • In Scotland, under the SNP, police numbers are up, while they’ve fallen in England. 

  • The new Scottish Crime Campus provides a focal point for excellence in intelligence-sharing, evidence gathering and forensic science to tackle serious organised crime.

  • Automatic early release has been ended, meaning that long-term prisoners who pose an unacceptable risk to public safety will serve their sentence in full.

  • The reconviction rate has been reduced to its lowest level in 18 years, thanks to tough community sentences.

  • £75 million has been seized from criminals and has been reinvested in community projects for young people across Scotland.

  • HMP Low Moss opened in March 2012 and HMP Grampian opened in March 2014, two major parts of our prison building programme.

  • Access to air weapons has been tightened to improve public safety.

  • Tackling sectarianism has been backed up with record investment.

  • The new Scottish Fire and Rescue Service has been created. 

  • Scotland has the UK’s first national action plan on human rights, showing our ambition to be an example of how to realise human rights and tackle injustice at home and abroad.

  • We will increase the minimum age a child can be held criminally responsible from eight to 12 through our Minimum Age of Criminal Responsibility Bill, keeping children out of the court system and reinforcing Scotland’s commitment to international human rights standards.

 Investing for the future


  • We have delivered the £1.35 billion Queensferry Crossing.

  • We’ve connected Glasgow to Edinburgh with continuous motorway for the first time.

  • Commuters have saved around £2,000 since bridge tolls on the Forth Road Bridge and Tay Bridge were scrapped by the SNP.

  • We have invested twice as much per head in the rail network in Scotland than the UK Government –  £7 billion in rail since 2007.

  • The Borders Railway, the longest new domestic railway to be built in Britain in over 100 years, has reopened and welcomed over 1 million passengers in its first year.

  • A £5 billion investment programme in Scotland’s railways up to 2019 will deliver longer, greener trains, new stations, new track upgrades, more seats, and more services.

  • The first section of our £3 billion project to dual the A9 from Perth to Inverness has been completed.  

  • Construction of the £745 million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route is underway.

  • In the South of Scotland we’re taking forward the construction of the Maybole bypass on the A77, making further improvements to the A75 and exploring how to better connect Dumfries and the M74.

  • Contracts worth £97 million will protect the 150-strong workforce and create 100 new jobs at the last commercial shipyard on the Clyde.

  • With government assistance a new buyer was found for the Ferguson shipyard in Port Glasgow and it has now delivered the first of two new hybrid ferries.

  • We’re on track to provide broadband access to 95 per cent of premises by the end of 2017, and we’ll reach 100 per cent by 2021.


Empowering communities


  • Scotland’s independence referendum was the biggest democratic exercise in Scotland’s history.

  • We’ve launched a £200,000 Access to Politics Fund to help disabled people stand for the 2017 local government elections. And we will continue the fund for the Scottish Parliament elections in 2021.

  • Local communities have been given a voice in the planning and delivery of local services - backed up by £20 million of funding - through the Community Empowerment Act.

  • The Scottish Land Fund has already helped 111 communities across the country to purchase land, with over 500,000 acres now in community ownership. And the Fund has been increased to £10 million per year.

  • The radical and ambitious Land Reform Act has been passed to transform rules around the ownership, accessibility and benefits of land in Scotland.


A greener Scotland


  • Scotland has exceeded its target to produce 50 per cent of its electricity from renewables by 2015 - with almost 60 per cent of Scotland’s electricity needs met from renewable sources.

  • Scotland is outperforming the UK as a whole and most western European nations in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Only Sweden and Finland have achieved greater reductions.

  • With the support of the SNP Scottish Government, low carbon industries in Scotland and their supply chains generated almost £10.5 billion for the economy in 2015.

  • We have banned fracking and underground coal gasification in Scotland.

  • Scotland’s household recycling rate was 45.2 per cent in 2016 – up from around 32 per cent for municipal waste in 2007.

  • Carrier bag use has been reduced by 80 per cent - the equivalent of 650 million bags - in the first year of the carrier bag charge.

  • We’ve helped make our communities safer from flooding with investment in flood defences and new measures in the Flooding Act. And we’ve agreed a new 10 year funding strategy for flood protection, consisting of £42 million a year, aiming to protect 10,000 families across Scotland.

  • From 2018-19, investment in walking and cycling in Scotland will be doubled to £80 million a year.

  • By 2021, £21 million will have been distributed through the world-leading Climate Justice Fund, which is now supporting projects in Malawi, Zambia and Rwanda.

  • We are ensuring the clean, green status of our valuable food and drink sector is protected by opting out of the cultivation of genetically modified crops.


Supporting rural communities 


  • A record £1 billion has been invested in vessels, ports and ferry services since 2007 as part of our commitment to our islands and remote communities, with six ferries added to CalMac’s fleet and two new ferries due for delivery in 2018.

  • Road Equivalent Tariff has been rolled out to all ferry routes in the Clyde and Hebrides network, delivering significantly reduced ferry fares and the highest passenger numbers since 1997.

  • Residents of Caithness and north-west Sutherland, Colonsay, Islay, Jura, Orkney, Shetland and the Western Isles are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on air fares.

  • With produce output worth around £2.3 billion a year and around 65,000 people directly employed, we work tirelessly to get the best deal for Scotland’s farmers, crofters and growers.

  • We played a key role in reforming EU fisheries policy to bring an end to the wasteful discarding of fish at sea.

  • With food and drink exports valued over £5.5 billion and 14,000 new jobs estimated to be created in the sector by 2020, we strive to promote Scotland’s top quality produce.

  • We’ve frozen fares on Northern Isles ferries and, in 2018, we’ll introduce a scheme to reduce fares.

  • The clean, green status of our valuable food and drink sector has been protected by opting out of the cultivation of genetically modified crops in Scotland.

  • Scotland’s first National Marine Plan aims to achieve the sustainable development of our seas.

Enabling creativity and sport


  • Free access has been maintained to our national museums and galleries, which now welcome four million visitors every year.

  • We are ensuring Scotland is on the centre stage for major events, providing funding for the European Championships 2018, the Solheim Cup 2019 and the UEFA Euro 2020.

  • We are ensuring Scotland is on the centre stage for major events, providing funding for the European Championships 2018, the Solheim Cup 2019 and the UEFA Euro 2020.

  • Since the SNP government backed the 'Daily Mile' challenge over half a million children in over 3,000 of Scotland's schools now walk or run a mile each day. This isn’t culture, it’s sport/ education

  • 98 per cent of primary and secondary schools across Scotland are now providing two hours of physical education a week – up from 10 per cent in 2005.

  • Since 2007 production spend in Scotland has increased by 200% - in 2018-19 we will double public sector funding for Scotland’s screen sector to £20 million and support the establishment of a dedicated unit for film and TV, based within Creative Scotland.

  • Over £130 million has been invested in our cultural infrastructure - including the revamped National Museum of Scotland, National Portrait Gallery, and homes for our performing companies including National Theatre of Scotland and The Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

  • We have provided £19 million investment in Edinburgh’s major festivals since 2008. We will now add investment through a new fund, PLACE - Platform for Creative Excellence partnership, starting with £1m next year.  

  • We have invested £25 million in the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, which will open in 2018.

  • We are committed to supporting MG Alba, which operates BBC Alba and received £12.8 million funding in 2016-17 alone.


…but there’s still much more we want to do. Together, we will continue to shape a fairer, more successful Scotland.

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