Duncan Thorp provides an analysis
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 five 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 £800m plus there will be six new ‘tech scalers’, two ‘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.
Duncan Thorp is policy and public affairs manager at Social Enterprise Scotland.