Nicola Sturgeon set to announce '12 new bills' says host
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BBC Breakfast Political correspondent David Wallace Lockhart has revealed what is to be expected on Tuesday, as Nicola Sturgeon is set to announce net-zero recovery plans in Holyrood. However, the Scottish Conservatives are warning against any announcement that would “break up the country”. Mr Wallace Lockhart said: “Nicola Sturgeon has recently asked the Scottish Greens to join her Government, so I think that gives us an idea of the direction she wants to take.
“She’s going to talk about economic recovery, specifically a net-zero recovery so one that’s more environmentally friendly.
“But there’ll be much more to today’s proceedings than that possibly over 12 bills are going to be announced, including one to introduce wraparound childcare for those on board income, so free childcare before school, after school, and over the holidays.”
He continued: “The SNP, in the recent election in Scotland, also talked about creating a national care service as a priority so we need to hear about that, and also plans to make it easier for people in Scotland to change their legally recognised gender.
“We’re also expecting a law to pardon, pardon minors convicted in the 1980s.
“For all the detail on this, we’re gonna have to wait till Nicola Sturgeon speaks in Hollywood this afternoon.”
He went on: “The Scottish Conservatives are saying there must be a laser focus on a jobs recovery plan, and they’re warning against any announcements on as they see it, breaking up the country.
“So about his warnings against a second independence referendum.
“Now, Nicola Sturgeon paused planning on Independence when the pandemic hit, probably too early for concrete plans on that.
“At the moment Scotland’s still seeing very high COVID cases at the moment, but possible.”
Mr Wallace Lockhart added: “We will hear her plans to take that forward her party’s ultimate aim of independence in the years ahead.”
Ms Sturgeon is likely to include new bills supporting the key themes of the SNP’s power-sharing deal with the Greens as she outlines her Government’s plans for the next year.
The Scottish Conservatives have called for the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to be the key focus in the year ahead.
Leader Douglas Ross said: “Risking Scotland’s economic recovery in pursuit of political goals could have disastrous consequences, now more than ever.
“Nicola Sturgeon must avoid at all costs the uncertainty and damage that could stem from shunning the oil and gas industry, punishing car drivers or worst of all, seeking to break up the country in the middle of a crisis.”
During the election, the SNP pledged to double the amount paid out to the poorest families from the Scottish Child Payment, but it appears unlikely that announcement will come on Tuesday.
Ms Sturgeon told the PA agency ahead of her speech: “We’ve committed to doubling the child payment within the lifetime of this parliament.
“Clearly we’ve got to consider the timing of that in the context of our spending review and our budget considerations – we want to do it as quickly as possible.”
She added: “Yes, we want to go further, but we have to do that in a way that’s deliverable and affordable.”
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