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Scottish election 2021: business impact of party manifestos

Out-Law Guide | 23 Apr 2021 | 11:48 am | 55 min. read

The Scottish election on 6 May 2021 is arguably the most important to take place since the inception of the Scottish parliament in 1999, with questions of pandemic recovery and Scotland's constitutional future at the front of voters' minds.

Across the board, parties have outlined extensive spending proposals to drive Scotland's post-Covid recovery, with a particular emphasis on the environment, and redressing the economic and social impact of the pandemic.

Here, we look at the potential impact of the main parties' policies on businesses in the energy, infrastructure and real estate sectors; as well as their respective positions on employment, the environment, tax and constitutional affairs. Full manifestos are available for the SNP, Scottish Conservatives, Scottish LabourScottish Liberal Democrats and Scottish Green Party.

  • Renewables

    SNP 
    • Appoint a 'minister of just transition' with responsibility for overseeing a "national mission" of fairness and opportunity
    • Set a target to have renewable and low carbon hydrogen production capacity of at least 5GW by 2030
    • Support the Levenmouth demonstration project to deliver a 100% hydrogen heat network, supplying 300 domestic properties with clean, green hydrogen heating
    • Work with at least three islands over the next parliament to enable them to become fully carbon neutral by 2040
    • Establish a new Green Jobs Workforce Acadamy and invest £100m in the Green Jobs fund
    • Publish a refreshed energy strategy
    • Invest the income raised from future offshore wind leasing rounds in projects that will tackle climate change and create a legacy for the future
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Support the development of emerging renewable technologies such as tidal
    • Make the adoption of green hydrogen a priority, as a fuel source in transport and for supporting the export of renewable power
    • Incentivise the creation of a wind turbine decommissioning centre
    • Ensure that Scotland continues  to be at the forefront of the UK’s expanding offshore wind sector
    • Support the expansion of onshore wind capacity in Scotland where it is agreed by and benefits local communities
    Scottish Labour
    • Enshrine the Just Transition Commission in law to guide and support the long-term shift to net zero emissions fairly
    • Create a Scottish Energy Development Agency to work alongside the national energy company and coordinate growth in renewables
    • Only approve new developments for offshore wind farms when a plan for supply chain manufacturing is in place and conditions on job creation in Scotland are met
    Scottish Green Party
    • Set a target of 1GW of installed tidal energy in Scotland by 2030
    • Create a £25m p.a. top-up revenue support programme for early stage tidal turbines
    • Invest £50m p.a. into a marine renewables and local economic development fund
    • Make public support conditional on supporting Scottish supply chains and meeting fair work standards
      Establish a new onshore wind sector deal that includes a commitment to sourcing at least 70% of the offshore wind supply chain domestically
    • Withdraw support for hydrogen produced from fossil fuels and instead support the development of green hydrogen
    • Directly invest in deployment of innovative renewables and their supply chains
    • Establish a new onshore wind sector deal that includes a commitment to sourcing at least 70% of the onshore wind supply chain domestically
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Develop the principle that Scottish electricity should be "100% renewable for 100% of the time"
    • Ensure Scotland takes forward a strategy for using hydrogen for diverse energy needs
    • Invest in low carbon heat networks, including the potential for connecting whole towns
    • Give Scottish workers the best chance to manufacture offshore wind turbines
    • Review and improve the Community Wind Benefit Scheme to make it easier for more communities to receive a share of the profits of wind generation on their doorsteps

  • Oil & Gas

    SNP 
    • Invest £15m next year to support oil and gas workers to retrain and learn new skills
    • Ensure any government support for the oil and gas sector will be conditional on the industry contributing to a sustainable, secure and inclusive energy transition
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Ensure that the Scottish government is a partner in the North Sea Transition Deal
    Scottish Labour
    • Develop skills in decommissioning 
    • Require a proportion of local procurement from oil companies operating in the UK Continental Shelf region to support Scotland's fabrication and decommissioning industries
    Scottish Green Party
    • Stop issuing new licences for oil and gas exploration and development
    • Revoke undeveloped licences and instigate a review of current permits to assess whether existing facilities should be phased out early through a just transition
    • End subsidies and tax breaks for the oil and gas industry
    • Support safe decommissioning with strict environmental regulations to minimise pollution risks
    • Update Scottish planning guidance to ensure new oil and gas infrastructure, other than that associated with decommissioning, will not receive planning permission
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Establish a successor to the Just Transition Commission with a membership that includes oil and gas workers and communities, trade unions and environmental interests

  • Carbon Capture & Storage

    SNP 
    • Invest £60m to decarbonise industrial and manufacturing sectors
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Work with the UK government to develop and expand Scotland's pumped hydroelectric energy storage and carbon capture capacity
    Scottish Labour  
    Scottish Green Party
    • Oppose public investment in carbon capture and storage
    • Oppose reliance on bioenergy carbon capture and storage
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Support the development of a centre of excellence for carbon capture and efficient energy generation

  • Circular economy

    SNP
    • Introduce a Circular Economy Bill which will contain measures to encourage reuse of products and reduce waste
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Introduce a Circular Economy Bill early in the next Parliament to set new targets for reducing raw material usage
    • Fund the creation of a Centre for Circular Economy Excellence and establish a Circular Economy Awards Scheme to recognise innovation in reuse and waste reduction
    • Work with the UK government to align the introduction the Scottish deposit return scheme with the rest of the UK
    • Establish a £25 million Cleaner Seas Fund - to fund projects that will remove harmful products including plastics from seas
    Scottish Labour
    • Introduce a Circular Economy Bill 
    • Support a new litter strategy
    Scottish Green Party
    • Introduce a Circular Economy Bill with targets to reduce overall consumption of raw materials
    • Replace landfill tax with a local waste disposal tax to disincentivise incineration and waste exports
    • Use public procurement to support the transition to a circular economy
    • Phase out certain plastics including single-use, non- essential plastics that that can easily be replaced by 2025
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Introduce a Circular Economy Law 
    • Secure commitments from industries including food and drink, agriculture, energy, construction and facilities management sectors to adopt circular economy approaches and reduce waste and environmental impact

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Infrastructure

  • Transport

    SNP 
    • Spend 10% of the transport capital budget on walking, cycling and wheeling
    • Invest over £500m to improve bus infrastructure and tackle congestion
    • Bring ScotRail into public ownership from next year, and decarbonise Scotland's rail services by 2035
    • Improve links to Carlisle, and undertake the necessary feasibility work to allow the Borders railway to be extended
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Extend the M8 to three lanes and begin work on a new road to bypass the A83 'Rest and Be Thankful' immediately
    • Introduce a Scottish Smart Travel Card which would enable passengers to use all types of domestic transport anywhere in Scotland with one contactless card
    • Accelerate work to improve rail links between Aberdeen and the Central Belt
    • Increase the share of the transport budget which is spent on active travel to 10%
    Scottish Labour
    • Develop a new strategy to upgrade Scotland's ports
    • Increase active travel spending to 10% of the overall transport budget
    • Create a fund to finance the repair of the essential road and path network
    Scottish Green Party
    • Invest £3.2bn in public transport including the first stage of the 'Rail for All' programme - a 20-year, £22bn programme to renew railways, supporting at least 16,800 jobs
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Aim to double the share of the budget spent on active travel, and bring forward the £50m programme for 'Active Freeway' routes from town centres to outlying neighbourhoods
    • £22bn programme to renew Scotland's railways
    • Institute a full assessment of the potential of a year-round ferry link from Campbeltown to Ardrossan

  • Digital infrastructure

    SNP 
    • Invest £600m in digital infrastructure, mainly in rural and island areas
    • Develop and implement net zero data centres, powered by renewable energy
    • Support the creation of 5G 'innovation hubs' and 'innovation districts' in Scotland
    • Provide funding of up to £5,000 to help homes and businesses obtain superfast broadband in areas where providers may not ordanarily go
    • Update planning and building regulations and rules so that digital connectivity is treated as an essential utility
    • Extend the current 10 year rates relief on new fibre broadband investment for a further five years
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Connect every single home and business property in Scotland to full fibre broadband by 2027
    Scottish Labour
    • Invest in full-fibre broadband, 4G/5G extensions and digital hubs for rural communities
    Scottish Green Party  
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Ensure work to provide superfast broadband to the islands and remote parts of Scotland is not left until last
    • Establish a network of 'community connection managers'

  • Infrastructure investment

    SNP 
    • Invest over £33bn over the next five years in a 'National Infrastructure Mission'
    • Create a National Infrastructure Company to manage and develop public assets for public good
    • Expand Green Investment Portfolio from its current value of £1bn to £3bn
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Deliver a 'Scotland First' approach to procuring goods and services with public money
    • Put the Infrastructure Commission on a statutory footing and make it accountable to the Scottish parliament
    • Invest £200m in a Road Maintenance Fund to repair potholes over the course of the next parliament
    Scottish Labour
    • End the use of private finance for public infrastructure
    Scottish Green Party
    • Invest £7.5bn over the next five years in 'green infrastructure'
    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

  • Housing

    SNP 
    • Deliver a further 100,000 affordable homes by 2032, backed by investment of £3.5bn
    • Invest £1.6bn to decarbonise the heating of homes and other buildings
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Deliver 60,000 new affordable homes, two thirds of these being new social housing
    • Spend over £2.5bn over the next five years on energy efficiency in homes and buildings
    Scottish Labour
    • Retrofit all homes across Scotland to a minimum of energy efficiency rating C by 2030
    • Create a National Housing Agency
    Scottish Green Party
    • Invest £3bn in warm and zero carbon homes and buildings, leveraging £7.5bn in private investment and creating over 75,000 jobs
    • From 2022, require all new homes to meet Passivhaus or other net zero standards, be connected to the public transport system and be built in areas that are not in flood risk zones
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Build 60,000 affordable homes to help address homelessness

  • Social infrastructure

    SNP 
    • Bring forward legislation to introduce Land Value Capture, making sure changes of land use lead to a proportion of any price increase being reinvested in the local community including social infrastructure and affordable housing
    • Introduce a Community Wealth Building Act to redirect wealth, control and benefits to local economies
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Bring forward a Communities Bill to introduce fair funding for Scottish councils based on a set percentage of the Scottish government budget each year
    • Deliver a programme of Community Investment Deals, worth up to £25m each
    • Create a North East enterprise agency to grow the economy of the region, backed by £1bn over the next 10 years
    Scottish Labour
    • Host regular roundtables on Scottish industrial policy
    Scottish Green Party
    • Establish a Scotland-wide programme of 'people and place' centred industrial strategies which would have the powers, mandate and finance needed to enable regions and localities to set out their own industrial plans
    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

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Constitution and external affairs

  • Scottish independence

    SNP 
    • Propose that a referendum on Scottish independence should be held once the immediate Covid-19 crisis has passed, within the first half of the five-year term of the next parliament
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Repeal the Referendum Act
    Scottish Labour
    • Support further devolution of powers to Holyrood but not Scottish independence
    Scottish Green Party
    • Campaign and vote for a referendum within the next parliamentary term and under the terms of the 2020 Referendums Act
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Work at UK level to reform the UK on a federal basis

  • Relationship with EU

    SNP 
    • Maintain and strengthen Scotland's relationship with EU partners, with a view to rejoining as soon as possible
    Scottish Conservatives  
    Scottish Labour
    • Maintain as close a relationship with the EU as possible
    Scottish Green Party
    • Campaign to re-join the EU as an independent nation as soon as possible
    • Rejoin Erasmus+
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Maintain pace with EU policy to keep the option to rejoin the EU in the future

  • External affairs

    SNP 
    • Increase the International Development Fund from £10m to £15m and commit to increases in line with inflation
    • Create a new global affairs framework underpinned by Scotland's fundamental values and priorities, and adopt a feminist foreign policy
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Support the continuation of the Scottish government's £10m International Development Fund
    Scottish Labour
    • Ensure that International Development Programme spending is climate-proofed
    Scottish Green Party  
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Support the establishment of a Scottish Council for Global Affairs
    • Give organisations that receive funding from the Scottish government a new 'licence to criticise', giving them a stronger voice

  • Migration

    SNP 
    • Continue to fund support for EU citizens who seek to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, including after the deadline
    • Establish a Migration Service for Scotland to help people to settle easily into communities across Scotland and access information on rights and services available to them
    • Develop a 'rural visa' pilot as a rural and remote migration initiative
    Scottish Conservatives  
    Scottish Labour
    • Explore the need to reform Scotland's immigration system
    Scottish Green Party
    • Call for the devolution of powers over immigration to the Scottish parliament
    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

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Social security, fair work and skills

  • Skills and apprenticeships

    SNP 
    • Fund a 'Young Person's Guarantee' of a university, college, apprenticeship or training place or job for every young person who wants one
    • Build back up to 30,000 apprenticeship starts
    • Invest an additional £500m over the next parliament to support new jobs and re-skill people for the jobs of the future
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Introduce a 'Right to Retrain' account for every single Scottish adult, giving them £500 to be spent on training each year
    • Expand funding and subject range for foundation and graduate apprenticeships
    Scottish Labour
    • Introduce 5,000 new apprenticeship places in the next financial year
    • Offer an Equal Access Careers programme to provide specific career support, training and placements
    • Establish a Scottish Skills Benefit to offer everyone who is unemployed, and those on furlough, a £500 grant for retraining
    Scottish Green Party
    • Increase funding to colleges and re-introduce part time courses
    • Increase support for apprenticeships and ensure they pay at least the living wage regardless of age
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Expand support for apprenticeships
    • Set a target of a 50:50 male to female split for apprenticeships
    • Introduce a £5,000 'Scottish Training Bond' to help people change careers

  • Fair work

    SNP 
    • Support a specific accreditation programme for 'living hours' in the same way living wage accreditation has been supported
    • Review 'fair work first' criteria for contracts and government support grants to include specific reference to 'fire and rehire' tactics
    Scottish Conservatives  
    Scottish Labour
    • Reintroduce the Scottish Employment Injuries Advisory Council Bill
    • Ensure no publicly procured contract uses zero-hours contracts
    • Establish a Better Business Scotland certification scheme which encourages businesses to adopt Good Work criteria
    Scottish Green Party
    • Use public procurement to require firms to recognise trade unions, ban precarious contracts and pay at least the real living wage
    • Facilitate the creation of national collective bargaining structures in areas linked to the public sector which do not currently have high levels of collective bargaining
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Adopt and extend the current principles of fair work

  • Four-day working week

    SNP 
    • Establish a £10m fund to allow companies to pilot and explore the benefits of a four-day working week
    Scottish Conservatives  
    Scottish Labour
    • Promote pilot schemes to reduce the length of the working week
    Scottish Green Party
    • Support the transition to a four-day working week with no loss of pay
    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

  • Universal Basic Income

    SNP 
    • Start work in the next parliament to provide a 'minimum income guarantee' for all
    Scottish Conservatives  
    Scottish Labour
    • Support the continuation of trials of Universal Basic Income
    Scottish Green Party
    • Negotiate with the UK government to secure the powers to introduce a comprehensive Universal Basic Income pilot
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Develop a system of Universal Basic Income

  • Business rates

    SNP 
    • Maintain the Small Business Bonus for the lifetime of the parliament
    • Gradually reduce the Large Business Supplement over the course of the parliament to ensure that the largest businesses pay the same combined poundage in Scotland as in England
    • Maintain the Business Growth Accelerator which removes rates liabilities for the first 12 months after occupation of new-build premises, and the Fresh Start Scheme which removes liabilities for the first 12 months after occupation of a previously empty property
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Exempt high street and town centres from paying any business rates
    • Maintain the poundage rate freeze until the 2023 revaluation
    • Retain the Small Business Bonus scheme
    • Undertake a wholesale review of the business rates system before the end of the parliament
    Scottish Labour
    • Set up a taskforce to examine how business rates may change to facilitate a contribution to local services from the digital economy 
    • From 2022-23, institute a 20% reduction in non-grocery bricks and mortar business rates, with a 20% increase in the rates paid by retail warehouses
    Scottish Green Party
    • Devolve powers to set, collect and offer reliefs for non-domestic rates locally
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Reform business rates to shift burden to online retailers. This new tax would contain a land value element to avoid penalising businesses which improve their properties, install renewables or made their customers safer from the virus

  • Tax relief

    SNP 
    • Support tax relief for culture and creative industries
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Offer at least 25% rates relief to businesses in 2022-23
    Scottish Labour  
    Scottish Green Party

     

    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Review the rates relief system to give more support to shops on local high streets which have low turnover but a high rateable value

  • Tax avoidance and evasion

    SNP 
    • Explore the possibility of levying a higher business rate poundage rate on properties where the owner is registered in a tax haven
    Scottish Conservatives  
    Scottish Labour
    • Legislate to prevent individuals from acquiring large areas of land and prevent land ownership via offshore tax havens
    Scottish Green Party

     

    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

  • Income tax

    SNP 
    • Maintain current income tax rates for the duration of the parliament and increase thresholds by a maximum of inflation
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Ensure that Scottish taxpayers do not pay higher income tax than those in the rest of the UK, retaining the starter rate for low earners
    Scottish Labour
    • Avoid changing income tax and support changes that generate income from those earning over £100,000 a year
    Scottish Green Party
    • Continue to support a more progressive approach to income tax in Scotland
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Continue to maintain a stable income tax system, with appropriate and affordable indexation of the thresholds

  • Other taxes

    SNP 
    • Undertake a full review of the additional dwelling supplement
    • Undertake a review of air passenger duty (APD) rates and bands. This review would explore the possibility of levying a higher tax on more polluting aircraft
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Support maintaining parity with the rest of the UK on air departure tax
    • Permanently increase the threshold for paying LBTT to £250,000
    Scottish Labour
    • Abolish the Workplace Parking Levy
    Scottish Green Party
    • Apply an urgent one-off windfall tax to the profits enjoyed by larger companies as a result of the pandemic
    • Introduce a 1% annual wealth tax for millionaires, on all wealth and assets above the £1m threshold
    • Replace APD with a 'frequent flyer' levy
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Replace APD with a 'frequent flyer' levy

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Real estate

  • Housebuilding

    SNP 
    • Deliver a further 100,000 affordable homes by 2032. This will be backed by investment of £3.5bn over the parliament and support 14,000 jobs a year
    • Invest £1.6bn over the next parliament to decarbonise the way homes and other buildings are heated
    • Establish a Zero Emissions Social Housing Task Force to advise on requirements in social housing to meet net zero targets and, longer term, inform what is required in the private rented and owner occupier sectors
    • Develop new standards to require new buildings to use renewable or zero emissions heating from 2024
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Deliver 60,000 new affordable homes, with two thirds of these being new social housing
    • Restore funding for the Help to Buy scheme
    Scottish Labour
    • Build at least 120,000 social houses over the next decade, with the aim of building 200,000 in that time
    • Remove the duty on public bodies to maximise the receipts from land sales to enable the transfer of land for social housing
    • Introduce a home ownership support scheme to support people on low incomes
    Scottish Green Party
    • From 2022, require all new homes to meet Passivhaus or other net zero standards, be connected to the public transport system and be built in areas that are not in flood risk zones
    • Support the building of 70,000 homes by 2026 and a further 50,000 homes betwen 2027 and 2032, 70% of which should be for social rent
    • Require private mass housebuilders to provide a proportion of affordable housing built to the same standards as the rest of each development
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Institute a First Time Builders Fund to support population growth in rural areas where there is no existing housing stock available for purchase

  • Planning

    SNP 
    • Set a national objective to increase the amount of housing within town centres and high streets, both through use of existing stock and new developments
    • Introduce a Land Reform Bill to ensure that the public interest is considered on any particularly large scale land ownership and introduce a pre-emption in favour of community buy-out where title to land is transferred
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Amend planning laws so that the Scottish government cannot overturn a local planning decision
    • Relax planning laws to allow for the redevelopment of long-term unoccupied business properties into good quality housing
    • Introduce Compulsory Sales Orders for long-term unoccupied properties in Scotland
    Scottish Labour
    • Amend planning laws to ensure that all future houses are built to the highest available efficiency standards
    • Introduce carbon impact assessments into all policy processes
    Scottish Green Party
    • Equip communities and councils with the tools and power to investigate their own development needs and plan their futures
    • Encourage planning authorities to earmark a wide range of different types and sizes of housing on sites for development
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Create a 'Brownfield First' policy, under which planning applicants should demonstrate that no brownfield land is available for their proposal before permission can be granted on greenfield sites
    • Set out that the climate emergency and Scotland's 2045 net zero target are material considerations to be afforded significant weight in planning decisions
    • Ensure there are community engagement plans in place at the planning stage of major infrastructure projects

  • Private rented sector

    SNP 
    • Reform existing Rent Pressure Zone legislation by way of a new Housing Bill to ensure local authorities can use it to directly address and cap unreasonably high rents in localised areas
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Create a Help to Rent scheme to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to access and sustain a tenancy in the private rented sector
    Scottish Labour
    • Implement Fair Rents Bill proposals to limit rent rises and improve quality standards in the private rented sector
    • Install a regulatory framework for short term lets
    Scottish Green Party
    • From 2025, require all private sector homes to meet at least EPC C standard at the point of sale of major refurbishment
    • Establish a Private Rented Sector Regulator to oversee the sector, investigate tenants' complaints and recommend future reforms
    • Ensure that landlords and letting agents are providing greater transparency through national registers and a strengthened registration process
    • Give tenants the right to keep pets and redecorate
    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

  • Building standards and fire safety

    SNP 
    • Introduce a new Housing Standard, set in law by 2025. This will cover all homes, new and existing, including agricultural properties, mobile homes and tied accomodation and include aspects such as repairing and safety standards, minimum space standards, digital connectivity, future proofing of homes, and energy efficiency and heating standards
    • Invest an initial £100m in single assessments to assess cladding remedial work required
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Ban the use of combustible cladding in Scotland and undertake an extensive audit to identify all buildings where combustible cladding is used and support remedial work where it is needed
    Scottish Labour
    • Support stricter regulation of fire safety and building standards in high-rise buildings
    Scottish Green Party
    • Establish a loan fund for owners' associations to carry out essential works
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Set a target for all new social housing, including affordable homes, to be built to Passivhaus standards by 2025
    • Increase building standards to require all new-build residential properties to meet EPC A ratings by 2025, and Passivhaus standards by 2030
    • Introduce the delayed energy efficiency regulations to require landlords to meet higher energy standards within five years

  • Construction

    SNP 
    • Establish a 'Percentage for the Arts' scheme which will create a requirement for a percentage of the overall cost of a construction project for new public buildings, places or spaces to be spent on community art commissions
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Work with the construction sector to increase the use of timber for building
    Scottish Labour
    • Work with local authorities to establish localised ‘share an apprentice' schemes within priority sectors - initially construction
    Scottish Green Party

     

    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

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Technology, science and industry

  • Life sciences

    SNP 
    • Implement Scotland’s Global Capital Investment Plan to support Scotland’s start-up and scale-up businesses in key sectors including life sciences
    • Create an NHS National Pharmaceutical Agency 
    • Allocate £10 million for new diagnostic techniques and rollout the redesign of urgent care
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Train more independent prescribers to enable pharmacists to treat a wider range of common conditions
    Scottish Labour  
    Scottish Green Party  
    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

  • Diversified industrial

    SNP
    • Work with the space sector to develop launch sites, grow manufacturing jobs and enhance data analytics capability
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Use the Scottish National Investment Bank to support innovation in the economy, including in the Scottish space sector
    Scottish Labour
    • Appoint a Minister for Entrepreneurship
    • Support the development of Scottish data hubs and local supply chain manufacturing
    Scottish Green Party  
    Scottish Liberal Democrats  

  • Mobility

    SNP 
    • Explore the use of hydrogen trains as an alternative to diesel and electrification, aiming for at least one pilot service to be in operation by the end of the parliament
    • Reduce the use of cars, measured in 'car kilometres', by 20% by 2030
    • Remove the majority of fossil fuel buses from public transport in Scotland by 2030 and invest £120m in zero emission buses
    • Invest in more sustainable ferries, reducing the carbon footprint of Scotland's ferry fleet
    • Continue work to pilot low or zero emission planes between Scotland's islands
    Scottish Conservatives
    • Deliver a complete national charging infrastructure for electric vehicles by 2025
    • Review barriers to and launch a new scheme to support the installation of charging points outside flats, and require all new large developments to incorporate charging points
    • Promote hydrogen-powered vehicles and carry out a feasibility study on a 'hydrogen network' between Aberdeen and Inverness
    Scottish Labour
    • Support feasibility studies to establish a network of mobility hubs across Scotland 
    • Ensure Scotland has the first ultra-low emission police service fleet of vehicles in the UK
    • Consult on changing the default speed limit on restricted roads to 20 mph
    • Promote the manufacture and the widespread introduction of accessible low-emission vehicles, including hydrogen-powered buses
    • Explore the possibility of siting a 'gigafactory' in Scotland to build the batteries for electric vehicles 
    Scottish Green Party  
    Scottish Liberal Democrats
    • Decarbonise commuting through more support for e-bikes
    • Set an ambition across government to make all city and town centres vehicle emissions free by 2030
    • Make progress towards a network of well-maintained rapid chargers for electric vehicles