Tuesday 4 September 2012


The government today announced its legislative programme for the next year. Here are a list of the bills to be introduced. The comments are from "YES to an Independent Scotland"

1. Adult Health & Social Care Integration Bill

The bill will reform planning and provision of adult health and social care services, with the aim of introducing "effective integration" between partners to deliver improved, nationally agreed outcomes.

It will establish joint accountability by health boards and councils for delivery of outcomes, integration of budgets, and improved commissioning and planning of services.

2. Bankruptcy Bill

The bill aims to modernise bankruptcy law, ensuring access to "fair and just processes of debt relief and debt management... which takes account of the rights and interests of those involved".

The government said the proposals would ensure that Scottish debt solutions were fair to both the indebted individual and creditor, returning as much as possible to creditors.

3. Better Regulation Bill

The bill will aim to improve the way regulations are applied, with specific measures to further reform planning and deliver a "simpler and more effective" legislative framework for environmental regulation and enforcement.

4. Budget Bill

The annual Budget Bill provides parliamentary approval for the Scottish government's spending plans.

5. Children and Young People Bill

The bill will aim to introduce a "coherent statutory framework" for planning and delivering services for children and young people.

It will include a commitment to delivering a minimum of 600 hours free early learning and childcare provision.

6. Criminal Justice Bill

The bill will reform and modernise the system for investigation and prosecution of crime in Scotland, following the reviews which have been carried out by Lord Carloway and Sheriff Principal Bowen.

This will include measures to abolish corroboration. At present, all key evidence presented in a criminal prosecution has to be backed by two sources - but Lord Carloway described the current system as "archaic".

7. Forth Estuary Transport Authority Bill

The bill will co-ordinate the management and maintenance of the Forth Road Bridge and the new crossing.

8. Land and Buildings Transaction Tax Bill

The bill will set out how the proposed replacement for stamp duty land tax will operate.

9. Landfill Tax Bill

The bill will put in place a replacement for landfill tax in Scotland, establishing the administration, charges and rules governing the new scheme.

10. Marriage and Civil Partnership Bill

The controversial proposals will allow same sex couples to marry, and will also allow civil partnerships to be registered through a religious ceremony.

However, no religious bodies or celebrants would have to take part in same-sex ceremonies against their will.

The government said ministers were "deeply committed to freedom of speech and religion" and that the concerns of those opposed to same-sex marriage would be properly addressed.

11. Post-16 Education Reform Bill

The bill will provide a legal basis for some aspects of government's plans for post-16 learning reform, with the aim of creating a system which is "better aligned to meet the needs of learners and employers, and therefore help drive jobs and growth".

It will examine issues such as college and university structure and provision, college regionalisation and widening access.

12. Procurement Reform Bill

The bill will establish a national legislative framework for "sustainable public procurement to support economic growth".

The government said it would aim to do this by "delivering community benefits, supporting innovation, considering environmental requirements and promoting public procurement processes and systems which are transparent, streamlined, standardised, proportionate, fair and business-friendly".

13. Referendum Bill

The bill aims to clear the way for an independence referendum to take place in autumn 2014.

It will include provisions for the date of the referendum, the franchise and the procedures to be followed.

The bill will also provide for oversight arrangements to ensure the referendum is run to the highest international standards, with the involvement of the Electoral Commission and Electoral Management Board.

14. Tribunals Bill

The bill will establish a new, simplified statutory framework for tribunals which determine devolved matters.

15. Victims and Witnesses Bill

The bill aims put victims' interests at the heart of improvements to the justice system and ensure that witnesses are able to fulfil their public duty effectively.

It will look to widen access to special measures, such as CCTV links to protect vulnerable witnesses, and ensure that offenders contribute to the cost of supporting victims.


  1. tris

    Cant just see how the shirtlifters bill will pass muster with the pious and deeply religious community(John Mason for example).
    I mean what if a local priest is willing to marry a same sex couple.
    But his bishop/whatever says 'NO' (in the style of Ian Paisley) what happens then will Ian Paisley be arrested and charged with breaking the shirtlifters law.

    Or says you can have yer path to hell but not in my church.

    Um interesting times ahead.......

    referendum bill bit of a damp squib thus far.

  2. niko

    shirtlifters ahem

  3. Referendum bill a bit of a damp squib thus far, Niko?

    Erm... it's only been announced one day; give it time.

    I imagine the Marriage Bill will cause controversy, this time mainly outside of parliament as it is being backed by the Tories and the Liberals, Greens and Margo. Maybe even Lamont will be unable to find something wrong with this, even although it is an SNP bill. Didn't Willie Bain recently tweet that they would oppose ANY SNP bill even if it was Labour policy?

    So she'll either have to object to it, or prove one of her minions to be a blether.

    As for the churches... well that's another story, and probably worth a post on its own.

  4. was that "ahem" or "amen"...?

    I get mixed up.

  5. I see Niko confirms the hostility the Labour Party in Scotland wishes to show Gays and Lesbians, as shown in the Herald by the official Labour reaction to a marriage in Bute House

    Not that they will confirm it openly, just as long as bigots "understand" then they'll be happy

  6. All seems like sensible stuff.

    I hope the SG takes the same sex marriage bill and rams it right down the throat of the religious and pious.

    I understand the term 'shirtlifter' is an alternative name for a male homosexual. I also understand 'fucking idiot' is an alternative name for Niko.

    Personally, I'm looking forward to backward looking religious types blowing a gasket over the SSM bill, lets be honest, its quite entertaining to see.


  7. Pa: I've just written a piece on this debacle!

    LOL...poor old Niko...

  8. Nice to see Niko admitting defeat, YET AGAIN!

    I believe that in any argument you can ALWAYS tell who is losing the argument or in deed has LOST the argument. They start name calling, being abusive, lying, spouting false information etc.

    Isn't that right Niko. We need look NO further that the FIRST sentence of your FIRST post on this topic.