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Scottish Parliament Update

SASW's Communications and Policy Officer Emily Galloway provides a brief overview of what happened last week in Parliament ...

On Tuesday the 16th of February, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon gave her Covid-19 update on Cabinet's review of lockdown restrictions. The core stay at home requirement will remain in place until at least the beginning of March - and possibly for a further period beyond that. Phased and gradual return to school began today, 22nd of February, and the second phase of school re-opening will be set in two weeks' time. However, it was advised that there is unlikely to be any further return to school before the 15th of March. 90% of residents in care homes have had the first dose of the vaccine. This week, the Scottish Government is to publish a revised strategic framework, which will set out when and how we might gradually emerge from lockdown. 

Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Kate Forbes, announced additional funding in the Budget for 2021-22, including £275 million for local government, £25 million to tackle poverty and inequality and £120 million for a mental health recovery.

There was a Cross-Party debate on the Independent Review of Adult Social Care, which more clearly articulated the views of the parties on the recommendations within the Feeley report. This included a focus on the need to remove bureaucratic processes from within the Conservative Party, rejection of centralisation by the Liberal Democrats, support of the creation of a structure that puts social care into parity with the NHS from Labour and the importance of separating care from profit from the Greens. The Cabinet Secretary’s motion was agreed at the end of this debate.

 The Local Government and Communities Committee scrutinised the Cabinet Secretary for Finance on the draft budget and the implications for local authorities. More can be found, here.

The Equalities and Human Rights Commitee considered the draft report into the Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on Equalities and Human Rights.