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Scottish Parliament Update

SASW's Communications and Policy Officer, Emily Galloway, outlines what happened last week in parliament ...

On 9 March, the First Minister delivered a statement and answered questions from MSPs on Covid-19. Read the official report, here. 

The Budget (Scotland) Bill passed on 9th March. The bill sets out the Government’s plans for the financial year 2021-22 – more here

The Hate Crime and Public Order (Scotland) Bill passed on 11 March 2021. This bill proposes to update existing hate crime laws and expand these to include certain groups. It also looks to pull all existing hate crime laws into one bill. 

Redress for Survivors (Historical Child Abuse in Care) (Scotland) Bill  passed on 11 March 2021. This bill proposes to establish a scheme of financial redress and support for survivors of historical child abuse in certain residential care settings in Scotland. It also proposes to establish a new independent public body, Redress Scotland, to make decisions about payments. 

The Local Government and Communities Committee took evidence on the issue of No Recourse to Public Funds. The Committees attention was drawn to the vulnerability of asylum seekers and those with insecure immigration status. In particular, the committee was concerned about the plight of people with no recourse to public funds and the gaps that those seeking to help them in local authorities and the third sector found in the system. . You can read the official report, here

The Health and Sport Committee held an evidence session with the Minister for Drugs Policy, Angela Constance, on the Scottish Government’s updated plans and proposals for drugs policy in Scotland. The official report can be found, here. 

Subject to the outcome of the 2021 Scottish Parliamentary Election, Equalities Secretary Shirley-Anne Somerville announced a new Human Rights Bill that will incorporate four United Nations Human Rights treaties into Scots Law, including legislation that enhances human rights for women, disabled people and minority ethnic communities.