Programme for Government 2022 to 2023

Focuses on creating a stronger and more resilient Scotland.

The Legislative Programme 2022‑23

The Scottish Government's new legislative programme will support delivery of our core strategic priorities.

We have made good progress delivering legislative commitments announced in the 2021‑22 Programme for Government. Sixteen Bills were introduced to the Scottish Parliament with 11 having now concluded their parliamentary passage, including Bills to respond to and help recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Bills concerning fireworks, miners' strike pardons and non-domestic rates.

The remaining 5 Bills currently in Parliament are at Stage 1 of their parliamentary scrutiny. Legislation was introduced to reform how remand is used and how release mechanisms work for certain prisoners in a Bail and Release from Custody Bill. A Gender Recognition Reform Bill was introduced to reform the Gender Recognition Act 2004 to provide a more streamlined process for transgender men and women applying for legal gender recognition. The Hunting with Dogs Bill will strengthen the law relating to the use of dogs to hunt foxes and other wild mammals, implementing the majority of the recommendations of the independent report on the Protection of Wild Mammals (Scotland) Act 2002, and introducing further measures such as prohibiting trail hunting. A Moveable Transactions Bill has also been introduced to make various types of commercial transactions more efficient, less expensive, and less complicated than at present, leading to easier access to finance for businesses in Scotland, supporting our competitiveness, and aiding our economic recovery. The National Care Service Bill establishes the legal case for a National Care Service.

The Scottish Government intends to introduce a further 18 Bills over the course of the parliamentary year, as set out below. Additionally, following the UK Supreme Court's judgement on the European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill ("the European Charter Bill") and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Bill ("the UNCRC Bill"), the Scottish Government will amend the UNCRC Bill and bring it back to the Scottish Parliament for Reconsideration Stage.

The Scottish Government will also support the European Charter Bill, and will work closely with Mark Ruskell MSP, as the designated member in charge of that Bill, to support him in bringing it back for Reconsideration Stage. Subject to the detail of a forthcoming Supreme Court judgment, the Scottish Government will also support Gillian Mackay MSP with the development and drafting of her proposed Member's Bill to protect safe access for women to healthcare facilities that provide abortion services.

Bills for introduction 2022‑23

  • Annual Budget (No.2)
  • Bankruptcy and Diligence
  • Charities (Regulation)
  • Children's Care and Justice
  • Circular Economy
  • Criminal Justice Reform
  • Education Reform
  • Housing (2 bills)
  • Independence Referendum
  • Legal Services Regulation Reform
  • Local Visitor Levy
  • Patient Safety Commissioner
  • Police Complaints and Misconduct Handling
  • Public Health (Restriction of Promotions)
  • Scottish Aggregates Levy
  • Trusts and Succession
  • Wildlife Management (Grouse)

Bills in the Parliament

  • Bail and Release from Custody (Scotland) Bill (introduced 8 June 2022)
  • Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill (introduced 2 March 2022)
  • Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill (introduced 24 February 2022)
  • Moveable Transactions (Scotland) Bill (introduced 25 May 2022)
  • National Care Service (Scotland) Bill (introduced 20 June 2022)

Bills passed this Session

  • Budget (Scotland) Bill
  • Carer's Allowance Supplement (Scotland) Bill
  • Coronavirus (Discretionary Compensation for Self-isolation) (Scotland) Bill
  • Coronavirus (Extension and Expiry) (Scotland) Bill
  • Coronavirus (Recovery and Reform) (Scotland) Bill
  • Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill
  • Good Food Nation (Scotland) Bill
  • Miners' Strike (Pardons) (Scotland) Bill
  • Non-Domestic Rates (Coronavirus) (Scotland) Bill
  • Scottish Local Government Elections (Candidacy Rights of Foreign Nationals) Bill
  • Transvaginal Mesh Removal (Cost Reimbursement) (Scotland) Bill

Summary of Bills for Introduction

Annual Budget (No.2)

The annual Budget Bill provides parliamentary approval for the Scottish Government's spending plans, allocates resources to strategic objectives and supports progress towards the vision of a more successful country.

Bankruptcy and Diligence

The Bill will bring forward stakeholder-led recommendations to introduce improvements to current insolvency solutions and debt recovery processes. Its aim is to help and improve the lives of people who are struggling with debt, which may be exacerbated by mental health issues. More efficient recovery processes will assist businesses and local authorities to collect debts from those who can pay.

Charities (Regulation)

The Bill aims to strengthen and update the current legislative framework provided by the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005. The Bill will increase transparency and accountability and maintain public trust and confidence in Scotland's vital charity sector.

Children's Care and Justice

The Bill aims to improve experiences and outcomes for children in Scotland who interact with the children's hearing and criminal justice systems, as well as care settings and those who are placed across borders in exceptional circumstances. It will help Scotland Keep The Promise.

Circular Economy

The Bill will enable us to advance a zero waste and circular economy, increasing reuse and recycling rates and improving waste and recycling services.

Criminal Justice Reform

The Bill will progress the ambition and priorities set out in the Vision for Justice in Scotland of delivering person centred and trauma informed practices, including taking greater action to improve the experience of women and children and to hear victims' voices. The Bill will abolish the not proven verdict in criminal trials in Scotland and take forward any accompanying reforms. It will also deliver legislative reforms building on the recommendations of Lady Dorrian's Review on Improving the Management of Sexual Offence Cases, including, amongst a range of proposals, protection of the anonymity of complainers of sexual crimes under Scots law.

Education Reform

The Bill will provide for the establishment of a new public body responsible for qualifications in Scotland and the creation of an independent education inspectorate.


We intend to introduce a Bill to protect tenants by freezing rents and imposing a moratorium on evictions until at least 31 March 2023.

We also intend to introduce a new Housing Bill by the end of this parliamentary year which will begin to deliver our New Deal for Tenants and some other aspects of Housing to 2040. The timing of this Bill will need to be carefully considered on an ongoing basis in light of our emergency response to the cost crisis and identify effective means to secure affordable rents for the longer term.

Independence Referendum

If the UK Supreme Court determines that a referendum is within the legislative competence of the Scottish Parliament, the Bill will provide for a referendum to be held on the topic of Scottish independence.

Legal Services Regulation Reform

The Bill will provide for a modern regulatory framework designed to promote competition and innovation while also improving the transparency and accountability of legal services regulation and the legal complaints system in Scotland.

Local Visitor Levy

The Bill will create a discretionary power for local authorities to apply a levy on overnight visitor stays in accommodation, applying in all or part of their area, to help fund relevant local activities and services.

Patient Safety Commissioner

The Bill will establish a Patient Safety Commissioner (PSC) for Scotland. The PSC will focus on championing the voice of the patient within the patient safety system, developing a system wide view of the healthcare system in Scotland, and using that to identify wider safety issues and promote better coordination across the patient safety landscape in Scotland in responding to concerns about safety issues.

Police Complaints and Misconduct Handling

A Bill to improve transparency and further strengthen public confidence in policing. The Bill will align with the recommendations made by Dame Elish Angiolini in her Independent Review of Complaints Handling, Investigations and Misconduct Issues in Relation to Policing. The recommendations seek to improve the policing systems and structures which underpin the way in which complaints about the police are received, managed, and investigated.

Public Health (Restriction of Promotions)

As a first legislative step in this session to meeting wider public health commitments, the Bill will include provisions for restricting food and drink promotions to protect public health.

Scottish Aggregates Levy

The Bill will deliver on powers devolved in the Scotland Act 2016 by setting out the key arrangements for a devolved tax on the commercial exploitation of aggregates in Scotland, including to provide for its administration by Revenue Scotland.

Trusts and Succession

The Bill will implement Scottish Law Commission recommendations intended to ensure that the Scots law of trusts is clear, coherent, and able to respond appropriately to modern conditions and commercial requirements and will address a longstanding Scottish Government commitment regarding the order of intestate succession.

Wildlife Management (Grouse)

The Bill will implement the recommendations of the "Werritty Review" and introduce licensing for grouse moor management to ensure that the management of driven grouse moors and related activities is undertaken in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Bill will also include provisions to ban glue traps.



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