Nicola Sturgeon introduces emergency legislation in Scotland to address 'humanitarian emergency'

Nicola Sturgeon announced a number of measures as part of the Programme for Government, covering a number of issues from housing to independence. Credit: PA

A host of emergency legislation has been introduced by Scotland's first minister in an attempt to deal with the "humanitarian emergency" caused by the rising cost of living.

On Tuesday Nicola Sturgeon announced a number of measures as part of the Programme for Government, covering a number of issues from housing to independence.


Part of the measures being announced is a Housing Bill which will aim to improve the affordability of properties in addition to strengthening tenant rights.

The intention is to prevent the current cost-of-living crisis from causing homelessness.

A temporary freeze is also planned on evictions and rents.

Ms Sturgeon said: “We will take immediate action to protect tenants in the private and social renting sectors."

It was also announced that there would be an extension on who is eligible for the tenant grant fund which was introduced during Scotland's response to Covid.

In doing so, it means that help will be available to more people who are struggling to pay rent.

Rent and eviction freeze will help protect those renting from private and public landlords. Credit: UTV


With the energy price cap set to increase in in October and again in January, the Scottish government has announced that it will double the fuel insecurity fund.

This means that this year it will go from £10 million to £20 million.

Funding for discretionary housing payments will also be increased by £5 million.

It will give local authorities flexibility to use discretionary housing payments to help with energy costs as well as rent payments.

The first minister also said that households will be given support through the Warmer Homes Scotland programme to install energy efficient measures. It is hoped this will lower energy costs, reduce energy usage and help the nation meet its climate change targets.

During the next year, Ms Sturgeon is expected to publish an energy strategy and transition plan.

This will look at the nation's move to more renewable sources such as proposals to expand onshore wind capacity and offshore wind.

A Circular Economy Bill will be introduced to increase the reuse and recycling of materials.


For those with children, the Scottish child payment is to be increased per child to £25 per week from 14 November. It will be available to children up to the age of 16.

In addition, the early learning and school age payments will automatically be given to families who receive Scottish child payments, without families having to make an extra application.

Free school meals will be extended for all children in primary six and seven.


Following the coronavirus pandemic, the first minister pledged that the NHS Recovery Plan will get an extra £1 billion of investment during the current parliament.

An extra £50 million is proposed to help improve A&E waiting times, whilst £10 million will be made to help improve waiting times for cancer diagnostics and treatments.

A patient safety commissioner will also be introduced to help improved safety and advocate for patients.

Additional money is being pumped into the NHS in an extension of the NHS Recovery Plan Credit: PA

Rail travel:

Amid ongoing chaos on the rail network, Ms Sturgeon said ScotRail fares will be frozen until at least March.

Independence: As a staunch advocate for Scottish Independence, Sturgeon's Programme for Government included plans for a Scottish Independence Referendum Bill.

A vote could happen as early as next October if the Supreme Court rules a vote is within the competence of the Scottish Parliament.

It comes after Boris Johnson hinted in his farewell speech outside Downing St that independence will never be achieved.

The former PM said: "As I leave I believe our union is so strong that those who want to break it up, they’ll keep trying, but they will never, ever succeed."

Ms Sturgeon however argued that the cost-of-living crisis highlighted the need to breakaway from Westminster.

She said: “This crisis is much worse in the UK than in other developed countries because of a Brexit that Scotland voted against but was powerless to stop.”

Nicola Sturgeon has been advocating for IndyRef2 for a long time. Credit: PA


There will be a rise in the minimum threshold at which banks can make arrestments. This means those repaying debts will have greater protection through the Debt Arrangement Scheme.

A new Bankruptcy and Diligence Bill will also seek to improve the lives of those struggling with debt. 

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