this is bbc news. the headlines at 2pm: four serving members of the army, alleged members of a banned far—right group, have been arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism. the toddler murdered by her own mother. an apology from social services after a review finds the child's needs were overshadowed by concerns for the mother. i've apologised to the family and i'm truly sorry that on this occasion we didn't prevent her death. a show of strength from south korea's navy. president trump says america will sell highly sophisticated military equipment to seoul and japan — to counter the threat from the north. also in the next hour: nicola sturgeon sets out her programme for government for the coming year. promising her most ambitious plan ever, the snp leader is expected to focus on health and education reform. and a court fines a french celebrity magazine 100,000 euros in damages for publishing topless photos of the duchess of cambridge.
good afternoon and welcome to bbc news. four serving members of the army have been arrested on suspicion of belonging to a banned far—right group and planning terrorist offences. the men — aged between 22 and 32 — were arrested this morning in england and wales in an operation involving both the police and the army. our home affairs correspondent dominic casciani is here. it isa it is a fast moving story. what is the latest? it started with west midlands counter terrorism unit, one of the largest in the country,
working with colleagues at wales and the west midlands. these four arrests, three in their 20s, arrested at birmingham, ipswich and northampton. the fourth, from powys. the addresses have been searched and then we discovered that these men we re then we discovered that these men were all serving members of the army. the ministry of defence has confirmed that they were serving in the army. they have been providing support to the police. we do not have information about where these men were arrested, if it was ministry of defence property or at home addresses. all the main are being held at birmingham. suspicion of being concerned in the investigation of terrorism, and also
banned since last year. the latter allegation, if that was proven in court, it could lead to ten years in prison. what happens next? the police have got up to 14 days to hold these men in prison. what is interesting about this, to arrest these people in relation to a band neo nazi group is interesting. it was banned last december after some of the members allegedly applauded the murder ofjo cox. some very confrontational and belligerent rallies across the united kingdom, waving nazi flags, and giving the hitler salute. since that has
happened, a number of counterterrorism units have been increasing focus on national action, trying to work out what they have been up to. and to arrest four in one go, it is significant activity. thank you. ayeeshia jayne smith was only 21 months old when she was murdered by her mother. a serious case review has found that social workers weren't focussed enough and care professionals allowed concern for the toddler's mother to overshadow the child's needs. kathryn smith was jailed for at least nineteen years, for stamping on her daughter at her home in burton—on—trent in staffordshire in 2014. 0ur correspondent phil mackie is in derby. we keep hearing lessons will be learned. but this is the latest in a number of cases. i have covered a lot of these cases over the years. all of which involved little
children who died at the hands of people who should have been looking after them. but in this case, you could say that things were improving. not enough time to save the life of ayeeshia jayne smith. but certainly, things have improved. 0n the day before she died, people had been meeting to discuss the case. if she had been living longer, she could have been safe from the hands of her mother, she killed her in may 2014. the smiling face of ayeeshia—jayne smith, or aj, as a family called her. only 21 months old, she was murdered by her mother during a savage outburst. my daughter is not breathing... this was the 999 call kathryn smith made after stamping on her daughter so hard that the child's heart was literally broken. she's not breathing. can you hear anything coming from her mouth? there's nothing.
she's gone. smith is serving a 19 year prison sentence for murder. her partner matthew rigby, three and a half years for allowing the death of a child. even during their trial it was clear social workers and medics might have missed opportunities to spot the abuse. today's serious case review identified 17 different agencies involved in aj's care and made the recommendations. social workers showed a lack of professional curiosity and were too quick to believe kathryn smith's lies and it tragically reveals there was a growing sense of unease and a meeting was held to discuss aj. it happened the day before she died. i just want to recognise that ayeeshia—jayne's death was an absolute tragedy. it's been devastating for everybody involved in her care. but mostly for her family. i have already met with her family and we accept all the findings.
i accept all the findings of this review. and for those errors of practice that should have been stronger, i have apologised to the family and i am truly sorry that on this occasion we were not... we did not prevent death. medics who treated her at the queens hospital in burton also missed signs of abuse. thinking she had suffered a fit brought on by a childhood fever, known as afebrile contusion. the trust agree with the findings. we had two instances where he definitely didn't exhibit enough professional curiosity around ayeeshia—jayne's attendance. it turns out it wasn't afebrile convulsion. we didn't go to the family situation as much as we should have done and didn't ask enough questions. since the death questions have been asked of services. but it was too late for the little girl who was described
as a loving and lively toddler. the report actually goes on to say that they do not think the death could have been avoided. despite those opportunities, nobody thought that there was a likelihood her mother would kill her daughter. the natural father of aj comes out with some credit. he had raised some concerns. also no epidemic problems in derbyshire, but they should have been a little bit more determined when questioning kathryn smith and less willing to believe excuses. if that had happened, they could have intervened on that fatal day in may 2014 when the little girl died. the russian president vladimir putin has warned of a "global catastrophe" if military tensions with north korea continue to increase.
he was speaking after south korea's navy staged a major exercise off the country's east coast — as a show of strength following pyongyang's latest nuclear test. 0ur correspondent, robin brant, reports from the south korean capital. for the second day running, south korea has been displaying its military might. this time it was the navy, in what was described as a massive live firing exercise off the eastern coast. to show how this country could defend itself, or attack. there's no doubt the military is stepping up its readiness. the ministry of defence said the us had agreed to sell south korea more weapons. that was after approval was given yesterday to restore the us missile defence system here known as thaad. but all this could lead to a global catastrophe according to the russian president. he said tougher sanctions wouldn't work either. translation: the use of sanctions of any kind in this case is already useless and inefficient. as i told my colleagues yesterday, they will eat grass,
but they will not give up this programme if they do not feel safe. but further sanctions with the threat of military action is exactly what the americans told the united nations is the answer. his abusive use of missiles and his nuclear threats show that he is begging for war. war is never something the united states wants. we don't want it now. but our country's patience is not unlimited. the recent self defensive measures by my country, dprk, are a gift package to none other than the us. the us will receive more gift packages from my country as long as it relies on reckless provocations and futile attempts to put pressure on the dprk. this is north korea's border with china, where further sanctions would bite.
but beijing is reluctant to cause any further waves yet. you could forgive people heading home here in seoul this evening for perhaps feeling a little bit confused. 0n the one hand they have seen images of their military preparing maybe for a confrontation. and yet they have a president here who has talked instead about a new round of economic sanctions. and now russia, not far to the north, has stepped in and labelled those useless and maybe ineffective. as the volume around the chance of conflict increases, there was this in japan. a silent protest in hiroshima. a place where they know what nuclear devastation looks like. and in the last half an hour, president trump has said that he would allow japan and south korea to purchase more military equipment, allowing them to purchase more
highly sophisticated military equipment from the united states. we could be entering a new arms race? we have an element of that. north korea is already killed —— heavily militarised. 0f korea is already killed —— heavily militarised. of course, also, potentially defending themselves if anything happened. we do not know what the americans are going to give. already relaxed some restrictions on the payload of south korea missiles. those restrictions go back to the late 1970s, progressively relaxed as this crisis has gone on. they have been significantly relaxed. enabling the south koreans to take missiles that
ta ke south koreans to take missiles that take ina south koreans to take missiles that take in a huge range. you can argue about how you want to legal offensive, defensive weapons, we're going to see bolstering of missing defensive, and that is something that has ramifications. the chinese do not like missile defences at south korea and japan. they say that impinging on the effectiveness of their own deterrent. you can see how once more, weaponry and systems flow into the system... you have ran a fine repercussions, making the situation ever more complicated. thank you. a french celebrity magazine has been fined 100,000 euros in damages by a french court for publishing topless photos of the duchess of cambridge sunbathing on holiday five years ago. the photographs — taken when the duke and duchess stayed at a private chateau in provence — were printed by closer magazine. the magazine's editor and owner
were both fined 45,000 euros, the maximum possible. and our correspondent hugh schofield joins us from paris. is this a surprise, they have gone for the maximum sentencing on all the charges? it is not really a surprise. the guilty verdict was certainly not a surprise. courts here in france regularly hand out these fedex to the celebrity magazines because of the invasion of privacy. the magazines get the fine but think it's worth it. getting the extra sales. what was interesting, the royal couple were pushing for a much larger amount in damages. 0n top of that, and added they mention top of that, and added they mention to this. the fact that you have got
the link with diana, other —— the mother of prince william. it was an attempt to make this an almost different if there are, punitive damage against closer magazine, that would have inhibited from anything like this in the future. in the end, although the damages are substantial, 100,000 overall, 15 for each of the couple, not out of line with similar cases in the past. normally you could expect 20,000, 30,000. it is 50,000 each for the couple. the lawyer has said more or less ha p py couple. the lawyer has said more or less happy but it is not a ground—breaking precedent. that would really have acted as deterrent for closer magazine and others in
the future. the headlines on bbc news: four serving members of the army, alleged members of a banned far—right group, have been arrested on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism. as south korea steps up needle exercises, president trump says increasing military pressure could read to global catastrophe. and anthonyjoshua has read to global catastrophe. and anthony joshua has confirmed read to global catastrophe. and anthonyjoshua has confirmed that his next title fight will be in cardiff on october 20 eight. going to face the mandatory challenger kubrat pulev from bulgaria. wales are looking to preserve the home nations'100% record. they need a win against moldova. and the jockey russels has been given a four match
ban, for punching a horse on the back of the head. brexit secretary david davis is to update mps on last week's negotiations with the european union. mr davis will make a statement in the house of commons about the progress of the third round of brexit talks. 0ur political reporter is at the paris of westminster. we know what the europeans think. too slowly? david davis is going to be giving a progress report, perhaps lack of progress report, perhaps lack of progress report. the government wa nts to progress report. the government wants to move on to way of trade talks with the european union but the world from brussels is that we have not had sufficient progress, including settling this divorce bill for britain to leave the european union. i suspect david davis's
negotiating strategy is good to come under some criticism from the opposition. he will still say that britain has strong hands to play, until these weight of talks began. it is going to be a warm up for a debate on the european union withdrawal bill, the legislation that brings us of the european union. it is being discussed on thursday. going to the a vote next week. and did not last 15 minutes labour has confirmed it is going to vote against that bill, because they believe that as it stands, unless it is changed, it would undermine workers' right, giving ministers greater powers than they need. if they vote against that, the government could find itself in some trouble. and i have been told that whips are rushing around, making sure that mps will be here. we will
be back to you later. thank you. scotland's first minister, nicola sturgeon, is setting set out her government's legislative programme this afternoon — pledging a "bold" and "ambitious" plan for the coming year. ms sturgeon will focus on health, the economy and, principally, education — an area where opposition parties say the snp should be "embarrassed" by its record. a lot of bills? nicola sturgeon is going to be standing up in the chamber, setting out the government programme for the year ahead. this is the tenth legislative programme for the scottish national party. they have been in power in scotland for one decade. and we have been told that they see this is very ambitious. that is the theme that they would like this to be described as. they have seen it as the most
ambitious in their history. nicola sturgeon has to counter accusations from opposition parties in scotland that the scottish national party have neglected the dayjob because of the focus on constitutional agenda. a spokesman has said that this programme is going to be very thorough, legislation in areas such as health, justice and education. critics have said that the scottish national party are failing. expect legislators detailing, going to head giving them more leeway in how the schools teach subjects and how the teachers handle things going forward. also, you would expect to see the green theme endless legislative programme. money for renewable projects, perhaps for electric cars, and also a deposit
scheme for plastic waste recycling. and also touching on the economy as well. not least the plans to lift the one percent pay cap on public sector workers. nicola sturgeon will have 40 minutes to present the programme. after which, leaders of the opposition parties will respond. when you talk about opposition parties, the labour party have also got issues. principally, finding the next leader? they have got challenges. taser. dugdale last week stepping down. it was for personal reasons. she said was time to move on. perhaps the single leadership contest at some point in the future.
i think the contenders, going forward , i think the contenders, going forward, they have cycled through a number of readers of course. 0ver these past few years. that is one of these past few years. that is one of the challenges. they got a little bounce in the general election, but the conservatives got the big bounce. scottish national party would say that general election result for them as disappointing. that is primarily the reason why this programme is set to be so ambitious. we can see what nicholas dudgeon has got to say. over the past ten years, this government has expanded chamber, abolished business reach for 100,000 businesses. we have invested in the national health service, scrapped prescription charges and protected personal care. we have no social housing at a
faster rate than any other part of the united kingdom and placed scotland at the forefront of the global fight against climate change. today, the unemployment rate is close to a record low, youth unemployment is half of what it was ten years ago. accident and emergency is the best performing in the united kingdom and crime is at a 42 year low. as illustrated by the opening of the new queensferry crossing, infrastructure has been transformed. this is good progress but it is time to take stock of achievements, refocus efforts and refresh the agenda. we live in a time of unprecedented global challenges. the moral obligation to tackle climate change, an ageing population, the impact of continued austerity and deep—seated challenges of poverty and inequality. an apparent rise in forces of
intolerance. these challenges are considerable part in each of them we must find opportunity. this programme for government is a plan to seize those opportunities. to build the sort of scotland that we seek, inclusive, prosperous, innovative and willing to embrace the future. it is a programme to invest in the future and sheep scotland's destiny. ensuring we have got a highly educated and skilled population, able to adapt to the rapidly changing economy is vital to future prosperity and well— being. that is by improving education and closing your team and is the number one priority. as of this summer, parents of new born children receive a baby box. it encapsulates an important principle. all children deserve the best possible start of
way. it is going to follow the baby box generation. the next transformation for childcare... we have expanded early year education but by the time the baby box generation reaches no sorry, we will have almost doubled the free nursery education that children receive. to lock in that expansion we will guarantee a multi—year package of funding for authorities, to support the recruitment and training of staff and delivery of new premises. and to support private and third sector support of childcare, introduce rate relief for day nurseries. that is the first strand of the education system. the second, school reform. a new education bill will deliver the most radical change to how schools are run, that we have
seen to how schools are run, that we have seenin to how schools are run, that we have seen in the lifetime of devolution. it is going to give headteachers significant powers and responsibilities, establishing them as leaders of learning and teaching. the premise is simple. the best people to make decisions about children's education, those who know the children best, teachers and parents. we're going to match that with resources. 0ver parents. we're going to match that with resources. overtime, more of the money that funds schools goes directly to those in classrooms. 0f course, directly to those in classrooms. 0f course , we directly to those in classrooms. 0f course, we know that the education syste m course, we know that the education system must work together if we are to see the kind of improvement in schools that we all want to see. the new regional improvement collaborative 's will provide support to teachers, including access to teams of attainment experience and subject specialists. we will also reform the way that teachers are recruited and educated,
introducing new routes into teaching to attract the highest quality graduates into priority subjects. and broaden the pool of talent available. these changes will be underpinned by the standardised assessments being taken by pupils at p1, four, seven, 53. these assessments will not raise standards themselves, but kill delmer —— help to ensure that they have access to high—quality information about the performance of schools. the next round comes beyond the school years. we are determined to open university to who have got the talent to attend. we will take forward the recommendations of the commission to ensure that young people regardless of background have got an equal chance of going to university. we
will set out plans to reform student support, based on the findings of the independent review that is due to report in the autumn. those who ta ke to report in the autumn. those who take vocational qualifications also will have the opportunities they need. we will continue to decrease the number —— increase the number of murder apprenticeships. across all of these reforms, at no sorry is, schools, colleges and universities we are driving change. we want to ensure a first—class education for all young people, no matter the disadvantage is that they may face. that is my top priority. a good education is important, for its own sake. it contributes to the health, happiness and the filming of all of us as happiness and the filming of all of us as individuals. it is also vital to building a modern, successful and dynamic economy. last week i set out
the vision for the economy. to succeed, scotland must be leading change, not trail. we must aspire to be the manufacture of the digital markets that shape the future. to support innovation, we will increase government investment and businesses by 70%, generating an estimated £300 billion of additional spending, overall, over the next three years. helping businesses increase exports, we will appoint trade envoys, four key markets overseas. the network of investment hubs, london, dublin, brussels and berlin will be expanded to include paris, maximising opportunities in france, the third biggest export market. the support we provide an innovation will be backed up by phil delmer —— help.
scotland can be a world leader in advanced manufacturing. we are investing in £1 million in a lightweight manufacturing centre at renfrewshire. companies developing a global competitive advantage, in the manufacturing of lightweight, materials like titanium and carbon fibre. the centre isjust the first step, later this year we will take the next step, by confirming the location and key partners for the new national manufacturing in the jude for scotland, with what is —— work starting on site in 2018, a clear demonstration of our conviction that advanced manufacturing will be central to the modern economy. we will also support financial technology, fintech as a key growth sector, an ambition for edinburgh to become one of the top ten global fintech centres so we will invest in fintech scotland,
which will invest and grow, and continue to champion and grow clean energy, the north sea is potentially the largest carbon storage resource anywhere in europe. the uk government withdrawal of support for key carbon capture and storage initiatives risks that potential. westminster holds the key levers, we will continue to press for the right policy and framework to be put in place. we will do more than that, i can announce today that we will provide direct scottish government funding for the feasibility stage of the proposed acorn project, at st. fergus, in aberdeenshire. today's programme sets out the range of actions we will take to support other highly successful growth sectors from food and drink to tourism and life sciences, sectors which through their determination and innovation are securing jobs now and innovation are securing jobs now and for the future. i want to make specific mention here of creative
industries, a sector that is important both in our economy and for the cultural well—being. important both in our economy and for the cultural well— being. we important both in our economy and for the cultural well—being. we live today in a golden age of film and television production, over the next decade the opportunities for attracting investment to scotland will be considerable. we have already increased support for the screen already increased support for the screen sector already increased support for the screen sector and already increased support for the screen sector and last month i was delighted to announce that the national film and television school is setting up a base in glasgow, the first of its kind outside london. i will announce that we will do further, and do what those working in the sector have asked of us: an additional £10 million divided in next year 's budget for —— and that will take it up to £20 million. as well as supporting key sectors, we must support those whose ideas and ingenuity create new products, services, jobs and wealth. the entrepreneurial spirit that forged scotland's reputation in the past must drive success in the future. that is notjust mean helping young
innovators start their businesses, it also means helping those businesses scale up as well. organisations like entrepreneurial scotland, elevator and code base are building the innovative culture and leadership ambitions of our people and entrepreneurs, to complement that work we will establish a fund, a new unlocking ambition challenge. —— elevator and code base. we will offer intensive support for up to 40 offer intensive support for up to 40 of the most talented and ambitious entrepreneurs to help them bring ideas to market and create jobs, candidates will be chosen and supported by established entrepreneurs, giving time and commitment. across the economy, we are determined to have a supportive business environment. to promote this, we have reformed enterprise and skills agencies, next month, we will establish the new strategic board, to be led by the former chair of the scottish chambers of commerce. its task will be to ensure that the £2 billion each year that we invest in enterprising skills is
delivering exactly what the economy needs to grow and succeed. the enterprise has been successful in taking account of the needs of the north of scotland. we will establish a new south of scotland enterprise agency to champion the needs of that area as well, to ensure competitive taxes for business, we will quickly ta ke taxes for business, we will quickly take forward the berkeley review of business rates, initial steps included in this programme, and an implementation plan will be published by the end of the year. we will also introduce a new planning bill, to support the efficient delivery of the development our communities need, including vital infrastructure. of course, a significant, often very significant constraints faced by many businesses with growth potential is access to long—term patient capital. the council of economic advisers has made clear the importance to our future economic success, of continued infrastructure development, adequate finance for high—growth businesses, and
strategic investments in innovation, we have already taken steps to improve access to finance through for example the establishment of the scottish growth scheme. if we are to succeed in raising ambition even further, this is a challenge that we must do more to address. we believe that the time is now right to take the new approach on capital investment, i can therefore announced today that we will begin work to establish a scottish national investment bank. benny higgins, chief executive of tesco bank, has... has agreed to lead work on developing the precise remit, governance , on developing the precise remit, governance, operating model and its approach to managing financial risk. vital steps that will see this new bank up and running and providing the patient capital investment the scottish economy needs for the future. alongside this commitment, we will provide the infrastructure thatis we will provide the infrastructure that is needed for scotland to be a world leading economy. we will complete the aberdeen western liberal route, deliver the
electrification of the railway between edinburgh and glasgow, bring on stream new and refurbished trains and continue to push scotrail tim meets the highest standards of performance — — meets the highest standards of performance —— to continue to meet. we will do what conservative and labour governments have failed to do over so many years, labour governments have failed to do over so many years, identify a public body that would be able to make a robust public sector bid for the next scotrail franchise. applause these and many more transport plans across the country will benefit our people and our economy. it will be matched by infrastructure investment for the digital age. matched by infrastructure investment forthe digitalage. laterthis matched by infrastructure investment for the digital age. later this year we will procure the latest phase of our project to deliver by 2021 next—generation broadband to 100% of residential and business premises. an investment that will be transformer is an all for the economy in general, and for oral scotland in particular. that is a significant step, however, we are
determined to do even more. to encourage others to see scotland as the place to research, design and manufacture it innovations, for us to become a laboratory for the rest of the world in the digital and low carbon technologies we want to champion, we must also become early adopters of them. we must be bold in our ambitions, just as we have been in renewable energies. when we set out today, one area where we intend to dojust that, the out today, one area where we intend to do just that, the transition from petrol and diesel cars and vans to electric and other ultralow emissions vehicles is underway and is gathering pace. we intend to put scotland at the forefront of that transition. i am announcing today and ambitious new target, the aim is for new petrol and diesel cars and vans to be phased out in scotland by 2032. the end of the period covered bya 2032. the end of the period covered by a new climate change plan and eight years ahead of the target set
by the uk government. applause as members will be aware, we do not currently hold powers over vehicle standards and taxation but we can and will take action, over the next few months, we will set out detailed plans to massively expand the number of electric charging points in rural, urban and domestic settings, plans to extend the green bus fund and accelerate procurement of electric or ultralow emissions vehicles in both the public and private sectors, plans for pilot demonstrator projects that encourage u pta ke of demonstrator projects that encourage uptake of electric vehicles among private motorists, and plans for a new innovation fund to encourage business and academia to develop solutions to some of our particular challenges, for example, charging vehicles in areas with a high proportion of tenementss. we will also make the canine, already a major infrastructure projects, the first fully electric and able highway in scotland. —— the a9. this
is an exciting challenge and one which i hope all members and the whole country will get behind. it sends a message to the world, we look to the future with excitement, welcome innovation and we want to lead that innovation. this ambition will help to stimulate economic activity, but it is also part of plans to improve our environment and the quality of the air that we breathe. in the coming year, we will introduce a new climate change bill, which will set even more ambitious targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that we meet obligations under the paris accord. air pollution is a significant risk to public health, particularly harmful to vulnerable groups like the very young and the very old, we have already committed to the introduction of a low emission zone in one of our cities by the end of next year, we will confirm its location shortly. i can announce today we will go further, working with local authorities to introduce low emission zones in each
of our four biggest cities by 2020 and in all otherair of our four biggest cities by 2020 and in all other air quality management areas where necessary by 2023, we will also do more to support the circular economy, and reduce waste. we will design and introduce a deposit return scheme for drinks containers as an important part of our determination to tackle litter and clean up our streets. applause for the sake of much as our environment but our health, we will ta ke environment but our health, we will take further steps to support walking and cycling, active travel, by doubling the amount spent on it within transport scotland's budget, from £40 million to £80 million a year. we will introduce a new transport bill, improving measures to provide public transport from provisions on smart ticketing to giving local authorities a range of options to improve local bus services. i have spoken a lot today about measures to support the economy, a successful economy also
needs strong public services, the quality of schools and hospitals, save the streets and communities, supply of skills and good housing and infrastructure are just as important as rates of tax and growing the economy and attracting investment to scotland. the most cherished public service is the nhs. in the last ten years, the budget of the nhs has increased by £3 billion, the nhs has increased by £3 billion, the workforce by around 12,000. to equip it for the challenges ahead, we will ensure the nhs budget continues to grow, we will deliver at least a real terms increase in the revenue budget next year, as pa rt of the revenue budget next year, as part of the commitment to increase funding bya part of the commitment to increase funding by a further £2 billion by the end of this parliament. we will continue to develop the nhs workforce plan, and also introduce a new safe staffing bill, to make sure we have the right staff in the right places. increasing funding for the nhs is vital but it is not enough on its own, we must also reform how it delivers care. we have integrated health and social care and over the
next year we will take forward a health and social care delivery plan, and continue to support a shift in the balance of care and resources towards primary community and social services, this will not always be easy but it is right and it is necessary. we will also expand focus on prevention of ill health. over the next year we will deliver a refresh framework, and work to tackle alcohol misuse. we must match action on smoking and alcohol with other bold moves in other areas, in addition to air pollution measures, we will take forward a new strategy to tackle obesity, including measures to restrict the marketing of foods high in fat, sugar or salt. in the yearahead, of foods high in fat, sugar or salt. in the year ahead, we will progress the in the mentation of the new mental health strategy with focus on prevention, early intervention and access to services. part of the challenge for health services the world over is reducing unnecessary admissions to hospital, providing more of the care that people need in
their own homes or a homely setting is key to meeting that challenge. one of the parliament's flagship policies, care for the over city five, was designed with precisely that purpose in mind. there are some people under the age of 65 will also need personal care, for example, those with early—onset dementia or conditions like and indeed, the campaign for what has become known as frank's law, named after frank goble, advertise the ascension of free personal care to the under 65s. that study has been published today, andl that study has been published today, and i am pleased that we will soon begin work to fully implement frank's law. —— frank kopel. there is one further piece of health legislation we will introduce in the next year, the organ and tissue donation bill will establish with
appropriate safeguards a soft opt out, to allow even more lives to be saved by the precious gift of organ donation. keeping people in communities safe is one of the most important responsibilities of any government. crime is at a 42 year low but the nature of crimes and expectations of the police are changing. we will continue to ensure police and fire services are equipped for the challenges of the future, protecting the front line budget and protect the police as they modernise the way they work. we will create a new terminal events can “— will create a new terminal events can “ a new will create a new terminal events can —— a new criminal offence of drug driving. a lengthy period in prison is sometimes the only appropriate sentence, but we also know that community centres where appropriate our effective in reducing reoffending. —— community sentences. ten years ago we formed the justice system and with malt additive community— based measures,
it is at an 18 year low, we will be even bolder in efforts to keep people out of prison and reduce reoffending further. whole sentencing is always a matter for the judiciary, we will extend the presumption against short—term sentencing from three months to 12 months. cheering applause we will commence this change once the relevant provisions of the domestic abuse bill are in force, to ensure proper protection for those who are victims of domestic abuse. we will introduce a new management of offenders bill, to introduce electronic monitoring in the community and look at new technology where appropriate. in the coming year, vulnerable witnesses and pre—recorded evidence bill will reduce further the need for children and other vulnerable witnesses to give evidence live in a courtroom. a further piece ofjustice legislation is the sexual offences pardons and disregards bill, i can confirm this bill will ensure that people convicted of offences relating to
same—sex sexual activity that is now legal will receive an automatic pardon. applause the bill will also enable those pardons to apply to have such convictions removed from criminal records. above all, this bill will write a historic wrong and give justice to those who found themselves unjustly criminalised simply because of who they loved. ensuring justice for the victims of crime is an essential element of a fair society, so too is delivering socialjustice for everyone. our aim is to make scotland fairer and more equal. over the next year we will continue work to build a scottish social security system based on dignity and respect. the social security bill will complete passage this parliamentary year, in the next few weeks we will confirm where the new social security agency will be based, next summer we will deliver the first of the new devolved benefits, increased ca rer's allowa nce, benefits, increased ca rer's allowance, backdated to april, 2018. also prepare for the delivery of the
new funeral expense allowance and the new best. grand by summer 2019, the new best. grand by summer 2019, the latter is particularly important, providing additional help for low—income families at the transitions in children's lives. —— the new best start grand. —— grant. among other things, we will seek the advice of the commission as we establish a new tackling child poverty fund, worth £50 million over the next five years, enabling new approaches to be piloted or scaled up approaches to be piloted or scaled up in the short—term. over the next year we will also introduce a financial health check for low—income families and bring forward a new package of support for young ca re rs. forward a new package of support for young carers. tackling poverty of course involves many different approaches, i'm extremely proud that
scotland is one of the first countries in the world to tackle so—called period poverty, through the current pilot scheme in aberdeen, andl the current pilot scheme in aberdeen, and i welcome the cross—party aberdeen, and i welcome the cross— party support for that approach. we will consider further action to help women on low incomes across scotland in light of learning from this pilot. however, i can confirm today that we will provide free actress to sanitary products for students in schools, colleges and universities. some local authorities have already made this commitment in regard to schools, we will work with partners to consider the options for delivery. this parliament is providing real global leadership on this issue and we should all be proud of that. we must ta ke should all be proud of that. we must take a range of actions now to tackle poverty but should also consider options for more fundamental reform in the longer term. one idea attracting interest, notjust here term. one idea attracting interest, not just here but term. one idea attracting interest, notjust here but internationally, is that of a citizens basic income. contemplating such a scheme inevitably raises a number of
practical issues and questions, not least around the current powers of this parliament, undoubtedly, there are arguments for and against. as we look ahead to the next decade and beyond, it is an idea that merits deeper consideration, i can therefore confirm the scottish government will work with interested local authorities to fund research into the concept and feasibility of a citizens basic income to help inform parliament thinking for the future. one of the most important contributors to a good quality of life is housing. one, affordable housing, good quality, is vital to ensuring a scotland that is fair for this and future generations, over the next year, we will make further progress towards our target of 80,000 affordable homes by the end of the parliament, and the planning bill will help secure the housing development that the country needs. we will improve quality of housing stock. a new bill will set a statutory target for the reduction of fuel poverty. we will introduce
new energy efficiency standards for the private rented sector, to improve the quality of accommodation and help more fuel bills for those and help more fuel bills for those and many of them young people who rely upon privately rented accommodation. scotland has a good re cord accommodation. scotland has a good record on housing, we build social housing at a faster rate than any other part of the uk, we have protected social housing by removing the right to buy. however, we are seeing worrying signs of an increase in homelessness and ross leaving, we are not prepared to tolerate that, let me restate: it is not acceptable for anyone to have to sleep rough on our streets. we must eradicate rough sleeping. setting the national objective, we must recognise it requires more than just objective, we must recognise it requires more thanjust housing, every individual has unique needs and challenges. —— rough sleeping. we will establish a short—lived expert group to make commendations
on the legislative changes required to end rough sleeping. we will establish a new £10 million a year ending handle is together fund. establish a new £10 million a year ending handle is togetherfund. —— ending handle is togetherfund. —— ending homelessness together fund. we will invest in alcohol and drug services to tackle underlying problems that drive homelessness. in building a further scotland, —— better scotland, the best solutions can often be found by communities themselves and that is why will will continue work to empower communities across the country, next year launching a conference of review of local governance ahead of a local democracy bill later in parliament, and we will work with local authorities to insure that at least 196 authorities to insure that at least 1% of council budgets are controlled by communities themselves. we will introduce a state 's bill to establish a framework for the management of assets and ensure local communities benefit from the devolution of these powers. we will
continue to implement the 2016 land reform act, and shortly approve the first strategic plan of the new land commission, outlining a programme of research to inform options for future change, for example, possible measures to tackle constraints for the cost of land for housing and possible tax and fiscal reforms including the potential for some form of land value —based tax. we have a well earned reputation as a leading human rights. we will oppose any attempt by the uk government to withdraw from the european convention on human rights or the european human rights act. i will ensure that all existing and where appropriate each rights will be guaranteed by eu law and will be protected in scotland after brexit. we will take forward the actions in a fairer scotland for disabled people, we will progress the gender representation of the board 's bill,
work with the thai campaign to tackle work with the thai campaign to ta ckle lg bt work with the thai campaign to tackle lgbt queue i —— lgbtqia bullying in schools, and look at race. the children's hearing system remains the jewel in the crown, but in the yearof remains the jewel in the crown, but in the year of young people will go further, increasing the minimum age of responsibility from eight to 12 in line with international warrants. ican in line with international warrants. i can also return today that while it is not our proposal and may be an issue in which parties will give a free vote, the scottish government will not oppose john finnie's proposal to do their bit the physical punishment of children. —— prohibited. —— prohibit. france, germany, sweden, norway, the
republic of ireland, have already successfully made this change, as have almost 50 other countries. we will further in bed the un principles on the rights of the child into policy legislation including full incorporation into domestic law. of course, brexit will provide the backdrop to much of what we do over the next year, we are determined not to allow it to stand in the way of the ambitious programme i am outlining today. —— embed. the uk government withdrawal bill represents a power grab, seeking to replace eu law in devolved areas with unilateral westminster decision—making, that is simply unacceptable. as it stands, the scottish government will not recommend to this parliament that we approve the bill, we will continue to seek the agreement of the uk governments to amendments that will address concerns. in case that proves impossible, we are also considering the option of legislation in this parliament to
secure legislation in this parliament to secure the necessary continuity of laws in scotland. we also continue to argue the case for continued uk membership of the single market and customs union. leaving either will have deeply damaging consequences for the economy and for the wider society. injune, for the economy and for the wider society. in june, we for the economy and for the wider society. injune, we will consider again the issue of the referendum on independence when the terms of brexit are clear. in the coming months, we will publish a series of evidence —based paper setting out how enhanced powers for the parliament and key policy areas will allow us better to protect our interests and fulfil ambitions for the country. these papers will cover immigration and the importance to the economy, welfare, employment and employability and trade, and we will seek to work with other parties and civics scotland to build a consensus on the powers that this parliament needs. later this year we will publish the draft budget bill, the detail of the spending plans for next year will be set out therein.
there are two particular issues i wa nt there are two particular issues i want to address: first, i can confirm we will lift the 1% public sector pay cap. while never desirable, it was necessary to protectjobs and desirable, it was necessary to protect jobs and services. desirable, it was necessary to protectjobs and services. with inflation on the rise, it is not sustainable, nurses, teachers, police officers, firefighters deserve a fairer deal. the need to recruit the start that public services depend on also demands a new approach, we will secure pay rises from next year which are affordable but also reflect the real—life circumstances public servants face and the contribution public services make to the overall prosperity of the country. the budget bill process will also set income tax rates for next year. we will always exercise the utmost responsibility in setting tax rates, and we will not simply transfer the burden of austerity into the shoulders of those that can least afford it. i
shoulders of those that can least afford it. lam shoulders of those that can least afford it. i am also mindful that as afford it. i am also mindful that as a majority government, we must build alliances across parliament in support of budget. for all of us, it must be the interest of public services, households and economy that drive decisions. we know that continued westminster austerity, the consequences of brexit, the impact of demographic changes, will put increasing pressure on public services and our ability to provide the infrastructure and support that businesses need to thrive, time is right in my view to open a discussion about how responsible and progressive use of tax powers can help to build the kind of country we wa nt help to build the kind of country we want to be, one with the highest quality public services, well rewarded public servants, good support for business, strong social contract, and effective policies to tackle poverty and inequality. ahead of the budget we will publish a paper which will set out the current distribution of income tax liabilities in scotland, analyse a variety of different options, including the proposals of the other parties across parliament, explained
the interaction between tax policy and the fiscal framework, and provide international comparisons. the purpose of this paper will be to inform the discussions that we will have with other parties ahead of the budget. i give an assurance today that the scottish government will go into these discussions with an open mind and the best interests of the country as a whole as the guiding principle, i invite other parties to do likewise. three bills of a more technical nature, the damages bill, the land and buildings transaction tax bill, and the prescription tax bill, will complete the bills that make up the legislative programme for the year ahead, returning officer, the programme i have set out today, the policies and the legislation, is fresh, bold, and ambitious. and because of that, aspects of it undoubtedly will be controversial. that is inevitable, indeed it is necessary, no one has ever built a better country by always taking the easy options. as
we debate this programme in the days, weeks and months ahead, members will focus on and scrutinise individual aspects of it, that is right and proper, but i invite parliament and indeed the public to also see this programme in the round, it is about equipping scotland, not just for the round, it is about equipping scotland, notjust for the next year, but for the next decade and beyond. and at its heart is this ambition, to make our country the best place in the world to grow up and be educated. the best place to live, work, visit and do business, the best place to be cared for in times of sickness, need von ability, the best place to grow old. —— need for vulnerability. —— need the best place to grow old. —— need forvulnerability. —— need or vulnerability. applause thank you, now we move into open
debate, i invite all members who wish to speak today to press thereof we st wish to speak today to press thereof west to speak buttons now and i call on ruth davison to open. —— press their request to speak buttons now. i set out some of my own priorities la st i set out some of my own priorities last week for the parliamentary year ahead in edinburgh, i began by pointing out the next week marks the 20th anniversary of the devolution referendum of 1997. it sometimes feel as if we have spent time trying to prove him right. i hope that, as we mark 20 years of devolution, we now move on to a wider debate about political substance as well.