Duncan Thorp, Policy and Public Affairs Officer, Social Enterprise Scotland

A fairer and greener Scotland has been negotiated between the Scottish government and the Scottish Green Party, as part of a new type of cooperation agreement. This ensures a majority in the Scottish Parliament and two green ministers in government for the very first time.

There is a key section for social enterprises called ‘An economy that works for all people and places in Scotland’ which says: ‘We will also support businesses with alternative ownership models, including cooperatives and social enterprises, with a view to increasing their representation in the Scottish economy and increasing the number of employee-owned businesses in Scotland to 500 by 2030. “

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In the ‘Better Life’ section, he adds: ‘We will also support the social enterprise sector as it strives to tackle pressing social issues, including homelessness and climate change – by investing 5 million pounds over three years to help community organizations recover from the pandemic, give every child the opportunity to engage in social enterprise while in school and promote international social enterprises in emerging markets like Africa and Southeast Asia.

There are many diverse political promises in the program that are relevant to social enterprises. It should also be borne in mind that we have already put in place the commitments of the Action Plan for social enterprises, which are part of the 10-year national plan for social enterprises.

Some of the key political commitments of broad interest include the promotion and establishment of Scotland as a global center for green and ethical finance. There is also additional support for housing co-ops, potentially including through LBTT tax relief.

The broad policy is to establish a National Care Service (NCS), including an “ethics commission” and the implementation of a fair work program. A national good food bill and a local food strategy, aimed at “developing your own” initiatives and exploiting public sector procurement, are also included.

There will be further progress on a multi-year funding model for third sector organizations and the government is committed to working with local third sector interfaces to strengthen their influence and revise funding to further support the most vulnerable areas. more disadvantaged.

Legislation to improve the law on charities, strengthening the legal and regulatory framework to improve public confidence is included and there will be an ambitious minimum income guarantee, to ensure that everyone has enough money. money for a life with dignity plus a Scottish payment for children under 16 by the end of 2022.

There is much more, such as a Community Wealth Building Bill, which helps create and protect jobs and enable greater ownership of assets by the community and the third sector. In addition, there will be a £ 50million low carbon vacant and derelict land investment program and Land Reform Bill to tackle land ownership concentration, including a public interest test, doubling the Scottish Land Fund by the end of Parliament.

We look forward to next year and are working with our social enterprise and third sector partners, as well as national and local governments, to ensure that social enterprise solutions are at the heart of our economy.

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