CHANGES FROM 1 APRIL

Free Personal Care: The Scottish Government has committed to Frank’s Law, the extension of Free Personal Care to all under 65s who require it regardless of condition. Ministers have committed to the extension by 1 April 2019.

Domestic Abuse: The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 will come into force on 1 April 2019. The Act creates a new offence of domestic abuse which explicitly covers psychological as well as physical harm, and coercive and controlling behaviour. Also related consultation ending 29 March.

Forestry: The Forestry and Land Management (Scotland) Act 2018 will also come into force on 1 April 2019 with the establishment of Forestry and Land Scotland and Scottish Forestry.

Broadband: On 1 April 2019 Scottish Government will introduce a 100% business rates relief for new fibre broadband infrastructure. This relief will be in place for 10 years.

Landfill: The standard and lower rates of Scottish Landfill Tax are to increase in line with the Retail Prices index.

Gambling regulations: Curbs on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) take effect from today with stakes reducing from £100 to £2.

CONSULTATIONS – CLOSING TODAY

Scottish Charity Law: A consultation seeking views on potential improvements to the statutory charity regulation framework in Scotland, in light of proposals put forward by the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR). The consultation closes 1 April 2019.

Improving Multi-Agency Risk Assessment and intervention for victims of domestic abuse: A consultation seeking the views of those who are directly involved in protecting people at high risk of violence and who are working in partnership with others to ensure that interventions are early and effective. The consultation closes 1 April 2019.

PROGRAMME FOR GOVERNMENT 2018-19

The following commitments were made by the Scottish Government in their 2018-19 Programme for Government:

  • Dental Care: We will introduce a new scheme, from April 2019, to ensure people in care homes receive appropriate dental care.
  • NHS Booking System: We are developing a new smarter booking system for use in our NHS by the end of April 2019.
  • Living Wage: We will recognise the first Living Wage town by the end of 2018 and by the end of April 2019 we will increase the number of workers receiving a pay increase to the Living Wage by 7,500 as a result of employer accreditation.
  • Forestry: We will deliver a National Forestry Strategy setting out our long term vision and objectives for forestry and woodlands and by April 2019 we will have new arrangements in place for forestry in Scotland.
  • Patient Care: We will open by April 2019 a ScotsSTAR base in the North to improve arrangements for specialist patient retrieval and transfer.