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Issue 12


With the Referendum and UK election down - and a Scottish Parliament election to come - this issue discusses Scottish policy in the context of government and governance across the UK. Please contact us if you would like to discuss advertising in or writing for the next edition at Issue 13 will be published in December 2015 and the policy focus will be Scotland's low carbon opportunity - in business and public services - set against the backdrop of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris.


The Holyrood election of 2016 is already looking to be a fascinating contest not so much because of serious doubts about which party might do best; but just as much about what the implications of doing best might be.

Can Scotland have a democratic revival?

Amongst Scotland's growing policy community there is a buzz around a revival in democracy.

The Government of Business

Liz Cameron argues for a business friendly approach as the Scottish Parliament develops increasing power over taxation

Which Local Taxes?

Kenneth Gibb believes the freezing of local taxes needs to end as part of the outcome of the current review into local government funding

Changing Health & Social Care

Do we need bolder commitments for health and social care with more radical thinking and bolder choices - a journey that the whole country will have to travel on?

Scotland's cities: the engines of change

Andrew Burns is optimistic about the potential of the Scottish Cities Alliance to deliver for Scotland

Scrapping Air Passenger Duty

Following the work of the Smith Commission, the new Scotland Bill proposes to devolve Air Passenger Duty to Scotland, as well as income tax and aggregates levy. Added together with existing taxes which have been devolved to Holyrood, this will give the Scottish Government direct responsibility over the level of 37 per cent of its expenditure.

The Future of Health in Scotland

The RCN believes that in the run-up to the Scottish Parliament elections next year a mature debate is needed on the current pressures on our health services and the options available to put the NHS a more sustainable footing

Homes for People

The Commission on Housing and Wellbeing produced a series of 47 recommendations on how housing can improve people's lives. Paul Bradley outlines some of them here

How do we control our land?

How bold will forthcoming legislation on land reform be and will it form part of a much wider, on-going programme of progressive land reform rather than representing Government's last word on the process?

Workers Rights in Scotland

Dave Watson sees a growing gap in the industrial relations culture between Scotland and England.

The Thinning Blue Line

Reform Scotland's recent report, The Thinning Blue Line, considered the structure of policing in Scotland and argues for a decentralised structure as well as greater flexibility in deployment

Our Principles, Our Future

May 2016 and beyond gives us an opportunity to take significant steps in creating a society fit for disabled people, people who live with long term conditions and unpaid carers to enjoy their right to live well

Land Reform in Urban Scotland

The Land Reform Review Group proposed to speed up the development and redevelopment of urban land in Scotland and to ensure places are built to a much higher quality in future: how did it want to do this?

The bold reforms needed to protect the most vulnerable

Reforming the Hearings System, strengthening supports for child witnesses and caring for babies in the criminal justice system can protect and ensure justice for our most vulnerable children

Kids Company - Weans World?

What lessons can be drawn from the collapse of the Kids Company charity?

Connecting all of Scotland

The digital opportunity for Scotland during the next parliament still holds out the prospect of great reward for public services, business and people

Just what will we be voting on next year?

Next year's Scottish Parliament elections will be about policy, powers and political change - but what will be the key factor?

Policy Shorts

Labour shortage, care squeeze, zero hours and vaping.


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