Eight Bills In Government Plans

The Scottish Government's Programme for Government sets out the policies, actions and legislation that it will take forward in 2015-16.

It is designed to create "a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and to equip Scotland for the challenges of the next decade and beyond''.

The programme includes eight bills:

:: Abusive Behaviour and Sexual Harm Bill

Designed to tackle domestic abuse and reform the law on harassment and sexual offending with the creation of a new statutory domestic abuse aggravator and a new offence of sharing private intimate material - commonly known as revenge porn.

It will also require judges to give juries specific directions when dealing with sexual offence cases, aims to enhance protections for victims of harassment, give Scottish prosecutors and courts powers in relation to existing child sexual offences when committed elsewhere in the UK, reform civil orders to enhance the protections available for communities from sex offenders and to help prevent sexual harm, and improve the information and support available to victims and witnesses.

:: Bankruptcy Consolidation Bill

Designed to make the currently incoherent and unstructured law on personal insolvency more accessible for practitioners and those affected by it, saving time and money.

:: Budget Bill

The annual Budget Bill provides Parliamentary approval for the Scottish Government's spending plans, allowing the allocation of resources to its strategic objectives.

:: Burial and Cremation Bill

Designed to update the century-old legislation on burial and cremations, address pressure on burial grounds and support their long-term sustainability including allowing the reuse of full burial lairs.

It also aims to provide burial authorities with greater powers to maintain burial grounds, improve the process involved in cremating pregnancy losses, babies and infants, improve the safeguards around cremation and introduce new inspection powers.

:: Lobbying Bill

The Lobbying Bill is designed to improve the public awareness of lobbying activity directed at MSPs and Ministers. The Bill will take account of the findings of the recent inquiry by the Scottish Parliament's Standards, Procedures and Public Appointments Committee into lobbying in Scotland and aims to introduce a "measured and proportionate register of lobbying activity''.

:: Private Tenancies Bill

A Scottish Private Rented Tenancy will replace the current Assured system, remove the "no-fault'' ground for repossession which currently allows landlords to evict tenants whose fixed-terms have ended.

It is also designed to ensure more predictable rents and protection for tenants against excessive rent increases, including the ability to introduce local rent controls for rent pressure areas.

:: Scottish Elections (dates) Bill

This Bill will ensure that the Scottish Parliament elections following the May 2016 elections will not coincide with the next scheduled UK general election in May 2020, specifically moving the election scheduled in May 2020 to May 2021.

:: Scottish Fiscal Commission Bill

The Bill will put the current non-statutory Scottish Fiscal Commission on a statutory basis, directly accountable to Parliament, to scrutinise tax forecasts and other fiscal projections prepared by the Scottish Government.

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