Sturgeon Admits 'Much More To Do'
27 February 2015, 07:17
The First Minister has said she is proud of her achievements in office but admits there is "much more to do'' as she marks her 100th day in the role.
Nicola Sturgeon will mark the milestone with a visit to pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in Irvine, North Ayrshire, where she will announce a new initiative to encourage more young women to take up modern apprenticeships.
Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy said the First Minister's report card would read "must do better, particularly on the NHS''.
Ms Sturgeon became Scotland's first female leader in November, succeeding Alex Salmond who announced he would step down after a majority of voters rejected independence in September's referendum.
On her appointment, she pledged to build a ''social democratic and socially just'' nation and vowed to lead Scotland's "most open and accessible'' government.
The First Minister said some of her key achievements included appointing the first gender-balanced cabinet in the UK, abolishing the poll tax, launching a consultation on land reform and agreeing the delivery of votes for 16 and 17-year-olds in Scotland.
Ms Sturgeon said she had delivered on the pledge to be open and accessible with online Facebook Q&As and frequent Cabinet meetings around the country.
"When I became First Minister I was clear that I wanted to create a Scotland where everyone has the same chance of success, whatever their background,'' she said.
"That is how we not only improve lives but also grow our economy.
"In the first 100 days of my government we've begun work to achieve those aspirations.
"This week have demonstrated my commitment to helping to break down the barriers that prevent our young people from achieving their full potential.
"I am very proud of the work myself and my team have done so far - but I am also clear that we have much more to do.
"Everything I have learned over the first 100 days has made me more determined than ever - over the next 100 days and beyond - to make Scotland a better, fairer, more prosperous place for us all to live and work.''
Mr Murphy said: "We have worse outcomes on A&E than there is in England, and there is an emerging crisis in Scotland's A&E departments.
"The SNP are currently letting down NHS staff and NHS patients by the way they are entirely unfocussed on improving the NHS in Scotland.
"So I wish her well, but - must do better on the NHS.''
The First Minister said Scotland's health service had been protected with a budget of over £12 billion for the first time and highlighted #100 million to help reduce the number of people delayed in hospital.
On education she pointed to the recently announced £100 million Attainment Scotland Fund set up to tackle the gap between pupils from affluent and poorer backgrounds, as well as plans to double the number of free hours of childcare to 30 hours a week and the roll-out of free school meals for every P1-P3 child.
Other measures highlighted included an increase in living wage employers in Scotland to 120, a £6 million investment in 1,000 new job opportunities for unemployed and vulnerable people, the setting up of a jobs taskforce to help the oil and gas industry and plans to end the automatic early release of all long-term prisoners.