Scottish Green co-convener Patrick Harvie said the governments plans for the environment, green transport and renewable energy expansion showed the influence of his party in the minority Scottish Parliament – but he also told the SNP to go further.
Mr Harvie stated: “The exploration of a basic or citizen’s income, a long-standing Green policy, is a positive step and confirmation of support for John Finnie’s child protection bill is very welcome.
“On a host of issues, this is a government that remains overly cautious and it must be prepared to go further.
“On clean energy, we see a commitment to carbon capture, which remains a speculative technology and which won’t help us in the immediate years ahead, and we still don’t have a ban on fracking.
“The deposit return scheme is welcome but could have been created using the Climate Change Act passed almost ten years ago.
“The phase out of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2032 is a good aim but we need a clear commitment to end their use.”
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie welcomed the presumption against prison sentences of 12 months or less, pardons for persecuted gay men, raising the age of criminal responsibility and Frank’s Law.
He said: “Yet those are few bright spots in an otherwise rather dull statement. The First Minister has today confirmed what the former ministers were saying in the papers this morning.
“The SNP has a lack of ideas, the fire has gone out and they are stuck in an ivory tower and the flat reaction of their backbenchers today shows that the fire has gone out there too.”
He renewed his party’s calls for a fresh agreement on teacher pay and conditions, a penny on income tax to invest in education and for MSPs to be given control of appointing the chair of the Scottish Police Authority.
Mr Rennie said: “This parliamentary term is a new opportunity to deliver change now and that there is a possibility of putting the divisions of independence behind us.”