Earlier this month, the SNP announced our Programme for Government for the coming year.

The programme is good news for Renfrewshire and includes legislation which will benefit local people for decades to come.

This is the most ambitious plan ever to be brought forward by a Scottish Government.

The announcements include extending free personal care, active travel and changes to the way in which our local schools are run.

Plans for a Scottish National Investment Bank and action to phase out the need for petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032 were also revealed.

Creating a new criminal offence of drug driving, which will come into force in 2019, will help to tackle this increasing threat and make Renfrewshire’s roads safer for all of us.

Meanwhile, measures announced to restrict the marketing of foods that are high in fat, sugar or salt will see Scotland take the lead on this ever-growing issue.

A ban will go a long way in our battle against obesity, particularly in young people, and it is encouraging to see people such as Jamie Oliver back these plans.

We have also been very clear that public sector workers deserve a fairer pay deal and I am pleased that, from next year, public sector pay in Scotland will no longer be restricted by the current one per cent pay cap.

We will look to deliver a pay policy that is both affordable and recognises the real life circumstances of our hard-working public sector workers.

I have been pleased, but not surprised, by the positive reaction from stakeholders to the programme announced, with Friends of the Earth hailing it as the “greenest ever programme for government.”

The policies and legislation set out are bold and ambitious and I look forward to playing my part in delivering changes which will improve local people’s day-to-day lives for years to come.

As well as the Programme for Government announcements, I wrote to opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament last week, asking for their income tax policies.

This is the start of a cross-party discussion around how we continue to fund high-quality public services across Scotland and I want to ensure that proposals from all parties are represented.

This is a chance for the Scottish Parliament to have a serious debate about taxation and public services and I hope that all parties will participate constructively in that discussion.