Conservative Leader Ruth Davidson focused on transport and asked what the deadline is for the improvements to Scotland’s rail system, and when a public sector operator could take over the rail system.
The First Minister stated that the improvement plan would be published within the next few days, and 2022 would be first opportunity for a public sector bid. She also pointed out that over £5 billion would be spent on Scotland’s railways over the next 10 years.
Labour leader Kezia Dugdale appealed to commuters by calling for a rail fare freeze in 2017 and asked if the Scottish Government would support the proposal. Ms Sturgeon said she would be willing look at any proposal and stated that the Government would continue to try and keep fares down.
Ms Sturgeon said that yesterday’s Autumn Statement made clear what the cost of the Brexit will be. Although she welcomed the £800 million increase to the Scotland’s block grant over the next 5 years, she said this would only enable her to reduce some of the cuts to public spending. She promised that next month’s Scottish draft budget would outline a very different approach to the one taken by the UK Government.