The First Minister, Alex Salmond, has announced 15 new bills to parliament including legislation to create a single Scottish police force, plans to combat sectarianism and the introduction of minimum alcohol pricing.
This is part of the new SNP majority government vision for Scotland following the elections in May.
Mr Salmond also pledged that every 16-19 year old in Scotland would be offered learning or training opportunities. He said: “No young person should go through school only to become an unemployment statistic at the age of 16. We will not allow that in Scotland.”
The SNP’s proposed minimum alcohol pricing legislation which was backed by senior police officers and public health experts, was defeated in the last parliamentary term by Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats. Mr Salmond said returning to the proposals would "tackle the scourge of alcoholism on Scottish society and families".
The first minister also announced that the creation of a single Scottish police force would allow for money to be saved without having an impact on front-line services.
Legislation against sectarian offences on football grounds is also expected to be passed by the end of the year.
But Mr Salmond claimed the party’s overwhelming victory in May was not only a recognition of competent governance but a sign that Scots were “ready to move on to the next chapter of Scotland’s story". He said Scotland was no longer in fear of independence and pointed out that Scotland had remained in economic surplus in four out of the last five years.
The first minister ended his address to the Scottish Parliament by saying: “This government prefers to think big for Scotland because this government knows where it is going. We have Scotland's interests at the heart of the programme I outline today. The people recognise our ambition and trust us to take Scotland further on its journey. So should this chamber.”