Politicians from various parties have queued up to welcome the Scottish government’s decision to scrap its unpopular “named person” scheme.
The proposal from the SNP administration, which has been ongoing for six years, was finally dropped on Friday after heavy criticism.
The plan was to appoint a “named person” who would monitor the wellbeing of every youngster in Scotland, including Shetland, from birth to the age of 18.
The intention was for that person to be a single point of contact if a child or their parents wanted information, support or advice, and for other services if they had concerns about the child’s wellbeing.
The named person would generally be a senior teacher, health visitor or midwife, depending on the age of the child.
Deputy first minister and justice secretary John Swinney showed no embarassment when he announced the abandonment, however, preferring to highlight positive aspects of the unpopular idea.
Mr Swinney said the scheme would have given a “clear point of contact” for parents, carers and organisations.
Highlands and Islands Tory list MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston welcomed the binning of the proposal, but said it showed the government’s unwillingness to listen to alternative opinions.
Mr Halcro Johnston said: “I share the relief of many parents and teachers that this ill-thought through scheme has been scrapped by John Swinney. It’s just a shame the SNP took six years to realise how unworkable it is.
“This has caused real concern and real uncertainly for many, including local councils and other bodies which have been forced to make preparations for a scheme the SNP has now binned.
“The SNP have, time and time again, refused to apologise for this mess – one which is entirely of their own making. It comes as no surprise that this embarrassing announcement coincides with [First Minister] Nicola Sturgeon’s latest tax-payer funded jaunt overseas – to Germany, this time, to pick up a media award. It really does tell you all you need to know about the SNP’s priorities.
“This fiasco reminds us that Scotland has a government in Edinburgh utterly unwilling to listen to any opinion which differs from their own.”