amilies of about 145,000 children will receive additional support as bridging payments are doubled this winter, Nicola Sturgeon announced.
The final quarterly Bridging Payment, due in December, will give families £260 through an investment of £18.9 million.
But she added: “We need to do more because we know this winter is going to be really tough.
“Rather than looking forward to Christmas, too many families will be dreading it because they don’t know if they can afford to heat their homes or even pay for food.”
She told delegates that the payment will “help put food on the Christmas table for families of 145,000 children and young people”.
Ms Sturgeon also said she will endeavour to make Aberdeen the “net-zero capital of the world”, with the first 22 projects in the Scottish Government’s £500 million Just Transition Fund being awarded funding of more than £50 million.
The SNP leader said: “These projects will support the production of green hydrogen, the development of wave and tidal technology, and even pioneer the use of waste from whisky to recycle EV batteries.”
Management of the NHS is our responsibility. It is no-one else’s
Two new fast-track cancer diagnostic centres will also be opened in the Borders and Lanarkshire next year.
“Fast diagnosis and reliable, quality healthcare matters whatever your condition,” Ms Sturgeon said.
“But it is especially important for those with cancer. The best chance of surviving cancer remains early detection and treatment.”
She went on: “By the end of this Parliament, there will be a fast-track cancer diagnostic centre in every heath board in Scotland.
“That is just one example of how we are supporting our NHS. That job is the most important our Government has right now.
“Management of the NHS is our responsibility. It is no-one else’s.”
The First Minister also said an independent Scotland would protect the founding principles of the NHS by embedding a “universal NHS in a written constitution”.
She said: “With independence, we could choose to embed a universal NHS in a written constitution.A constitutional right to healthcare free at the point of need.
“Conference, if the SNP is in Government, that is exactly what we will do.”
Investment of £20 billion will be delivered in the first decade of Scottish independence, she pledged.
The Building A New Scotland Fund will be set up with remaining oil revenues and the use of borrowing powers in order to “kick-start the sustainable economic growth so important for our newly independent nation”, the First Minister said.