Humza Yousaf has delivered his first major policy statement to the Scottish Parliament amid the arrest of the SNP’s treasurer.
Peak-time rail fares will be scrapped on ScotRail services for six months from October, he announced.
The move will see ticket prices being lowered during busier times of the day.
He has confirmed that the Scottish Government’s deposit return scheme (DRS) would be delayed for ten months.
Ministers have been under pressure to put off the introduction of the project which had been due to come in on August 16.
DRS would see consumers charged a 20p deposit every time they buy a drink in a can or bottle, with that money refunded to them when they return the empty container for recycling.
The First Minister set out his government’s priorities over the next three years as he pledges a “fresh vision” for the future.
The statement, which is accompanied by a policy paper, covers three key themes of equality, opportunity and community.
It builds on the Scottish Government’s legislative agenda in the Programme for Government and the Bute House Agreement.
It comes just hours after SNP treasurer Colin Beattie was arrested by Police Scotland amid the force’s ongoing investigation into the party’s funding and finances.
In a statement, police said: “A 71-year-old man has today, Tuesday, April 18 2023, been arrested as a suspect in connection with the ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the Scottish National Party.
“The man is in custody and is being questioned by Police Scotland detectives.
“A report will be sent to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
“The matter is active for the purposes of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 and the public are therefore advised to exercise caution if discussing it on social media.
“As the investigation is ongoing we are unable to comment further.”