Today, the SNP launched their manifesto for the upcoming Scottish Parliamentary election – and local candidate Stuart McMillan has welcomed his party’s commitment to recovery from COVID-19 and Brexit to build a fairer Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon launched the manifesto and branded it “transformational” in its ambition.
Commenting, Stuart said:
“The SNP is setting out a serious programme for serious times. This manifesto is packed full of policies to drive recovery from COVID-19 and Brexit, and to continue our progress on building a fairer Scotland for all.
“Investment in health is already at record levels, but an SNP Government would deliver a 20% increase in frontline NHS spending worth £2.5bn, and would establish a National Care Service, backed by a 25% increase in social care investment.
“This will include significant investment in the staff themselves – NHS staff have been offered an average 4% pay increase, and the new National Care Service, backed by £800m, would enable the government to offer a National Living Wage for care staff.
“The SNP are also committed to abolishing NHS dental charges over the next parliament – helping to deliver truly universal healthcare.
“To invest in the next generation, an SNP Government would also invest £1bn over the next parliament to close the school attainment gap, and recruit 3500 additional teachers and classroom assistants – as well as providing free school breakfast and lunches to every primary school pupil, year-round, and a device for every child in Scotland to get online. It will also build a wraparound childcare system, to help support working parents, with the least well-off families paying nothing.
“The SNP’s recovery plans have fair work and the climate emergency at its heart – and include an investment of £500m to support new jobs and resell people for the jobs of the future – as well as funding the Young Person’s Guarantee of a university, college, apprenticeship, training place of job for every young person who wants it.
“Over £33bn will be invested over the next five years in the National Infrastructure Mission, directly supporting 45,000 jobs.
“Housing also remains a priority for the SNP – and in Government the SNP will deliver a further 100,000 homes by 2032 with investment of £3.5bn over this parliament, which would support 14,000 jobs a year. There will also be a commitment to decarbonise the heating of 1 million homes by 2030.
“We will also deliver a green transport revolution by providing free bikes to all school-age children who can’t afford them, remove the majority of fossil fuel buses from public transport by 2023, ramp up investment in Active Travel, and bring ScotRail into public ownership with the aim of decarbonising the rail network by 2035.
“I welcome this ambitious plan for Scotland’s recovery, but we cannot ignore the fact that Westminster are using their powers to take Scotland in the wrong direction, and they are pressing the accelerator. This will make recovery more difficult as they hurtle towards a deeply damaging destination that few people in Scotland want.
“The UK Government’s austerity agenda continues to harm our community – with welfare cuts plunging more households locally into poverty. Instead of spending money mitigating the impact of these callous policies, I believe that with the powers of independence we can do so much more for Scotland.
“The people of Scotland should decide Scotland’s future through an independence referendum in the next term of Parliament. It should take place only when the crisis has passed, but in time then to equip our Parliament with the full powers it needs to drive our long-term recovery.
“The experienced leadership needed for these serious times and all of the opportunities set out today will come about only if there is an SNP government – and that means using both votes for the SNP.
“On May 6 for a better Scotland – for this and for generations yet to come – vote SNP.”