SNP 2017 general election manifesto launched in Perth
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon outlined the SNP’s key policies yesterday as the party leader revealed its manifesto for the upcoming general election.
Although the power over housing is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, the manifesto pledges to continue the SNP’s housing policy in Scotland, which has the highest house building rate in the UK, and continue the Rural Housing Fund.
Ms Sturgeon said she would also “fundamentally change” the system for housing asylum seekers, addressing the “disgraceful condition” of housing provided.
The manifesto reads: “The Scottish Government’s work to resettle Syrian refugees has shown how people can be supported and welcomed into communities and should be used as basis for settling asylum seekers in the future. We will urge the UK government to work with the devolved administrations, local authorities and local communities to provide services for asylum seekers rather than use private contractors who have profit rather than people as their prime motive.”
Under the party’s plans, SNP MPs will support restoration of housing support for 18 to 21 year olds across the UK.
North of the Border, the Scottish Welfare Fund has been extended on an interim basis to ensure no-one is victim to the UK government’s decision to remove housing support for young people unless they can prove family breakdown or abuse.
The SNP said the Scottish Government will abolish the ‘bedroom tax’ in Scotland completely, when it has the powers to do so, and will continue to demand that it is scrapped across the UK.
The manifesto also includes commitments to:
- An alternative to austerity that will release almost £120 billion for public spending over the next parliament, achieving a current budget balance by the final year of the parliament
- Protect public services, including a plan for additional NHS spending across the UK that would, by 2021/22, increase the NHS Scotland budget by up to £1 billion over and above our existing plans
- Increase the Minimum Wage to the level of the Real Living Wage, taking the Minimum Wage to over £10 per hour by the end of the parliament
- Lift the freeze on benefits and abolish the two-child cap and the Rape Clause
- Protect the Triple Lock on pensions, protect the winter fuel allowance and support fair pensions for women
- No increase in taxation on the low paid, in National Insurance or in VAT.
- Support a UK-wide increase in the higher rate of taxation from 45p to 50p.
- Double the employment allowance providing a National Insurance discount for job-creation
- Protect Scotland’s place in the single market, and demand for the Scottish Government a place at the table in Brexit negotiations
- Secure, by winning a majority of Scottish seats, a reinforcement of the existing mandate for Scotland having a choice on its future when the terms of Brexit are clear
Speaking as the manifesto was launched, Nicola Sturgeon said: “This manifesto sets out a plan to end Tory cuts, protect Scottish jobs, and strengthen Scotland’s hand.
“It is a manifesto with fairness and opportunity at its heart – a manifesto for a country that is welcoming and outward-looking.”