The following commitments were announced by the First Minister on 12 March at the Spring Conference. Let’s see how they do.
NEW FUNDING FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES TO GIVE EVERY CHILD THE BEST START IN LIFE.
An SNP Scottish Government will replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant, which low income families can qualify for £500 on the birth of a child, with an expanded Maternity and Early Years Allowance which will:
- increase the payment for the birth of a first child, from £500 to £600
- restore payments for second and subsequent children – cut by the Coalition Government in 2010 – of £300
- introduce payments of £250 for low-income families at other stages in children’s lives – when they begin nursery and again when they start school.
EXTEND FREE MEALS TO 2, 3 AND 4 YEAR OLDS IN NURSERY.
The SNP Scottish Government has already delivered free school meals for primaries 1 to 3, benefitting 135,00 children across Scotland and saving families around £380 a year for each child. If re-elected, when we expand early years education to include full day provision, we will also extend free meals to 2, 3 ad 4 year olds in our nurseries. Increase free early learning and child care to 1,140 hours amounting to 30 hours a week, a commitment worth £4,500 a year for families across Scotland.
AN EXTRA £750 MILLION TO RAISE ATTAINMENT OF THE MOST DISADVANTAGED YOUNG PEOPLE.
The Scottish Attainment Fund – introduced by the SNP in government – is helping to improve literacy and numeracy in over 300 primary schools in Scotland’s most deprived communities.
An extra £100 million in funding raised by changes to council tax will see the reach of the Scottish Attainment Fund extended to every part of Scotland. Funding will go directly to head teachers, enabling them to invest in extra teachers, classroom assistants, equipment and additional learning support. £230 million to refurbish or rebuild 19 secondary and primary schools throughout Scotland.
INCREASED NHS FUNDING EVERY YEAR IN THE NEXT PARLIAMENT.
Under the SNP, funding for Scotland’s NHS is at record levels – now £13 billion. If re-elected an SNP government will continue to increase the NHS resource budget in real terms every year of the next parliament.
AN ADDITIONAL £50 MILLION FOR CANCER TREATMENT.
If re-elected in May, an SNP Scottish Government will invest an extra £50 million to help more people beat cancer, with new state-of-the-art radiotherapy equipment and an extra 100 radiotherapy specialists.
SUPERFAST DIGITAL BROADBAND FOR EVERY COMMUNITY IN SCOTLAND.
The Scottish Government’s current Digital Scotland programme will deliver broadband to 95 per cent of premises across Scotland by the end of 2017. The remaining 5 per cent will be in some of the hardest to reach areas of rural and remote Scotland.
If re-elected an SNP government will make sure no community is left behind. Over the next Parliament superfast digital broadband will be delivered to all premises across Scotland.
Increase in Scottish Police Authority budget amounting to £100m over the next parliament.
Last but not least
A NEW INITIATIVE TO BUILD SUPPORT FOR INDEPENDENCE.
This summer the SNP will embark on a new initiative to build support for independence. The First Minister outlined the next steps to build a strong majority for independence – to hear and address the concerns of those who weren’t convinced to vote for independence in 2014. That is how the 45 per cent of September 2014 will be turned into resounding yes vote.
YES, we can govern our own country.
Compare what our Scottish Government has achieved for our steel industry and how Westminster is handling the steel industry down south.
No NHS junior doctor strikes in Scotland.
No parents “striking” against education testing in Scotland.