Holyrood 2016: UKIP manifesto at-a-glance
UKIP has launched its manifesto ahead of the Holyrood election on 5 May. Here are some of the key points.
The front cover of the 30-page manifesto sets out in bold letters UKIP's promise to "shake up Holyrood" if the party manages to win seats in the Scottish Parliament for the first time.
Inside, the party's Scottish leader David Coburn contrasts UKIP with the "tired old establishment parties which spout the same old havers".
And of course, Mr Coburn sets out his commitment to leaving the "bankrupt, sclerotic, undemocratic European Union and bring its powers back to Holyrood and Westminster where they belong".
UKIP is fielding a total of 26 candidates across Scotland's eight regional lists, with the party hopeful that the debate over whether or not the UK should leave the EU will translate into enough electoral support for it to win its first seats at Holyrood.
UKIP says it will:
- Oppose any suggestions which would result in taxes being higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK
- Lower business rates and cut red tape
- Open Grammar and Technical Schools in Scotland
- Oppose the 'Bedroom Tax'
- Protect the NHS from TTIP
- Cut Stamp Duty and regulation for brown field sites to increase housing
- Ensure all Armed Forces Veterans receive fast track NHS care for both mental and physical needs
- Repeal the Named Persons scheme
- Protect property rights and the Laws of Inheritance
UKIP insists it is not "anti-Europe", but is firmly opposed to political integration within Europe.
It argues that the UK has lost its rights of self-government through the "stealth creation of a United States of Europe which has its own flag, national anthem, parliament, central bank, court of justice, vast civil service and fledgling military and police forces."
The manifesto says a UK exit from the EU is the only choice if the country is to make our own laws and control its own destiny.
And it argues that leaving the EU would allow the UK to regain control of its borders and implement an Australian-style points based system to determine who is able to migrate to the UK.
Economy and taxation
UKIP's approach to taxation revolves ensuring that taxes in Scotland are the same - or lower - than elsewhere in the UK.
The key manifesto pledges in this area include:
- The introduction of a new intermediate tax rate of 30% on income tax ranging between £45,300 and £55,000
- The higher rate of 40 per cent will begin at the threshold of £55,000
- Working closely with the UK government to identify companies that are not paying their fair share of tax
- Holyrood should only borrow money to finance infrastructure or capital projects and never for ongoing costs
- Significantly reducing the number of Scottish government ministers and an end to the Holyrood "gravy train"
A key policy area for UKIP is ensuring small and medium sized businesses are supported, with high business rates and red tape being reduced to ensure entrepreneurs are not discouraged.
The party says it would:
- Lower business rates in Scotland
- Repeal EU regulation and directives that stifle business growth
- Push every local authority in Scotland to offer at least 30 minutes free parking in city and town centres, high streets and shopping parades
- Make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses with 250 employees or less to tender for public sector contracts
- Work with providers to ensure good mobile phone coverage and internet speeds throughout Scotland
Save the Scottish pub
UKIP argues that changes in the law have pushed people away from their local pub and into the supermarkets to buy cheap alcohol.
The party believes that the local pub is a cultural tradition which moderates drinking in a social environment, and that the smoking ban has had a "disastrous effect" on sections of the Scottish economy and society.
- Changing the drink driving limit back to 80mg per 100ml of blood - the same as the rest of the UK
- Allowing pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms if they wish
Constitution and devolution
UKIP describes itself as a "Unionist party which understands the benefits of local decision making" and would oppose a second referendum on Scottish independence.
It believes that:
- Leaving the EU would result in new powers over fishing and agriculture being handed over to the Scottish Parliament
- No further powers transferred from Westminster in order to avoid "independence by accident"
- A "Scottish and UK first" procurement policy should be introduced for all Scottish government spending
- End the over reliance of the Scottish government on costly PFI and similar financing
- UKIP would bring forward proposals to allow binding local referenda on important local issues
Health and the NHS
UKIP is committed to keeping the NHS free at the point of delivery for UK citizens. It says it would:
- Bring back the State Enrolled Nurse and fund a return to practice training for those who have taken a career break
- Give mental health parity with physical health
- Recognise there is often a link between addiction and mental health issues and would offer the appropriate treatment
- Offer direct access to specialist mental health treatment for women who are pregnant or have young children
- Increase mental health resources in the justice system
- Fight the stigma around mental illness and support those seeking to stabilise and normalise their lives
UKIP believes that every Scottish child should receive the best possible education and training. It policies include:
- A proper balance of educational institutions with high quality universities alongside high quality further education colleges, apprenticeships, technical schools, grammar schools and vocational training
- Reducing the workload on teachers by streamlining paper work, reducing bureaucracy and cutting centralised targets
- Reducing average class sizes in Primary 1, 2 and 3 years to 20 children per class, and ensuring the cap on the biggest class size allowable of 25 is met
- Reviewing the curriculum to ensure that it is producing the future workforce Scotland needs
- End political correctness in schools and introduce a specific Act aimed at banning "damaging political propaganda"
Agriculture and the countryside
UKIP believes in a "genuine rural economy that is both sustainable and viable". In order to achieve this, it wants to bring powers back from Brussels to Holyrood, making agriculture and forestry the preserve of the Scottish Parliament. It also wants to:
- Give farms the freedom to choose their own crops and remove any requirement regarding crop rotation or crops planted
- Simplify the qualification and evaluation criteria for Single Farm Payments (SFP) to meet the specific objectives of agriculture first and foremost
- Introduce an outcomes-based approach to SFP whereby farmers are supported by government rather than threatened with penalties
- Instigate a detailed audit to reveal the full extent of financial waste in the administration of SFP
Environmental protection and biodiversity
Again, UKIP wants to abolish "excessive and unnecessary" EU regulation and directives and to replace them with more appropriate controls administered at a national or local government level.
It would also:
- Scrap targets regarding forestry and re-wilding, opting for local management of such matters
- Replace SEPA with a new organisation that would "work with locals and landowners rather than against them"
- Support research into GM foods, and allow a free vote in parliament on commercial cultivation
- Repeal the Air Weapons and Licensing (Scotland) Bill 2015
- Abolish the current Scottish Land Reform Bill and replace it with a new Act based on historic freedoms and individual liberties
- Oppose the introduction of business rates on sporting estates
UKIP wants to start the process of replenishing Scottish waters and restoring its fishing industry by leaving the EU and withdrawing from the Common Fisheries Policy.
It would also:
- Establish a 12-mile zone around the coastline for UK and Scottish fishermen and a 200-mile exclusive economic zone under UK and Scotland's control
- Reverse the rapid decline in the fishing industry and return £2.5bn a year in fish sales to the UK and Scottish economy
- Work with fishermen to solve discard and landing issues
- Set a target of 50,000 Social and Affordable houses to be built during the course of the next parliament
- Operate a "Brown Field First" policy, remove unnecessary barriers for building on brown field sites and accelerate the planning process
- Identify long-term dormant land held by central and local government so it can be released for affordable developments
- Encourage local authorities to prioritise people with strong local connections when making housing allocations
- Oppose the so-called Bedroom Tax
- Support the principle of right to buy
Law and Liberty
UKIP is committed to upholding the rights of the individual and protecting them from an "ever encroaching state". It would:
- Repeal the Named Persons Act
- Oppose any plans to create a super ID database
- No forced property sales and the right of inheritance will remain as it is
- Repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications (Scotland) Act 2012
- Review Police Scotland and investigate its possible break up into regional police forces
UKIP aims to make travelling about Scotland a "pleasure rather than a chore". It would:
- Speed up the implementation of dual carriageways
- Investigate the feasibility of opening both Forth road bridges to all types of traffic
- Restrict speed cameras to known accident black spots, with average speed cameras only used on bridges and during roadworks
- Bring forward both the rail link to Glasgow International Airport from Glasgow Central Station and the Crossrail Glasgow project
- Oppose the privatisation of CalMac, with all new CalMac ships having to be built in Scottish yards