Scotland politics

At-a-glance: Scottish Labour manifesto

Scottish Labour has unveiled its vision for Scotland ahead of the June 8 general election. Here are the main policies from the party's 2017 manifesto.

Key points:

  • Opposition to a second independence referendum.
  • A new Scottish Investment Bank with £20bn of lending power.
  • Promising an end to austerity.
  • A fairer tax system to support public services.
  • Breakfast clubs in all Scottish primary schools.
  • Introducing a real Living Wage of £10.
  • Plan to scrap the "Rape Clause".

Have a look at the manifesto in full.


Independence and democracy

The manifesto pledges to:

  • Oppose any second independence referendum as "unwanted and unnecessary" and leading to £15bn deficit.
  • Consult on extending local democracy regionally and nationally, and look at the option of a more federalised country.
  • Make the second chamber at Westminster democratically elected, and end the hereditary principle.
  • Extend Freedom of Information to private companies who have public contracts.

Economy

  • Launch a Scottish Investment Bank, with £20bn of lending power to local projects and small businesses.
  • Close down tax loopholes and take on tax avoidance.
  • Increase corporation tax to end cuts to Scotland's public services.
  • Reintroduce lower small profit rate of income tax to protect small businesses.
  • Introduce strict rules to make sure Scotland get its fair share of UK investment.
  • Consult on breaking up publicly-owned Royal Bank of Scotland to create local public banks.
  • Stop banks from closing high street branches where there is a "clear local need".
  • Place an Excessive Pay Levy on companies with staff on very high pay.

The power over some areas of taxation, including council, land and building tax, is in the hands of the MSPs at Holyrood and not MPs at Westminster.


Transport and infrastructure

  • Bring rail companies back into public ownership, including ScotRail.
  • Cap fares for passengers and ensure safe staffing levels.
  • Extend the HS2 high-speed rail line to Glasgow and Edinburgh.
  • Support Scotland's rural ferry services such as CalMac and keep them in public hands.
  • Reverse the privatisation of the Royal Mail.
  • Deliver universal superfast broadband to Scotland by 2021, and increase mobile internet coverage.

Power over transport is in the hands of MSPs at Holyrood.


Energy and environment

  • Ban onshore fracking.
  • Place a cap on energy prices to keep average bills under £1,000 per year.
  • Take energy supply back into public ownership.
  • Safeguard the North Sea oil and gas industry.
  • Support further nuclear projects and protection of nuclear power jobs.
  • Support the increase of the low-carbon economy.
  • Introduce a Clear Air Act to improve the UK's air quality.
  • Support Scotland's marine protected areas.

Some powers over the environment are in the hands of MSPs at Holyrood and not MPs at Westminster.


Employment

  • Raise the minimum wage to a Living Wage of £10 per hour by 2020 for workers aged 18 and over.
  • Ban zero hours contracts and give all workers equal rights whether part-time or full-time.
  • Repeal the Trade Union Act and roll out collective bargaining.
  • Propose new national holidays to mark four patron saints' days, including St Andrew's Day.
  • End the public sector pay cap.
  • Place a ban on unpaid internships.

Brexit

  • Accept the EU referendum result and work towards a deal that puts the "national interest first".
  • Scrap Tory Brexit White Paper and place an emphasis on retaining the benefits of single market access.
  • Guarantee existing rights for EU nationals in Scotland and Scots in Europe.
  • Reject leaving EU with no deal and negotiate transitional arrangements.
  • Seek to keep Britain part of the Erasmus scheme for students.
  • Make sure Brexit does not lead to a roll back of workplace rights and protections.
  • Devolve relevant powers transferred from EU to the Scottish Parliament, such as agriculture or fisheries.

Education

  • Create a funded breakfast club in every primary school in Scotland.
  • Cancel SNP plans to centralise schools and invest in current schools.
  • Ensure that every child leaves primary school able to read to a high standard.
  • Report on the educational attainment gap between children from lower and higher income backgrounds.
  • Reform further education bursary and Educational Maintenance Allowance.
  • Help those going from social security into further education.
  • Ensure graduates do not have to pay back student loads until they are earning £22,000 a year.

The power over education is in the hands of MSPs at Holyrood and not MPs at Westminster.


Welfare

  • Scrap the current "punitive" benefit sanctions system.
  • End the bedroom tax across the UK.
  • Bring back housing benefit for under-21s.
  • End reassessments for people with severe long-term conditions.
  • Secure free bus passes in Scotland for those aged 60 and above.

More welfare powers have been handed to the Scottish government at Holyrood.


Housing

  • Provide resources to the Scottish Government to invest in Scotland's housing stock.
  • Guarantee funding for the Help to Buy scheme until 2027.
  • Consult on introducing a private rent sector charter to drive up standards.
  • Launch a national plan to end rough sleeping within the next Parliament, and safeguard hostels and other supported housing.

The power over housing is in the hands of MSPs at Holyrood and not MPs at Westminster.


Health

  • Increase funding for the NHS in Scotland through taxing the richest and private medical insurance.
  • Help GPs to get the resources to treat their community.
  • Support more places for medical students and more GP training places.
  • Use Scottish Parliament powers to stop cuts to social care and invest in local services.
  • Back Frank's Law campaign to remove charges on under-65s with dementia.
  • Ensure all secondary schools have access to a qualified counsellor.
  • Create a plan to discourage people from starting to smoke, and "de-normalise" tobacco products.
  • Publish a childhood obesity strategy and call on the Scottish Government to restrict unhealthy food promotions in supermarkets.

The power over health is in the hands of MSPs at Holyrood and not MPs at Westminster. However, some budgetary decisions made by the UK government can have a knock-on effect in Scotland. This is often referred to as the Barnett consequentials.


Policing and justice

  • Oppose the plan to merge British Transport Police with Police Scotland.
  • Propose scrapping the SNP's Offensive Behaviour at Football and Threatening Communications Act.
  • Ensure mental health services are available for all prisoners in Scotland.

Power over justice and policing issues are in the hands of MSPs at Holyrood.


Equality

  • Oppose any changes to the current abortion laws in Scotland.
  • Reverse unfair employment tribunal fees.
  • Introduce a Member's Bill to tackle the issue of 'period poverty', where sanitary products are priced too highly.
  • Adopt a zero tolerance approach to hate crime, including that motivated by religion, race, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Many equality powers are in the hands of MSPs at Holyrood.


Defence

  • Pause military base closures in Scotland until there has been a full UK government review into its economic impact.
  • Continue to support renewal of the Trident nuclear deterrent in line with UK Labour.
  • Ensure shipbuilding in Rosyth and Clyde is maintained and protected.
  • Focus on diplomacy and peaceful solutions to global conflicts.

The government at Westminster makes decisions on the future of Army, Navy and Air bases and what happens to Trident, which is based on the Clyde.

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