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SNP manifesto ABI summary

Key campaign issues for the SNP include support for a mansion tax, a bankers’ bonus tax, and would also back the Labour Party on restoring the 50p top rate of tax. The manifesto also makes the case for an end to austerity across the United Kingdom. This sits alongside proposals for “modest” increases in spending as the document restates the party’s opposition to Trident, as well as devolution of powers over employment policy, including the minimum wage, welfare, business taxes, national insurance and equality policy.

Headlines

  • Increase public spending by 0.5 per cent a year.
  • Invest an additional £9.5 billion above inflation into the NHS across the UK by 2020/21.
  • Back plans for an annual UK target of 100,000 affordable homes, and use additional capital investment to deliver a further expansion of house-building in Scotland.
  • Will back an increase in the minimum wage to £8.70 by 2020.
  • Will back the restoration of the 50p top income tax rate for those earning over £150,000.
  • Will support an increase in the Employment Allowance from £2,000 per business per year to £6,000.
  • Will oppose the £3 billion cut in disability support.
  • Will retain the triple lock on pensions and protect the winter fuel allowance.

Taxation/Spending

  • Opposition to further spending cuts
  • The reintroduction of the 50 pence top tax rate.
  • A tax on bankers' bonuses and a bank levy.
  • Introduction of a Mansion tax.
  • The abolition of 'non-dom' tax status.
  • The reversal of the married couple’s tax allowance.
  • Support for increases in the personal tax allowance.
  • Will back measures to tackle tax avoidance, including early legislation to address tax dodging and an increase in staff resources at HMRC.
  • Will put forward measures to strengthen anti-avoidance law across the UK.
  • Will support a review of controlled foreign companies exemptions and favour a rolling review of tax reliefs as part of an ongoing programme of simplification of the tax system.
  • Support calls for a global fair tax summit to agree international measures to tackle tax abuses.
  • Support the creation of a sovereign wealth fund.
  • Press for seed-fund capitalisation of the new Scottish Business Development Bank.
  • £1 million Innovation Challenge Fund to help address major societal and industrial challenges.
  • Will continue to maximise investment in the nation’s infrastructure, using both capital spending, new borrowing powers and a range of innovative finance mechanisms.
  • Will look to ensure the public interest is fully protected in any future disposal of RBS and Lloyds shares, including decisions on how any windfall revenues should be used. 

Employment

  • Will vote to increase the minimum wage to £8.70 by 2020.
  • Will support measures to extend the Living Wage across the UK.
  • Will encourage the UK Government to become a Living Wage Employer.
  • Will support targeted reductions to employer’s National Insurance contributions.
  • Will support an increase in the Employment Allowance from £2,000 per business per year to £6,000 per business per year.
  • Will support an increase in the Work Allowance – the amount people are allowed to earn before their benefit is cut – of 20 per cent.
  • Will support efforts in the next parliament to end exploitative zero-hour contracts, with a time-limited consultation, which fully involves businesses and the trade unions, to agree the most effective way forward.
  • Will push for 50:50 representation on public and private boards, action to secure equal pay and greater support for working parents with increased paternity leave.
  • Support increased employee representation on company boards.
  • Press for the restoration of a 90 days consultation period for redundancies affecting 100 or more employees.
  • Oppose plans to restrict the right to strike and support trade unions with their proposals to modernise the way strike ballots are undertaken.

Health & Social Care

  • Increase NHS funding in line with the Stevens Report - and vote for an increase in NHS spending across the UK of £24 billion by 2020-21 - £9.5 billion above inflation.
  • SNP MPs will vote against any further privatisation of the NHS in England and “back any moves to restore it to a fully public service”.
  • Will support an increase in Carer’s Allowance so that it matches Jobseekers' Allowance.
  • Will press for the introduction, in Scotland, of a pilot programme of carer’s leave.
  • Secure £300 million over the next three years for the Integrated Care Fund and £30 million for telehealth.
  • Increase mental health investment to £100 million over the next 5 years.

Pensions

  • Will continue to support the roll out of auto enrolment for occupational pensions and also back, in principle, proposals to give pensioners more flexibility over their pension pots. However, ensure adequate levels of advice and support.
  • Will work with pensioner groups to identify and target unfair, hidden pension charges.
  • Support a single-tier pension of £160 per week and vote to continue the triple lock, guaranteeing that pensions will always rise by inflation, earnings or 2.5 per cent.
  • Will protect the Winter Fuel Allowance.
  • Oppose the abolition of Savings Credit.
  • Will seek a review of plans to increase the state pension age beyond 66.
  • Supportive of a review of the pension tax relief available to the wealthiest.
  • Ensure those who have been injured in the armed forces should get the full value of any war disablement pension and will ensure that it is not treated as income in the assessment of entitlement to other benefits.

Welfare Benefits

  • The SNP want wholesale devolution of welfare.
  • Will vote to block plans to cut Disability Living Allowance by £3 billion across the UK by 2017-18.
  • Will vote for the immediate abolition of the spare room subsidy (Bedroom Tax).
  • Will halt the roll out of Universal Credit and PIP.
  • Will demand an urgent review of the conditionality and sanctions regime.
  • Will not support attempts to restrict housing benefit for 18 to 21 year olds and believe exemptions to the Shared Accommodation Rate should be extended.

Education

  • Guarantee the continuation of free university education in Scotland and support the reduction of tuition fees across the UK.
  • Will extend the availability of Educational Maintenance Allowance in Scotland to an additional 10,000 school pupils and 12,000 part time college students.
  • Will deliver 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships each year.
  • Will back an increase in the minimum wage rate for 18 to 21 year olds to £6.86 by 2020 and believe the same rate should be paid to apprentices.  Also support an increase in the rate for 16 to 18 year olds to £5.07.
  • Through a £1.8 billion Schools for the Future programme the SNP will build 100 more new and improved buildings by 2020.

Europe

  • Opposition to withdrawal from the European Union.
  • Will propose a 'double majority' rule - meaning that unless England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland each vote to leave the EU, the UK would remain a member state.
  • Ensure a greater role for devolved administrations in the Council of Ministers and more direct engagement in devolved policy areas, across the full range of European institutions.
  • Will seek an explicit exemption for the NHS and Scottish Water, as part of a general public sector exemption, from the terms of the proposed TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership.
  • Will continue to press for speedy European sign-off of Scotland’s rural development programme.

Energy

  • Support lower energy bills for consumers by pushing for the Energy Company Obligation to be funded through general taxation and not as a levy on energy bills.
  • Will support new powers to make sure that energy companies pass on the benefits of lower prices to consumers.
  • Will call on, and vote for, the UK Government to adopt Scotland’s ambitious carbon reduction targets.
  • Continue to support a moratorium on fracking through opposition to the Infrastructure Bill.
  • Will do all it can to protect jobs and investment in the oil and gas industry in light of lower global oil prices and will work to increase internationalisation opportunities for Scotland’s oil and gas industry.
  • Seek to maximise support for offshore wind, including by seeking alterations to the current Contracts for Differences.
  • Will press for onshore wind to continue to receive support through the lifetime of the next Parliament.

Housing

  • Will back investment in an annual house building target across the UK of 100,000 affordable homes a year.
  • Will continue support for Help to Buy and shared equity.

Climate Change

  • Will support steps to increase the capital available to the Green Investment Bank and will ask the next UK government to report on options including new borrowing powers for the bank.
  • Ensure both Scotland and the UK are able to play a constructive role at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference.
  • Will call on the UK government to match the approach of the Scottish Government with a dedicated Climate Justice Fund.
  • Will call on the Bank of England to continue its work on the potential impact of climate change on financial stability.

Constitutional Reform

  • Will vote for the abolition of the House of Lords and replace it with an elected second chamber.
  • Will vote for the replacement of the first past the post voting system with proportional representation (Single Transferable Vote).
  • The SNP will always support independence - but that is “not what this election is about”.  The SNP will call for real Home Rule, maximum devolution and as close to federalism as possible.
  • Will ensure proposals of the Smith Commission are delivered quickly and in full.
  • Will seek agreement that the Scottish Parliament should move to full financial responsibility.  Prioritising devolution of powers over employment policy, including the minimum wage, welfare, business taxes, national insurance and equality policy.
  • Support recall of MPs.
  • Reduce voting age to 16 for General and European elections.
  • Oppose scrapping the Human Rights Act or withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights.
  • Support rules on lobbying but remove restrictions on charities as ‘non-party campaigners’.
  • With the ‘Our Islands, Our Future’ project, intention to devolve new powers and responsibilities to Scotland’s three main island groups.

Conservative Government

  • If there is an anti-Conservative majority in the House of Commons, the SNP will vote in a motion of confidence against a Conservative government.

Transport

  • Will connect Scotland to HS2 as a priority, with construction beginning in Scotland as well as England, and a high speed connection between Glasgow, Edinburgh and the north of England as part of any high-speed rail network.

Data

  • Oppose plans for the reintroduction of the Communications Data Bill (Snoopers Charter).

Immigration

  • Will seek the reintroduction of the post study work visa.

Defence

  • Will oppose plans for a new generation of Trident nuclear weapons.
  • The forthcoming UK Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) must take full account of the need to be more effective at combatting cyber-terrorism.

Last updated 01/07/2016