Scotland needs a government that has answers for the future – not one obsessed by the arguments of the past
Nicola Sturgeon should take ownership of a decade of broken promises by the SNP government, Kezia Dugdale said today.
Writing in the Daily Record ahead of SNP conference this week, the Scottish Labour leader outlined broken promises by the SNP on council tax, education, and the NHS.
Ms Dugdale calls for the SNP to focus on the bread and butter issues that matter to Scottish families.
The Scottish Labour leader writes:
“It’s that time of year when party conference season takes over the BBC Two TV schedule. But for weary journalists, exhibitors, politicians, and viewers, the end is now in sight.
Later this week, the SNP will hold its tenth annual conference since it formed the Scottish Government. That’s nearly a decade in power.
When Nicola Sturgeon delivers her keynote speech, there is only one word her supporters in Glasgow want to hear: independence. What she has to say on this will dominate headlines for days to come.
Here is my response: Labour does not support a second independence referendum and will vote against any such proposal in Holyrood.
Instead I’d like to see Nicola Sturgeon do something different when she takes to the stage – take ownership of a decade of SNP government which is littered with broken promises.
The SNP promised to scrap the unfair council tax back in 2007. Ten years on, all the Nationalists are proposing to scrap is the council tax freeze. Or cast your mind back to the spring of 2007 and the SNP’s flagship pledge to cut classroom sizes. Nearly a decade later, all that Nicola Sturgeon’s government has done is cut the budget for our schools.
Every young person starting college or university this autumn spent their whole secondary school under an SNP Government. In 2007 they pledged to dump student debt, but instead they cut bursaries and grants for the poorest students – and debt rocketed.
Voters will never forget the LibDems’ broken promise on tuition fees in England – and they should never forget the SNP’s broken promise to Scotland’s students.
Nicola Sturgeon promised education would be the driving and defining priority of her government, but time after time she refuses to back Labour’s plan for a 50p top rate of tax for those earning more than £150,000 a year to invest in schools.
The Nationalists have also been in charge of our cherished NHS for nearly ten years. Before May, the SNP insisted local NHS services in Glasgow, Paisley, Inverclyde and Lanarkshire would be safe. Fast forward to this autumn and they are facing the axe.
And only last week it emerged that the number of hospital operations cancelled due to growing pressure on the NHS is rising, while there have been more than 5,000 hospital beds cut under the SNP.
Scotland needs a government that has answers for the future – not one that is obsessed by independence and the arguments of the past.”