In this election the SNP is putting fairness at the heart of our policies to deliver more for people here in Moray and right across Scotland.
Here in Moray I regularly meet people who are struggling as a result of the disgraceful treatment of vulnerable people by the Tory government at Westminster.
The SNP is committed to using new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament to tackle these injustices and build a social security system in Scotland that will have dignity and respect as its core principles. One of the groups hardest hit by the UK Government’s welfare cuts are the disabled.
We all know people who are disabled or people who are carers and the treatment of this vulnerable group of people by the Tories has been disgusting. I am proud to stand as a candidate for the SNP on a platform to tackle inequality and support those most in need.
We will continue to support the Independent Living Fund, abolished by the Tories, but protected by the SNP and providing valuable help to people in Scotland. And while the Tories introduced the Bedroom Tax – we have fully mitigated it in Scotland, protecting 72,000 households, 80% of which have a disabled adult.
We will formally abolish the bedroom tax when the powers come to Scotland and increase support for Scotland’s carers.
With the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament, this election is the most important since devolution – as we need a government which will use the new powers wisely – and support those who need it most. That fairness at the heart of our policies will also extend to ensuring that the next generation of our youngest children get the best possible start in life, which is a central responsibility of any government.
Our new Early Years and Maternity grant will help new mums when they are expecting and support young children in their earliest years of life. An estimated 12,000 families will benefit from support when their child is born, when they start nursery and when they go to school. And unlike the Tory cuts to Sure Start grants across the UK, when we have the power we will ensure that support is available for all children – not just the first child.
That is just one way we can help those on low incomes meet the costs that come with raising our children. Our Council Tax reforms protect those in smaller houses and will see bills reduced by an average of £173 for 77,000 low income families with children.
We will extend childcare to 30 hours for all three and four year olds, and vulnerable two year olds, and we will make sure that all those children receiving 30 hours of childcare also benefit from free school meals – just as young children in primary school benefit from free school meals.
There is a stark contrast between our support for young families, and Labour’s attempts to increase the taxes on some of the hardest-pressed households in our society.
This election is an opportunity to back the next generation of young Scots, ensure they have the best start in life and improve the opportunities available to them when they grow up.
By giving both votes to the SNP in this election, people in Scotland can be sure that they are electing a government which firmly believes in dignity and respect for all.
All Moray candidates in the 2016 Parliamentary Election plus list candidates for the Green Party and an Independent were invited to submit their views on one day each week until Friday, April 29 – they will then be invited to sum-up their cases on Sunday, May 1 in a final address on insideMoray before the election. Candidates for the Banffshire and Buchan constituency that includes part of Moray around Buckie have also been invited to submit their views.