Election 2016: Moray would benefit from SNP Manifesto commitments

Richard Lochhead - seeking reelection
Richard Lochhead

Last week saw the launch of our manifesto where Nicola Sturgeon pledged to govern and to serve for all of Scotland.

There are many pledges in that manifesto that will have a direct impact on Moray and the people who live and work here.

  • We will increase the NHS budget by £500 million more than inflation by the end of the parliamentary term
  • We will invest an additional £1.3 billion in health and social care partnerships
  • Hundreds of millions will be invested in mental health and cancer care
  • New elective treatment facilities will be established in Aberdeen and Inverness
  • Free early years education and childcare will be increased to 30 hours per week for all 3 and 4 year olds and vulnerable 2 year olds
  • We will implement our new National Improvement Framework for schools to improve attainment
  • We will give more resources directly to schools under the control of head teachers.
  • There will be NO tuition fees with an SNP Government
  • We will increase the number of Modern Apprenticeships
  • We will continue our investment in dualling the A96 and A9 and reduce Air Passenger Duty by 50%. We will continue to invest in our railway infrastructure to reduce reliance on cars
  • We are committed to 100% coverage of Superfast broadband
  • We will increase business support and expand the hugely successful Small Business Bonus Scheme
  • We will continue to extend payment of the Living Wage
  • We will invest in at least 50,000 new homes and tackle fuel poverty with a Warm Homes Bill
  • We will increase Carer’s Allowance to the level of Job Seekers Allowance and maintain Winter Fuel Payments. We will also make disability benefits assessment fairer and abolish the Bedroom Tax as soon as we have the power to do so
  • We will create a new criminal offence to tackle Domestic Abuse in all its forms
  • We will bring forward a new Climate Change Bill
  • Land ownership in Scotland will be made more transparent
  • We will freeze the basic rate of income tax to help low and middle earners and we will balance that by not implementing the Tories tax cut for higher rate earners
  • We will reform Council Tax, asking those in the highest banded houses to pay more and reducing Council Tax levels for low income families with children
  • We will work on building a clear majority of support for Independence by demonstrating the benefits for Scotland’s future

These are just some of the key pledges in our manifesto, which I, as your Moray SNP candidate, am fully committed to.

I am ambitious for Scotland and ambitious for Moray and I firmly believe that our manifesto commitments will deliver a wide range of improvements for everyone in Moray and across our nation.

Within our manifesto we have also made key commitments on Community Energy and on support for our vital food and drink sector, both areas that have significant benefits for Moray. We are also committed to ensuring local communities benefit from the coastal resources of the Crown Estate.

The rollout of Superfast Broadband has been great for the many businesses and households in Moray who have access to it, with more and more getting access every month. For rural economies like Moray high speed internet accesses is vital if we want to attract business and jobs to Moray and support continued economic growth.

Digital connectivity is critical to that growth and that is why we have committed to ensuring that 100 per cent of premises across Scotland have access to super-fast broadband by 2021.

These are just some of the reasons I am asking for your support on 5th May to re-elect me as your constituency MSP and re-elect Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister for Scotland.

This is the final week of submissions by candidates – all five candidates in Moray who have been providing weekly updates will do so one more time, and then on the day before the Election we will provide a final round-up.