SNP set the pace for Holyrood election
18 October 2010
The SNP has set the agenda for the holyrood election, setting out clear policies for the 2011 election and firing the starting gun on the campaign.
Over the course of the SNP’s conference a clear dividing line between an SNP working together with people across Scotland to deliver fairness and protect Scotland from the London Government’s cuts and a Labour party pushing up taxes and lacking in policies has emerged.
In a series of announcements over the four day conference the SNP set out the key issues that will dominate the campaign:
- A council tax freeze to reduce the burdens on households facing increased UK Government taxes and pay restraint
- The abolition of prescription charges
- Protection for frontline NHS and police – over management and bureaucracy
- Passing on any increases in health funding from England to Scotland’s NHS
- No privatisation of Scottish Water
- Extending the living wage from low paid Government staff to the NHS and other government agencies.
- The importance of more powers and independence to allow the Parliament and Government to deliver the jobs, fairness and compassion that are at the heart of Scottish society.
Conference also saw the campaign come to life across the country as:
- Thousands of people responded to newspaper adverts and our revolutionary new party political broadcast inviting them to bepartofbetter.net to share ideas for a better Scotland
- The SNP confirmed the full list of candidates that will represent the party at the 2011 election
- Launched thebepartofbetter.mobi app – giving the SNP the practical and technological campaigning edge, ahead of any other UK party.
- Distributed 500,000 consultation leaflets taking the SNP’s policy ideas and invitation to work together right into people’s households.
Commenting at the end of conference in Perth Angus Robertson MP, SNP Campaign co-ordinator, said:
“The SNP went into conference saying we would fire the starting gun in the Holyrood campaign and we have set a strong pace toward the 2011 election.
“Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and our strong team of Government ministers, MSPs, candidates and ordinary members have set out the values and principles that will drive the SNP’s campaign for a fairer and stronger Scotland.
“The SNP will help households in Scotland through the worst of the cuts and protect the services and values that Scotland prizes. The SNP will freeze the council tax, continue to abolish prescription charges and ensure that when it comes to the NHS or Scotland’s police we will focus on the frontline not the backroom bureaucracy.
“The contrast with Labour, whose instinct is to put up taxes and make pensioners, the poorer in our society and the sick pay for the economic mess they made is clear.
“And with Alex Salmond making clear the difference more powers and the powers of independence would make to a Scottish Parliament and government focussed on jobs, compassion and fairness our message is resonating with people across Scotland."
Angus MacDonald slams threat to charities and voluntary sector from Labour/Tory/LibDem pact
18 October 2010
Proposal would see Scottish charity regulations returned to Westminster
SNP Scottish Parliamentary Candidate for Falkirk East, Grangemouth Councillor Angus MacDonald has slammed the threat of charity legislation being returned to the ConDem government in London, a move proposed by the Calman Commission and supported by Labour.
The SNP Government firmly opposes the return of charity regulation to the Westminster parliament as proposed by the Calman Commission, the body set up in 2007 to review Scottish devolution ten years on which delivered its report last year.
Calling for charity regulations to remain under Scottish control, Councillor Angus MacDonald said:
“We must strongly resist this attempt to claw back charity regulation to Westminster.
“Charity law has never been the same across the UK. The SNP remains firmly opposed to such an imposition. In the five years since the passing of the 2005 Act, we have seen increasing public confidence in Scottish charities.”
“It is essential that with a separate legal system, charities in Scotland are regulated in Scotland. The current system works. I am deeply worried that returning Scottish charity legislation and regulation to a London Tory-led government, a move supported by the Labour party will be nodded through as part of the Calman proposals.
“There is no evidence or enthusiasm from the voluntary sector for this proposal. Instead there were many calls for lottery funding, a vital part of Scotland’s charitable sector to be devolved – a plea that has been ignored..
“The opinions and views of the SCVO (Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations), who oppose the plans and represent the majority of the 45,000 voluntary organisations in Scotland, must be taken into account. .
“The Scottish secretary is still working on this legislation which means there is time to drop the charity plans, and introduce legislation that will bring lottery funds to Scotland. As a Liberal Democrat he must also be aware that his party in Scotland said they were opposed to any powers being taken by Westminster.”
“Scotland’s charitable and voluntary sector has made clear it does not want legal powers to be taken back to London. The SNP is clear we do not want to see these powers taken back to London.
“It is now time for the Labour party and the UK Government to be clear that they will not do this."