Manifesto for jobs, families and fairness

The SNP has published its manifesto for the local government elections, with a commitment that SNP councils will prioritise jobs, families and fairness. SNP councils and councillors, elected in May, will also work with the Scottish Government – a partnership approach that will mean a renewed focus on jobs and a fairer deal for families.

Manifesto policies to help households across Scotland include continuing the Council Tax freeze and delivering more free and flexible nursery hours. In addition, at the heart of the SNP plans is a commitment to jobs and opportunities, including Building for Recovery with new schools and homes and a guaranteed offer of training or education for all 16-19 year olds.

Policies for jobs include:
A Building for Recovery programme that will see investment in new schools and homes to help create local jobs.
The offer of a learning or training place to every 16 – 19 year old not already in work, training or education.
Helping local businesses survive and thrive, by continuing the Small Business Bonus, the best rates relief package in the UK.
No compulsory redundancies extended to include council workers, giving job security and thus boosting local economies.
Unlocking new investment to protect and create jobs, including capital investment from pension funds, such as those supporting local authority pensions.

Policies for families include:
A guarantee of at least 600 hours of free, flexible nursery education for every three- and four year-old, and looked-after two-year-olds.
Delivering the Council Tax freeze, enabling households to keep more of the money they earn.
Safer communities with the 1,000 extra police protected.
New lower class sizes maintained and we will half the number of children in poor-quality school buildings.
SNP councils working in close partnership with the NHS to deliver improved and more integrated care for older Scots.

Policies for a fairer Scotland include:
A commitment to introduce the living wage for the lowest-paid council workers.
Carers’ champions in every council to ensure carers receive better support from their local council.
The guaranteed continuation of free personal care to support our older folk.
Keeping the concessionary bus pass and extending it to cover Dial-a-bus services.
New rights for local communities, urban or rural, to buy unused public assets for community use.

SNP Leader and First Minister, Alex Salmond MSP, said:

“SNP councillors work hard and care about the people and communities they represent. They are committed to doing the right thing and step-by-step making local services better.

“And, SNP councils elected in May will work with the Scottish Government. In that way, together, we can get more done.

“SNP councils will be ‘can do’ councils, partners for progress, not obstacles to it. They will put the needs and interests of their local communities first.

“These elections are about jobs and the services people rely on. And, as this manifesto makes clear, together, at national and local level, the SNP will be working hard to create jobs, protect family budgets and to make Scotland fairer.

“That means a renewed focus on jobs and opportunity, with a programme of capital investment, Building for Recovery, to generate local jobs and generate growth. SNP councils will play a full part in delivering training and support to help young Scots into work, with a guarantee of a training or learning place for 16-19 year olds across our country.

“And, together, we will do what we can to make life easier for families, with the Council Tax freeze easing some of the pressure on family budgets and new support for young parents with more free nursery education – a legal guarantee of 600 free hours every year.

“Our ambition is to deliver a fairer Scotland - a Scotland for the many and not for the few. SNP councils have a crucial role to play in delivering fair pay and job security for their workers, protecting life-line services like free personal care and supporting our unpaid carers.

“In areas where the SNP is already in administration we are building on a record of achievement. In SNP councils much has been achieved, but we know there is more still to do. At these elections we can build on that progress as we work to make our communities even better places to live and work for local families.

“And, where we are challenging to be in administration, the SNP will bring fresh thinking and a new approach. We will put the people first and govern with energy and competence.

“Across Scotland the SNP is standing a record number of candidates.
That ambition for these elections is part of our ambition for Scotland. Over the next few weeks we will work tirelessly to win the trust of voters in all parts of Scotland. With their support, together we can, and we will, make Scotland better."