SNP Manifesto 2021: What we’re doing for families

Our ambition is for Scotland to be the best place in the world to grow up.

To do that, we’re supporting families to give their children the very best start in life.

Make it Both Votes SNP to:

Expand free, high-quality childcare

We will complete the expansion of free, high quality childcare to 1,140 hours – the same time a child spends in primary school – by August 2021.

And we’ll go even further, by building a system of ‘wraparound’ childcare – providing care before and after school, all year round.

Those on the lowest incomes will pay nothing, and others will make fair and affordable contributions.

We will also expand free early years education to all 1 and 2 year olds, starting with children from low income households.

Provide Baby Boxes to all of Scotland’s new children

Our Baby Box has already provided tens of thousands of new parents with essential items for a baby’s first weeks and months.

The box provides practical help – a package of essentials and a safe space for babies to sleep. But it also puts into practice the principle that every child should get a fair start in life.

We will continue to provide Baby Boxes for all of Scotland’s new children, ensuring every baby born in Scotland has an equal start in life.

Protect family incomes

Scotland has the most progressive income tax system in the UK, with more than half paying less than they would if they lived in England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

By asking those who earn the most to pay a little bit more, we have also been able to invest more in public services and deliver progressive policies that are not available in the rest of the UK – like free prescriptions, free tuition or free personal care.

Having only introduced the new tax system in 2018, and with a need now to focus on recovery, we will aim for stability over the next Parliament – aiming to maintain current Income Tax rates and increase thresholds by a maximum of inflation.

Tackle child poverty

Our new “game-changing” Scottish Child Payment provides low income families with an additional £10 per week, per child.

If re-elected, we will go further – doubling the Scottish Child Payment to £20 by the end of parliament to lift thousands of families and children out of poverty.

To bridge the gap until the Scottish Child Payment is fully rolled out, we will provide a cash grant of £520, paid across four quarterly instalments, for every family with children in receipt of free school meals.

Renew every play park in Scotland

We will deliver a programme of activities for children and young people over the summer, backed by £20 million investment, to help them socialise, play and reconnect.

And we will renew every play park in Scotland, so that all children have access to quality play in their own community.

Ensure our NHS works for everyone

We will increase frontline NHS spending by at least 20%, over £2.5 billion, to support and renew our NHS as it recovers from COVID.

We’ll ensure community health services receive at least half of our NHS’s frontline spending.

And we will protect free eye examinations and free prescriptions in Scotland, saving people almost £22 and £9.35 per item respectively, compared to England.

Support our young people

We will support our young people as they make the transition into adulthood.

We will provide free bus travel to anyone under the age of 22, helping young people get to work, college or university or to see family and friends.

We will ensure no one under the age of 22 pays council tax, saving young people starting out in life around £750 a year on an average Band B property.

And learning from New Zealand, we will introduce a School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip school leavers with practical skills for life such as financial literacy, budgeting and information on how to exercise their full civic and democratic rights.