Austerity - Will the SNP stop further cuts?

The Tories' austerity agenda has failed to meet even one of their economic targets, yet they are are continuing their plan to balance the books on the back of the poor. Labour MP's have now shown their true colours in voting with the Tories for George Osborne's plan for £30 billion of cuts and voting to spend £100 billion renewing Trident nuclear weapons.

It shows now even more clearly that voting SNP is the only way to end Westminster's obsession with imposing austerity cuts.

Bedroom Tax - Will the SNP scrap the Bedroom Tax?

The SNP Government has ensured that no one in Scotland has to pay the Bedroom Tax. SNP MPs will vote for the immediate abolition of the unfair Bedroom Tax across the UK.

This would mean that the £35 million that the Scottish Government is spending each year to compensate those affected by it would be available to spend on other priorities. The SNP would invest that money in measures to tackle - and eventually eradicate - food poverty.

Carers - What will the SNP do for Scotland's carers?

SNP MPs will work to ensure the importance of carers is on the agenda of the Westminster government.

We propose an increase in carer’s allowance to bring it in line with jobseeker’s allowance, which will see over 100,000 unpaid carers in Scotland better off by almost £600 a year.

The SNP Scottish Government has recently introduced a Carers Bill, which is an important step towards recognising the huge contribution that carers make to their family, friends, communities, and the wider economy. The Bill will enshrine carers’ rights in law for the first time in Scotland.

Child Poverty - How will the SNP tackle child poverty?

The SNP will vigorously oppose plans for further cuts in Child Benefit and Tax Credits. Instead, we will vote to increase benefits at least in line with CPI inflation, to ensure that the incomes of the poorest in society do not fall even further behind the cost of living

Childcare - Will the SNP increase free childcare?

The SNP have committed to continuing increases in free childcare, and we have pledged to double the number of childcare hours from 16 to 30 hours per week by the end of the next Parliament.

Coalition - Will the SNP go into a coalition?

Formal coalition with seats in the UK government has never been the preference of the SNP. Our priority instead is to stand up for Scotland's interests, and advance progressive politics across the UK.

Colleges - How are the SNP supporting Scotland's colleges?

The SNP have delivered our commitment to maintain 116,000 full-time equivalent college places and we have exceeded the target every year since 2011.

The Scottish Government have created a funding floor for college resource budgets of £526m in 2015/16, which is well above Labour’s maximum investment of £510m in 2006/07.

Colleges - what about the cuts to College places?

Reforms to the college sector means that there is a focus on delivering more full-time courses for young people which lead to employment and skills. The Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council has decided not to fund very short-term courses, but all courses that involve employability or progression into work remain in Scotland’s college system.

Disability Living Allowance - Will the SNP protect Disability Living Allowance?

SNP MPs will aim to reverse the replacement of Disability Living Allowance with PIP. They will also oppose the £3 billion cut in disability support and support an urgent review of the system of assessments for disability benefits.

EU - Does the SNP want to remain part of the European Union?

The SNP will help to protect Scotland and the UK's place in Europe. Our membership of the EU matters to us, and SNP MPs will oppose an in/out EU referendum.

However, if there is a referendum, the SNP believe that no nation of the UK should be taken out of the EU against its will. We will propose that each of the four constituent parts of the UK – Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland – would have to vote to leave before the UK as a whole could exit the European Union.

Energy Bills - Will the SNP reduce energy bills?

The SNP will take steps to cut energy bills for consumers and we will also support new powers to make sure that energy companies pass on the benefits of lower prices to consumers.

Environment - How will the SNP protect our environment?

The SNP will use our influence at Westminster to ensure the UK matches, and supports, Scotland’s ambitious commitments to carbon reduction. 

Fox Hunting - Will the SNP vote to repeal the fox hunting act?

Legislation over fox hunting is devolved to the Scottish Parliament, and Scotland took the opportunity to ban fox hunting in 2002, some two years before the legislation passed south of the border. There are no plans to repeal this legislation.As regards any legislation to repeal the ban in England and Wales, the SNP Group at Westminster has not yet decided its stance. While SNP MPs have tended not to participate in votes on domestic English/Welsh legislation which do not apply to Scotland, the party's Westminster Group will not decide a position on this matter until such time as any proposed legislation can be studied and assessed.

Fracking - Will the SNP stop fracking?

The SNP Scottish Government has put in place a moratorium on granting consents for unconventional oil and gas developments whilst further research and public consultation is carried out.

The SNP Scottish Government are taking a cautious, considered and evidence - based approach to fracking.

The SNP opposed UK Government's plans to allow companies to frack underneath people's homes without their consent and Scotland will now be excluded from these plans. 

Full Fiscal Autonomy - What will this mean?

The SNP want to see the Scottish Parliament have as many of the powers we need to grow our economy, deliver a proper welfare system and tackle inequality as we can. Full fiscal autonomy would not only give us responsibility for taxation in Scotland, it would allow us to take decisions like increasing the minimum wage, delivering better employment policy and a fair welfare system.

Fiscal autonomy will take a number of years to implement, and the Barnett Formula will remain during any transition to Full Fiscal Autonomy. 

Full Fiscal Autonomy - Will this mean cuts?

Scotland is also not unusual in having a deficit – the UK was in deficit for 43 out of the last 50 years. The key to tackling the deficit and avoiding further cuts is to give Scotland the economic levers to grow our economy and to boost growth and increase revenues. Labour also assumes that the Barnett Formula will be removed, however the SNP are clear that this will remain in place during any transition to Full Fiscal Autonomy. 

Government Formation - Does the party with the most MP's become the Government?

Labour's claim that the next UK Government will be determined by who gets the most seats in the House of Commons is simply untrue - it will be determined by who can command a majority in Parliament.

If there are more anti-Tory MPs than Tory MPs in the House of Commons the only way the Conservatives get back in to government is if the Labour party let them. The SNP will work with others to lock the Tories out of government, and we will vote to stop a Tory government even getting off the ground.

The polls are telling us that no one party will get a majority next Thursday. Therefore, the more SNP MPs that are elected the louder Scotland’s voice will be.

Government formation - Will the SNP vote down a Labour budget?

We will never help the Tories into government – but neither will we help Labour to implement Tory cuts. We will use our influence in the House of Commons to get a fairer deal, not just for Scotland but for people across the UK.

However, under the Fixed Term Parliament Act simply losing a parliamentary vote on any issue – even a budget – would not bring an end to the government.  

Government formation - Will the SNP work with the Tories?

The SNP have been clear that we will not help the Tories into government, and indeed we will work with a non-Tory majority in the House of Commons to lock the Tories out of government, so that they cannot inflict any more damage to our society and economy.

House of Lords - Will the SNP abolish the House of Lords?

The second chamber of the UK parliament is not even elected and continues to have hereditary members who have a greater say in the future of Scotland’s defence or welfare system than the elected members of the Scottish Parliament. The SNP believes the House of Lords should be scrapped and replaced with a fully elected second chamber.

Housing - Will the SNP build more houses?

There is a substantial shortfall of affordable houses for rent across the UK. The SNP will back investment in an annual house building target across the UK of 100,000 affordable homes a year.

We will also continue our support for Help to Buy and shared equity to help people get a foot on the housing ladder.

IFS claims - The IFS has said less is being spent on the NHS in Scotland than in the rest of the UK, is this true?

When it looked at capital investment in the NHS, the IFS analysis did not take into account the value of our non-profit distributing (NPD) capital investment in Scotland’s health service. In 2015/16 alone this amounts to more than £380 million.

When this spending is included, total health investment in Scotland has increased in cash terms by £1.5 billion from 2009/10 to 2015/16. In real terms it has increased by £179 million, which is an increase of 1.5 per cent. 

Immigration - What are your plans for immigration?

Effective immigration controls are important, but we must also remember that those who have come to Scotland from other countries make a significant contribution to our economy and our society.

We will support sensible immigration policies that meet our economic needs.

Jobs - Will the SNP protect jobs?

SNP MPs will offer an alternative to Westminster’s austerity cuts, which are threatening jobs and our public services, by proposing a modest increase in public spending to allow investment in growth, jobs and our vital public services.

Living wage - Does the SNP support the Living Wage?

The SNP Scottish Government already pays the Living Wage to all of its own employees and to those covered by its pay policy. Our MPs will call on, and vote for, the UK government to adopt the same policy. SNP MPs will also support measures to extend the Living Wage across the UK.

University fees - Will the SNP keep university free?

The SNP will guarantee the continuation of free university education in Scotland. We will also work with Labour and support the reduction of tuition fees for students south of the Border – giving more young people the chance to go to university. 

Women - What will the SNP do for women?

With more SNP MPs at Westminster we can make progress on equality for women.

The SNP will push the UK Government to increase in the minimum wage to £8.70 by 2020 and take action to ensure 50 per cent female representation on public boards.

Our MPs will also work to ensure that Westminster’s Budget and welfare policies do not hold back progress on equality and disproportionately hit women.

X marks the spot - Why should I vote for the SNP?

A vote for the SNP s a vote for MPs who will always stand up for Scotland's best interests. The SNP will use our influence at Westminster to help deliver positive change for the benefit of ordinary people, not just in Scotland, but across the UK. 

Young people - What will the SNP do for young people?

Scotland's future is in our young people, and the SNP will ensure their voices are heard loudly and clearly at Westminster. We will deliver 30,000 Modern Apprenticeships each year and expand entitlement to Educational Maintenance Allowance to support 57,000 school pupils and college students, making it easier for them continue their education.

Zero hours contracts - Will the SNP stop exploitative zero hours contracts?

The SNP will support tough action to end exploitative zero hours contracts.

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