From free medicine to free education, taxpayers in Scotland get the best deal anywhere in the UK.
Here are just some of the reasons why.
- We continue to have the fairest income tax anywhere in the UK with 55 per cent of taxpayers paying less in Scotland than they would elsewhere in the UK.
- Council Tax bills are lower in Scotland than in England – average Band D bills are £499 lower.
- We are delivering a minimum 3 per cent pay rise for public servants earning less than £30,000, a 2 per cent rise for those earning more and a cash cap on increases for those earning more than £80,000.
- We have offered the highest NHS pay rise in the UK – meaning pay rise for NHS Agenda for Change of at least 9 per cent over the next three years.
- We are protecting the concessionary bus pass for everyone aged over 60 and eligible disabled people in Scotland. 1.3 million older and disabled people have benefited from free public transport through the National Concessionary Bus Travel Scheme.
- Scotland benefits from £185 spend per head more on health than the UK average. Under the SNP health spending is at a record high and staffing is up 10 per cent since we took office.
- Prescription charges were abolished in Scotland in 2011. South of the border, patients are still forced to pay £9 per item.
- We have introduced a scheme to make free sanitary products available in schools colleges and universities – making Scotland the first country in the world to do so.
- Under the SNP free tuition has been reintroduced and protected, saving students in Scotland over £27,750 compared to the cost of study in England. In Scotland the Tories want to tax students £1,500 a year.
- We’re providing a healthy school meal for all children in primaries 1 to 3 – around 135,000 pupils – helping improve their health and ability to learn.
- All families with newborn babies are entitled to a Baby Box, full of essential items for their child’s first weeks and months.
- Free, high quality childcare has been increased under the SNP. Up from 12.5 hours in 2007 to 16 hours a week for all 3 and 4 year olds – and extended to 2 year olds from low income households, saving families up to £2,500 per child per year in total.
- No one in Scotland has to pay the Tories’ hated Bedroom Tax. We’ve ensured 70,000 households, 80 per cent of which have a disabled family member don’t have this unfair tax hanging over them.
- We’re protecting the most vulnerable households from Tory welfare cuts. Over 316,000 low income households in crisis have been helped to buy essentials such as nappies, food and cookers through our Scottish Welfare Fund.
- By keeping Scottish Water in public hands, customers are paying less for a better service. Water and sewerage charges for the average household in Scotland are £46 lower than in England and Wales.
- Free personal care has been extended to people of all ages who are assessed as requiring it – regardless of their age, condition, capital or income – backed up with £30 million of new funding to local authorities across Scotland.
- In Scotland bridge tolls are a thing of the past. Commuters have saved around £2,280 since bridge tolls on the Forth Road Bridge and Tay Bridge were scrapped by the SNP.
And we’re committed to strengthening the social contract further.
- We are establishing a social security system with compassion and dignity at heart. Following last year’s successful launch of two new benefits – the Carer’s Allowance Supplement and the Best Start Grant pregnancy and baby payment – Social Security Scotland will launch four new benefits this year.
- We will almost double provision of free childcare and early years education to 30 hours per week by August 2020, saving families more than £4,500 per child per year.
- Free healthy school meals will be extended to three and four year olds as well as eligible two year olds who will benefit from the expansion of childcare provision.
- We are extending the concessionary bus pass to companions of eligible disabled children under five. We will also continue to explore options to provide free bus travel for Modern Apprentices.