This week the Scottish Parliament unanimously approved the new Scotland Bill powers.
The new powers will be delivered without a single penny of detriment to the Scottish budget, after the First Minister and Deputy First Minister saw off the Tory Treasury’s attempts to cut Scotland’s budget by £7 billion.
While the new powers set to be devolved don’t go far enough to meet the aspirations of the people of Scotland, the delivery of any new powers to our national Parliament is something to be welcomed.
The SNP will set out, in full, how we’ll use the new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament in our manifesto ahead of the Holyrood elections. But, in the meantime, here are the plans we’ve set out so far:
- Establish a Scottish social security agency with dignity and respect at its heart
- Increase Carer’s Allowance to the same level as Jobseekers Allowance
- Abolish The Bedroom Tax
- Allow benefits claimants to be paid fortnightly rather than monthly
- Scrap the 84 day rule which removes income from the families of disabled children
- Bring forward a social security bill in the first year of the new parliament and create a social security agency with dignity at it’s heart
- Abolish fees for employment tribunals
- Replace the Sure Start Maternity Grant with an expanded Maternity and Early Years Allowance – restoring payments for second and subsequent children, and putting in extending additional funding to children from low incomes family when they start nursery and school too.
- Support people back into employment by replacing the Work Programme and Work Choice
- Bring forward legislation on gender balance in public sector boards in the first year of the next parliament and step up efforts to work with the private sector
- Enable the public sector to run Scotland’s railways
- Reduce the Air Passenger Duty tax on tourism by half over the course of the next Parliament – further boosting Scotland’s tourism industry and wider economy
- Ensure communities benefit from the revenues generated off our shores by the Crown Estate and that our land and shores are managed in the best interests of Scotland’s communities and our economy
- Ensure money from court fines paid in Scotland stays in Scotland
The SNP will continue to use every available power to make Scotland a fairer, more prosperous country.