Katy Loudon: Only the SNP are serious about delivering for Scotland

People in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, as well as communities throughout Scotland, are facing the double whammy of the Tory-made cost-of-living crisis and the continuous damage of Brexit.

Mortgage rates along with energy bills, food prices, home insurance and a host of other essentials are still sky-high – yet the Westminster Tory government’s advice to people is to “hold their nerve.”

At every turn the Tories have refused to do what’s necessary to alleviate the financial burdens being placed on families.

And the pro-Brexit Labour party is no better. As well as signing up to Tory austerity, including the bedroom tax, and two-child cap and rape clause, Sir Keir Starmer has confirmed that “there’s no going back into the EU” and “there’s no going back into the single market” under a Labour government.

This is despite the almost daily evidence we see that Brexit is making Scotland and the UK poorer.

Rutherglen and Hamilton West alone has lost a staggering £146 million on EU imports and exports since Brexit, as well as almost £10 million in direct EU funding.

Yet the local Labour candidate – who left his party in 2019 over its “bankrupt approach” to Brexit and complacency “about the impact it will have on the poorest people across the UK” – is choosing to stick his head in the sand over the impact it is having on local families and businesses.

Now Starmer’s man in Rutherglen is saying “we need to make the current [Brexit] arrangements work.”

He has said he will vote against the two-child cap and the bedroom tax – but if he sold out over Brexit, who is to say he won’t do it again?

Labour is all over the place. They have locked themselves into Tory tax and spending plans, including NHS privatisation, and ditched pledges to scrap tuition fees, abolish the House of Lords, and invest in a £28 million green fund.

And whilst Labour are busy trying to out-Tory the Tories, the Labour candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West is tying himself in knots trying to explain what his position is.

He is saying vote Labour for a Labour MP who will then vote against Labour. It’s an untenable position and it makes no sense.

In stark contrast, if the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West vote for me as the SNP candidate they will get real opposition to right-wing Westminster policies, real help with the cost-of-living and the hope of real change with independence.

The SNP Scottish Government has already brought in game-changing policies to help put money in people’s pockets like free university tuition and the Scottish Child Payment, and they are spending billions on mitigating damaging Tory policies like the bedroom tax and benefit cap.

With the full powers of independence, Scotland can escape Brexit and go further to make our country a fairer, wealthier place.

It’s clear that Scotland will never be a priority for either of the two main Westminster parties – and it’s clear that positive change won’t come for Rutherglen and Hamilton West with the election of a pro-Brexit, pro-austerity politician, whether the rosette they are wearing is blue or red.

It’s no secret that the London political establishment are keeping a keen eye on Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

This is our opportunity to send a strong message to them that we reject their Brexit and their right-wing policies.

We can only do that by voting SNP to secure a local champion who’ll put our communities’ interests first.