As we enter election year, the SNP has a positive message of achievement in government and ambition for Scotland’s future.
Since coming to office in 2007 we have delivered real progress – despite unprecedented Tory cuts to our budget and regressive policies from Westminster threatening to hold Scotland back. In our time in office, the SNP has been squarely focused on delivering on the issues that matter to the people of Scotland.
We have frozen the council tax, protected free university tuition, scrapped prescription charges, protected Free Personal Care, maintained the concessionary travel scheme, increased Scotland’s health budget to record levels, put over 1,000 more police on our streets, exceeded our target of 30,000 new affordable homes and protected those hardest hit by unfair Tory welfare cuts.
We will never rest on our laurels and we are determined to press ahead with a bold, ambitious and progressive vision for Scotland. While the Scotland Bill obviously represents a huge missed opportunity, we are clear that we will use each and every new power coming to the Scottish Parliament to the fullest, and in line with the government’s progressive vision for Scotland.
While the SNP is focussed on delivering for Scotland, the opposition parties seem set to spend 2016 focussing on their own internal fallouts.
The Labour party is in complete disarray on so many vital issues – both north and south of the border – and are not even regarded as a credible party of opposition, let alone a party of government.
Meanwhile, the deep-seated divisions within the Tories over Europe are becoming increasingly acrimonious ahead of David Cameron’s EU referendum, with the Prime Minister’s reforms set to please no one.
The SNP in government has a strong track record of delivery and success of which we can be rightly proud – and with our bold, ambitious and progressive vision for the coming decade, Nicola Sturgeon has made clear the SNP’s commitment to build on this progress, to continue to make our country a fairer and more prosperous place.