The choice is stark: Progress or just the same old Tories

What kind of society do you want to live in?

When you strip away all of the bluster and rhetoric around this election, that is ultimately what you’re being asked to decide on June 8th.

Quote_Nicola-01.pngThe SNP manifesto, which is published tomorrow, will have fairness and tackling inequality at its heart.

Looking back over the last few years, I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved – and when you see other parties now adopting many of our progressive policies, it’s clear that Scotland is well ahead of the rest of the UK.

Many of the policies in Labour’s manifesto – scrapping hospital car parking charges, scrapping tuition fees, honouring NHS pay reviews and abolishing the bedroom tax – are already being delivered by an SNP Government in Scotland.

And even the Tories, who for years have mounted ideological attacks on policies as diverse as free prescriptions and council housebuilding, have now decided that they are a good thing – although no one should be fooled by their supposed Damascene conversion.

When the SNP manifesto is published tomorrow, you’ll see we are determined to continue leading the way.

It will show how we can create a fair and prosperous society – and will be of relevance across the UK.

I don’t pretend the SNP’s record is perfect – but it is a very good record and one I am proud of.

Now let’s look at the record of the Tories.

Quote_Nicola-02.pngThey have overseen shocking rises in child poverty, in pensioner poverty and income inequality across the UK.

These are things which have happened under a Tory government with a small majority – just imagine what they could do if Theresa May gets her wish and opposition in the House of Commons is crushed.

Well, now that they’ve published their manifesto for this election, we have some idea.

The Tories will abandon the Triple Lock commitment, which guarantees fair increases in the state pension.

They’ll end the universal Winter Fuel Payment for older people.

They will also – unbelievably – take free lunches away from school children in England.

And while they’ll hand out yet more big tax cuts for the rich, they’ve refused to rule out tax rises for working people on modest incomes.

The Scottish Tory manifesto was little more than a carbon copy of the UK one – showing that any Tory MPs elected in Scotland will simply rubber-stamp the cuts agenda of the UK Government.

Margaret Thatcher infamously said there was no such thing as society.

Piece by piece, the Tories are quietly acting on that credo by undoing the very fabric which binds our society.

We need to make sure they do not succeed. 

This article originally appeared in the Daily Record.

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