We Need an Ambitious Budget for a Real Recovery
This year we have the biggest money-pot available for the Scottish Budget in 20 years. That’s why Scottish Labour are calling for a real recovery – one that has the ambition and focus to tackle the weaknesses in our society exacerbated by the pandemic. The NHS is in crisis, our kids are being let down by widening inequality, high streets are faltering, living costs are spiralling, and climate breakdown is underway. We need more than tinkering around the edges from the SNP.
We’ve developed 5 key asks for the Scottish government. They are targeted, costed, and will meet the challenges of today head-on.
Take a look at what we’re demanding, and share our plans with friends:
Help our NHS back to its feet
Records are being broken in the NHS month after month – and not good ones. Waiting times for A&E are the worst on record. Vacancies are in the thousands. Delayed discharge alone has cost the NHS £1 billion since 2013/14.
Healthcare is devolved. Let’s provide our health service with the resources to sort out the backlog of cases and deal with staff shortages. This budget must plug the funding gaps in our NHS and give social care workers the pay they deserve – delivering at least £12 per hour and a commitment to £15 per hour next year.
Repair our community high streets & tackle the skills shortage
High streets have been struggling for a long while. Months of closure during the pandemic have only made times harder.
We need to breathe life back into Scottish high streets and that’s why Scottish Labour’s proposals include giving £50 vouchers to Scots to spend in brick-and-mortar shops, as well as offering a 50% rates relief for retail, hospitality, and leisure properties. Our demands for a strong economy also include tackling Scotland’s skills shortage to deliver fulfilling, well-paid jobs.
Ease the cost of living & lift children out of poverty
It simply cannot be right that in one of the richest countries in the world, one in four children are living in poverty. On top of this, spiralling prices mean that households across Scotland are seeing bills and daily living costs stack up.
The Scottish Child Payment will be doubled this year and it’s a start – but it’s not good enough. The SNP must double the Scottish Child payment again by the end of April 2023 if we are to get back on track and end child poverty once and for all. We’re also asking the SNP to use the powers they already have to top up Winter Fuel Payments and offer financial help to households who cannot afford new, legal fire safety upgrades.
Tackle inequality in education
The SNP has said improving education in Scotland is their “sacred mission”, but the attainment gap is only widening and disruption from the pandemic puts many children at risk of not reaching their full potential.
Scottish Labour want children to be given the best opportunity to catch up – in classrooms that are fit to learn in, and in schools that have the support they need. We’re proposing targeted and personalised tuition to the 75 most deprived schools in Scotland alongside an active ventilation programme to keep pupils safe. Schools shouldn’t have to choose between comfort and covid.
Deliver on the promises of COP26 and create well-paid green jobs
To keep global warming under 1.5°C and avoid the worst effects of climate breakdown, we urgently need to take more ambitious and wide-ranging action. Environmental targets have been missed and promises have been broken time and again by the SNP.
We must move away from burning fossil fuels to more sustainable technologies. We’re asking the Scottish government to turn their warm words at COP26 into real action, and deliver on promises made. A budget for a real recovery includes a commitment to well-paid jobs in the green industries of Scotland’s future.