SNP vows ‘major investment’ in the NHS as it launches manifesto - read key pledges

19 June 2024, 11:45

John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto
John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto. Picture: Getty
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has vowed to invest in the NHS and put independence front and centre as it launched its manifesto this morning.

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John Swinney, SNP leader and First Minister, has regularly criticised Labour for saying it would follow strict guidelines in dealing with the public finances, claiming that would lead to spending cuts.

"The SNP manifesto argues for new, sensible fiscal rules - rules that will: End the cuts, reverse the £1.3 billion cut to Scotland's capital budget and invest in public services, starting with the health service," Swinney said.

"We will join with progressive politicians south of the border to press for greater funding for the NHS and for the UK Government to match the pay deals we have given our health staff in Scotland."

The party would also table a "Keep the NHS in Public Hands Bill", he added, aiming to provide a "legal guarantee" that the health service remains in public hands.

Read some of the key pledges below

John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto
John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto. Picture: Getty

Independence

Strikingly, right at the top of the manifesto is a renewed promise to pursue Scottish independence.

Some believed the party had started to move independence down the priority list after Swinney abolished the role of the Minister for Independence.

But independence was at the heart of today's manifesto launch, with Swinney saying it is "fundamental" to people's concerns.

The manifesto says it would deliver independence to strengthen the Scottish economy, address the cost of living and "bring about a fairer country".

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'Ending austerity'

The SNP also claims it is the only party that can put an end to austerity, which they say the Tories have adopted 14 years and accuse Labour of following suit.

The party has vowed to "reverse deep damaging cuts to public services", which they say has affected the NHS and schools across Scotland.

John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto
John Swinney Launches The SNP's General Election Manifesto. Picture: Getty

Rejoining the EU

Tying into the idea of independence, the SNP has reiterated its desire to rejoin the European Union and vowed to "reverse the damage of Brexit" by rejoining the single market.

Keeping the NHS 'in public hands'

The SNP would also introduce a new Bill to keep the NHS 'in public hands'.

It would spend an extra £16bn on NHS England, with an extra £1.6bn each year going to Scotland.

An immediate ceasefire in Gaza

The SNP is calling for an immediate end to the war in Gaza, including with the release of hostages being held by Hamas.

It has called the UK to stop selling weapons to Israel and would recognise Palestine as an independent state.

Scrap the two child benefit cap

This is a hotly-spoken about policy, especially since the Labour Party has said it cannot afford to do so.

The SNP says this would end "unnecessary suffering".

Scrap Trident

The SNP would also scrap the UK's nuclear deterrent, instead redirecting money into "conventional" defence, such as military spending and public services.

Other pledges:

  • Increase maternity pay
  • Maintaining the pensions triple lock
  • Scrap the Rwanda scheme
  • Tackle drug deaths
  • Stand up for WASPI women
  • Control migration into Scotland
  • Scrapping zero hour contracts

You can read it in full here.

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