There’s one thing, no, two things I admire about the SNP.
One is the chutzpah.
Two is how they manage to get so many people to believe they implemented things, when actually, they haven’t really.
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at a series of posts by Collette Stevenson, Candidate for East Kilbride SNP.
39: “Scottish Child Payment”
This is a payment of £10 per week for children under 6. Interestingly, the SNP opposed Labour’s plan (and it was therefore defeated) to increase child benefit by £5 a week. “Great”, say the SNP’s supporters, “that means families are getting more”. Well, technically, yes. But the labour proposal was in 2018 and the SNP alternative is finally being delivered in Feb 2021. But that’s fine – I’m sure the families won’t mind the wait.
40: “96,570 Affordable Homes Since 2007”
That’s great. Now, they’d promised 50,000 affordable homes in this term (2016-2021). They’ve not met that target. In 2011 they promised 30,000 social homes. Then they changed the goalposts to 30,00 affordable homes, only 2/3 of which would be for social renting. More info by Dean Thomson here.
41: “Established the National Investment Bank”
This was launched with a £2bn investment in November 2020. It was announced in 2017, and will be run by Willie Watt. The Herald have written a piece about how the SNP offered transparency over the bank – and then ignored it (ring any bells?). Willie is famous for spending £18,000 in eight months at Tesco Bank, at the same time it was laying off staff. He was also CEO of Martin Currie which received, at the time, the biggest fine imposed by the FCA for a conflict of interest case. Interestingly, the guy who advised on the set-up of the bank was Benny Higgins, also of Tesco Bank. So it seems that Sturgeons’s moan about “the old boys club” regarding David Davis and his intervention into the inquiry into her and her government’s behaviour is the usual hypocricitical stance.
42: Free School Meals
They announced it in 2007, with a plan to introduce it in 2010.
And launch it they did. 5 years late
Coincidentally, in England it was launched in September 2014. So the SNP sat on it for 5 years AFTER it was supposed to live, then suddenly announced it about as quick as it was possible to roll-out a nationwide program, just after the Tories announced the same in England. Funny that. Maybe we should get the Tories to announce the cancellation of student debt, or guaranteed smaller class sizes, or getting rid of the hated council tax (all promises the SNP have failed to delivery for years and years).
43: “Free Bus Travel”
This was implemented in 2002. Holyrood was run by a Labour majority in 2002.
Admittedly, the SNP have expanded the franchise to include young people. Just in time for the 2021 Holyrood elections. That was lucky, eh?
44: “Care For All: Free personal and nursing care, extended to everyone who needs it, regardless of age.”
Bit of a fudge this one. “Free Personal Care has been available in Scotland for adults aged 65 or over since 2002“. Again, 2002, so it started as a labour policy, but again, the SNP have to be given credit for expanding it to cover any age. There is the caveat that “[those] who are assessed by their local authority as needing this service, are entitled to receive this without charge”, and that was probably there all the time, even in Labour days. It’s definitely there also for care support in England, as my own mother was deemed to be not suitable for the local authority support there. So, it’s not “free and automatic” as many people think. And it’s not care *home* fees.
Also, the SNP opposed the idea at first (they do this alot, then put forward a similar bill and claim the credit – see the recent increase in child benefit, for example). And it was a Tory MP who put forward the initial bill.
46: “Free Prescriptions”
Great idea. I wonder how many people know 90% of prescriptions are already free in England? Does that mean Scotland is doing better in this area? Of course: 100% is better than 90%. But let’s not pretend that it’s SO much better.
47: “Period Poverty”.
The SNP have been quick to claim credit for this one. Unfortunately, the bill was introduced by Monica Lennon, Labour, and some SNP claimed it would lead to those nefarious English raiding over the border for free tampons. Notice how they opposed a bill, then claim credit. We’ll see this again, I’m sure.
48: “Baby Box”
I’ll come back to this later.
49: “Free Tuition”
I’ll come back to this later as well.