Updated: May 5
Throughout our 14 years in Government, the SNP has implemented policies to benefit everyone and make a significant difference in the lives of ordinary Scots.
You’ve likely heard the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats make the allegation that the SNP is focused on independence, and nothing else. The problem with this argument is that it has the pretty significant failing of being completely untrue. Of course, independence is our end goal, it’s the foundation upon which our party is built- and so, of course, we shall continue to argue for it. But alongside this mission to take Scotland to independence, the SNP have a whole raft of policies designed to make Scotland a better country to live, work and study in.
The SNP want everyone to benefit from their policies - not just the privileged few. The Tories will continue to support tax cuts for the highest earners in our society - with no benefit at all for the rest of us. That’s what Tory politics is all about - helping out the pals of MPs and MSPs while neglecting the rest of the electorate. A far cry from the ambitious and progressive policies of the SNP.
Throughout our 14 years in Government, the SNP has implemented policies to benefit everyone and make a significant difference in the lives of ordinary Scots. Hand on heart, I can honestly say that I probably wouldn’t be studying at university right now, had it not been for the SNP Government’s commitment to free university education. With fees as high as £9000 a year, had I been living in England, University wouldn't have even been worth considering for myself and many other young people.
The support for students doesn’t end there though; the Care Experienced Students’ Bursary has enabled more Care Experienced people to access higher education than ever before. The SNP have invested £5 million to help universities and colleges provide digital devices for the most disadvantaged students, and have committed to creating a new bursary for Paramedic students. As a result, there are now more young people from disadvantaged backgrounds going onto higher education and similar destinations. The much-needed work to close the attainment gap is well underway.
Every young person should be able to fulfil their full potential. The SNP recognise that university or college may not be the right path for everyone, and have supported tens of thousands of Modern Apprenticeships up and down the country. The Young Person’s Guarantee will ensure that everyone aged 16-24 has access to a college or university place, or can secure a job, apprenticeship, a place on a training scheme, or the ability to participate in a formal volunteering scheme. This will undoubtedly have a positive impact for many.
The SNP want everyone to benefit from their policies - not just the privileged few.
Alongside ensuring that young people have the best opportunities possible in their lives, it is important that our concerns are heard and valued. The Climate Crisis is just that, a crisis, and the biggest challenge facing our generation. It is unsurprising that young people care so deeply about it; our generation and future generations will suffer most if we fail to act. I am proud that the SNP has made Scotland a world leader on climate policies, with climate targets that are amongst the most ambitious across the globe.
I’m also proud that the SNP did all it could to prevent the tragedy that was Brexit, an exercise in self-sabotage that the Scottish, and particularly young Scots, overwhelmingly rejected. I’m proud that we’ve substantially increased mental health funding during our time in office, and that we’ve incorporated the rights of children into Scots Law (even if the Tory UK Government wants to object). As a gay man, the legalisation of same-sex marriage, the opening of IVF and adoption to same-sex couples, and the introduction of LGBTI education have built a country that is immeasurably more tolerant for folks like me.
Our record is impressive, but the SNP is not finished yet. Our 2021 Manifesto is a testament to how progressive and ambitious we are. Commitments include: introducing a National Care Service; investment to pilot a four-day working week; doubling the ‘game-changing’ Scottish Child Payment; establishing Fast Track Cancer Diagnostic Centres in every health board; abolishing dental charges; providing all school children with digital devices; providing all primary school children with free-school meals; and providing free bikes for the most disadvantaged children in our country. We are building a Scotland that is better for every person, in every aspect of their lives.
To achieve all of this, whilst still being curtailed by the limited legislative and economic powers that we have as a member of this unequal union is no mean feat. With independence, we could do so much more. Taking inspiration from our Nordic neighbours, an independent Scotland could become a successful, progressive and ambitious country. But to do this, we have to re-elect the SNP into government in May. That is why, the only way forward, is #BothVotesSNP.
Dec was born in Edinburgh, before being brought up in Fife and later moving to Stirling for university. A third-year History and Politics student, he is a bit of a political geek; and has been a firm believer in independence since the initial referendum in 2014. Dec is now the Organiser for the Mid Scotland and Fife Region of the Young Scots for Independence, the youth wing of the Scottish National Party.
Disclaimer: All views expressed in this piece belong solely to the author and do not reflect the views of Demographica Limited as a company.