Anas Sarwar said Scotland deserves better than the ‘old politics’ as he unveiled Scottish Labour’s manifesto and called for the country to unite behind a National Recovery Plan.
The Scottish Labour leader said our national debate ‘cannot go on like this’ and called for a parliament focused ‘on what unites us, not what divides us’.
In an election campaign where the bubble of Scottish politics continues to recycle old arguments at the expense of the real issues, Mr Sarwar committed to building a politics ‘that speaks to 100% of people in Scotland, not just the 50% the SNP and the Tories want to speak to’.
It came as he revealed the party’s ambitious plan to build a fairer and stronger Scotland – focused on a national recovery plan.
The plan is divided into five parts – each tailored to supporting Scotland to recover from the pandemic.
- Jobs recovery: Guaranteeing a job for every young Scot and investing in training and upskilling people across Scotland.
- NHS recovery: Funding our NHS to get cancer treatment back on track, improve mental health, and give carers the pay they deserve.
- Education recovery: Developing a comeback plan which invests in schools, and ensures IT support in every primary and secondary school.
- Climate recovery: Investing in green jobs and seizing Scotland’s hosting of COP26 to champion an ambitious climate justice plan.
- Community recovery: Helping high streets recover and investing in local areas to make our communities safer and stronger.
At the heart of Scottish Labour’s plans are some transformative policies designed to change lives – in ways big and small.
It includes plans for:
- a ‘jobs for recovery’ guarantee designed for young people and those out of work
- working towards a Minimum Income Standard to help end poverty
- saving Scotland’s high streets with a £75 prepaid card for every adult
- launching the Great Scottish Staycation offering a third-night free accommodation to support our tourism industry
- offering a personal comeback plan and for every school pupil and a personal tutoring programme available to all ages
- getting NHS services back on track and prioritising cancer treatment and care.
- recruiting a mental health worker to every GP practice and raising carers pay immediately to £12 per hour
Speaking at the launch, Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said:
“This is not a normal election. It is a pandemic election.
“More than 10,000 families in Scotland are coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
“Many more are worried about their cancer diagnosis, their children’s mental health, or whether they have a job to go back to.
“The challenges ahead of us are huge and they require us to work together.
“And the truth is that the politics of division has only delivered more poverty and greater inequality.
“We can’t afford our politics to go on like this for the next five years.
“I’m calling time on the old politics.
“Scotland deserves better.
“Just imagine what we could achieve if we come together and focus on what unites us, not what divides us.
“We have a politics that speaks to 100% of people in Scotland, not just the 50% the SNP and the Tories want to speak to.
“So let’s not spend the next five years on re-running old arguments, or the timing of a vote, or battles in the courts.
“Let’s spend the next five years on a national recovery.
“That’s what I am offering you at this election.
“By voting Scottish Labour you can make the difference.
“We are the only party standing in this election that believes we can deliver a fair recovery right now.
“If – like me – you believe that this is the time to focus on what unites us as a country, then both votes for Scottish Labour will make that happen.”
You read Scottish Labour’s detailed National Recovery Plan here.