Back to the BBC this evening to comment on the SNP manifesto launch.
The SNP manifesto has content that UNISON could support. Opposition to public service cuts and a wide range of spending programmes makes a good read. We would have common cause with some of the real waste, such as scrapping Trident – even if nothing is said about some of the Scottish Government’s wasteful programmes.
Of course the SNP has the easiest manifesto to write. They have no ambitions to govern at UK level and therefore don’t have to make any of the hard decisions. An independent Scotland would have been in the same position as Iceland when our major international banks went bust and were bailed out by the financial clout of the UK.
Whilst we could support many of the SNP public service plans the same cannot be said of many of their economic policies. The low tax model exemplified by the council tax and business rates freeze would be carried forward with Corporation Tax cuts. There is no evidence that businesses use these additional resources in ways that benefit the economy and they are inevitably at the expense of properly funded public services.
As set out by speakers in the energy debate at the STUC today, the SNP energy policy has major flaws. There is simply too much emphasis on renewable energy at the expense of a credible balanced energy strategy for Scotland. We and the other energy unions are very sceptical about any claim of 60,000 green jobs.
With a hung/balanced UK parliament looking at least a possibility, the SNP see this as an opportunity to negotiate a better deal for Scotland. The idea that a UK political party could give preferential spending priority to Scotland is frankly risible. The best defence against the savage Tory spending cuts in Scotland remains a Labour government.