The SNP is the only party with the experience to lead Scotland through the pandemic
It is essential that people in Scotland have the right to decide whether or not they wish to become independent, and if there is majority support we will offer that choice when the Covid crisis has passed.
After a year that has tested all of us like never before, the election tomorrow is the most important in Scotland’s history - and the SNP is the only party offering serious and experienced leadership to take the country through the pandemic and build a recovery that works for everyone.
These are serious times, which require serious government and experienced leadership.
Re-electing Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP will ensure Scotland gets that experience and the programme for government that people need and deserve.
The SNP has published a plan detailing some of the key social and economic actions we will take in the first 100 days of government - if we are re-elected – to keep Scotland safe during the pandemic and help kickstart a green recovery.
With the full powers of independence we could do so much more
Unexpected events such as the Covid crisis require a quick response from governments and that’s what we will deliver.
Using our experience, we will take immediate action to protect our NHS, boost jobs and help Scotland’s children and young people.
We will deliver a 4% pay rise for NHS workers, implement our NHS recovery plan - including opening the first 3 fast-track cancer diagnostic centres - and remove dental charges for care experienced young people as the first step to removing charges for all.
We’ll take urgent action to support children, families and young people - completing the roll-out of 1140 hours of free childcare, expanding free school meals, paying the first instalment of the expanded £1billion Scottish Attainment Fund and introducing the legal changes to extend free bus travel to everyone under 22 years old.
An SNP government will deliver urgent additional support to business sectors which have been hard hit by the pandemic, launch the £10 million ‘Scotland Loves Local’ programme to support local businesses, back Scotland Loves Local loyalty card schemes, and roll out the £25m tourism fund - including a new campaign to boost Scottish tourism with vouchers for days out and short breaks for carers, people with disabilities and families on low incomes.
We will also start work on longer term challenges, establishing a new Council for Economic Transformation, taking the first steps toward establishing a National Care Service and beginning work on a Minimum Income Guarantee.
Of course, with the full powers of independence we could do so much more - and Scotland would no longer be subject to a Tory Westminster government taking our country in the wrong direction.
In an independent Scotland, our publicly run and owned NHS would be safe from Tory trade deals and the power grab Westminster has launched on Holyrood.
We would be able to escape Boris Johnson’s jobs-destroying Brexit, and we could re-build a social security system - based on fairness, dignity and respect - after years of deep Tory cuts that have hit working people and their families hard, and exacerbated poverty.
That is why it is essential that people in Scotland have the right to decide whether or not they wish to become independent, and if there is majority support in the newly elected Parliament for an independence referendum we will offer that choice when the Covid crisis has passed.
Our immediate priority will be to steer Scotland safely through the pandemic and start work on a sustainable recovery.
Whilst Labour sit on the fence over the key issues facing Scotland and the Tories fail to deliver any positive or credible policies, the SNP is ready to get down to work immediately to tackle the major challenges we face as a country.
Tomorrow, the people of Scotland face a choice - whether to put Scotland's future in the hands of Boris Johnson's sleaze-ridden Tory government or into our own hands by re-electing Nicola Sturgeon as First Minister with Both Votes SNP.
Keith Brown is the SNP MSP for Clackmannanshire and Dunblane and depute leader of the SNP.
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