Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon has launched the SNP general election manifesto for 2017.
Speaking in Perth Concert Hall, Scotland Sturgeon put forward SNP’s plans to “strengthen Scotland against Tories” and “set out a clear plan to end mindless Tory austerity across the UK and invest in public services.”
Sturgeon also promised Scotland a second independence referendum after Brexit if the SNP wins the majority of Scottish seats.
Last year, Scottish Parliament delivered a democratic mandate for an independence referendum in the event of Brexit. Brexit talks are to begin on June 19 and Sturgeon wants Scotland to have a seat at the table.
Stating that: “Too much is at stake for Brexit to be imposed on Scotland our future decided by us, not for us”.
The UK government has already rejected Sturgeon’s call for a vote to be held in autumn next year or spring 2019. The Conservative manifesto promises that there will be no vote on independence until the Brexit process has played out unless there is a public consent for one to be held.
The Manifesto also sets out plans to invest £118 Billion back in UK Public Services. Under a SNP government the NHS will receive additional funding by 2021, 2022 the NHS Scotland budget would increase by an extra £1 billion.
SNP also plan to lift the freeze on benefits and abolish the two-child cap and the rape clause introduced by the Conservative government. The triple lock on pensions, the winter fuel allowance and a fairer pension scheme for women also featured in the manifesto.
An increase in the minimum wage to £10 per hour in a bid to tackle inequality and no increase in taxation for low-paid workers in National Insurance or VAT.
SNP also support Labours call for a UK wide increase in high rate tax from 45p to 50p.
Delivering the manifesto Sturgeon said that “fairness and opportunity is at its heart” and that the manifesto reflects a “country that is welcoming and outward looking.”