Yesterday, in an old haunt of mine the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Alex Salmond launched the SNP manifesto. It was a slick, confident performance from the First Minister with proposals which should energise every Scot.
The document is lengthy so I will highlight some pledges I think may interest those of us who are retired or semi-retired.
- Continuing the council tax freeze for the duration of the next government although I would like to see what form a Local Income Tax would take.
- Sure Start and Warm Homes funds
- Keeping Scottish Water in public hands and freezing water charges for two years
- Rolling out super-fast broadband in rural areas
- The idea of sharing apprentices between small businesses
- The expansion of social banking
- New improvements to the planning system
- Improved access to public sector contracts
- The creation of a new Graduate Apprenticeship
- Improvements to the A96 and further dualling of the A9
- A 25% reduction in senior NHS managers over the next parliament
- A Detect Cancer Early Initiative directed at lung, breast and colorectal cancers
- The implementation of the new Autism Strategy for Scotland
- The building of 6,000 socially-rented houses each year
The section on justice will be efficiently frisked by the Peat Worrier and I will refrain from commenting on the education proposals until I have had discussions with those at the sharp end.
It is a pleasure to note that the SNP realise jobs require to be created by the private sector and they don't fall out of the sky as Iain Gray, in his latest PSB, appears to convey.
There are sure to be pledges I've missed but I had difficulty downloading the PDF last night although the low-resolution copy was no problem this morning. It can be viewed here.