The Scottish National Party (SNP) launched its election manifesto on Tuesday, 30 May, having been delayed by one week due to the terrorist attack in Manchester. The 47-page document covers a wide variety of policy areas with particular focus given to ending austerity, the upcoming Brexit negotiations and Scotland’s constitutional future beyond Brexit. A summary of the policies in the manifesto can be found via the BBC website.
What does the manifesto say about love, freedom, justice and truth?
The theme of compassion runs through the manifesto in both domestic and international policy. Domestically there is a strong emphasis on changing the culture of the benefit system with proposals to abolish sanctions, the so-called ‘bedroom tax’ and the two-child benefit cap. There is a commitment not to cut welfare spending for disabled people and other vulnerable groups and a commitment to the pension triple lock.
Internationally there is a commitment to the 0.7 per cent commitment on aid, to restore the Dubs scheme for unaccompanied migrant children and to end detention for vulnerable asylum seekers, including children.
The word freedom is not mentioned in the manifesto, with the exception of “freedom of movement”. However, ideas of democracy and constitutional reform feature strongly. Policies in this area include extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds, supporting proportional representation for Westminster elections, abolishing the House of Lords, and the ability of the Scottish Parliament to choose the date, timings and terms of a future referendum on independence. The manifesto commits the SNP to seeking this referendum at the conclusion of the Brexit process.
The promotion of fairness is a key theme of the manifesto. The word ‘fair’ appears 46 times in the document in relation to wide variety of policy areas including taxation, asylum, benefits, immigration, veterans, pay, pensions, and disability. Most often this is presented in relation to the plan to end austerity and invest in public services, often in contrast to what is seen as the unfairness of the current UK government policy approach. The theme of climate justice also appears.
Where can I find out more?
The SNP manifesto can be read in full here: https://www.snp.org/manifesto
The Christians in Politics page on the SNP can be found here: http://www.christiansinpolitics.org.uk/guide-to-the-scottish-national-party2/
CARE’s summary of the SNP manifesto can be read here: http://engage17.org.uk/archives/1923.
Image used under CC 2.0 credit SNP