Here are the main points of interest in the SNP Manifesto:
SNP MPs will also vote against any further privatisation of the NHS in England and back any moves to restore it to a fully public service
SNP MPs will not support further reductions to Corporation Tax. However, to support job creation, we will propose a doubling of the Employment Allowance – the National Insurance discount that businesses receive when they increase employment.
We will back tax proposals that promote fairness, while raising the revenues required to protect the public services we all rely on.
We will support the reversal of the married couple’s allowance, the reversal of the reductions to the bank levy and introduction of a tax on bankers’ bonuses.
SNP MPs will back improvements to tax collection and tougher action on tax avoidance, including:
- a moratorium and review of the closure of HMRC offices in Scotland and across the UK;
- beneficial ownership of companies and trusts to be made public;
- measures to improve the transparency of tax paid by major international companies;
- and further action by the UK government to tackle international tax avoidance.
We will always vote to protect the health service in all parts of the UK from privatisation – as any moves to privatise the NHS in England could lead to the erosion of the budget that is available to Scotland. We will work on a cross-party basis to support an NHS Reinstatement Bill that returns the NHS south of the border to its founding principles.
Despite emergency services in England having tax relief from VAT, the UK government has failed to deliver the same relief for Police Scotland and the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service. This has cost Scottish taxpayers more than £140 million since 2013. SNP MPs will continue to make the case to the UK government to extend a VAT exemption to Scottish emergency services. The money saved will be invested by the Scottish Government in making Scotland safer.
And we are already using new powers to ensure a public sector operator will be able to bid for a future rail contract.
At Westminster, we will demand fresh support for businesses to grow and to boost productivity
there should be clear guidance and a mandate for the Small Business Commissioner to play a role in delivering the Industrial Strategy.
We will press the UK government to phase the introduction of the Quarterly Digital Tax Reporting over a five-year transition period, and consider industry calls for exemptions to those who are not incorporated or VAT-registered.
SNP MPs will support the introduction of effective legal protections to ensure small businesses – particularly those attempting to scale up – are paid on time. And we will press the UK government to ensure that it is demonstrating best practice on paying small businesses promptly for the services they deliver.
SNP MPs will press the UK government to compel the banking industry and LINK members to sign up to the Universal Cash Deposit Transaction, which means that ATMs which take deposits can be used by customers of any bank. This will protect convenient access to cash deposit and withdrawal facilities, for both the public and businesses.
SNP MPs will continue to press for full devolution of employment and employability policy – including the Minimum Wage – to enable the Scottish Government to protect and enhance vital workers’ rights that are under threat from a hard-line Tory government.
We support payment of the real Living wage, which ensures people’s basic wage continue to meets the real cost of living. We will back a transition over the next parliamentary term towards payment of the real Living wage as a new minimum legal requirement to all adults above the age of 18, creating a new single adult rate. We believe that the rate paid to 16 to 18 year olds and apprentices should increase in line with changes to the rate of the real Living wage.
The SNP will press the UK government to ban exploitative zero-hours contracts, and ensure that workers have appropriate rights and protections, including holiday and sick pay. This will help casual and agency workers as well as those now part of the growing gig economy.
We will also call on the UK government to follow the lead of the SNP Scottish Government by ensuring all public authorities with more than 20 employees provide gender pay gap reports every two years. We will also call for equal pay statements every four years, which provide policies on equal pay and occupational segregation and include reporting on gender, disability and race
Promoting fair work through procurement – We will support the continued use of procurement processes to ensure the Scottish Government can continue to seek the Living Wage for workers in firms who win contracts from the public sector.
We believe the practice of ‘blacklisting’ individuals from employment is unacceptable. The SNP Scottish Government has introduced regulations to exclude businesses which have been found to be involved in blacklisting from bidding for public contracts. Similar measures should be introduced to ensure blacklisters do not benefit from UK government procurement.
SNP MPs will press the Westminster government to include onshore wind, the lowest cost renewable energy technology, in its industrial strategy. They will also demand an increased focus on offshore wind, tidal energy and wave power. Our MPs will support the development of wind and other renewable energy projects in the Northern and Western Isles – and a clear timescale for the delivery of the electricity interconnectors needed in the islands. SNP MPs will work to protect Scotland’s place in Europe’s energy markets and funding programmes – ensuring continued funding and cooperation with the EU for Scotland’s renewable energy sector. The European Union is set to establish a €320 million investment fund to support wave and tidal power, in which Scotland is a world leader.
ActionAid has ranked the UK joint worst in the world for having the largest number of treaties with developing countries which most restrict the rights of poor countries to tax UK companies operating there. The SNP will urge the UK government to develop a trade and development policy that outlines how the UK will support development as part of its trade with developing countries. The SNP Scottish Government has committed to “always consider the human rights implications of its engagement with countries and business” and to ensure that “investment agreements should only be signed where appropriate due diligence, including on the human rights record of companies involved, has been undertaken.”