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by Jenni Davidson
15 April 2021
Free dental treatment and increased social care funding among commitments in SNP manifesto

Nicola Sturgeon launching the SNP manifesto - Image credit: Alamy

Free dental treatment and increased social care funding among commitments in SNP manifesto

Dental treatment will become free in Scotland if the SNP is re-elected as the next Scottish Government.

Launching the party’s election manifesto Nicola Sturgeon said this would “complete an SNP mission, to restore all of Scotland’s NHS to its founding principle”.

As well as a 20 per cent increase in funding for the NHS, worth £2.5bn, the party is promising at least a 25 per cent increase in funding going to mental health, a 25 per cent increase in funding for social care, an end to charges for non-residential care and a national living wage for care staff.

The party has also pledged to double the Scottish Child Payment to £20 a week and it will work on an minimum income guarantee, which would lay the foundations for a citizens’ basic income if Scotland became independent.

The SNP also intends to freeze income tax for the duration of the next parliament.

If re-elected the SNP says it will invest £1bn over the course of the parliament in closing the poverty-related attainment gap – something it had previously pledged to achieve by now – and recruit an additional 3,500 teachers and classroom assistants.

Plans for economic transformation include delivering a new 10-year national strategy for economic transformation within the first six months of the next parliament, £33bn over five years to support 45,000 jobs through a national infrastructure mission, £500m to support green jobs and reskilling, building 100,000 new homes and decarbonising the heating of one million homes by 2030.

In addition, there will be a £10m fund to support companies to pilot a four-day working week.

Sturgeon said: “I am proud of the SNP’s achievements in government so far, but the pandemic has turned life as we know it upside down.

“As we recover, we have the opportunity to reimagine our country. Not to return just to how things were, but to build a better nation.

“In this manifesto the SNP is setting out a serious programme for serious times. It is practical but unashamedly optimistic. And it is transformational in its ambition.”

Challenged on why the SNP hadn’t delivered on some of these things previously, given it had been in government for fourteen years, Sturgeon answered: “We don’t have any government anywhere in the world that does everything it could ever possibly want to do or imagine doing on day one.

“Life is about progress. Government is about progress. We have made significant progress over the past fourteen years.”

Read the most recent article written by Jenni Davidson - The Holyrood baby: More likely to live in poverty now than the day she was born

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