With the possibility of a hung Parliament looking increasingly likely, the SNP and Plaid Cymru have formed a strategic alliance to maximise their influence.
With the possibility of a hung Parliament looking increasingly likely, the Scottish and Welsh nationalists, the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru, have formed a strategic alliance with the aim of maximising their influence. Plaid leader Ieuan Wyn Jones, last month described it as “a Celtic alliance” which could “negotiate real benefits for the people of Wales and Scotland”.
SNP leader Alex Salmond added:
“With the real possibility of a balanced parliament at Westminster, the situation is redolent with real opportunity for Scotland and Wales.“
Having published their manifestos, Left Foot Forward details the key policies that both parties would seek to pursue in the event of them holding the balance of power in Westminster.
• Public Services: Protecting Wales from cuts made to its block grant from Westminster to secure and protect front line public services;
• Pensions: Major increase in the state pension, rising to £130 a week for single persons pensions and £202 a week for couples;
• Supporting the Armed Services: Campaign to provide greater care for soldiers, ex-soldiers and their families, reiterating the party’s opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan;
• Helping Businesses: Establish a new venture capital fund to ensure businesses can access the funds they require; work towards universal super-fast broadband coverage across Wales and campaign for compulsory mobile network sharing to improve mobile coverage;
• Action on the Environment: Campaign for High Speed Rail to be brought to Wales, develop an infrastructure for electric vehicles and encourage small scale energy production across Wales and calls for the roll out of a national programme of home insulation;
• Extra powers for Wales: Will press the next UK Government to give the go ahead for a referendum on extra law making powers for Cardiff Bay swiftly after the election; and
• Tackling the deficit and Banking Reform: Scrap high spending projects such as ID cards and the renewal of Trident and split the banks between day-to-day high street banks and those investment institutions that have gambled with people’s money.
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• Implement a fresh stimulus package to sustain and protect the economy, and oppose moves that could see harsh cuts made to public spending this year;
• Oppose the implementation of ID cards and calls for the renewal of Trident to be scrapped, protecting spending on front line public services;
• Believe substantial savings could be made by abolishing the Scotland Office and the House of Lords altogether;
• Fairer funding for Scotland based on fiscal autonomy for Holyrood;
• The ability for the Scottish Government to borrow money as is the case in Northern Ireland;
• The principle of reinstating the links between pensions and earnings;
• A new Fair Fuel Regulator to protect motorists from increasing petrol prices;
• Aim to increase employment in low carbon industries by 60,000 by 2020;
• Calls for Scotland to be part of the first wave of the high speed rail network;
• Oppose any rise in National Insurance as a “tax on jobs”.
• Oppose reforms to the Common Agricultural Policy and support moves towards an international banking tax;
• Support calls for an extension to paternity leave; and
• Reiterate core message, supporting independence and calling for a referendum on the subject in Scotland.