Labour would raise taxes to fund education and childcare
The Scottish Labour Party has released its manifesto for the upcoming elections to the Scottish Assembly in Holyrood, promising investment in education and childcare if elected on May 5.
Kezia Dugdale, the party’s leader, said she would deliver a ‘childcare revolution’ funded by higher taxes for the better off as Labour seeks to pitch its tent to the Left for the ruling Scottish National Party.
Key manifesto pledges include:
- Raise the top rate of income tax to 50p for those earning over £150,000
- Oppose George Osborne’s higher threshold for the 40p tax rate
- Increase on all tax bands by 1p to invest in public services
- Protect funding for the education budget in real terms
- Protect funding for free university tuition
- Reverse SNP cuts to bursaries for low-income university students
- Use increased tax revenue for a Fair Start Fund to tackle the ‘attainment gap’ between rich and all other students
- Launch a higher education Scottish Graduation Certificate with vocational courses, work experience and exams to recognise students who have fewer traditional qualifications
- Ditch charges for exam appeals
- Breakfast Club services at every Scottish primary school, with investment of £6,500 per school on average
- Protect existing plans to increase free pre-school childcare for 30 hours per week introduced by the SNP
Scottish Labour will also oppose the Trident nuclear missile system, fracking, and a second referendum on Scottish independence.
Kezia Dugdale, speaking ahead of the manifesto launch, said:
‘We want childcare that fits around the lives of parents, that is flexible, affordable and accessible.
So we will start on a new revolution in childcare, beginning with funding for a breakfast club in every primary school.
Breakfast clubs not only ensure children start the day with a healthy meal, but they provide the childcare that so many parents desperately need.’
She also took aim at SNP cuts to local councils, adding:
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‘The SNP’s cuts to local services like schools and nurseries risk holding back the next generation.
Cuts will mean fewer classroom assistants, nursery staff and opportunities for extracurricular activities.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can reject Tory austerity by using the powers of the Scottish Parliament to make different choices.’