The SNP have a 12-point plan that's very different to the Tories'
Today the Queen’s Speech will indicate the State Opening of Parliament after the Tories won the General Election last week.
Traditionally, the Queen reads out what ministers have written, detailing the Government’s legislation programme for that parliamentary session. This will happen as usually today at 11.30am, yet some parties have written their own Queen’s Speech as alternatives.
The SNP are calling “on the UK government to ditch their destructive plans and introduce the SNP’s proposals”.
SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said the party’s ambitious programme to boost the economy, protect public services, tackle poverty, deliver real action on climate change, and respect Scotland’s right to choose is a complete contrast to the Tory Queen’s Speech, which would rip Scotland out of the EU and “take a wrecking ball” to public services, living standards, and the economy.
The SNP have proposed 12 points in their alternative Queen’s Speech.
- An Independence referendum – ensuring Scotland’s right to choose their own future is respected.
- An NHS Protection Bill – to stop the threat to the NHS from a Tory-Trump trade deal, and a commitment to increase per capita health spending in England to the same level as it is in Scotland, benefiting the NHS in all four UK nations.
- A Parental Leave Expansion Bill – to increase parental leave with an additional 12 weeks to be ring-fenced for the father in order to encourage take-up as well as increases in statutory maternity and paternity pay.
- An Equal Living Wage Bill – to increase the national minimum wage to at least the level of the real Living wage, and to end age discrimination in the legal minimum wage.
- A Social Security Reform Bill – to scrap the two-child cap on tax credits and rape clause, to end the benefits freeze, and halt the flawed roll out of Universal Credit.
- A Women’s Pension Justice Bill – to deliver justice for the 3.8million women born in the 1950s denied their pension by consecutive UK governments.
- A Climate Emergency Bill – introducing tougher legal targets, to ensure the UK government matches Scotland’s net zero emissions target by 2045 – and putting oil and gas receipts into a net-zero fund for measures to tackle climate change.
- A new Green Energy Deal – delivering real action on the climate emergency by building on the transition toward a greener, sustainable future.
- A BBC Licence Fee Bill – to ensure the BBC licence fee remains free for over-75s.
- An Electoral Franchise Expansion Bill – to extend the franchise to introduce votes at 16 in general elections, as already introduced by the SNP for Holyrood elections.
- A House of Lords Abolition Bill – to begin the process of abolishing the unelected and undemocratic House of Lords.
- A Trident Abolition Bill – rejecting the immoral replacement of nuclear weapons at a cost of over £200billion.
The SNP won an absolute landslide in Scotland. Winning 80% of seats, they promised Scotland a vote on independence.
The Conservatives, on the other hand, lost more than 50% of their Scotland seats, ending up significantly behind the SNP.
“Last week, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to reject Boris Johnson and his extreme Tory government’s devastating plans for Brexit and austerity,” Ian Blackford said.
“Yet, Scotland now faces five more years of a hard-right Tory government we didn’t elect, imposing damaging policies we do not want, which would rip Scotland out of the EU and take a wrecking ball to our NHS, living standards and the economy.”
He added: “The SNP Alternative Queen’s Speech sets out our priorities to ensure Scotland’s right to choose our own future is respected, to protect our NHS, end austerity, boost our economy, and deliver real action to tackle the climate emergency.
“SNP MPs will provide the strong and united opposition to the Tories that the country needs, and we will protect Scotland’s democratic right to choose our own future – so we can get on with building a fairer, greener, more equal and prosperous country.”
The SNP aren’t the only ones pushing for the UK government to listen to alternative plans.
The Green Party are calling on the government to prioritise climate issues and make this one the climate parliament.
They have pointed out that the Tory target of carbon neutrality by 2050 is not the world-leading target he claimed it is. Scotland’s aim is to do so by 2045, for example.
So while the Green Party realise Brexit is a very important issue, they are also calling on the government to prioritise the environment.
Lucy Skoulding is a freelance reporter at Left Foot Forward. Follow her on Twitter.
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