Robertson: Tories manifesto thwarts will of Scottish Parliament with "cruel austerity"

UK Tory manifesto light on detail regarding Scotland’s Parliament

THE UK TORY MANIFESTO will thwart the will of the Scottish Parliament, deploying austerity as a “cruel and callous attack on families” according to the SNP deputy leader Angus Robertson.

Released today (Thursday 18 May) the document held only five paragraphs under its Scotland heading and cited the nation 17 times choosing to focus on, in its words, “building a stronger and more precious union”.

Yet political opponents such as the SNP and Scottish Labour condemned the document, which accused the SNP of using Scotland’s vote to Remain in the EU as an attempt to “disrupt” the UK Governments attempts to exit the EU as “ a united UK.”

The Tory manifesto contains plans to restructure winter fuel allowances, social care and end the security of the triple lock on pensions - drawing complaints of its betrayal of older voters.

“This Tory manifesto means every Conservative candidate in Scotland is standing on a platform endorsing the abhorrent rape clause, the bedroom tax and swingeing cuts to social security payments.” James Kelly

Robertson, the SNP candidate for Moray, said: “The Tory manifesto is a cruel and callous attack on families - with deep austerity cuts that will hit pensioners, families, and our public services. Theresa May talked about 'hard choices' - and these will affect pensioners, disabled people, the vulnerable, and those on middle and low incomes.

“Now the Tories are hitting pensioners by effectively cutting their pensions and restricting the Winter Fuel Payment, and they are squeezing family budgets with their continued assault on welfare and their cuts to free school meals. The SNP already protect free personal care, free child care, free school meals, and will stand up against these callous Tory cuts. 
“The Tories have made a rod for their own back because if they now fail to win the election in Scotland they have no basis whatsoever on which to continue to thwart the will of the Scottish Parliament.”

"The Tories have made a rod for their own back because if they now fail to win the election in Scotland they have no basis whatsoever on which to continue to thwart the will of the Scottish Parliament.” Angus Robertson

As part of the Scotland section of the manifesto, the Tories try to reassure voters about the security of fisheries and farming communities without providing any detail of what measures will be taken.

The UK Tory document also mentions that there should only be another referendum on Scottish Independence if there is “public consent for it to happen.” However, when contacted by CommonSpace, a spokesperson from Conservative central office did not specific exactly what was meant by the phrase “public consent” given that the SNP, which included the right to a referendum in its manifesto, currently holds Government and the majority of MPs [56] in Scotland.

A spokesperson for the party said to CommonSpace: “The Prime Minister has been clear that now is not the time for another divisive referendum. There is evidence that the case for a second referendum has not been made. Our program lays out strong support for Scotland’s industries and a future for Scotland in the UK.”

Labour MSP James Kelly said: “This Tory manifesto means every Conservative candidate in Scotland is standing on a platform endorsing the abhorrent rape clause, the bedroom tax and swingeing cuts to social security payments.”

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Thu, 05/18/2017 - 17:20

...but it supports the will of the Scottish people.
Even the SNP realised this two years ago, though they seem to have ignored it ever since.

This was from the opening day of the 2015 SNP conference.
Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP leadership have put the brakes on moves towards a second independence referendum saying that the Scottish government will hold fire until “strong and consistent evidence” emerges of a change in public opinion.

In marked contrast to her predecessor Alex Salmond, who regularly describes independence as inevitable, the first minister said that the fate of a second referendum lay in the hands of the Scottish people.

Speaking on the opening day of the SNP conference in Aberdeen, the first minister said: “I believe with all my heart that Scotland should be an independent country.

“And I, of course, respect the decision that our country made last year. So let me be clear: to propose another referendum in the next parliament, without strong evidence that a significant number of those who voted no have changed their minds, would be wrong and we won’t do that. It would not be respecting the decision that people have made.”


Thu, 05/18/2017 - 18:33

Listen up people. Forget all the shouty politics and the general election.
The SNP government must tell the Scottish people EVERY day for the next 2/3 years that they will be better off in an independent Scotland. With facts to prove it. The Tories, every day, told Milliband and Corbyn (for years) they were useless. And they were. We need to start with Mundell and Davidson up here and tell them that they are useless for Scotland with the strap line "YOU WILL BE BETTER OFF IN AN INDEPENDENT SCOTLAND". Because if we don't or cant then forget it
We have a right wing hard Brexit tory party being manipulated by 70 or so "suits", a nutter running the Labour party and a bunch of total non entities running the Lib Dems. The polls show us at 41/45/49% depending on what poll. WE SHOULD BE AT 65 TO 70 % with what the main Westminster parties have to offer. So Scottish Government can we address the economy please. Then and only then will you drive up the percentages required to demand the next referendum.


Thu, 05/18/2017 - 19:16

You want a constantly updated White Paper? Regardless of changing circumstances? Don't be daft.

That said, what the indy side can do is point out that at least some of the apportioned costs of union, per GERS, are almost certainly more than they should be, meaning that Scotland should be better off than GERS says it is.

As per the White Paper project.


Thu, 05/18/2017 - 19:44


As the Fraser of Allander people point out, GERS is carefully prepared and regarded by professionals as an accurate picture. If you want to tinker around a bit you are welcome to do so, but that doesn't change the big picture, which is that the economy of Scotland is presently accustomed to billions more in public sector spending coming in than is raised in tax. Nicola Sturgeon keeps on saying that she has outsourced all the economic question to Andrew Wilson because she knows she hasn't got the first inkling of how Scotland would deal with this imbalance outside of the Union.


Thu, 05/18/2017 - 19:51


The SNP can't do that because the "facts that prove it" don't exist.

You are basically asking for a repeat of the failed 2014 strategy of denial about the downsides of independence. From the day of the White Paper launch onward the SNP told us over and over again that we'd all instantly be £X better off, and the figure for X got larger and larger as the campaign wore on. It wasn't credible then and it certainly isn't credible now given the price of oil.

The only hope is for the SNP to be honest and to present a credible cost/benefit analysis that makes the convincing argument that although we know that there is going to be pain and sacrifice, it will be worth it in the long run, if not for us, then for our children or grandchildren.

Problem is, the SNP don't know how to make this argument. There has never been a country in an economic position & condition even remotely comparable to Scotland that has gone independent, so the model to draw upon doesn't exist and there is no one in the SNP who has the ability to create one. (Never forget, our Finance Secretary is a university drop-out).


Fri, 05/19/2017 - 10:08

MauriceBishop: Scotland has substantial resources, and is currently the only part of the UK which has a balance of payments surplus (the UK has a large deficit). We have no debt (the SG is not allowed to borrow) as opposed to the UK's £1.5 trillion (and growing) debt. An independent Scotland would not be burdened by paying for a share of vanity projects like Trident renewal. It is hard to believe that an independent Scotland would not be better off than as part of the Union.


Fri, 05/19/2017 - 13:54


What would the currency of independent Scotland be? Denmark, which is of similar size and prosperity, needs over £50 billion in reserves to back its currency. Scotland would, at best, leave the UK with £15 billion. And dedicating that sum as the first deposit in the currency reserve fund means that it is not available to plug the huge hole in Scotland's public sector finances.

Nicola Sturgeon keeps saying that she has outsourced these issues to someone else and he hasn't go back to her yet because she thinks she can get you to vote for economic suicide on the back of her emotive nonsense. The case for full self-government ultimately transcends the issues of Brexit, of oil, of national wealth and balance sheets and of passing political fads and trends."

So you are left with no resort except for wooly phrases like "Scotland has substantial resources".

Well, so does Venezuela.

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