Food Parcel Figures Should Shame the SNP

15 May 2017

Figures on food parcels should ‘shame’ the Tories and the SNP, Kezia Dugdale said today.

On a visit in Glasgow, the Scottish Labour leader revealed that food banks have handed out nearly half a million emergency food parcels under the SNP and the Tories.

Labour analysis of Trussell Trust figures shows that 488,766 three-day emergency food parcels have been handed out since 2011, with more than 150,000 going to children.

Labour said further cuts would drive more families into poverty and towards food banks. A Labour government would deliver a real living wage of £10 an hour and invest in local services.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said:

“It should shame the SNP and the Tories that working families can’t afford to feed themselves.

“A Labour government will end austerity in the UK. Labour will invest in local services, grow the economy and deliver a real living wage of £10 an hour.

“We need Labour MPs fighting for better wages and more opportunities, not SNP MPs fighting for a divisive second independence referendum."


INDYREF2 is “Unwanted and Unnecessary”- Corbyn

15 May 2017

15 May 2017 Labour’s General Election manifesto will brand Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a divisive second independence referendum as ‘unwanted and unnecessary’.

The manifesto, to be unveiled by leader Jeremy Corbyn tomorrow, will state: “Labour opposes a second Scottish independence referendum.

“It is unwanted and unnecessary, and we will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will join Mr Corbyn for the manifesto launch in West Yorkshire.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “Scotland doesn’t need or want a second independence referendum.

"We need the SNP government to get on with the job of governing. The SNP government should be using the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament to focus on jobs, grow the economy, help family incomes and invest in public services.

"Holding another referendum on leaving the UK is the wrong thing to do for Scotland’s economy, especially when there is so much economic uncertainty from the Tories’ plans for a reckless Brexit.

“Labour will campaign tirelessly to ensure Scotland remains part of the UK. Independence would lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families.”

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: “By voting Labour on June 8, Scots can tell Nicola Sturgeon that we don’t want another divisive independence referendum.

“Voters can reject a second referendum and deeper Tory cuts with one vote for Labour.

“Voting Tory doesn’t send Nicola Sturgeon a message; it sends Theresa May back to Number Ten. A Labour government led by Jeremy Corbyn will work for the many, not the few.”


Sturgeon’s Shambles on Currency

15 May 2017

Nicola Sturgeon’s currency plans for an independent Scotland were branded a ‘shambles’ today following her interview with BBC Radio Scotland.

Speaking on Good Morning Scotland, the First Minister refused to say what currency a separate Scotland would use and signalled the pound could ultimately be ditched.

Asked what the SNP’s Growth Commission’s interim report has recommended on currency, she said: “We haven’t got to that stage yet. But the starting point for Scotland is we’d use the pound until we decided to do something else.”

Recently, Deputy First Minister John Swinney refused six times in a radio interview to answer the basic question about currency, SNP Westminster candidate Joanna Cherry was left floundering when asked the question on BBC Question Time, and SNP deputy leader Stewart Hosie has signalled that the SNP wants to ditch the pound.

Scottish Labour’s economy spokesperson Jackie Baillie said: “The people of Scotland deserve some answers from Nicola Sturgeon.

“Her currency plans for an independent Scotland are a shambles. Nicola Sturgeon is the person who wants to use this General Election to threaten a second independence referendum, yet she refuses to give voters the clarity they need.

“SNP politicians have caused weeks of confusion, and now the First Minister has simply added to that.

“The currency we use really matters. It's about how much money we have to spend on schools and hospitals, what money wages and pensions will be paid in, and will determine how families pay the bills. The Nationalists want to drag Scotland out of the UK but haven't even worked out the basics like currency.

“Voters can send Nicola Sturgeon a message on June 8 that they don’t want a divisive second independence referendum by voting Labour.”


Nurses are £3,400 Worse Off Under the SNP

10 May 2017

Scotland’s nurses have seen a real terms pay cut of £3,400 under the SNP, Labour can reveal.

Visiting the Royal College of Nurses today, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale and health spokesperson Anas Sarwar will reveal the analysis showing how the average nurse is worse off as a result of the SNP pay cap on NHS staff.

UK Labour has committed to scrapping the one per cent pay cap – and Scottish Labour will challenge the SNP to meet that pledge in a Holyrood vote on Wednesday.

Previous research from Labour revealed that the number of long-term unfilled nursing posts in our NHS has increased by more than 300 per cent under the SNP, leaving Scotland’s NHS staff overworked and under increasing pressure.

The choice in this election is now clear: Labour MPs who will stand up for working people or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum.

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will say:

“Our NHS staff are the foundation of our health service, but they aren’t getting the support and they resources they need from the SNP government.

“In fact, nurses in our health service have faced on average a real terms cut of £3,400 as a result of the Nationalist pay cap.

“The first step in delivering an NHS that delivers the care Scots needs is to give staff the pay they deserve. Labour would scrap the 1 per cent pay cap to give our NHS staff the pay increase they deserve.

“The choice in this election is clear – Labour MPs who will fight for better wages and a stronger NHS, or SNP MPs who will fight for another independence referendum that Scotland doesn’t want.”


Commenting on the Royal College of General Practitioners report on EU GPs

10 May 2017

Commenting on the report, Scottish Labour's Health spokesperson Anas Sarwar MSP said :

The GP crisis began long before Brexit - it is a direct result of the SNP cutting £1.6 billion out of primary care.

“There are hundreds of vacancies across Scotland and people are not getting the care they deserve.

“After a decade of SNP mismanagement, we have a workforce crisis in our NHS.

“A hard Tory Brexit will not help, but four times as many doctors and nurses come from other parts of the UK to work in Scotland's NHS compared to those that come from the rest of the EU.

“That's why we should be guaranteeing that those from the EU already working here can stay.

“But we would go further and call for a special arrangement for NHS staff so we can continue to attract health care professionals to come and work here and make Scotland their home.

“Rather than focusing on how to protect our NHS staff, the SNP is instead only concerned with forcing another independence referendum.

“By backing Labour on June 8 voters can reject a hard Tory Brexit that will hurt our NHS – and tell Nicola Sturgeon to drop her plans for a divisive second referendum and focus on the day job.”


Only a vote for Labour opposes indyref2 and austerity – Kezia Dugdale

10 May 2017

Labour is the only party which opposes a second independence referendum and further austerity, Kez Dugdale will say in Rutherglen today.

Speaking as she launches Labour’s General Election campaign, Ms Dugdale will say that Scots do not want to endorse Nicola Sturgeon’s plans for a divisive second independence referendum, or Tory polices like the rape clause, the bedroom tax and hard Brexit.

Ms Dugdale said a vote for Labour is a vote against another referendum, and for a country run for the many, not for a privileged few.

Speaking in Rutherglen, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale will say:

“A vote for Labour at this election will send Nicola Sturgeon a message that Scotland doesn't want another divisive independence referendum.

“Only Labour is focused on the day job of delivering an economy that works for working people, creating jobs and protecting high quality public services.

“For many Scots the shine is coming off the SNP as they realise it only has one answer for everything – a referendum on independence.

“Scotland’s moderate majority doesn't have to vote for the Tories and endorse the rape clause and the bedroom tax to stop a second referendum. A vote for the Tories won't send Nicola Sturgeon a message - it will just send Theresa May back to Downing Street.

“At this election, people shouldn’t take the risk of voting SNP. In 2015, Labour warned that a vote for the SNP would help the Tories back into Number Ten. That’s exactly what happened, and now we have the chaos of Brexit and the threat of a second independence referendum.

“The only way that people across Scotland can reject this Tory Government and reject the threat of a divisive second independence referendum is to vote Labour on June 8."


Labour will only agree to Anti-Austerity Power-Sharing Deals

6 May 2017

6 May 2016

Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) today agreed that Labour council groups will only agree to anti-austerity power-sharing deals in local government.

The SEC, which includes leader Kezia Dugdale, deputy leader Alex Rowley, MSPs, trade union representatives and constituency representatives, agreed that council groups will be required to ensure that ‘no power-sharing arrangement will mean increased austerity that will disproportionately impact on the poorest communities’.

All local Labour groups will be required to apply to a working group of the SEC to set out in detail the policy aims of any proposed administration.

The policy priorities will have to be drawn from Labour’s vision for local government, and must oppose any compulsory job redundancies in local government and oppose any further austerity to that already imposed by the SNP and Tory governments.

Since 2011, the SNP has cut £1.5billion from local services – including £170million this year alone.

Scottish Labour deputy leader and local government campaign manager Alex Rowley said:

“Following this week’s elections, Labour remains a major party of local government.

“The SNP failed to win a single majority anywhere in Scotland, and the nature of the voting system means that cross-party deals may be agreed.

“Labour’s approach is clear and consistent: we will categorically refuse to do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities.

“Labour values must run through any deals: the defence of local services against cuts; and the proper funding of the services so many people rely on such as education and care for the elderly.

“Additionally, we will require any power-sharing administrations to protect jobs by opposing any compulsory redundancies.

“Every Labour councillor will always put their local communities first. They will fight against Tory attempts to drive down living standards and will not be distracted by campaigning for a divisive second independence referendum.”