Scottish Labour’s bold and vital plan to use Scotland’s new revenue raising powers with targeted increases in taxation, is the biggest single beacon of hope in May’s elections for those most affected by Tory cuts in Scotland.
Despite constant and wilful misrepresentation by the SNP, it is clear that the truth cannot be shouted down - Labour’s tax increases are balanced to ensure that the wealthiest and highest earners in Scotland pay more and, coupled with Labour’s radical plans to create a new, fairer system to replace the council tax and new measures to support OAP incomes, Labour is Scotland’s anti-austerity party.
No doubt the columns of this news page will echo with the baying of SNP supporters unable to accept that their beloved party is not quite what it seemed 18 months back.
But some us never bought the lies. It is now clear that the SNP’s refusal to use taxation powers to alleviate Scotland’s poverty - and the actions of MSPs (Dr Allan included) who voted against the introduction of the living wage for some of Scotland’s poorest workers - has left that party with no credible socialist credentials in tact.
My vote in May will be about the future. Not about the fading or even distant past. And I say to all those pondering which way to vote, don’t vote against Scottish Labour because of the policies of Blair or Brown. Those days, as the song goes, are gone now, and I for one am very glad of that.
Vote Scottish Labour because its plans today are the only ones that will hit austerity the hardest in Scotland. Labour’s plans will halt fracking.
Labour’s plans will halt the damage being done to the NHS in Scotland under the SNP and the damage that party is doing to higher education across the land.
Labour’s plans will renew trade union rights in Scotland, and Scottish Labour opposes the renewal of Trident.
Many locally will quite rightly not forgive the SNP for its complete failure to address the appalling air services we still have to the islands, responding instead with the kind of dithering inaction that can really hurt an economy, and many will not trust the SNP with Cal Mac or with the administration of crofting.
These islands have a weak and inconsequential voice in Holyrood, and that has to change.
For me, it is absolutely clear that the only way out of austerity in Scotland is through the election of Scottish Labour.
It is also absolutely clear that a vote that gives a blank check to the SNP will see the damaging continuation of tax freezes, both locally and nationally.
Scotland cannot afford that luxury whilst so many of its people suffer in the hardship of Tory austerity.
Back, Isle of Lewis