Scottish National Party - Angus MacNeil
The SNP will give Scotland and Na h-Eileanan an Iar the voice it needs at Westminster says candidate Angus B MacNeil.
Mr MacNeil said: “While we are currently going through a difficult time in the islands, post Manchester, there is still an election ongoing.
“On June 9th we may wake up to the reality of a further five years of increasingly hard line Tory Government at Westminster.
“For the election the SNP has set out an anti-austerity plan which will support investment in public service, people and household incomes.
“The SNP have a proven track record as the real effective opposition at Westminster and have pulled up the Tory Government on a diverse range of issues including tax credit cuts, cuts to women’s pensions, the appalling rape clause and ongoing austerity measures which hit the poorest and most vulnerable in society.
“We want to see a fairer more progressive society and one where Scotland has a voice and a right to choose its own future.
“Thankfully Scotland is already protected against some of the Tory party’s plans.
“Take the Winter Fuel Payment for example, over 6,000 pensioners in the Isles received this payment in 2015-16 – they will continue to do so in Scotland because this is being devolved to the Scottish Government. Pensioners in England and Wales will be subject to means testing and thousands will lose out.
“It is important at this vital time to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland and preventing the dangers of an unopposed Tory government at Westminster.”
Scottish Labour Party - Ealasaid MacDonald
Ealasaid MacDonald, Labour’s candidate in Na h-Eileanan an Iar, has underlined the importance of all organisations and representatives across the islands working together with the primary focus of securing our islands’ future.
Ealasaid MacDonald said: “It is clear that action is needed to ensure the long term stability of our islands’ economy.
“There are some exciting ideas from organisations and individuals, both public and private, which would have a positive impact on our islands.
“However, for these to be achieved we need an MP who is focused on partnership working and engaging across all sectors to facilitate change and harness opportunity.
“This approach has not been taken for the last 12 years and we can all see our islands are the worse off for it. We all have to work together, focusing on our islands, as it will take a real effort to tackle the depopulation crisis,ensuring we provide opportunities for our young people and are able to look after those in need and our elderly.
“Campaigning for our islands is not about sending out the odd press release, or a few thousand tweets, it is about focusing minds on the real asset our islands are to this country as a whole, and taking the opportunities which will allow us to regain economic stability and flourish.”
Scottish Christian Party - John Cormack
The Scottish Christian Party candidate for the Western Isles, John Cormack declares that the battlegrounds in which Christians are fighting today are the state, the church and the home.
He adds: “Secularism would have people delete God and pursue policies that have tragic and far-reaching consequences for us, and importantly, for our children.
“Christianity, which has given birth to, and is still responsible for, givens such as free speech, education and a society founded on social justice, is no longer considered relevant.
“In some quarters indeed the Christian faith is no longer tolerated and this intolerance is growing.”
He continued: “The Scottish Christian Party works to promote and protect Christian values which are being dismissed and eroded.
“Other parties may be larger but this does not make for good governance when policies run contrary to the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ.
“I would urge people in this election to consider casting their vote in favour of a Christian party which seeks to put God first.”
Scottish Conservative Party - Daniel McCroskrie
Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate for Na h-Eileanan an Iar Daniel McCroskrie has signed the Scottish Fishing Federation’s Brexit pledge ahead of the General Election on June 8th.
The pledge, which all General Election candidates have been asked to sign, ask that candidates support the declaration which notes that Brexit offers a ‘Sea of Opporunity’ for the fishing industry and fishing communities and also to pledge to “avoid any policy, practice, regulation or treaty which could return (the industry) to the Common Fisheries Policy”.
Mr McCroskrie said: “Following the incredibly tragic events in Manchester, it is important that we grieve for those who lost their lives but we must also continue to carry out our democratic duties. We can’t let terror win. With that sentiment in mind I am delighted to attach my name to the Scottish Fishing Federation’s Brexit pledge so that our important fishing industry can thrive outwith the EU. Having worked for Vote Leave and campaigned for Brexit, I want to see us get the best deal possible from the EU negotiations, but I will absolutely oppose any deal that sees us remain in the Common Fisheries Policy.
“I want to challenge all of my opponents in this election to sign the pledge. The industry needs their solid commitment that they will fight their corner every step of the way.”
Scottish Liberal Democrats - James Paterson
Scottish Liberal Democrat candidate for Na h-Eileanan Iar, James Paterson, has said that voters should not be taken in by the SNP blaming austerity solely on the UK Tory Government, as the SNP have added to it, particularly to island austerity.
James Paterson said: “For years the SNP has used ‘Tory austerity’ as the excuse for their many failings in Government, on the NHS, on education and much more. In 2014 we were told that an independent Scotland would have better public services because Scots were prepared to pay more tax in return for good public services.
“Well the SNP lost their ‘once in a generation’ independence referendum, and the dreaded Unionist parties then worked together in the Calman Commission to set in train the passing of powers over income tax rates and bands to the Scottish Parliament.
“But have the SNP used these powers to allow our public services to be properly funded? No they have not. When the Liberal Democrats and Labour called for a very modest increase in income tax, the SNP showed their real ‘tartan Tory’ colours and joined the Scottish Tories in refusing to raise the extra cash our public services need.
“To make matters worse, the islands then got their very own extra austerity. Between 2010/11 and 2017/18 most Councils suffered a funding cut of less than 10%. But Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, along with Shetland Islands Council, suffered a cut of more than 20%.
“So, while the austerity the islands face may indeed have UK Tory austerity at its core, it now comes with very large tartan knobs on, thanks to the SNP.”