Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Reasons to oppose the SNP

1.The SNP are the ones cutting the devolved NHS in scotland
2. the SNP are the ones closing community centres
3. the SNP are the ones overseeing the Edinburgh City Council budget cuts
4. There was an SNP minister who publically said he doesn't believe there needs to be more council housing
5. the SNP backed out of the Nato policy despite it being a long standing one,
6. the SNP want the lowest corporation tax in western europe(lower than the Tories!)
7. they're not republican
8. they're not using the devolved powers they have
9. They're not pro-trade union. They recently asked unions to sign a no-strike deal and have worked against workers e.g. Grangemouth.
10. The care tax, see scotland against the care tax.

 Sturgeons 'left turn' seems more rhetoric than reality. Notice she doesn't say oppose corporation tax reduction or give up on it completely just moderate it 

". Earlier this month, the European Union and the USA announced that they would work to establish a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The announcement was a reminder of the massive opportunities that European Union membership brings."- Nicola Sturgeon, http://www.snp.org/blog/post/2013/feb/independence-goes-interdependence. 

The NHS in Scotland is devolved and controlled by the Scottish Government. Therefore NHS cuts are SNP policy and cannot be blamed on Westminster.

"Scotland’s 32 local authorities—including 12 administered either solely or in coalition by the SNP—are currently slashing hundreds of millions of pounds from their budgets under the rubric of “efficiency savings.”
Some 34,500 local government jobs have been axed since 2008-9, and a recent survey by BBC Scotland indicates that thousands more are to be lost in the next few years.
Many vital locally delivered public services, including cultural services, primary and secondary education, child services, personal care for the elderly, are under threat."

", the SNP leadership have been demanding tax cuts for the oil corporations, are imposing below inflation pay caps for public sector workers and support austerity-lite policies that will do nothing to ease the burden of savage cuts. In addition, the SNP leaders also oppose public ownership of even the privatised gas and electricity companies and are hostile to demands for tax increases on the rich and big business."



From the Scottish Anti-cuts Alliance:-

"The SNP Scottish government implemented the Con-Dem cuts with a savage cuts budget in February. The result is a £1.3 billion reduction in funding for public services in Scotland for 2011/12. Further cuts of another £2 billion are planned over the next three years. The consequences for jobs, services and working conditions are horrendous. Thursday 10th February – so-called Super Thursday – saw the majority of Scotland’s councils set cuts budgets amounting to the slashing of more than £500 million from local government over the next year. "
-  http://www.socialistworld.net/mob/doc/4977

"Aberdeen the SNP/Lib Dem coalition demanded a 5% pay cut on all workers over £21,000 a year: when this was rightly rejected by the trade unions, the council then came back with a proposal for 900 compulsory redundancies and been forced to back down. Fife, the SNP/Lib Dem coalition voted to privatise all the council’s residential care homes. Renfrewshire the SNP led council proposed to axe 60 teachers posts and replace them with lower paid, less qualified staff. SACA welcomes the decision of Scottish Unison in December to call on elected politicians to set needs budgets and to support coordinated strike by public sector unions against cuts. It’s about time that elected politicians refused to make cuts and do what councillors did in Poplar, Clay Cross and Liverpool in the past and refuse to inflict Tory cuts on our communities."
- http://www.scottishanticutsalliance.org/

Or else where...

"Local authorities across Scotland are being forced to make cuts in mental health and wellbeing services as a result of the SNP’s budget settlement for local government. SAMH told the Scottish Parliament’s finance committee in August 2009 that: “ we do not think that all of the challenges facing our services are directly caused by the recession: the removal of ring-fencing from mental health and Supporting People budgets has also had an effect… some local authorities are implementing necessary cuts in a short-sighted and possibly counterproductive manner… affecting its ability to provide services to communities… £2.7 million of apparently arbitrary funding cuts, made without appropriate planning or assessment of needs… they affect the service users whom we support. The problems also extend to health boards: last year SAMH was forced to close a successful service in Ayrshire after the local NHS Board withdrew funding, with little consultation with service users. We are now closing a service in Dundee following the withdrawal of funding; which involves £242,000 worth of budget cuts and affects 9 staff and 400 service users.”"

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10415954/Scottish-councils-increase-charges-for-elderly-care-and-parking.html - Scotland’s local authorities are increasing charges for services such as elderly care and parking to plug a shortfall in their finances partly caused by the council tax freeze, according to an official report published today.

Around 40 per cent of the charges are paid for social work care, in particular by pensioners who rely on services such as home care, meals on wheels and emergency alarms

Scotland: fight against austerity, against established politics

"a vote for the SNP is no way forward for the independence movement. The SNP are already implementing cuts. Just the other day, the SNP-controlled Dundee council announced a further £8 million worth of public service cuts. Remember: it’s not what they say, it’s what they DO that actually matters."

John Swinney’s determination to implement the ConDem cuts was summed up by his comments: “The government’s obviously operating within a very constrained fiscal environment. We place a requirement on public authorities and public bodies to operate ever more efficiently, and that will lie at the heart of the budget propositions that we take forward.”

Addressing the impact of the Council Tax freeze, Midwinter concludes:
“The result has been 40,000 job loses, cuts in services and increased charges. In addition, the Scottish government transferred a number of high-profile anti-poverty grants into council overall spending – meaning that they can spend it on what they like. These included the Community Regeneration Fund of £113m, the Supporting People Fund of £384m and the Fairer Scotland Fund of £145m.
“There have also been cuts in the housing and regeneration budget of £307m and Education Maintenance Allowance of £15m. The result is that about £1bn of targeted spend on poverty has disappeared. Despite the deputy first minister claiming in 2008 that her government would ‘address the root causes of poverty once and for all’, poverty levels have increased since then.

"the latest figures from the Institute for Fiscal Studies show that the SNP Scottish Government will slash NHS spending by 1 per cent in real terms between 2009-10 and 2015-16, while England increases it by 4 per cent.
The Scottish Government’s own figures show the NHS cut its food and drink budget from £32.6million to £29.7million last year"

"Neil Findlay, Local Labour MSP has said resources should be targeted at protecting frontline NHS staff, after a report from an independent health economist showed that NHS Lothian is being forced to cut a further £27m over the next year."

"The report states that health boards intend to make savings through “programmes to improve … workforce efficiency” and warns that “could be frontline as well”.
Across Scotland, it has been frontline staff that has borne the brunt of the SNP cuts with over 4,500 NHS staff losing their jobs, including more than 2,000 nurses, since 2009."

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre analysis on the health budget confirms that the total NHS budget in Scotland will be cut by £319m in real terms over the budget period (2011-12 to 14-15). Extracted from: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/FinancialScrutiny/SB11-71b.xls (see Table 1.06 – Health) 

AFed Scotland:-
Nicola Sturgeon insists she does "not intend on waging
a class war" and that she will be a "very strong ally" to Scottish companies.
The SNP are of course very much part of the on-going class struggle. Neoliberal capitalism is alive and well in Scotland, and the job of the ruling party is to ensure not just that that remains the case but that Scottish capital can intensify the competition against its rivals. Many people are complaining that the #‎SmithCommission powers likely to be devolved will lead to a downward spiral of tightened budgets and more cuts. Too often though, the implication is that Independence would be a fix to neoliberalism/austerity - which would mean that Scotland is somehow different from every other northern European country. And that we should rally behind the SNP as a mass party against Westminster and/or a new left electoralism. This is to argue that we unite with the very political managers, who are or would be exploiting us!
The point isn't to "hold Westminster's feet to the fire", it's to make every boss run scared of a militant organised working class. Which side are you on?
As the #‎YesToAction statement argues:
"Despite its claim to seek a better deal for Scottish people, the SNP-controlled Scottish Goverment is implementing austerity. It has already made cuts to further education – Edinburgh College workers struck against worse conditions. It has understaffed the NHS, while cuts to council funding are leading to disabled people paying for their own care. The SNP/Labour council in Edinburgh plans to slash £22 million from local services.
The devolution of new powers will not stop the cuts, and whether they come from local government, Holyrood or Westminster they are an attack on working class people."

Even Nicola Sturgeon's 'left turn' seems more rhetoric than reality


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