Monday, 25 April 2016 05:55

STURGEON – SNP will always stand stronger for Scotland

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 As the final full week of election campaigning gets underway, Nicola Sturgeon has said that next Thursday’s vote was vital in ensuring that Scotland has a government always willing to stand stronger for Scotland.

 Campaigning in Glasgow today, the SNP Leader urged voters not to leave the outcome of the election to chance – and to elect a government that is ready to make the right long-term investments and reforms in Scotland’s NHS and education system.

 Drawing on the SNP’s record in government over the last few years – including intervening to save jobs and refusing to accept a cut to Scotland’s budget in the fiscal framework negotiations – the Ms Sturgeon said that the SNP will “never shy away” from the opportunity to make Scotland even stronger.

 Nicola Sturgeon said:

 “Next Thursday’s vote is about choosing who will be the best party, and the best First Minister, to stand up for Scotland’s interests.

 “When Westminster tried to cut Scotland’s budget by £7bn during the transfer of powers to the Scottish Parliament – it was the SNP who stood firm and refused to accept a penny being cut from Scotland’s budget.

 “And when key industries have been under threat, it was the SNP also stood up for Scottish jobs - stepping in to save Scottish steel, Prestwick Airport and the Ferguson shipyard, often amid criticism from opposition parties.

 “By contrast, Kezia Dugdale has spent more time in this election running scared of the Tories than standing up to them, while Ruth Davidson disgracefully stayed silent while George Osborne announced cuts to disability benefits.

 “With new powers coming to the Scottish Parliament, this election is the most important since devolution - and I would urge voters in Scotland not to leave the outcome to chance.

 “By giving both votes to the SNP, voters can elect a government that is committed to transforming Scotland.

 “The SNP will transform the life chances of Scotland’s young people by doubling childcare provision, investing an additional £750m in narrowing the attainment gap and giving parents and teachers a far greater role in shaping the lives of their schools.

 “We’ll make our NHS fit for the future with almost £2bn extra investment and more money for social, primary and community care.

 “And we’ll invest in Scotland’s future economy by removing 100,000 small businesses from business rates completely – and a national drive to increase innovation and productivity.

 “I pledge that if I am returned as First Minister, I will never accept second best for Scotland – I will never shy away from an opportunity to make Scotland even stronger.”