SNP to publish ‘anti-austerity’ election manifesto

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Nicola Sturgeon.
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Nicola Sturgeon will set out the SNP’s manifesto at an event in Edinburgh

The SNP is to set out a manifesto for June’s general election aimed at ending austerity and investing in public services.

Nicola Sturgeon will launch her party’s platform for the vote in Edinburgh.

The party will pledge to fight to repeal the Trade Union Act, ban zero-hour contracts and devolve immigration powers to Holyrood.

Ms Sturgeon said SNP MPs would “defend Scotland from the Tory assault on Scottish jobs and workers’ rights”.

She will also call for protection for Scotland’s place in the European single market after Brexit, and say the election will “reinforce the right of the Scottish Parliament to decide when the nation should be given a choice on its future”.

The UK goes to the polls on 8 June with the SNP defending 56 of the 59 Westminster seats in Scotland.

The party’s proposals will include a ban on firms involved in blacklisting from bidding for public contracts, an end to “exploitative” zero-hours contracts, the abolition of fees for employment tribunals and the wholesale repeal of the Trade Union Act, which the SNP call “a direct threat to trade unions and the fundamental rights of workers”.

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The SNP want to scrap the Trade Union Act

Ms Sturgeon’s government originally tried to block the legislation from applying in Scotland as well as opposing it at Westminster.

The manifesto will also demand the full devolution of immigration powers to Holyrood in order to “tailor” policies to “grow the working age population”, an extension to the Annual Investment Allowance to boost productivity, and measures to support small businesses including new legal protections.

And it will urge the next UK government to set up a Fair Work Commission, with a statutory basis and representation from trade unions, public sector organisations and businesses to “improve workers’ rights across the UK”.

Ms Sturgeon said: “At the heart of our plans is a responsible fiscal plan to end austerity and free up resources to invest in public services, protect family budgets and call a halt to cuts in social security support for working families and the disabled.

“A vote for the SNP will also strengthen Scotland’s hand against an extreme Brexit that will put tens of thousands of Scottish jobs at risk.

“And a vote for the SNP will also strengthen Scotland’s right to choose our own future. This election won’t decide whether or not Scotland will become independent – but a vote for the SNP will reinforce the right of the Scottish Parliament to decide when the nation should be given a choice on its future, and will make sure that Scotland’s future is always in Scotland’s hands.”

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