The SNP General Election manifesto at a glance

The SNP has Scottish independence at the heart of its manifesto.

Here, the PA news agency looks in more detail at the party’s plans to achieve it, and the rest of its proposals.

– Independence 

As promised, independence is on “page one, line one” of the document, with First Minister John Swinney pledging to seek to give “democratic effect” to an SNP majority in Scottish seats at Westminster by negotiating for a referendum.

But when questioned, he repeatedly refused to say what will happen to the push for independence if the SNP does not win most seats north of the border on July 4.

– Taxation

SNP MPs will demand the “full devolution” of tax powers, including over national insurance, which the manifesto states will mean the Scottish Government can “ensure rates and thresholds fit with our progressive income tax rates”.

The party will also seek to widen the current windfall tax to include companies outside the energy sector, as well as crack down on tax evasion and avoidance and improve transparency for international companies.

The SNP has already said it will support Labour plans to bring in VAT for private schools, but the manifesto vows the Scottish Government will reform the levy, reducing it in hospitality and tourism and scrapping it altogether for on-street electric vehicle charging.

– Economy

The current fiscal rules, the party said, should be scrapped and replaced with three new ones.

Infrastructure investments should be subject to a net worth test, which looks at the value it could bring to the public rather than just the cost to the Exchequer, while spending plans should be made in three-year cycles to improve forward planning, and there should be an upper limit on debt servicing costs.

The next UK government should also bring forward an immediate emergency budget to “reverse cuts to public spending and deliver meaningful investment in economic growth, including green energy”, the party said.

The cut to the Scottish Government’s capital budget should also be reversed, the manifesto said.

– Brexit

Put simply, the manifesto makes clear the UK should rejoin the EU.

John Swinney at a lectern, pointing off camera
First Minister and SNP leader John Swinney set out his party’s manifesto in Edinburgh on Wednesday (Jane Barlow/PA)

Such a move would resume freedom of movement, the party said, while also easing trade, make Scotland safer by improving relations with European law enforcement, resume access to the Erasmus-plus student exchange programme, and allow access to workers from across the EU.

– Cost of living

The manifesto commits SNP MPs to pushing for an essentials guarantee to ensure every UK resident can afford basics such as food and utilities.

As already announced, the party will call for a social tariff on energy, broadband and mobile phone contracts, making bills cheaper for the elderly, disabled and people on low incomes.

A simplified Help to Buy initiative, as well as an improved fuel poverty scheme and an uplift to the local housing allowance, are also touted by the party.

– The NHS

Hospital staff and patients in a hospital ward
The SNP will table a Bill to protect the NHS from privatisation (Jeff Moore/PA)

The SNP vowed to table a Bill to protect the NHS from privatisation, as well as to urge the next UK government to invest £10 billion in the health service – meaning £1 billion in consequentials in Scotland.

The manifesto also calls on the next government to match NHS pay deals reached by the Scottish Government, bringing a further £1.6 billion to Scotland.

– The environment

A future UK government should invest £28 billion annually – the figure dropped by the Labour Party – on the green economy, the SNP said, insisting on an equity stake in future energy projects, as well as bring forward an emergency budget immediately after taking office to invest in the energy sector.

The SNP calls for an “evidence-based” approach to oil and gas, with further extraction “consistent with our climate obligations” and a “case-by-case” assessment made of the environmental impact.

The importance of the Grangemouth site – where the refinery is due to pivot to being an import terminal as early as next year – must be recognised, the manifesto says, while Westminster must rule out building new nuclear power plants north of the border.

An aerial view of the Grangemouth plant, as steam billows out
The SNP said the UK government must recognise the value of the Grangemouth site to Scotland (Jane Barlow/PA)

– Workers’ rights

The manifesto calls for employment rights and powers over the minimum wage to be devolved to Scotland, so zero hours contracts can be scrapped – a pledge also made by Labour – and the minimum wage can be increased to the level of the national living wage and then raised in line with inflation.

Paid maternity leave should also be increased to one year, with shared parental leave upped to 64 weeks with at least 12 weeks to be taken by the father on a “use it or lose it basis”.

– Social security

The two-child cap should be scrapped, the party said, along with the bedroom tax.

The manifesto said the young parent penalty in universal credit should also be binned and the cut to pension credit reversed, along with a drive to maximise the uptake of the pension top-up scheme.

– Immigration

Powers over immigration should be devolved to Scotland and the Rwanda scheme should be scrapped, the party said.

Asylum seekers should also be given the right to work, while a new rural visa pilot scheme for Scotland put in place if requests for powers over immigration are rejected.