SNP will stand against 'twin threats' of austerity and privatisation, says John Swinney

John Swinney
-Credit: (Image: Michael Boyd/PA Wire)

John Swinney has said the SNP will stand against the “twin threats” of austerity and privatisation, as his party campaigns on public services. The SNP will seek to focus on investing in the NHS and other public services over the coming week of General Election campaigning.

On Saturday, the First Minister visited several constituencies around Scotland as part of the SNP’s first national “day of action”. He said the Conservatives and Labour had both embraced austerity.

Mr Swinney said: “Ensuring the NHS remains in public hands will be one of the defining debates of this General Election – and the SNP will do whatever we can to protect Scotland from the creeping privatisation and cuts agenda supported by the Westminster parties.

“I am deeply alarmed at the language that is coming out of Westminster on the health service – and my pledge to the people of Scotland is that the Scottish Government and the SNP will play no part in it.”

He said the Scottish Government had invested £300million to drive down waiting times and staffing is at a record high.

The SNP leader continued: “We want to see further investment in our NHS – but this won’t be achieved as long as we face the twin threats of Westminster privatisation and a commitment to double down on austerity from both Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer.

“What the NHS needs is serious leadership and a bold vision for the future based on its founding principles – not threats to its survival from the Westminster parties.

“Our NHS deserves leadership, not salesmanship. That firm, experienced leadership is exactly what I will deliver – while the Westminster parties are threatening to sell it off piece by piece.

“The General Election is the opportunity for Scotland to unite behind our NHS – rejecting the twin Westminster threats of privatisation and austerity, and making our voice heard that the NHS must always be in public hands.”

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