By a Newsnet reporter
The first in a series of ‘mini-manifestos’ has been unveiled by the SNP ahead of the local council elections.
‘Making Scotland Better for Families’ is targeted at families whose budgets are coming under pressure as a result of the increase in living costs.
Unveiling the first mini manifesto, the SNP’s Local Government Campaign Director Derek Mackay said one of the key themes of the SNP’s campaign would be identifying ways to help families get through times when there is severe pressure on their budgets.
Stressing the need for a positive vision and co-operation, Mr Mackay said:
“SNP councils will work in partnership with the Scottish Government to deliver a number of progressive policies, such as maintaining the council tax freeze, extending the Living Wage to local authorities, and introducing a no compulsory redundancy policy in SNP local authorities.
“Parents also want to know that their local council will work to give their kids the best start possible – that’s why SNP councils will guarantee 600 hours of flexible childcare.
“Finally, SNP councils will work with their local NHS Board to ensure care for our older people continues to improve – joining up services and putting patient care first.”
The launch of the first of the mini-manifestos heralds the final 10 days of the local election campaign. Last week Labour leader Johann Lamont raised eyebrows when appearing to conceded defeat to the SNP who she predicted would win more seats than Labour.
The battle for Glasgow has been identified by both parties as a key area and the Labour group has already targeted SNP group leader Alison Hunter in a series of personal attacks.
Last week also saw claims of foul after the Scottish Government announced it had reached an agreement with local authority umbrella group COSLA aimed at protecting low income families from cuts to council tax benefit imposed by the UK coalition.
The announcement by Derek Mackay brought criticism from the SNP’s Unionist opponents who claimed that the Scottish Government had broken election campaign rules with the timing of the announcement.
Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie, whose UK party helped introduced the benefit cuts, called for Mr MacKay to be sacked. The Lib Dem’s Scottish front man was joined by Labour’s Sarah Boyack who demanded Mr MacKay be suspended “with immediate effect”.
The Scottish Government dismissed the calls and said the announcement “was fully in line with Scottish Government local government election guidance.”
The SNP also branded Mr Rennie hypocritical after his party backed the Tory proposals.
The local elections will be held on May 3rd.