On the eve of the Local Government elections, the SNP’s Derek Mackay has said that the SNP is best-placed to build for economic recovery in the years ahead.
Mr Mackay pointed to a number of key council manifesto pledges – designed to help small business, to regenerate local communities, and to protect employment – which SNP councils will deliver in partnership with the Scottish Government, and local voluntary and private sector organisations.
The commitments include a promise to maintain the Small Business Bonus Scheme, which has now paid out over £400m in rates relief to small businesses, who can each save as much as £4260. The scheme gives Scotland the most generous rates relief package anywhere in the UK. Since the SBBS was introduced, small businesses have delivered 40,000 new jobs.
The SNP also pledge that every SNP council will protect jobs by ensuring a Living Wage is delivered to all council workers by April 2013, and will also extend the no compulsory redundancy policy to all council workers.
The headline commitment in the SNP’s manifesto for the local elections is a promise that every SNP council will develop a local economic recovery plan as a matter of priority, to ensure that public and private sector are working together better. The manifesto also commits the party to tackle youth unemployment. Every SNP council work with the Scottish Government to ensure that every 16 to 19-year-old not currently in work, training or education is offered a learning or training place.
With Scotland benefitting from lower unemployment and higher employment than the rest of the UK, Mr Mackay says it is vital that every single council pulls out all the stops in the next few years to maintain employment and secure long-term economic growth.
Mr Mackay, the SNP Campaign Director said:
“I spent twelve years as a councillor – including four as a council leader – and I know what a vital role they play in developing the local economy.
“Now, more than ever, we need to do all we can to help the economy – that’s why SNP councillors will be focussed on economic recovery.
“Our three-pronged approach will ensure that councils work together to do all they can to protect and create jobs, and that we do all we can to support business and generate new investment.
“Every SNP council will develop a local economic recovery plan as their first priority. SNP councils will work with the Scottish Government to find new and innovative investment such as the untapped potential of pension funds to get local economies moving and we will continue our support for the small business bonus.
“We need to do everything we can to protect and create employment. As well as extending the Living Wage and the no compulsory redundancy policy to council workers – we will ensure that every 16 to 19-year old not already in work, training or education is offered a training opportunity, helping tackle youth unemployment.
“Jobs and fairness are the priorities of the people of Scotland, and that’s why they are our priorities.
“SNP councils will work night and day to build for recovery.”