Nicola Sturgeon admits SNP’s government record ‘not perfect’

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Nicola Sturgeon has admitted the Scottish Government’s record is “not perfect” and said there was more work to be done as she marked a decade of the SNP in power.

The First Minister said more needed to be done to reduce unemployment and improve the education system.

Nicola Sturgeon makes a speech marking 10 years of the SNP in government at Port Edgar, South Queensferry.    Picture: Neil Hanna

Nicola Sturgeon makes a speech marking 10 years of the SNP in government at Port Edgar, South Queensferry. Picture: Neil Hanna

Her admission was made at a time when the SNP administration’s stewardship of education has come under fire.

Last week official Scottish Government data declining literacy standards including the statistic that fewer than half of 13 and 14-year-olds in Scotland can write well.

At a event for SNP activists in South Queensferry, Ms Sturgeon said: “I know we are not perfect and we haven’t got everything right. There is so much more work still to do. Work to grow our economy, get more people into employment and drive up standards in our schools even further.”

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The First Minister added that she was proud of her government’s commitment to progressive politics.

“But we can be proud that in Scotland when it comes to progressive policies we are leading the UK,” Ms Sturgeon said.

She pointed out that Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour manifesto included many initiatives that began in Scotland under the SNP..

“Many of the policies in Labour’s manifesto seem very familiar in Scotland – free tuition, an end to the bedroom tax, climate change targets, getting rid of NHS parking charges. They seem familiar policies in Scotland for a very good reason. The SNP Government has already delivered all of them in Scotland.

“Even the Tories who have spent the last 10 years criticising council house building, criticising free prescriptions have now changed their tune – albeit belatedly and not with much credibility. So we are making progress and we are leading the UK in progressive policies.”

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Labour business manager James Kelly said the SNP’s 10-years in power had meant a “decade of division” for Scotland.

Mr Kelly said: “Rather than break down the barriers that hold the poorest in our country from getting a fair chance in life, the SNP government has simply broken promise after promise.

“Whether it was scrapping the council tax, cutting classroom sizes or abolishing student debt the SNP’s promises have not been worth the paper their manifestos have been printed on.

“The biggest SNP broken promise of all is that an independence referendum would a once in a lifetime event. Instead Nicola Sturgeon is gearing up to divide Scotland once again.

“Scottish Labour believes that together we’re stronger. That’s why we are opposed to a divisive second independence referendum.”