SNP promises

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The word “progressive” has been one of the SNP’s buzzwords during this election campaign. It must be a good thing, mustn’t it? I wonder how many of their followers actually know what they mean by it.

Apart from a vague notion of a more left-leaning approach, its main political meaning revolves around the idea of redistribution of wealth – policies such as taxing higher earners at a higher level and distributing the proceeds on policies and projects designed to improve the lot of the less well off.

This being the case how can the SNP claim to be a “progressive” party? The only redistributive policies in their manifesto are those – such as the 50 percent rate of tax – which they have filched from the Labour Party.

At least it is good to know Labour is having some effect on keeping the SNP honest.

The SNP’s record in government in Scotland for the past eight years has similarly been bereft of a progressive approach.

In education, for example, they chose to dish out £9,000 a year to parents of students from wealthy backgrounds while at the same time cutting the bursary for poorer students from £2,450 to £1,750. This looks like taking from the poor to give to the rich, not the other way round.

What about the 2007 promise to write off student debt? Is it any wonder the number of students from poorer backgrounds has gone down under the SNP and that the level of debt among such students is higher than in the rest of the UK?

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue