Q&A: Neil Findlay, Labour Candidate

Neil Findlay. Picture: ContributedNeil Findlay. Picture: Contributed
Neil Findlay. Picture: Contributed
Q If you had the power to change one thing in Scotland what would it be?

A I would make the government’s top priority the eradication of health inequality. It is our national shame. I would make it the responsibility of the First Minister and they would be judged on their record on this issue. All government policy would have this as its overriding aim.

Q Women lead the three main political parties in Scotland - will this change anything?

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A I’m not sure - watching the debates I don’t think there has been that much difference in the way in which the women leaders have sparred and fought on issues to the way their male predecessors did. Time will tell.

Q What’s missing from the Holyrood election campaign so far?

A The real debate over the government’s appalling record on so many of our public services. The focus on tax has taken the focus away from the SNPs abject failure on health, colleges, council services and education. These are the issues affecting local people in my community.

Q Are tax rises for higher earners a danger to economic growth or needed to fight austerity?

A Tax rises for higher earners are first and foremost about fairness - those who can pay more (like me) should pay more. Tax is the subscription we pay for a civilised society. We can’t create such a society if we don’t have the tax base to support it.

Q Can green energy alone ever meet all of Scotland’s energy needs? If not how do we make up the shortfall?

A I would like to think it can but it needs a major rethink and major investment to make it scalable and totally mainstream. My fear is that fracking will start sometime after the election as all the signs are the government’s moratorium is a bit of a sham!

Q If a politician had to do a normal job for a day, what would it be and why?

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A I have had many “normal jobs” from working on a baker’s van, ten years as a bricklayer, working as a housing officer and nine years a teacher. These jobs have provided a really good grounding for my political life. Both my wife and daughter work in the NHS. I think working in health care is one area that all politicians would learn a helluva lot from - nursing and hospital support staff working in front line patient care have a very tough job.