Scotland's Ruling Party to Pledge End of Austerity With Spending

  • SNP leader Sturgeon vows balance budget by end of Parliament
  • Party backs public service, family support in election pledge

Is Scottish Independence Back on the Table?

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon will pledge to end austerity with 118 billion pounds ($151 billion) of spending across the U.K. in the next five years to boost public services and support families when the party sets out its manifesto this week.

The party plans to balance the budget by the end of Parliament in 2022, and will set to alleviate the pace of deficit cuts "in a responsible way" by balancing current spending, rather than aim for a surplus, the SNP said in a statement. It will also seek to stabilize net borrowing at its pre-financial crisis levels, while aiming to reduce debt from 2019. The plans would allow a further 10 billion pounds in spending on Scotland over the next five years.

“Now, more than ever before, we need strong SNP voices to stand up to the Tories, and stand up for Scotland, at Westminster," Sturgeon said. "The SNP manifesto will set out a clear alternative to continued Tory austerity, and the unnecessary, ideological, and self-defeating cuts that have held back the economy, damaged public services, and hammered millions by squeezing family budgets." 

With less than two weeks before the vote, Sturgeon will set out her party’s election plans in Perth, in central Scotland, on Tuesday, after postponing the event following the terrorist attack in Manchester.

The SNP, which claims to be the only real opposition to the Tories in Westminster, won 56 of Scotland’s 59 electoral districts in 2015, some of which the Conservatives are aiming to claim on June 8. Sturgeon is pushing for another independence vote after Britain completes its Brexit deal. Scotland voted to stay in the European Union last year.

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