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SNP accused of looking both ways on austerity and privatisation

THE SNP are “heaping austerity” on Scottish services, according to a socialist MSP, following the party’s campaign against the “twin threats” of austerity and privatisation. 

First Minister John Swinney spent the first weekend of the general election campaign touring constituencies as part of an SNP “day of action,” urging voters to reject both Tories and Labour as parties of austerity and privatisation.

Focusing on the NHS, which has been wholly controlled by Holyrood since devolution, Mr Swinney said: “What the NHS needs is serious leadership and a bold vision for the future based on its founding principles, not threats to its survival from the Westminster parties.

“Our NHS deserves leadership, not salesmanship. That firm, experienced leadership is exactly what I will deliver — while the Westminster parties are threatening to sell it off piece by piece.

“The general election is the opportunity for Scotland to unite behind our NHS, rejecting the twin Westminster threats of privatisation and austerity, and making our voice heard that the NHS must always be in public hands.”

The last year has seen the former SNP-Green Scottish government sign off on a £2-billion PFI deal for Scotland’s forests — the largest in Scottish history — £136 million slashed from affordable housing budgets and controversial plans for a national care service despite union opposition. 

Former Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “The SNP has spent the last decade heaping austerity on to local government in Scotland, forcing huge pressure to cut services which have hit the poorest the hardest.

“Its flagship policy to create a national care service is based not on the Nye Bevan NHS public model, but on a private enterprise model in which the profit motive and the shareholder dividend are the predominant factors.”

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