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Monday, April 12, 1999 Published at 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK


Scottish Socialist Party



The Scottish Socialist Party was founded in 1998 from the Scottish Socialist Alliance. The party said it is putting forward candidates for the Scottish Parliament elections in both the constituency and regional list contests. At the launch of its manifesto on 12 April, the party said it was fighting for the creation of a democratic socialist Scotland, unshackled by Westminster.

Scottish Socialist Party

Manifesto

Essentials
The SSP says Scotland would be transformed into a modern, democratic republic under its proposals for the Scottish Parliament.

It says its policies aim to redress the balance in favour of the working class and poor.

Core policies include a call for a minimum wage of 7 an hour, abolition of private finance initiatives, an end to prescription and check-up charges and the cancellation of "Scotland's 4bn Housing debt".

The party says Scottish Socialist MSPs would donate half of their salaries towards the fight for socialism in Scotland.

Health
The Scottish Socialist Party wants to see the abolition of NHS Trusts and Private Finance Initiatives and the creation of a new "democratically-run" health service.

It says private health care, prescription, dental check-up and eye test charges should be abolished.

The party is calling for the establishment of "community-run supermarkets" providing cut-price, healthy food aimed at improving diet in deprived areas.

Economy
The Scottish Socialist Party is calling for a minimum wage of 7 an hour.

It opposes what it terms the "free market, profit driven" economy.

The party wants to see the creation of an independent, democratic socialist Scotland which would have the recources to go it alone.

It says the Scottish Parliament should have power over all taxes raised in Scotland, including corporation tax and VAT.

The SSP says the income could then be redistributed from big business and the wealthy to the working class and poor.

Transport
The SSP is calling for a "publicly owned, democratically run" public transport network in Scotland.

It wants the reopening of disused railway networks, cheap fares for all and the abolition of tolls on the Sky Bridge.

The party is also calling for a halt to new motorway construction, with the money used to repair existing roads.

Environment
The party is opposed to the nuclear programme and wants to see non-cooperation with the UK government over the administration of nuclear installations.

The SSP calls for a five-year moratorium on genetically modified foods and a programme of securing toxic waste sites.

It wants the setting up of democratic national and local bodies charged with enforcing environmental protection measures and a conservation policy which protects the environment from industrial development.

Law and Order
The SSP is calling for an end to the imprisonment of people for small debts and non-payment of fines.

It says the community service programme should be expanded to reduce the prison population and legal aid extended to those involved in employment or consumer disputes.

The party wants a new system of accountability for sheriffs and judges and the creation of community police committees.

It also advocates a Scottish Human Rights Commission to monitor rights and anti-discrimination procedures.

Housing
The SSP is calling for cancellation of the "4bn local authority debt", which, it says, has already been paid many times in interest charges.

It says money could then be used to launch a Scotland-wide programme of house building and renovation.

It wants public sector rents to be reduced by 25 per cent and tenants to be allowed to live rent free after 25 years tenancy.

Other proposals include a call for the winding up of Scottish Homes, which the party says is an unelected and unaccountable quango.

Education
The Scottish Socialist Party says student grants should be reinstated at pre-1979 levels, taking inflation into account, and all tuition fees should be abolished.

It wants a mass programme of teacher recruitment aimed at getting all class sizes down to 20 pupils or less.

The party also advocates provision of nursery education for all pre-school children and talks with teachers' unions over bringing pay up to "reasonable standards".

Nationalism
The SSP is calling for a referendum on independence within the first four years of a Scottish Parliament.

The party wants the Scotish Parliament's powers to be extended to cover those matters currently reserved at Westminster.

Europe
The party is pledged to "reach outwards" to other European countries to follow the example it says Scotland can set as a socialist country.

Miscellaneous
The party is calling for the abolition of water charges on all domestic households.

It says TV licence charges and standing charges for utilities levied on pensioners should also be abolished.

The SSP says the assets of multinationals who close factories in Scotland should be seized.

It advocates a new "fairer" system of local authority taxation.



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