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Tuesday, May 4, 1999 Published at 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK


Socialist Labour Party (Scotland)



The party was formed in 1996 and is headed by Arthur Scargill. It has put forward candidates for the Scottish Parliament elections in both the constituency and regional list sections. The party launched its campaign on an anti-capitalist platform and said socialist policies were the only way to tackle Scotland's economic and social ills.

Socialist Labour Party

Essentials
The SLP says it advocates socialist polices abandoned by Labour and besieged by years of Tory and now Labour rule.

It is campaigning with the slogan "Reclaim Our Rights" - calling on Scottish voters to support its proposals for working people.

The party says policy in Scotland should not be dictated on the basis of a pro or anti-independence stance but is strongly anti-Europe.

Health
The party's policies include a demand for free health care for all and the end to prescription, check-up, optical and prosthetic charges.

It supports public health medicine on the model of Cuba and rejects what is sees as moves towards the United States' marketplace model.

The party demands an end to NHS trusts, GP fund holding and "recurring" staff shortages.

Economy
The SLP proposes a national minimum wage of 6 an hour or two-thirds male median earnings.

It says the Scottish Parliament should campaign for reform of taxation.

It wants an end to what it sees as large-scale tax avoidance by large numbers of individuals and companies, leaving working people to pick up the burden.

The party says the cost of introducing a four-day week, a ban on essential overtime and retirement on full pay at 55 could be met through its proposals to save money through full employment.

Transport
The SLP is calling for railway and bus systems to be returned to public ownership, low or no fares policies and the introduction of environmentally friendly transport networks, including urban tram services and cycle lanes.

Public transport services should take particular account of communities in isolated areas in Scotland, it says.

The party says Scotland should have a direct rail link to the Channel Tunnel.

Environment
The Socialist Labour Party views itself as the only party prepared to challenge car, oil and construction companies through its proposals for a publicly-owned, environmentally acceptable transport network.

It wants all long-distance road haulage moved to rail, sea or canals and a move from nuclear power to coal-based and alternative forms of energy production.

The party advocates the reopening of collieries and the returning of energy utilities to public ownership so that they can be used in the "public interest".

Education
Free, high-quality education is everyone's right, the Socialist Labour Party manifesto states.

It advocates free creche, playgroup and nursery education for every child in Scotland.

The party demands the "full restoration" of student grants and says they should be in line with minimum wage levels and available to all students.

It advocates sharp cuts in class sizes and negotiations to ensure all education workers are properly paid.

Law and Order
The party says it will outlaw "factionalism, sectarianism and discrimination" in any form and seek to ensure no miscarriages of justices under a Scottish Parliament.

It opposes many of the changes to trade union legislation under Conservative and Labour governments and would remove all laws which "criminalise basic trade union activity".

Housing
The SLP pledges itself to the building or renovating of 100,000 homes for rent in the first term of the Scottish Parliament through the creation of a National Construction Corporation.

It wants the abolition of Community Housing Trusts and the Right to Buy scheme, which it says has led to the best public sector housing stock being sold off.

The party promises to wipe out the housing capital debt which has left councils unable to properly manage or fund new developments.

Nationalism
The Socialist Labour Party sees the Scottish Parliament as an example of Scotland "reclaiming its past" through the new institution.

It says the parliament must have "full powers", including the right to re-nationalise industries.

Rather than focus on arguments for or against independence, the SLP stresses is wants policy rebuilt for the benefit of working people in Scotland.

Europe
The Socialist Labour Party slogan "Vote us in to get us out" expresses its strong stance against continued membership of the European Union.

It says only big business gains from the institutions of the EU and the single market and currency put capitalist priorities before the needs of people in Europe.

Miscellaneous
The Socialist Labour Party proposes a system of child care provided jointly by large employers and local authorities.

It promises to replace the Job Seeker's Allowance with Unemployment Allowance which restores benefit for 12 months.

The SLP is calling for a national audit to assess the level of substance abuse and addiction in Scotland and the establishment of specialist centres to tackle the problem.



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