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Last Updated:  Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Sheridan urges socialist vote
BBC News Online Scotland asked each of the main party leaders to set out their key pledges.

This is what Scottish Socialist leader Tommy Sheridan said.

The people of Scotland have an important decision to make on 1 May.

You can vote for more of the same, for business as usual, for another four years of the stale, grey porridge.

If that is what you want, vote for one of the tired old parties - Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems or the Tories.

Alternatively, you can vote to set Scottish politics on fire by voting for a dynamic new party that dares to be different.

Political will

Our goal is an independent socialist Scottish republic that will become an international symbol of fairness and justice.

A Scotland that refuses to be part of George Bush's war machine.

A Scotland where people are more important than profit.

We understand the limitations of our PG-certificate Scottish Parliament, whose powers are heavily censored by the grown-ups in London.

The SSP has 200 detailed policies

But with imagination and political will, even this feeble semi-parliament can bring about radical improvements in people's lives.

The SSP has 200 detailed policies on combating poverty, cleaning up the environment, transforming public services, improving transport and challenging racism, sectarianism and bigotry.

More immediately, we have set out six fully-costed 'fast track' pledges which we will fight for in the first term of the new parliament.

Scottish Socialist leader Tommy Sheridan
Set Scottish politics on fire

First, we will redistribute wealth by scrapping the unfair Council Tax which protects the rich and punishes the poor.

We will replace it with a new income-based Scottish Service Tax.

This measure will benefit almost four out of five Scottish households, though a high income minority will pay more.

Second, we will scrap the PFI scam and clear the profiteers out of our schools and hospitals.

War opposition

Third, we will introduce nutritious free school meals for all pupils.

Fourth, we will bring in a 7.32 minimum wage for all public sector workers, in line with the target set by the Low Pay Unit.

Fifth, we will generate 24,000 new jobs by setting a maximum 35-hour week in the public sector.

And our final pledge is to commit the Scottish Parliament to voice its opposition to the war in Iraq - and to any future oil wars planned by Bush and Rumsfeld.

SSP manifesto at-a-glance
03 Apr 03  |  Scotland
Socialists launch campaign
01 Apr 03  |  Scotland

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