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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 April 2007, 05:18 GMT 06:18 UK
At-a-glance: Scottish Socialists manifesto
The Scottish Socialists have launched their manifesto for the Holyrood elections. Here are the main points of the plan.

Scottish Government

  • Build cross-party support for a referendum on Scottish independence within a year of the new parliament.
  • Give prisoners the right to vote in elections.
  • End uniform business rates.
  • Devolve more powers, including health and transport, to local authorities.
  • Lower the voting age to 16.

Health

  • Push for the introduction of free school meals.
  • Expand drug and alcohol rehabilitation and detox facilities.
  • Scrap prescription charges.
  • Morning-after pill free through NHS outlets, pharmacists and women's centres.
  • Free stop-smoking classes and nicotine replacement patches.
  • Encourage all school children to participate in a minimum of three hours of physical education, with alternatives for those unable to take part.
  • Fund councils to remove admission charges to health facilities, including swimming pools.
  • Free toothpaste and toothbrushes for children.
  • Community-run supermarkets specialising in the sale of healthy, local produce.
  • Women's health centres providing access to contraception and abortion facilities.
  • Parents to have the option of separate vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella.
  • "Serious" resources to tackle mental health.
  • A department of alternative medicine within NHS Scotland.
  • Ban consultants working for the private sector.
  • Invest 10m to support carers and 135m a year to give full-time carers guaranteed annual breaks.

Justice

  • Set up new community, regional and national police boards made up of councillors, MSPs and elected community members, to hold forces to greater account.
  • Reduce petty crime through the prescription of heroin to registered addicts, under controlled conditions.
  • Establish special courts to deal with domestic violence cases as well as awareness training and rehabilitation courses.
  • Legally require convicted sex offenders to undergo a rehabilitation programme, either in custody or the community, and increase dedicated police monitoring.
  • Establish secure units providing intensive rehabilitation for sex offenders judged to pose a continuing risk to the public.
  • End the right of those accused of sex offences to cross-examine alleged victims in court and the extension of those principles to civil proceedings.
  • Cut Scotland's prison population by expanding alternatives to custody and expand prison rehabilitation programmes.
  • End the arrest and prosecution of people for the possession of cannabis for personal use.
  • A system of accountability for judges and sheriffs, involving the Law Society of Scotland.
  • Extend legal aid to cover workplace and consumer disputes.

Education

  • Maximum class sizes of 20.
  • No school closures except with the agreement of the local community.
  • Free use of schools and their facilities for non-profitable learning activities outside school hours and term time.
  • Abolition of all fees in further and higher education and unification of colleges under a co-operative network.
  • Increase adult numeracy and literacy programmes.
  • Rights of religious observance for all denominations, implemented by consent.
  • Free pre-school education for three and four-year-olds and free after-school care for primary and secondary pupils.
  • One-to-one teaching for children with classic autism.

Public services

  • Fund Scotland's councils to recruit and train welfare rights workers with special responsibility for identifying and helping people failing to receive benefits to which they are entitled.
  • Expanding local money advice centres and credit unions.
  • Scottish Executive review of carers' benefits and financial support in conjunction with UK Government.
  • Extend the concessionary travel scheme to carers.
  • Bring an end to PFI schemes.
  • End private catering and cleaning contracts in the NHS and education sector.
  • Give control of Scotland's water and sewerage to local authority groups, similar to police and fire boards.

Transport

  • Establish a Scotland-wide free public transport system, expand services and make them fully accessible to all disabled travellers at a cost of 1bn a year.
  • Bring forward a Holyrood bill to re-regulate Scotland's buses.
  • Set up a publicly-owned bus group, sub-divided into 10 regional companies.
  • Scrap all bus, underground and passenger ferry fares, while expanding services to meet increasing demand.
  • Transfer the Scotrail franchise, when it expires in 2011, to a new publicly-owned Scottish national rail company and remove fares for all rail journeys within Scotland.
  • Expand park-and-ride schemes to tackle town and city congestion.

Communities

  • Build 25,000 new homes for social rent every year, financed by cancelling councils' housing debt to generate 2bn over four years.
  • Require private developers to allocate one house for social rent for every three new houses built, at rent levels set by the local council or housing association.
  • Allow councils to impose a "millionaires tax" on all land and property valued at over 1m, with a "modest" charge of less than 1% generating hundreds of millions of pounds for new rented housing.
  • Youth facilities in every community, run by young people.
  • Scrap rent for pensioners who are housing association or council tenants or in sheltered housing.

Economy

  • Scrap council tax in favour of an income-based "progressive" tax, called the Scottish Service Tax, where those earning less than 11,000 would be exempt.
  • Raise "hundreds of millions" extra through higher corporation tax.
  • Use income from the Scottish Service Tax to pay for scrapping domestic water charges.
  • Fund 5,000 new apprenticeships.

Environment

  • Campaign for a commission to investigate a carbon rationing scheme, to allocate businesses, organisations and individuals an annual quantity of credits to buy, for example, gas, electricity, petrol and air flights, which could be used or sold as required.
  • New buildings to be carbon-neutral by 2011.
  • Grants for insulation and double-glazing in private homes.
  • Access for every household in Scotland to recycling bins.
  • Waste-reduction targets for local authorities.





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