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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 April 2007, 13:29 GMT 14:29 UK
At-a-glance: SNP manifesto
The Scottish National Party has launched its manifesto for the Holyrood elections. Here are the main points of the plan.

Scottish government

  • A referendum on independence for Scotland.
  • Deliver annual efficiency savings of 1.5% per year and free up 1.1bn for reallocation to new national infrastructure projects.
  • Ensure 70% of released resources go to improving frontline services and 30% to lower local tax.
  • Cut Scottish Executive departments from nine to six.

Economy

  • Remove business rates from 120,000 Scottish small businesses and cuts for a further 30,000.
  • Replace council tax with a local income tax, with a rate set at 3p.
  • Cut red tape and widen access to public sector contracts for small businesses.
  • A 2m fund to promote Scottish work at the Edinburgh festivals.
  • 10m scheme for new entrants to farming.
  • Move to secure quota allocation from decommissioned fishing vessels for active ones.

Transport

  • "Substantial" investment in rail infrastructure and additional steps to tackle congestion.
  • "Early delivery" of a new Forth crossing.
  • Commission a study into Road Equivalent Tariff, with a pilot in the Western Isles.

Environment

  • New targets for carbon reduction.
  • Higher building standards and efforts to increase energy efficiency.
  • Support community and household energy generation and develop local heat and power grids.
  • Proposed legislation to reduce Scotland's "carbon footprint".

Health

  • Give patients legally binding waiting times.
  • "Presumption against" centralising core hospital services and protect access to local healthcare.
  • Direct elections to health boards.
  • Phase out prescription charges.
  • Annual health checks and individual health plans for school pupils with a doubling in the number of school nurses.
  • School-based dental service.
  • Free school meals, starting with youngest children.
  • Two hours of physical education per week for every pupil and free access to council swimming pools.
  • Individual health plans for men and women from the age of 40.
  • Additional funding for young carers.
  • Increased payments for free personal and nursing care in line with inflation.

Communities

  • First time buyers' grant of 2,000 and a fund to provide shared equity loans to first time buyers.
  • Devolve power to local levels wherever possible and consider increased powers for community councils.
  • Extend the role of the voluntary sector.
  • Expect that a minimum of 25% of new housing developments will be reserved for affordable housing.

Education

  • Delivery of a 50% increase in free nursery education for three and four-year-olds, with a nursery teacher for every centre.
  • Smaller class sizes, starting with a cut in P1 to P3 class sizes to 18 or less.
  • Expanding school-college partnerships for S3 and S4, boosting access to vocational learning.
  • Introducing Baccalaureates for science and language.
  • Scrap the student graduate endowment and replace the student loans system.
  • Additional 10m for "cutting edge research".

Justice

  • More police on local streets.
  • More information for communities on dangerous paedophiles in their area.
  • Tougher controls on the sale of alcohol to those under the legal age to drink.
  • Taskforce to tackle organised crime.
  • Emphasis on tough community punishments to end short-term prison sentences.





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