BBC HOMEPAGE | NEWS | WORLD SERVICE | SPORT | MY BBC help
news vote 2001search vote 2001
 You are in: Vote2001: Main Issues: Party Policies
VOTE2001 
Main Issues 
Correspondent Analysis 
Crucial Seats 
Key People 
Parties 
Results &  Constituencies 
Candidates 
Opinion Polls 
Online 1000 
Virtual Vote 
Talking Point 
Forum 
AudioVideo 
Programmes 
Voting System 
Local Elections 
Nations 

N Ireland 
Scotland 
Wales 

BBC News

BBC Sport

BBC Weather
Friday, 18 May, 2001, 17:48 GMT
SNP: The economy

Find out more about Scottish Nationalist policies on tax, spending, and the economy.


BACKGROUND

The Scottish National Party argues that independence would give Scotland the power to realise its economic potential and to achieve social justice.

The Scottish nationalists want more powers for the Scottish Parliament to raise taxes and to change benefit levels and increase public spending.

And they place more emphasis on job creation and attacking child and pensioner poverty.

The SNP favours Scotland joining the euro.


THE ECONOMY

The Scottish Nationalists say that the country's economy has not reached its full potential, largely because cash from North Sea oil has been treated as a British, rather than Scottish, asset.

Scotland has, through gas and oil revenues, contributed some 160bn to the Treasury, equivalent to 32,000 for every Scot, since oil was discovered in "Scottish" waters, the party believes.

But oil and gas reserves sufficient to raise a further 85bn in revenues remain to be extracted.

The party proposes that some of this money should be channelled into a Fund for Future Generations, which within five years could yield 1bn a year - four times the current level of public expenditure.

"The SNP believes this fund offers fantastic potential for sustained public investment, while meeting our responsibility to future generations by not wasting a valuable but finite asset," the manifesto says.

The SNP would also refocus Scotland's tourist agency on marketing rather than regulation.

The agency would also have a wider enterprise role, as part of the SNP's aim to promote Scottish businesses worldwide.


TAXATION

The SNP, which wants "full fiscal freedom" for the Scottish Parliament, pledges it would not increase the overall tax burden.

But it would "restore simplicity and fairness" to a tax system the party believes has suffered from the "dishonesty" exhibited by the Labour government in introducing indirect taxes not trailed in the party's 1997 manifesto.

Central to tax reforms would be a "comprehensive taxation review", aimed particularly at reducing business taxation.

Policies drawn up following the review would be put to the electorate at the next election.

More immediate revisions would include the introduction of an new tax band, raising an extra 5p in the pound, for those earning more than 100,000 a year.

Cash from the levy would allow the party to reduce fuel duty by 10p per gallon.


SPENDING

The SNP proposes extra spending in many areas of education, health and welfare.

It proposes to do this by creating:

  • A Scottish 'Fund for Future Generations'
  • A Scottish 'Trust for Public Investment'

    The fund for future generations would "lock-up" surplus oil revenues, the party says, securing long-term investment.

    The investment trust would aim to cut the cost of capital spending without having to resort to the private sector.

    In education, the party proposes the abolition of tuition fees, and, over time to offer a "decent" maintenance grant to remove dependence on student loans.

    The party would also start a "major programme" of school refurbishment.

    In health, the freeze the level of prescription charges, pending review, raise spending on hospital infrastructure, employ 1,500 extra nurses and offer free personal care to all elderly Scots.

    Much of this spending would be paid for by the introduction of a Scottish Trust for Public Investment which would aim, through exploiting its public status to gain lower interest charges on loans, to provide a lower cost alternative to the private finance initiative.

    The party would pay for a restoration of the link between increases in pensions and average wage rises by utilising a surplus in the savings pot.

    The SNP would also spend 25m employing 1,000 extra police officers.

  •  A/V CONSOLE
    BBC RADIO NEWS
    BBC ONE TV NEWS


    Issues Finder


    Economy
    PARTY POLICIES
    Economy

    PARTY WEB LINKS



    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    ©BBC