Ahead of the Queen’s Speech, on Wednesday, the SNP Group at Westminster have put forward its progressive alternative to the damaging austerity policies of the UK government. We are calling for measures to make the UK fairer, more prosperous and more equal, and proving once again that it’s the only clear, consistent and effective opposition to the Tories at Westminster.
On the Constitution, the SNP would introduce:
1. A Scottish Home Rule Bill, providing meaningful devolution to Scotland including competence over employment law and industrial relations; broadcasting; the power to hold a referendum on Scotland’s constitutional future; the tax credits system and in work benefits; comprehensive responsibility for social security excluding pensions; the ability to legislate for incentives for renewable energy; comprehensive ability to tax income, wealth and capital including corporation tax; responsibility for the management of natural resources within Scotland and for revenue accruing from the management of natural resources within Scotland’s geographical territory; a formalised role for Scottish Ministers being consulted by the UK government in international representations and negotiations, including provision for Scottish Ministers to deputise for UK government ministers in the international fora.
2. A Parliamentary Reform Bill, modernising and reforming Westminster by abolishing the House of Lords and creating a democratically elected chamber. The party would also signal its wider intention to abolish English Votes for English Laws; introduce electronic voting in Parliament; create a House Business Committee to enhance the role of Parliament in scrutinising government; commission a report on maternity leave and job share arrangements for MPs; and commission a study on a new, purpose-built Westminster Parliament.
3. An Electoral Reform Bill, lowering the voting age to 16 and establishing an independent commission on proportional representation to report on possible models for Westminster.
We have shown ourselves to be a progressive alternative to a ‘business as usual’ continuation of the Tory government’s failed austerity project that has held back the economy, damaged public services, and hit the poorest and most vulnerable hardest.
Our Alternative Queen’s Speech calls for change that would stand up for Scotland’s interests and deliver the policies needed to build a fairer, more prosperous and more equal country.
Once again it falls to the SNP to provide the clear, consistent and effective opposition to the Tories – and that is what we will continue to do.