IndyRef2: SNP's 'thin' policies criticised by Murdo Fraser
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Scottish Tory MP Murdo Fraser has slammed Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP/Green coalition Government, insisting “all they are obsessed about is another independence referendum”. The First Minister told civil servants to make a new case for Scottish independence as she announced her government programme for the year on Tuesday. Mr Fraser branded the proposals “thin” as he noted the SNP will be able to deliver extra reform thanks to a 15 percent increase in social care funding from Westminster.
Speaking to BBC ScotNine, the MSP for Mid-Scotland & Fife said: “A thin set of proposals coming forward from the Scottish Scottish Government.
“Really what people were looking for, and what we were promised in advance of the election, of course, was unrelenting focus on Covid recovery.
“Nothing here for business. Nothing here really because she likes to help the public services like the NHS, or education.
The BBC Scotland’s The Nine host interjected: “They promised a revolutionary amount of spending on social care and the NHS.”
Mr Fraser continued: “Well of course it’s thanks to the UK Government that more money is being made available as from today to support the NHS in Scotland.
“If you look at the list of bills- it is a really thin list of bills unless you’re interested in Foxes, or firewalls.
“Where are the bills to improve the NHS, to improve education.
“Where are the bills to help the economy?”
He went on: “Nothing. There is nothing there.
“All they are obsessed about is another independence referendum.”
Ms Sturgeon’s legislative programme includes referendum and policies agreed with Greens, with whom the SNP finalised a governmental alliance last week.
However, Scottish opposition parties urged her to focus on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic rather than independence.
Boris Johnson has said Scotland will receive more than £1 billion as he announced plans to raise additional cash for social care reform across the UK.
The Prime Minister announced that in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic the UK Government is to introduce a new health and social care levy, based on a 1.25% increase in national insurance (NI) contributions.
Mr Johnson insisted this was a “reasonable and the fair approach” to paying for the reforms – despite breaching a manifesto pledge not to raise NI contributions.
However, the SNP warned the changes would be the Prime Minister’s version of the “poll tax”, with the party’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford accusing the Tory of taxing Scottish workers twice.
Mr Blackford said: “By raising this levy across the UK, the Tories are taxing Scottish workers twice – forcing them to pay the bill for social care in England as well as at home in Scotland.
“This is the Prime Minister’s poll tax on Scottish workers to pay for English social care.”
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