2015 SNP MANIFESTO EXPLAINED IN 6 MINUTES

The 2015 SNP Manifesto has been released.

 

It has been decoded.

 

So what do they want?

 

A STRONGER Scotland. A voice that is HEARD.

 

Well we can hear you now.

 

FIRST THINGS FIRST…

End Austerity! What even is austerity? Cuts to public services – the SNP want no more of it! Instead of cutting, the SNP will put in tiny increases into public spending of 0.5% for each year of parliament.

The SNP will have an additional £140 billion to play with to invest in things like the NHS and education (that’s across the whole of the UK, not just Scotland). They’ll find the money from introducing more taxes…

– Hello 50p tax rate for top earners – so those earning the most contribute more to help the most vulnerable.

– Bankers get ready to pay an extra tax on those nice bonuses you get.

– A bank levy (posh name for a tax).

– A mansion tax (posh name for a house worth over a certain amount, you’d be surprised what is considered a ‘mansion’ in London).

– A crackdown on tax avoidance.

– No more non-doms (Dick and Dom can stay).

 

DOCTOR DOCTOR

Vote to increase NHS spending in the UK by £24 billion by 2021 – adding £2 billion to the NHS Scotland budget.

The SNP will always vote against any privatisation of the NHS in England.

 

GOODBYE TRIDENT

Oppose plans to renew Trident nuclear weapons (explainer). Instead that £100 billion – yes £100 billion – can be invested into nice(r) things. Like better childcare. And better education. And of course: a better NHS.

 

IS IT THE END OF MONTH YET?

Minimum wage is going up… £8.70 to be precise. Not immediately but by 2020.

Current rates of minimum wage

As it stands: minimum wage

The SNP support the living wage across the whole of the UK. The SNP also want you to know that the Scottish Government already pays all its employees the living wage (pat on the back), and it urges the UK government to do the same (you’ve been warned UK).

 

BENEFITS

Child Benefit Rates

As it stands: child benefits

Say no to….cuts to Child Benefit. Instead increase benefits so that incomes of the poorest in society do not fall even further behind the cost of living. The SNP got ya back peeps.

Absolutely zero cuts to the Disability Living Allowance, and the SNP will always vote against it too.

So long Bedroom Tax, it’s been fun.

Increase Carer’s Allowance so it matches Jobseekers’ Allowance (explainer). Carer’s Allowance is currently £62.10 per week.

THE BEST DAYS OF YOUR LIFE

Guarantee free university education in Scotland, and support the reduction of fees in the rest of the UK.

Give Educational Maintenance Allowance in Scotland to 22,000 more pupils and part-time students.

30,000 more apprenticeships for young people.

Expand free nursery education from 16 hours a week to 30 hours a week.

 

WE LOVE EUROPE

The SNP love being part of the EU and they will do all they can to make sure it stays that way.

 

HOME AWAY FROM HOME

The Help to Buy scheme which helps people get their feet on that tricky housing ladder – SNP will support its growth and aren’t against it.

SNP aim: 100,000 more affordable homes a year in the UK.

 

WORK HARD, PLAY HARDER

End those infamous zero-hour contracts.

Encourage people on benefits back to work by supporting an increase of 20% in Work Allowance – aka the amount people are allowed to earn before their benefit is cut.

Review plans to change retirement age from 66 to 67… it will make a difference to when people can start receiving their pensions.

 

KEEP UP, UK!

SNP will encourage the UK government to follow their lead on ambitious carbon reduction targets – that’s making the UK a cleaner and greener country for everyone.

Delay and suspend fracking.

Make me safe: 1,000 extra police officers.

 

WE WANT EQUALITY! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!

50/50 Men and Women on public and private boards please.

Equal pay – is it that much to ask?

Females listen to this: no VAT on sanitary products!

 

IN NEED OF A SHAKE UP

Goodbye Lords: Hello new, ELECTED second chamber.

First Past The Post is so yesterday – the SNP call for Proportional Representation as the new voting system – that’s where a party is allocated a number of seats in Parliament that is directly proportional to the number of votes they gained nationwide.

 

HOME RULE. HOME WHAT?

The SNP want you to know they will ALWAYS support independence and want Scotland to be its own country in its own right (flashback to 2014 and the SNP losing that referendum).

In the meantime: SNP MPs in Westminster will use their influence to make sure Scotland get what they deserve – aka promises of greater powers are kept and put into action.

The Scottish Parliament would be completely responsible for all their monies.

The SNP are also pretty anti a Conservative government, just so you know. #enemies

 

YOU’VE HEARD THE 2015 SNP MANIFESTO.

THERE’S NOT LONG TO GO NOW… WHO WILL YOU VOTE FOR?

ELECTION DAY: MAY 7TH.

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What else do you feel the SNP aren’t quite covering? Let us know in the comment box below.

What is Fracking?

WHAT THE FRACK IS FRACKING?

It seems the political parties are talking about fracking a lot in their campaigns with some arguing it’s a good thing, and others saying no, never and stop. But how are we supposed to care one way or another if we don’t actually know what it is…

 

CUE THE SCIENCE

Fracking: you drill down into the earth, find a rock, aim a high-pressure water mixture at that rock which causes it to fracture apart, and that then allows the gas in the rock to release and flow on out. Rocks have gas in them? Apparently so. Rock on!

 

HYDRAULIC FRACTURING

The posh word for fracking, or what you’d call it if you were showing off at the dinner table.

 

RIGHT ON OUR DOORSTEP

The gas trying to be exported from these rocks is called Shale Gas. Fracking is going on all over the country in the North, South and Midlands. For fracking companies to frack in the UK they need to apply for planning permission and tick a lot of boxes before they can go ahead.

 

DO YOU WANT A SIDE ORDER OF CONTROVERSY WITH THAT?

An image showing a protester holding up a sign against fracking.

Fracking protester

Where oh where do we begin? Firstly, fracking uses a LOT of water. That means transporting masses of water to the fracking sites which costs huge amounts of money, and doesn’t do the environment much good either. If we really want to pull on the heart strings, shouldn’t an adundance of water go towards countries with shortages or in dire need of water aid. Various African countries will spring to mind, but several states in America e.g. California is particularly drought-stricken.

Secondly, environmentalists worry that chemicals, and the bad sort of chemicals called ‘carcinogenic chemicals’, can escape during the fracking process contaminating the surrounding areas underground and on the fracking site. There’s also the worry that fracking is causing earth tremors: Blackpool had two tiny earthquakes back in 2011 after fracking took place in the area. And what about renewable energy sources people!? Can’t the money being invested in fracking be used to fund more renewable energy sources instead? After all, fracking is only continuing our reliance on fossil fuels. Fossil fuels are bad for us, remember?

 

ARE PEOPLE JUST OVER-WORRYING?

Fracking lets you have access to those difficult to reach resources of oil and gas but most importantly it has given the UK gas security for the next 100 years. It’s great for job creation, the economy and energy supplies: the US have been busy fracking and it has meant millions more jobs, and much cheaper fuel because it’s all coming from home turf and not being imported in. So California might be desperate for some water, but now that they have a job they can afford bottled water! *Probing, another explainer for another time*

A word from our Environment expert, David Saddington: “Fracking is quite an old technology for extracting fossil fuels but as previously mentioned the big rise in popularity came during the US shale boom in the early 2000’s and lots of videos hit youtube of people who could light their tapwater on fire because of the methane in the water. Matt Damon even did a film about it called The Promised Land.” 

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO POLITICS

The US have their own political stances on this, but for now let’s talk UK:

Conservatives: support fracking for shale gas….if it’s done safely. Their argument is that the positives outweigh the negatives. There is a lot that contributes to climate change and fracking might be a small part of it.

Labour: put in tougher measures before fracking can take place and give Wales and Scotland the power to decide on fracking in their countries independently.

Lib Dems: similar to the Tories but re-invest 50% of the tax income from fracking in green energy. Fighting fire with fire no?

UKIP: support fracking.

Greens: have a guess… yep… totally against it.

SNP: don’t like it either and will ban it in Scotland.

Plaid Cymru: not totally against it, but support a freeze on fracking in the meantime.

What else have the parties got planned for our environment:

#BeforeYoureDecidedGetDecoded

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