The SNP confirmed as the party Scottish Labour could only ever pretend to be

From BBC Scotland’s not always satisfactory, James Cook, today:

Scotland already had more generous welfare payments than other parts of the UK, as well as state-funded access to prescriptions, tuition fees, and personal care for the elderly.

It has also been striking its own public sector pay deals, avoiding at least some of the industrial action which has hit the NHS elsewhere in the UK.

The divergence continued with the budget statement by the deputy first minister in his role as acting finance secretary, covering for Kate Forbes who is on maternity leave.

Cook does then revert to type, digging up old stuff about Tartan Tories and failing to recognise either previous progressive trends in SNP taxation policies or just how rightist Labour is and has been.

So, here’s a reminder of the longer history of the left-leaning SNP, from Allan Dorans MP, in Left Foot Forward, in 2021:

There have been many more attempts to counter the instinctive tendency of a Conservative government to punish the poor.

  1. The Scottish Child Payment means that low-income families with a child under six will be able to apply for £10 [now £25] per child, per week – equivalent to £520 per year. There are no limits on the number of eligible children supported by Scottish Child Payment.
  2. Scotland has the highest proportion of employees being paid at least the real Living Wage of all four UK nations – 80.6%, ahead of England 77.1%, Wales 74.0% and NI 72.3% and the UK 77.2%.
  3. Scotland has the smallest gap between median pay for the disabled and non-disabled. This is not the result of median wages for the non-disabled in Scotland being particularly low as Scotland has the highest median pay outside of the South of England and London.
  4. Only Scotland and Wales pay the living wage to all NHS employees and Scotland was first to pay the living wage to all public-sector employees. Recent consultation on taxation suggests that this group will also be protected from any tax increases.
  5. Scottish care workers have been receiving the Living Wage of £8.45 per hour since October 2016 and will now [unlike in rUK] receive the same rate for all ‘sleepover hours worked. This will make a big difference to around 40 000 workers. Most are women.
  6. In 2019, the United Nations report on ‘Workhouse Britain’ noted that Scotland was spending ‘£125 million per year to protect people from the worst impacts of austerity and unlike the UK Government provided funds for emergencies and hardships.’
  7. Also, in 2019, the funeral support payment was introduced meeting burial or cremation costs with a flat rate £700. 

The SNP has consistently shown that it is a party of the people, working to make Scotland a fairer and more equal country.

Full text at:

Why has the Labour Party not done any of this kind of thing across the UK or, for that matter, when they had devolved powers in Scotland? Because they don’t really care at UK level and, here, they’re just ‘minding the shop!’


5 thoughts on “The SNP confirmed as the party Scottish Labour could only ever pretend to be

  1. Probably, Mr Cook felt that he had permission to mention the Scottish child payments, because in yesterday’s Guardian, Bodger Broon in an article railing – correctly! – against the conduct of the DWP, being an agent in forcing poor people into more poverty and debt, did, somewhat grudgingly mention this payment. However, he immediately said it was ‘not enough’, nor did he mention the provenance of such payment.

    Still, it was a surprise to read a piece which gave the SG some credit, even though subsequently it tried to bury it under several “Ah, but”‘s.


  2. Surprised Cook didn’t lead with the budget leak, surely an open goal for the BBC to discredit the SNP and the Government. Nevertheless SG does need to be applauded for looking after those less fortunate in our society a far cry from the don’t give a damn attitude of the Unionist parties


  3. This is the archive of the James Cook piece one of 4 articles pertaining to the Scottish Budget being promoted by HMS James Cook, 2 of which have comments open to allow the “Nicola ate my hamster” brigade to vent spleens, the principal piece attracting 6,049 frothy comments already, the earliest at 13.06 yesterday.

    Judging by the build up the BBC gave it all of last week, they must only have been waiting for the actual statement to be copied from their fellow conspirator to execute their pre-planned ruse to embarrass Parliament.
    Broadcasting 2 hours in advance of the formal statement rather looks as if their source MSP wouldn’t even have had time to even read the statement before copying it to Pacific Quay.


  4. ‘Scottish’ Labour has become such a reflection of the Tories that it has a knee-jerk reaction to any mitigation to Westminster Austerity by the SG .
    Starmer policies ( if in power ) would probably be indistinguishable from the present lot so Labour need to attack anyone who highlights their right-wing credentials .
    Sarwar and his ilk’s every utterance shows how worse off the poor would be if ”The People’s Party” were ever in charge .


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